2021 Buick Encore vs. 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

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 Volkswagen Tiguan doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the Buick Encore has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan’s traction control is for low speeds only. Low traction conditions at higher speeds are more dangerous, making the need for full range traction control important.

Both the Encore and the Tiguan 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.

Warranty

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

There are over 3 times as many Buick dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Encore has a standard 438-amp battery. The Tiguan’s 360-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 62 points higher than the Tiguan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Tiguan 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 9th.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 9 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Encore

2WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

4WD

1.4 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Tiguan

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Encore stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

Encore

Tiguan

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

135 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 Tiguan S/SE’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 Tiguan S/SE.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Tiguan’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Encore is 1 foot, 4.7 inches shorter than the Tiguan, 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 Tiguan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore has a much larger cargo volume than the Tiguan with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 12 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Tiguan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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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 Tiguan is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Tiguan because it costs $337 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Tiguan, including $333 less for a water pump, $139 less for a muffler, $433 less for a starter, $314 less for fuel injection, $117 less for a fuel pump, $224 less for front struts and $71 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 2020/10/21

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

Encore

Tiguan

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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