2020 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2020 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

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 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Cherokee offers optional Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, 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.

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 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Cherokee and the Encore 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Jeep Cherokee is safer than the Buick Encore:

Cherokee

Encore

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

166

207

Neck Injury Risk

37%

38%

Neck Compression

26 lbs.

104 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

241/259 lbs.

249/289 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Jeep Cherokee is safer than the Buick Encore:

Cherokee

Encore

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

64

73

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.7 inches

Hip Force

363 lbs.

388 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

HIC

203

382

Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

46 G’s

Hip Force

490 lbs.

707 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

There are over 16 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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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’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Cherokee has a standard 700-amp battery. The Encore’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

The Cherokee’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 42 more horsepower (180 vs. 138) and 23 lbs.-ft. more torque (171 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Cherokee’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 132 more horsepower (270 vs. 138) and 147 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Cherokee’s optional 3.2 DOHC V6 produces 133 more horsepower (271 vs. 138) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (239 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Jeep Cherokee is faster than the Buick Encore:

Cherokee 4 cyl.

Cherokee turbo 4 cyl.

Encore

Zero to 60 MPH

10.9 sec

7.5 sec

11 sec

Quarter Mile

18.2 sec

16 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

78.6 MPH

91 MPH

77.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

Regardless of its engine, the Cherokee’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Buick only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Encore w/Direct Injection Engine.

The Cherokee has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (15.9 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Jeep Cherokee, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Cherokee

Encore

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

10.6 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

The Cherokee stops shorter than the Encore:

Cherokee

Encore

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee has larger standard tires than the Encore (225/60R17 vs. 215/55R18). The Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (245/65R17 vs. 215/55R18).

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’s 55 series tires.

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

The Cherokee has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Encore doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

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, 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 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’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 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cherokee’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the Encore (106.5 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 handles at .80 G’s, while the Encore AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.5 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (27.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Cherokee has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (7.9 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cherokee Trailhawk’s minimum ground clearance is 2.5 inches higher than on the Encore (8.7 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Cherokee (except Overland/Trailhawk) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Encore doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has 10.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Encore (103.5 vs. 92.8).

The Cherokee has .3 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, 4.5 inches more rear legroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cherokee’s rear seats recline. The Encore’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 with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (54.7 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The Cherokee’s cargo area is larger than the Encore’s in almost every dimension:

Cherokee

Encore

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.9”/67.6”

28.5”/55.8”

Max Width

49.2”

39.5”

Min Width

39.4”

36”

Height

28.8”

31.8”

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Cherokee. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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

Towing

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

The Cherokee has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Encore has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Cherokee uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore 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 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 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’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cherokee Limited/Overland/Trailhawk detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 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 offer available 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.

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 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the Cherokee and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cherokee 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 Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland 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 Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland’s optional ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Encore doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cherokee is less expensive to operate than the Encore because it costs $291 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Cherokee than the Encore, including $101 less for front brake pads and $123 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/15

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Buick Encore by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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