2020 Ford Escape FHEV vs. 2020 Buick Encore

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 2020/04/08

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape FHEV have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick Encore doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Escape FHEV 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 Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Escape FHEV has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escape FHEV offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escape FHEV’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Encore doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Escape FHEV and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

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 Escape FHEV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

© 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 2020/04/08

There are over 52 percent more Ford dealers than there are Buick dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape FHEV’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape FHEV has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Encore doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 2 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

© 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 2020/04/08

The Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 62 more horsepower (200 vs. 138) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape FHEV is faster than the Buick Encore:

Escape FHEV

Encore

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

9.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.7 MPH

79.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/04/08

On the EPA test cycle the Escape FHEV gets better mileage than the Encore:

MPG

Escape FHEV

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

44 city/37 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/37 hwy

Encore

FWD

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

AWD

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Escape FHEV’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Encore doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The Escape FHEV 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 Encore doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Escape FHEV stops shorter than the Encore:

Escape

Encore

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Escape FHEV has larger tires than the Encore (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R18).

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

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Ford Escape FHEV 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 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Escape FHEV has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Escape FHEV flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape FHEV’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Encore (106.7 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape FHEV is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore.

The Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the Encore AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Escape FHEV has 11.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Encore (104 vs. 92.8).

The Escape FHEV has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front hip room, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom, 3.2 inches more rear hip room and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

© 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 2020/04/08

The Escape FHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (34.4 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Escape FHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (60.8 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The Escape FHEV’s cargo area is larger than the Encore’s in every dimension:

Escape FHEV

Encore

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36.7”/68.3”

28.5”/55.8”

Max Width

57.3”

39.5”

Min Width

41.4”

36”

Height

32.8”

31.8”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Escape FHEV offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Escape FHEV Titanium, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Encore doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Escape FHEV has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Encore has no towing capacity.

The Escape FHEV 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 Escape FHEV can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Encore can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Escape FHEV Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Encore doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Escape FHEV’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Encore 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 Escape FHEV Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches. The Encore’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The Escape FHEV’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Encore’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Escape FHEV detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Escape FHEV and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape FHEV has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Escape FHEV 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 Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Encore doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/04/08

The Ford Escape outsold the Buick Encore by over two to one during 2019.

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