2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CX-3 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The CX-3 has standard Smart City Brake Support, 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.

Both the CX-3 and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-3 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Reliability

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

Engine

The CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (148 vs. 138) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Buick Encore:

 

CX-3

Encore

Encore DI

Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

9.4 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.1 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.9 MPH

79.5 MPH

77.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-3 gets better fuel mileage than the Encore:

 

 

 

MPG

CX-3

 

 

 

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 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

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops shorter than the Encore:

 

CX-3

Encore

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s 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 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Encore AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Encore’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Buick Encore.

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has .9 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more front hip room than the Encore.

Ergonomics

The CX-3 Grand Touring has a standard 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 CX-3 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Encore doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CX-3 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 see further while navigating curves, the CX-3 Grand Touring has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-3 offers an optional 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.

Economic Advantages

The CX-3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-3 will retain 45.65% to 46.16% of its original price after five years, while the Encore only retains 41.19% to 42.63%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the Encore because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the Encore, including $113 less for a water pump, $205 less for a muffler, $137 less for front brake pads, $111 less for a fuel pump and $306 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-3 will be $3356 to $4923 less than for the Buick Encore.

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

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