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The Tucson has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore GX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Tucson’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Encore GX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Tucson and the Encore GX 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tucson the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore GX has not been tested, yet.
The Tucson comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Encore GX’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Tucson 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Buick covers the Encore GX. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Encore GX ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.
The Tucson’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Encore GX’s (7 vs. 6 years).
Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Tucson for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Encore GX.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Tucson has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore GX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson first among compact SUVs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Encore GX isn’t in the top three in its category.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 12 places higher in reliability than Buick.
The Tucson’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 24 more horsepower (161 vs. 137) than the Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The Tucson’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 6 more horsepower (161 vs. 155) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The Tucson’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 26 more horsepower (181 vs. 155) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.
The Tucson has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (16.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Tucson’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:
For better traction, the Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore GX (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R18).
The Tucson Sport’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore GX’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tucson Sport has standard 19-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
For superior ride and handling, the Hyundai Tucson has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Buick Encore GX has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Tucson has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Tucson flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tucson’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Encore GX (105.1 inches vs. 102.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore GX.
For better maneuverability, the Tucson’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Encore GX’s (34.9 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The Tucson has .6 inches more front legroom, 3.7 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 2.2 inches more rear legroom, 7 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore GX.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tucson’s rear seats recline. The Encore GX’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore GX with its rear seat up (31 vs. 23.5 cubic feet). The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore GX with its rear seat folded (61.9 vs. 50.2 cubic feet).
The Tucson’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Encore GX’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Buick Encore GX is only 1000 pounds. The Tucson offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Tucson Limited offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Encore GX doesn’t offer cornering lights.
Both the Tucson and the Encore GX offer available heated front seats. The Tucson Ultimate also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Encore GX.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Tucson Ultimate keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Encore GX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
Both the Tucson and the Encore GX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Tucson SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore GX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Hyundai Tucson, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.
The Hyundai Tucson outsold the Buick Encore by 34% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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