2021 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Kia Sportage

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 2020/10/25

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 Kia Sportage has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Encore 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 Sportage 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 and the Sportage 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, 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 Kia Sportage:

Encore

Sportage

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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 Sportage’s (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’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Sportage’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 21 points higher than the Sportage.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Encore

2WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

4WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Sportage

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/26 hwy

The Encore 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 Sportage doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/10/25

The Encore stops shorter than the Sportage:

Encore

Sportage

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

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 Sportage LX’s standard 60 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

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The Encore has vehicle speed sensitive 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 Sportage doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

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The Encore is 8 inches shorter than the Sportage, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Sportage doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the Encore is 1.7 inches lower than the Sportage (16.8” vs. 18.5”). The Encore’s rear step up height is 2.6 inches lower than the Sportage’s (16.8” vs. 19.4”).

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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The Encore’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 Sportage’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

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

The Encore’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia charges extra for heated mirrors on the Sportage.

The Encore Preferred offers an optional 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 Sportage doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/10/25

Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Encore with a number “5” insurance rate while the Sportage is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Sportage because it costs $209 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Sportage, including $18 less for a muffler, $132 less for fuel injection, $43 less for front struts and $825 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/25

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

Encore

Sportage

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

The Buick Encore outsold the Kia Sportage by 15% during 2019.

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

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