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The Encore GX 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 Journey doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The Encore GX’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Journey doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Encore GX Select/Essence offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Journey only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
The Encore GX’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Journey doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Encore GX’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Journey doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Encore GX has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Journey doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Encore GX and the Journey 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
The Encore GX comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Journey’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore GX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Dodge covers the Journey. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Journey ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Encore GX’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Journey’s (6 vs. 5 years).
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 60 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.
The Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder produces 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (174 vs. 165) than the Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the Encore GX FWD CVT 1.3 turbo 3 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Journey (30 city/32 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Encore GX’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Journey doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Encore GX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Journey doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Encore GX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Journey doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For more complete vehicle control the Encore GX offers an optional manually controlled automatic, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. A manually controlled automatic allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Journey doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Encore GX AWD, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a four-speed automatic is available for the Journey.
The Encore GX 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 Journey doesn’t offer a CVT.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Journey SE Value.
The Encore GX 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 Journey doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Encore GX has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Journey doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Encore GX is 1 foot, 9 inches shorter than the Journey, making the Encore GX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The front grille of the Encore GX uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Journey doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Encore GX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Journey doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume than the Journey with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 10.7 cubic feet).
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Encore GX’s power liftgate can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Journey doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 53% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 27th.
When two different drivers share the Encore GX Essence, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Journey doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Encore GX Essence’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Journey doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Encore GX Select/Essence offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Journey doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Encore GX’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Journey’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.
The Encore GX Essence’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Journey’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Encore GX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Journey doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Encore GX Select/Essence offers an optional Adaptive 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 Journey doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Encore GX, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Journey.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Buick Encore GX Essence offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Journey doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Encore GX Essence’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park by itself. The Journey doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Buick Encore outsold the Dodge Journey by 37% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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