2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Mazda CX-30

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 2020/10/30

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Encore GX and the CX-30 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, 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 CX-30’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 4 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mazda 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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, 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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Encore GX FWD CVT 1.3 turbo 3 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the CX-30 FWD (30 city/32 hwy vs. 25 city/33 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Encore GX’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-30 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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 CX-30.

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Encore GX’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-30:

Encore GX

CX-30

Front Rotors

11.81 inches

11.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Encore GX has larger tires than the CX-30 (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 CX-30’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 CX-30.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 (7.5 vs. 6.9 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 150 to 200 pounds less than the Mazda CX-30.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-30 with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 20.2 cubic feet). The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-30 with its rear seat folded (50.2 vs. 45.2 cubic feet).

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 CX-30 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 has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-30 has no towing capacity.

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 CX-30 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 Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 46% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 25th.

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 CX-30 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Encore GX and the CX-30 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Encore GX is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-30 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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 CX-30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Encore GX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-30 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

On extremely cold winter days, the Encore GX Essence’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The CX-30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 CX-30 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 CX-30 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 2020/10/30

The Buick Encore outsold the Mazda CX-30 by almost 114 to one during 2019.

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