2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Encore GX has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Encore GX and the Outlander Sport 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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There are almost 6 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mitsubishi 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’ 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 2 places higher in reliability than Mitsubishi.

Engine

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The Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 145) than the Outlander Sport ES/SP/SE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (174 vs. 167) than the Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 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 Outlander Sport:

Encore GX

Outlander Sport

2WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

30 city/32 hwy

24 city/30 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

1.2 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

28 city/31 hwy

23 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./9-spd Auto

26 city/29 hwy

23 city/29 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

23 city/28 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (5). This means the Encore GX produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander Sport every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Encore GX’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander Sport:

Encore GX

Outlander Sport

Front Rotors

11.81 inches

11.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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The Encore GX has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Encore GX is .5 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander Sport.

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Encore GX has .3 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the Outlander Sport.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Outlander Sport with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 21.7 cubic feet). The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outlander Sport with its rear seat folded (50.2 vs. 49.5 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Encore GX’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Encore GX has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Mitsubishi. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, Mitsubishi is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

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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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Encore GX’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Outlander Sport has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the Encore GX and the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Outlander Sport’s passenger windows don’t open 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Outlander Sport has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Encore GX has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Outlander Sport’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Encore GX Select/Essence’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Encore GX offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 2020/10/23

The Buick Encore outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport by over three to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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