2020 Jeep Cherokee 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 2020/08/09

The Cherokee has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore GX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers optional Parksense with Rear Stop 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.

Both the Cherokee and the Encore GX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Cherokee the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore GX has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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There are over 21 percent more Jeep dealers than there are Buick dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Cherokee’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 Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Cherokee optional). The Encore GX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The Cherokee has more powerful engines than the Encore GX:

Horsepower

Torque

Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder

180 HP

171 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

270 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 3.2 DOHC V6

271 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

Encore GX 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder

137 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Encore GX 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder

155 HP

174 lbs.-ft.

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 2020/08/09

The Cherokee has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Cherokee’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:

Cherokee

Encore GX

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.81 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

10.39 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore GX (245/65R17 vs. 225/55R18).

The Cherokee’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 Cherokee offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Encore GX; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Jeep Cherokee 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 Cherokee has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cherokee flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Cherokee’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Encore GX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cherokee’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the Encore GX (106.5 inches vs. 102.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore GX.

For greater off-road capability the Cherokee has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore GX (7.9 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cherokee Trailhawk’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the Encore GX (8.7 vs. 7.5 inches).

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has .2 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore GX.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore GX with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 23.5 cubic feet). The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore GX with its rear seat folded (54.7 vs. 50.2 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Cherokee’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Encore GX’s (2000 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Buick Encore GX is only 1000 pounds. The Cherokee offers up to a 4500 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Cherokee 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.

Ergonomics

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The Cherokee’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.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cherokee Overland has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore GX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Cherokee Limited also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Both the Cherokee and the Encore GX offer optional heated front seats. The Cherokee Overland also has standard 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 Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus) 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 2020/08/09

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Buick Encore by 87% during 2019.

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