2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

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 2020/11/30

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 Outlander doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 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 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, around view monitors 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 optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (174 vs. 162) than the Outlander’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:

Encore GX

Outlander

2WD

1.3 turbo 3 cyl./Auto

30 city/32 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

2.4 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

24 city/29 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 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 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore GX uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Outlander GT requires premium for maximum efficiency, 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 Outlander 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 (5). This means the Encore GX produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander 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:

Encore GX

Outlander

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 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Encore GX has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

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 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.

Chassis

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The Buick Encore GX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Mitsubishi Outlander.

The Encore GX is 1 foot, 1.4 inches shorter than the Outlander, 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 Outlander 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 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume than the Outlander with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 10.3 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 Outlander 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 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 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 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 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 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Encore GX and the Outlander 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 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 Outlander 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 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 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 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/LE/SP/SEL/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 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’s 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 Outlander 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 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 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 2020/11/30

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

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