2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2020 Buick Encore GX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Both the Equinox and the Encore GX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Equinox the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 31 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore GX has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 48 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are Buick dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Encore GX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked fifth.

Engine

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The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 33 more horsepower (170 vs. 137) and 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 162) than the Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The Equinox’s 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 15 more horsepower (170 vs. 155) and 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 97 more horsepower (252 vs. 155) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (14.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Equinox AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (15.6 vs. 13.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Equinox 2.0T’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:

Equinox 2.0T

Encore GX

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.81 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10.39 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

For better traction, the Equinox Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore GX (235/50R19 vs. 225/55R18).

The Equinox Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore GX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Equinox Premier offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Equinox 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Equinox’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Encore GX (107.3 inches vs. 102.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Equinox is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .3 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore GX.

For greater off-road capability the Equinox has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore GX (7.9 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Equinox to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Equinox has .3 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom, 4.2 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore GX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Equinox’s rear seats recline. The Encore GX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore GX with its rear seat up (29.9 vs. 23.5 cubic feet). The Equinox has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore GX with its rear seat folded (63.9 vs. 50.2 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Equinox LT/Premier’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Encore GX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The Equinox’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Encore GX’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Buick Encore GX is only 1000 pounds. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

All models of the Equinox can be flat towed on all four wheels, allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Equinox can be unhitched and driven around locally. Only the Encore GX AWD can be dingy towed.

Ergonomics

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The Equinox’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.

On a hot day the Equinox’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.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Encore GX doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Equinox LS/LT/Premier’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Encore GX doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Equinox’s optional 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.

Both the Equinox and the Encore GX offer available heated front seats. The Equinox Premier 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Equinox Premier 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.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chevrolet Equinox, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Buick Encore by over three to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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