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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 HR-V doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
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 HR-V only offers a rear monitor.
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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 and available blind spot warning systems.
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 HR-V’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 Honda covers the HR-V. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the HR-V ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Encore GX’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the HR-V’s (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 87 percent more Buick dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore GX’s warranty.
The Encore GX has a solid front axle with a floating power axle for durability that the HR-V 4x4’s independent front suspension and exposed front driveshafts don’t offer.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.
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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
The Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cylinder. The Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder produces 14 more horsepower (155 vs. 141) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (174 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cylinder.
Regenerative brakes improve the Encore GX’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Encore GX higher (7 out of 10) than the Honda HR-V (5). This means the Encore GX produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the HR-V every 15,000 miles.
For better traction, the Encore GX has larger tires than the HR-V (225/55R18 vs. 215/55R17).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the HR-V.
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 HR-V doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Encore GX is .7 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the HR-V.
For greater off-road capability the Encore GX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the HR-V (7.5 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Encore GX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
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 HR-V doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Encore GX has .2 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more rear hip room than the HR-V.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Encore GX’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The HR-V doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.
The Encore GX has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The HR-V has no towing capacity.
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 HR-V can’t be towed flat on the ground.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 42% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.
The Encore GX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The HR-V doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
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 HR-V 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 HR-V 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the Encore GX and the HR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Encore GX is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The HR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
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 HR-V’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.
The Encore GX’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The HR-V LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. 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 HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Encore GX has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The HR-V has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.
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 HR-V 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. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring.
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 HR-V’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
On extremely cold winter days, the Encore GX Essence’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The HR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Encore GX Select/Essence has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
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 HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
The Encore GX Essence has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The HR-V doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
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 HR-V doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Buick Encore outsold the Honda HR-V by 3298 units during 2019.
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