2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/10/24

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Encore GX are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Q5 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Encore GX and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore GX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore GX’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Encore GX has a 130-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 75 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 32nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Encore GX AWD Auto 1.3 turbo 3 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Q5 45 TFSI Auto (26 city/29 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore GX uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q5 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Encore GX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Q5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Encore GX higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi Q5 (5). This means the Encore GX produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Encore GX 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder AWD, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

The Encore GX has a standard 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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The Encore GX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q5’s standard 60 series tires.

The Encore GX 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 Q5 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Encore GX’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q5’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The Encore GX’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q5 55 TFSI e’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Buick Encore GX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 1000 pounds less than the Audi Q5.

The Encore GX is 1 foot shorter than the Q5, making the Encore GX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Encore GX uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Encore GX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Towing

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The Encore GX AWD can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Encore GX can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Q5 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Encore GX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Encore GX’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Q5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Audi Connect CARE can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Encore GX’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Q5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Audi Connect CARE can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore GX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Encore GX Essence has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Encore GX Essence’s optional Automatic 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 Q5 Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

© 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 2020/10/24

The Encore GX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/10/24

The Buick Encore outsold the Audi Q5 by 52% during 2019.

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