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The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Encore GX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore GX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Encore GX doesn’t offer a night vision system.
Both the XT5 and the Encore GX 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Cadillac XT5 weighs 642 to 1331 pounds more than the Buick Encore GX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XT5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore GX has not been tested, yet.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the XT5’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Encore GX’s camshafts. If the Encore GX’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XT5 has a standard 170-amp alternator (155-amp - XT5 V6 without Towing Package). The Encore GX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
The XT5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 100 more horsepower (237 vs. 137) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The XT5’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 82 more horsepower (237 vs. 155) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The XT5’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 155 more horsepower (310 vs. 155) and 97 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT5’s fuel efficiency. The Encore GX doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The XT5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 6.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (19.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XT5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 8.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (21.7 vs. 13.2 gallons).
For better stopping power the XT5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:
The XT5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Encore GX are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the XT5 has larger tires than the Encore GX (235/65R18 vs. 225/55R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
The Cadillac XT5’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Buick Encore GX only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
For superior ride and handling, the Cadillac XT5 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 GX has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The XT5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the XT5 flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The XT5 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XT5’s wheelbase is 10.3 inches longer than on the Encore GX (112.5 inches vs. 102.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT5 is 3.7 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore GX.
For greater off-road capability the XT5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore GX (7.8 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the XT5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The XT5 has .3 inches more front legroom, 4.2 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 3 inches more rear legroom, 7.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore GX.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the XT5’s rear seats recline. The Encore GX’s rear seats don’t recline.
The XT5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore GX with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 23.5 cubic feet). The XT5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore GX with its rear seat folded (63 vs. 50.2 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Encore GX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
Maximum trailer towing in the Buick Encore GX is limited to 1000 pounds. The XT5 offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.
The XT5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore GX uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.
The XT5’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Encore GX does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The XT5’s front power windows 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 GX’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.
On a hot day the XT5’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Encore GX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XT5 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore GX doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore GX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The XT5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Encore GX. The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Encore GX.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Encore GX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The XT5 has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Encore GX Select/Essence.
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