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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 Ford Bronco Sport has only front height-adjustable seat belts.
The Encore Preferred offers optional Ultrasonic Park Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Bronco Sport doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
Both the Encore and the Bronco Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 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 Bronco Sport has not been tested, yet.
The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Bronco Sport’s (6 vs. 5 years).
The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Bronco 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 hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Encore’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Bronco Sport’s camshafts. If the Bronco Sport’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Bronco 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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th, 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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Bronco Sport Badlands/First Edition requires premium for maximum efficiency, 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 Bronco Sport doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
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 Bronco Sport’s standard 65 series tires. The Encore’s tires are lower profile than the Bronco Sport’s optional 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 Bronco Sport.
The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Bronco Sport.
The Encore is 4.3 inches shorter than the Bronco Sport, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For excellent aerodynamics, the Encore has standard flush composite headlights. The Bronco Sport has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Bronco Sport doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 46% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.
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 Bronco Sport’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’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Bronco Sport Big Bend/Outer Banks/Badlands/First Edition.
The Encore has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Bronco Sport Base doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The Encore is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Bronco Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The Buick Encore has won recognition from these important consumer publications:
Consumer Reports® Recommends
Car Book “Best Bet”
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