2021 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Mercedes GLC Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Mercedes GLC Coupe has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Encore and the GLC Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 GLC Coupe 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 Mercedes covers the GLC Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLC Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

There are over 5 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mercedes 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 GLC Coupe’s engine uses 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 43 points higher than the GLC Coupe.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The GLC Coupe 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 30th, 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 3 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Encore AWD gets better fuel mileage than the GLC 300 Coupe (24 city/29 hwy vs. 21 city/28 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLC Coupe 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 GLC Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Encore stops much shorter than the GLC Coupe:

Encore

GLC Coupe

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the GLC 300 Coupe’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 800 pounds less than the Mercedes GLC Coupe.

The Encore is 1 foot, 6.3 inches shorter than the GLC Coupe, 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 GLC Coupe uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

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

Passenger Space

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The Encore has .7 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more rear headroom than the GLC Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore has a much larger cargo volume than the GLC Coupe with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 17.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore has a standard rear wiper. The GLC Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Model Availability

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The Encore is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLC Coupe 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 $1280 to $1885 less than the GLC Coupe over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the GLC Coupe because it costs $346 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the GLC Coupe, including $499 less for a water pump, $236 less for a muffler, $13 less for front brake pads, $431 less for a starter, $452 less for fuel injection, $93 less for a fuel pump, $289 less for front struts and $746 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Encore will be $16974 to $22151 less than for the Mercedes GLC Coupe.

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

GLC Coupe

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Buick Encore outsold the Mercedes GLC by 39% during 2019.

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