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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Honda CR-V Hybrid has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the Encore and the CR-V Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
The Encore comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CR-V Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Honda covers the CR-V Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the CR-V Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CR-V Hybrid’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’s warranty.
The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the CR-V Hybrid’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Encore has a standard 438-amp battery. The CR-V Hybrid’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
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’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CR-V Hybrid LX’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CR-V Hybrid LX.
The Encore has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CR-V Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The Encore has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CR-V Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The Encore has vehicle speed-sensitive 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 CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the CR-V Hybrid’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Honda CR-V Hybrid.
The Encore is 1 foot, 1.7 inches shorter than the CR-V Hybrid, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The front step up height for the Encore is 2.2 inches lower than the CR-V Hybrid (16.8” vs. 19”). The Encore’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the CR-V Hybrid’s (16.8” vs. 18”).
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 power windows standard on both the Encore and the CR-V Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Encore is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CR-V Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Encore’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 CR-V Hybrid’s power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.
The Encore’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 CR-V Hybrid LX’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’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring.
When the Encore 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 CR-V Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Encore (except Bae) offers an optional 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 CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Encore is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Buick Encore, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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