2021 Buick Encore vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

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 Toyota Corolla Hatchback has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Encore offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the Encore and the Corolla Hatchback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Encore’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore third among small suvs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Buick Encore comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Corolla Hatchback.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Encore’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla Hatchback:

Encore

Corolla Hatchback

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

10.6 inches

10.5 inches

The Encore stops much shorter than the Corolla Hatchback:

Encore

Corolla Hatchback

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Encore has larger tires than the Corolla Hatchback (215/55R18 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Corolla Hatchback’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Encore is 3.6 inches shorter than the Corolla Hatchback, 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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Encore has 8.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corolla Hatchback (92.8 vs. 84.6).

The Encore has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.9 inches more rear legroom and 4.6 inches more rear hip room than the Corolla Hatchback.

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 Preferred offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Encore Preferred’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Corolla Hatchback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the Encore’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Corolla Hatchback’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 $860 to $2185 less than the Corolla Hatchback over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Corolla Hatchback because typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Corolla Hatchback, including $224 less for a starter, $208 less for fuel injection and $127 less for front struts.

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 2020/10/24

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

Encore

Corolla Hatchback

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

Top Pick

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

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