2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Lexus NX Series

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 2020/10/20

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the Encore GX and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, 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 8 times as many Buick dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore GX’s warranty.

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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 12th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Encore GX

NX Series

2WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

30 city/32 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

1.2 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

28 city/31 hwy

n/a

4WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

26 city/29 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

22 city/27 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the Encore GX’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the NX Series 300h.

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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the NX Series 300h.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore GX uses regular unleaded gasoline. The NX 300 requires premium, 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 NX Series 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 Lexus NX Series (3 to 7). This means the Encore GX produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the NX Series 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 NX Series.

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 NX Series’ standard 65 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 NX Series.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For greater off-road capability the Encore GX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (7.5 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Encore GX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Encore GX’s minimum ground clearance is .6 inch higher than on the NX 300 (7.5 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

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The Buick Encore GX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The Encore GX is 11.3 inches shorter than the NX Series, 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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume than the NX Series with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 17.7 cubic feet).

Towing

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The Encore GX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (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 NX Series can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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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 NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry 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 NX Series doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 NX Series 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 NX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/10/20

The Buick Encore outsold the Lexus NX Series by 74% during 2019.

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