2019 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Rav4 has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rav4 (except LE) offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Rav4 Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera 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 Rav4 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

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

Engine

The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 65 more horsepower (203 vs. 138) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (203 vs. 153) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Rav4 is faster than the Buick Encore:

 

Rav4

Encore

Encore opt.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

9.4 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.1 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

79.5 MPH

77.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 gets better fuel mileage than the Encore:

 

 

 

MPG

Rav4

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

LE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/34 hwy

 

 

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 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

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Rav4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Rav4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

Rav4

Encore

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Rav4 has larger standard tires than the Encore (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R18). The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (235/55R19 vs. 215/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited has standard 19-inch wheels. The Encore’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Rav4 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 Rav4 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Rav4 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 Rav4’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the Encore (105.9 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore.

The Rav4 Adventure handles at .75 G’s, while the Encore AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Rav4 Adventure executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Encore AWD (28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 LE/XLE’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Encore’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 LE/XLE has a 2.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (8.4 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Rav4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s minimum ground clearance is 2.4 inches higher than on the Encore (8.6 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the Rav4 Adventure/Limited uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Encore doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Rav4 has 6.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Encore (98.9 vs. 92.8).

The Rav4 has .2 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 3.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Rav4’s rear seats recline. The Encore’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Rav4 (except LE) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Limited, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Encore doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Rav4 has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Encore has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Rav4’s 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Rav4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Rav4 and the Encore offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Encore.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Rav4 Adventure/Limited 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.

Both the Rav4 and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited 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 Rav4 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.

Recommendations

The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Buick Encore by over four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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