2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Hyundai Tucson

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 2020/10/23

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 Tucson doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Buick dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore GX’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2020/10/23

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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 10th.

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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 150) than the Tucson SE/Value’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Encore GX gets better fuel mileage than the Tucson:

Encore GX

Tucson

2WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

30 city/32 hwy

23 city/28 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

1.2 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

28 city/31 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./9-spd Auto

26 city/29 hwy

22 city/25 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

21 city/26 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the Encore GX’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tucson doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Encore GX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tucson doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Tucson 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 Hyundai Tucson (5 to 7). This means the Encore GX produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Tucson 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 six-speed automatic is available for the Tucson.

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 Tucson 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 Tucson SE/Value’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Tucson SE/Value.

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 Tucson doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For greater off-road capability the Encore GX has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Tucson (7.5 vs. 6.4 inches), allowing the Encore GX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Buick Encore GX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Hyundai Tucson.

The Encore GX is 5 inches shorter than the Tucson, 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 Tucson 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 Tucson 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 Tucson can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 39% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/10/23

When two different drivers share the Encore GX Essence, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The Tucson doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Encore GX Essence’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Tucson doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Encore GX Select/Essence offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Tucson doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Encore GX’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Tucson’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

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 Tucson doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Blue Link 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 Tucson doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Blue Link can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Encore GX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate.

When the Encore GX Essence is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Tucson’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Tucson 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 Tucson doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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