2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Buick Encore

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 2020/08/11

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Seltos are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Encore doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Seltos S/EX/SX has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Seltos S Turbo/EX/SX has standard Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Seltos S/EX/SX’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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Seltos and the Encore 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Seltos comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Encore’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Seltos 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Buick covers the Encore. 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 ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/11

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

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

Engine

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The Seltos’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 8 more horsepower (146 vs. 138) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The Seltos S 1.6T/SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 37 more horsepower (175 vs. 138) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/11

On the EPA test cycle the Seltos S 1.6T/SX AWD Auto turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Encore AWD (25 city/30 hwy vs. 24 city/29 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, the Seltos’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Buick only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Encore w/Direct Injection Engine.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Kia Seltos S 1.6T/SX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

The Seltos has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Encore doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Seltos offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Encore doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Seltos Turbo’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

Seltos Turbo

Encore

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

10.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Seltos Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (235/45R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The Seltos Turbo’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’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Seltos AWD 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 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Seltos’ wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Encore (103.5 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Seltos is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Encore.

For better maneuverability, the Seltos’ turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Encore’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Seltos has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (7.3 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Seltos to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Kia Seltos may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 300 pounds less than the Buick Encore.

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 2020/08/11

The Seltos has .4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear legroom, 2.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Seltos’ rear seats recline. The Encore’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (26.6 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (62.8 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/11

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Seltos S/EX/SX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Seltos and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Seltos S/EX/SX has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Seltos SX has a standard Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Seltos EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Encore doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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