2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Jeep Compass

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 2020/10/21

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 Compass doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Encore GX Select/Essence offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Compass only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Encore GX and the Compass 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Encore GX’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Compass’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep 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 Buick vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 8 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Encore GX

Compass

2WD

n/a

23 city/32 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Manual

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

30 city/32 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

1.2 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

28 city/31 hwy

n/a

4WD

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Manual

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./9-spd Auto

26 city/29 hwy

22 city/30 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 Compass doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the Encore GX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Jeep only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Compass Auto.

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 Jeep Compass (3 to 6). This means the Encore GX produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Compass every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Buick Encore GX comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Compass.

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 Compass doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Encore GX has larger tires than the Compass (225/55R18 vs. 215/65R16).

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 Compass Sport’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Compass Sport.

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 Compass doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Encore GX is .4 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Compass.

Chassis

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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 Compass 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 Compass doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Encore GX’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Compass doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Encore GX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Compass’ (1000 vs. 0 pounds).

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 Compass 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 Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 54% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

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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 Compass 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 Compass doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Encore GX’s front and rear power windows all lower 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 Compass’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

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 Compass doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SiriusXM Guardian 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 Compass doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SiriusXM Guardian 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 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Compass only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

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 Compass’ mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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

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 Compass doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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