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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLC Coupe 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 GLC Coupe’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Encore doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The GLC Coupe has standard NECK-PRO front head restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO front head restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The GLC Coupe has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses 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.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GLC Coupe. But it costs extra on the Encore.
The GLC Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Encore only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The GLC Coupe’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 GLC Coupe and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Mercedes GLC Coupe weighs 670 to 791 pounds more than the Buick Encore. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the GLC Coupe has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the GLC Coupe third among compact premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Encore isn’t in the top three in its category.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 2 places higher in reliability than Buick.
The GLC Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 117 more horsepower (255 vs. 138) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
As tested in Motor Trend the Mercedes GLC Coupe is faster than the Buick Encore:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
The GLC Coupe has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (17.4 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes GLC Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.
For better stopping power the GLC Coupe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:
The GLC Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Encore are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the GLC Coupe has larger standard tires than the Encore (235/55R19 vs. 215/55R18). The GLC Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (F:255/45R20 & R:285/40R20 vs. 215/55R18).
The GLC Coupe’s optional 255/45R20 front and 285/40R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear 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 GLC Coupe has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Encore. The GLC Coupe offers optional 20-inch wheels.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the GLC Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Encore doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes GLC Coupe 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 GLC Coupe has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the GLC Coupe flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The GLC Coupe’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 GLC Coupe’s wheelbase is 12.5 inches longer than on the Encore (113.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLC Coupe is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore.
The GLC 300 Coupe handles at .79 G’s, while the Encore AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The GLC 300 Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).
The GLC Coupe has 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear legroom and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GLC Coupe’s rear seats recline. The Encore’s rear seats don’t recline.
The GLC Coupe has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (49.4 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).
The GLC Coupe’s cargo area is larger than the Encore’s in almost every dimension:
Length to seat (2nd/1st)
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the GLC Coupe’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLC Coupe. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the GLC Coupe has a standard 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.
The GLC Coupe has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The Encore has no towing capacity.
The GLC Coupe 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.
The engine in the GLC Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Encore. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Encore Essence, the GLC Coupe offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The GLC Coupe 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 GLC Coupe’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 GLC Coupe’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’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the GLC Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or 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 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The GLC Coupe has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Encore doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The GLC Coupe’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’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the GLC Coupe to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Encore doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the GLC Coupe 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 see further while navigating curves, the GLC Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The GLC Coupe has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The GLC Coupe has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Encore Essence. The GLC Coupe also offers optional 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 GLC Coupe 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.
The GLC Coupe 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 Essence.
Both the GLC Coupe and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the GLC Coupe has available 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 GLC Coupe offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, 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.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes GLC offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Encore doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The GLC Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The Encore doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The GLC Coupe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GLC Coupe will retain 40.57% of its original price after five years, while the Encore only retains 36.57% to 40.02%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GLC Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Encore because typical repairs cost much less on the GLC Coupe than the Encore, including $347 less for a timing belt/chain.
Motor Trend selected the GLC Coupe as their 2017 Sport Utility of the Year. The Encore has never been chosen.
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