2021 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Encore and the Discovery Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Encore the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 192 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Land Rover covers the Discovery Sport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Discovery Sport ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 11 times as many Buick dealers as there are Land Rover 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 Discovery Sport’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 67 points higher than the Discovery Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Discovery Sport 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 78 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 33rd, below the industry average.

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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 103 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Encore AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport turbo 4 cyl. (24 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/24 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Discovery Sport requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

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 Discovery Sport’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Discovery Sport’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.3 feet).

Chassis

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The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 850 pounds less than the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

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

The Encore is 11.4 inches narrower than the Discovery Sport, making the Encore easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

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

Passenger Space

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The Encore has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the Discovery Sport.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore has a much larger cargo volume than the Discovery Sport with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 4.1 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Land Rover. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 76% lower rating, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Ergonomics

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

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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Encore is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 $290 to $2665 less than the Discovery Sport over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Encore will be $16490 to $22444 less than for the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

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 2020/10/21

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

Encore

Discovery Sport

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Buick Encore outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by over 8 to one during 2019.

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