2021 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Toyota Rav4

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 2020/10/27

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 Toyota Rav4 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Encore and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, 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.

Warranty

© 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 2020/10/27

The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Rav4’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 60 percent more Buick dealers than there are Toyota 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 Rav4’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 17 points higher than the Rav4.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Encore stops much shorter than the Rav4:

Encore

Rav4

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

140 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 Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 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 Rav4 LE/XLE.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2020/10/27

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Encore handles at .82 G’s, while the Rav4 Limited 4WD pulls only .81 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 Rav4 Limited (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Encore is 1 foot shorter than the Rav4, 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/10/27

The Encore has .1 inches more front headroom and 2.4 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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The Encore’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Encore has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Rav4 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road.

The Encore’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Rav4.

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 2020/10/27

Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Encore will cost $190 less than the Rav4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because it costs $246 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Rav4, including $262 less for a starter, $186 less for fuel injection, $151 less for a fuel pump and $359 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2020/10/27

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

Encore

Rav4

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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