2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus UX Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick Encore doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The UX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Front Seatbacks system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The UX Series has standard Pre-Collision System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The UX Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The UX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Encore doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the UX Series and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked third.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Buick is ranked 19th.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 31 more horsepower (169 vs. 138) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 200’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (169 vs. 153) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 28 more horsepower (181 vs. 153) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Encore:

 

 

 

MPG

UX Series

 

FWD

200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

AWD

200h 2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/38 hwy

Encore

 

FWD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)

26 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)

25 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)

25 city/30 hwy

 

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)

24 city/29 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the UX 250h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Encore doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Encore doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the UX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

UX Series

Encore

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Encore (225/50R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The UX Series’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore’s standard 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Encore doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Lexus UX Series has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Buick Encore has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The UX Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the UX Series flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the UX Series’ wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Encore (103.9 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Encore’s (34.2 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Passenger Space

The UX Series has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

The UX Series has a much larger cargo volume than the Encore with its rear seat up (21.7 vs. 18.8 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the UX Series. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Encore doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 21% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

The UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Encore doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The UX Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Encore’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the UX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Encore can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Encore doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the UX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The UX Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Encore doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The UX Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Encore.

Both the UX Series and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the UX Series has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the UX Series has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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