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Both the Discovery Sport and Encore GX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery Sport has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Encore GX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery Sport. But it costs extra on the Encore GX.
The Discovery Sport’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 GX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Discovery Sport 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, 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Land Rover Discovery Sport weighs 762 to 1185 pounds more than the Buick Encore GX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Discovery Sport’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.
The Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 109 more horsepower (246 vs. 137) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 162) than the Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The Discovery Sport’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 91 more horsepower (246 vs. 155) and 95 lbs.-ft. more torque (269 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 131 more horsepower (286 vs. 155) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.
The Discovery Sport has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (17.7 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Discovery Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:
For better traction, the Discovery Sport has larger tires than the Encore GX (235/60R18 vs. 225/55R18).
The Discovery Sport’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 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 Discovery Sport offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
The Discovery Sport has a standard full size spare (not available on 7-Passenger) 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.
For superior ride and handling, the Land Rover Discovery Sport 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 Discovery Sport has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Discovery Sport flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Discovery Sport offers an optional 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 Discovery Sport’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Encore GX (107.9 inches vs. 102.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Discovery Sport is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore GX.
For greater off-road capability the Discovery Sport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore GX (8.3 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Discovery Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Discovery Sport offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Encore GX can only carry 5.
The Discovery Sport has 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore GX.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Discovery Sport’s middle row seats recline. The Encore GX’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Discovery Sport’s cargo area provides more volume than the Encore GX.
Third Seat Removed
27.5 cubic feet
23.5 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
55.6 cubic feet
50.2 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Discovery Sport with 5+2 Seating’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Encore GX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Discovery Sport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Encore GX’s (4409 vs. 1000 pounds).
The Discovery Sport 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.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Encore GX Essence, the Discovery Sport (except Base) offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery Sport’s front and rear power windows all 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 passenger windows don’t close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Discovery Sport the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Encore GX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Discovery Sport’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Encore GX’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery Sport offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Encore GX doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Discovery Sport HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Encore GX doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Discovery Sport’s standard rear view mirror and optional 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 Discovery Sport and the Encore GX offer optional heated front seats. The Discovery Sport also offers optional heated second row 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 Discovery Sport HSE 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 Discovery Sport HSE offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Encore GX.
The Discovery Sport 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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