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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Encore GX are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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.
Both the Encore GX and the EcoSport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
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 EcoSport’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 Ford covers the EcoSport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the EcoSport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Encore GX’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the EcoSport’s (6 vs. 5 years).
The Encore GX has a solid front axle with a floating power axle for durability that the EcoSport 4x4’s independent front suspension and exposed front driveshafts don’t offer.
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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
The Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 14 more horsepower (137 vs. 123) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3-cylinder. The Encore GX’s 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder produces 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (174 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the Encore GX gets better fuel mileage than the EcoSport:
1.3 Turbo 3-cyl.
30 city/32 hwy
1.3 Turbo 3-cyl.
26 city/29 hwy
1.0 Turbo 3-cyl.
27 city/29 hwy
2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.
23 city/29 hwy
Regenerative brakes improve the Encore GX’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore GX uses regular unleaded gasoline. The EcoSport with the 1.0 turbo 3-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Encore GX higher (7 out of 10) than the Ford EcoSport (5). This means the Encore GX produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the EcoSport every 15,000 miles.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Encore GX AWD, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the EcoSport.
The Encore GX FWD 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a CVT.
For better traction, the Encore GX has larger tires than the EcoSport (225/55R18 vs. 205/60R16).
The Encore GX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the EcoSport’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the EcoSport. The EcoSport’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.
The Buick Encore GX’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Encore GX’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the EcoSport (102.2 inches vs. 99.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Encore GX is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the EcoSport.
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 EcoSport doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Encore GX has .1 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.
The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume than the EcoSport with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 20.9 cubic feet).
The Encore GX’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Encore GX’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.
The Encore GX AWD can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Encore GX can be unhitched and driven around locally. The EcoSport can’t be towed flat on the ground.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 46% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.
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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Encore GX Select/Essence 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Encore GX’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The EcoSport has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The Encore GX’s front and rear power windows all lower 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 EcoSport’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.
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 EcoSport doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The Encore GX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the EcoSport SES/Titanium.
When the Encore GX Essence is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The EcoSport’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Encore GX Select/Essence’s 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. The EcoSport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
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 EcoSport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
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 EcoSport doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Encore GX Essence’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The EcoSport doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Buick Encore outsold the Ford EcoSport by 58% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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