2021 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Jeep Cherokee

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 2020/10/26

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Jeep Cherokee has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Encore and the Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Jeep Cherokee:

Encore

Cherokee

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

122

204

Neck Injury Risk

26%

38.2%

Neck Stress

298 lbs.

408 lbs.

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

41 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

363/313 lbs.

368/516 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.5 inches

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

218 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the Jeep Cherokee:

Encore

Cherokee

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

133 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

264

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

672 lbs.

938 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Cherokee’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Cherokee’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Encore’s reliability 52 points higher than the Cherokee.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Cherokee isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 11th.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 49 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 8 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Buick Encore is faster than the Jeep Cherokee 4 cyl.:

Encore

Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

9.4 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

17.1 sec

17.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the Encore gets better fuel mileage than the Cherokee:

MPG

Encore

2WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

4WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Cherokee

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

3.2 DOHC 6 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

II 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

Trailhawk 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cherokee with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Encore stops much shorter than the Cherokee:

Encore

Cherokee

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The Encore’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cherokee’s 65 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

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The Encore has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Encore handles at .82 G’s, while the Cherokee Limited 4x4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Encore AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Cherokee Trailhawk 4x4 (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Cherokee’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.6 feet). The Encore’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Cherokee 4x4 Trailhawk’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

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The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 900 pounds less than the Jeep Cherokee.

The Encore is 1 foot, 1.6 inches shorter than the Cherokee, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Encore has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Cherokee uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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The Encore has .2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Cherokee.

The front step up height for the Encore is 1.1 inches lower than the Cherokee (16.8” vs. 17.9”). The Encore’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the Cherokee’s (16.8” vs. 18.1”).

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Encore easier. The Encore’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.8 inches, while the Cherokee’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Jeep. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 54% lower rating, Jeep is ranked 28th.

Ergonomics

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The Encore’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 Cherokee’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Encore will cost $175 less than the Cherokee over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Cherokee because typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Cherokee, including $62 less for a water pump, $303 less for a muffler, $265 less for a starter, $80 less for fuel injection, $247 less for a fuel pump, $107 less for front struts and $242 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Encore will be $473 to $3949 less than for the Jeep Cherokee.

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 2020/10/26

The Buick Encore has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Encore

Cherokee

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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