2020 Porsche Macan vs. 2020 Buick Encore GX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Macan 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 GX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Macan has standard Multi-collision Brake System, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Encore GX 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Macan. But it costs extra on the Encore GX.

Both the Macan 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The Porsche Macan weighs 826 to 1405 pounds more than the Buick Encore GX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The Macan’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore GX’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Macan’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 battery on the Macan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Macan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Encore GX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked fifth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. Buick is ranked 18th.

Engine

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The Macan has more powerful engines than the Encore GX:

Horsepower

Torque

Macan 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

Macan S 3.0 turbo V6

348 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

Macan GTS 2.9 turbo V6

375 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Macan Turbo 2.9 turbo V6

434 HP

406 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

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The Macan has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (19.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Macan offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Encore GX doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Macan’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Encore GX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Macan

Macan S

Macan Turbo

Macan Turbo opt.

Encore GX

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

15.6 inches

11.81 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

14 inches

14.6 inches

10.39 inches

The Macan’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 GX are solid, not vented.

The Macan offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Encore GX doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Macan has larger standard tires than the Encore GX (F:235/60R18 & R:255/55R18 vs. 225/55R18). The Macan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore GX (F:265/40R21 & R:295/35R21 vs. 225/55R18).

The Macan’s optional 265/40R21 front and 295/35R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear 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 Macan offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Macan 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.

The Macan has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Macan’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Encore GX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Macan’s wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the Encore GX (110.5 inches vs. 102.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Macan is 3.9 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore GX.

For greater off-road capability the Macan has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore GX (8 vs. 7.5 inches), allowing the Macan to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Macan’s minimum ground clearance is 1.5 inches higher than on the Encore GX (9 vs. 7.5 inches).

Cargo Capacity

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The Macan has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore GX with its rear seat folded (52.9 vs. 50.2 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Macan’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Encore GX’s (4409 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The Macan 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.

The engine in the Macan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Encore GX. 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 Porsche service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 36% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Encore GX Essence, the Macan offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Macan’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.

The Macan’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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Macan 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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Macan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Encore GX doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The Macan’s optional rear and 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 Macan and the Encore GX offer optional heated front seats. The Macan also offers optional 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 Macan 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 Macan 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.

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 2020/07/15

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche Macan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Macan was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2020. The Encore GX has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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