2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2020 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Corolla Hatchback has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Pre-Collision System, 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.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Encore 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.

The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 and available blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard 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 Corolla Hatchback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Encore.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Buick is ranked 19th.

Engine

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The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (168 vs. 138) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Buick Encore (automatics tested):

Corolla Hatchback

Encore

Zero to 30 MPH

3.4 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

11 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 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 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hatchback gets better fuel mileage than the Encore:

MPG

Hatchback

FWD

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

32 city/41 hwy

XSE 2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

Encore

FWD

Auto

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2019/10/16

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Corolla Hatchback higher (6 out of 10) than the Buick Encore (5). This means the Corolla Hatchback produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Encore every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Corolla Hatchback offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Encore doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Corolla Hatchback offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Encore doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Corolla Hatchback stops shorter than the Encore:

Corolla Hatchback

Encore

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (225/40R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla Hatchback’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Encore (103.9 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

The Corolla Hatchback SE handles at .80 G’s, while the Encore AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Corolla Hatchback is 8.2 inches shorter in height than the Encore, making the Corolla Hatchback much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

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The Corolla Hatchback has 1.2 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Ergonomics

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The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Encore can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback XSE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Corolla Hatchback and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla Hatchback XSE 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 Corolla Hatchback has a standard Dynamic Radar 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Corolla XSE Auto offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Encore doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Buick Encore isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/10/16

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla Hatchback is less expensive to operate than the Encore because it costs $209 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Corolla Hatchback than the Encore, including $105 less for a water pump, $231 less for a muffler, $172 less for front brake pads, $5 less for a fuel pump, $85 less for a timing belt/chain and $132 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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Encore isn't recommended.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Buick Encore by over three to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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