2021 Buick Encore GX vs. 2021 Kia Seltos

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Seltos only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Encore GX and the Seltos have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, 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 Seltos’ (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

There are almost 3 times as many Buick dealers as there are Kia 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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

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The Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 132) than the Seltos’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Encore GX’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Seltos:

Encore GX

Seltos

Front Rotors

11.81 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

10.39 inches

10.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Encore GX has larger tires than the Seltos (225/55R18 vs. 215/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Seltos 2.0L.

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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For greater off-road capability the Encore GX has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Seltos (7.5 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Encore GX to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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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 Seltos doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

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 Seltos 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 Kia. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 32% lower rating, Kia is ranked 20th.

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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Encore GX’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Seltos’ power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens 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 Seltos doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Encore GX Essence’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Seltos’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Encore GX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Seltos S/EX/SX.

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 Seltos’ 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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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