2019 Nissan Kicks vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Kicks has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, 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 Kicks SR has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Encore only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Kicks and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 5 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Kicks

 

FWD

1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/36 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

Transmission

The Kicks 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.

Tires and Wheels

The Kicks has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Encore doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Kicks has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Kicks 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 Kicks’ wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the Encore (103.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

The Kicks SR handles at .83 G’s, while the Encore pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kicks’ turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Encore’s (34.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Kicks may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 700 pounds less than the Buick Encore.

Passenger Space

The Kicks has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

The front step up height for the Kicks is 1.4 inches lower than the Encore (15.4” vs. 16.8”). The Kicks’ rear step up height is 1 inches lower than the Encore’s (15.8” vs. 16.8”).

Cargo Capacity

The Kicks has a much larger cargo volume than the Encore with its rear seat up (25.3 vs. 18.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Kicks’ front power windows 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 front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

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

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