|30 MPG||Standard FWD Highway Fuel Economy||29 MPG|
|14 Gallons||Fuel Tank Capacity||13.6 Gallons|
Five years ago, the cost for auto-start engines, standard safety packages, advanced infotainment systems, and designs that came with an accessible starting price were hard to come by in the crossover lineup. But today, manufacturers all across the board are re-invigorating the market every year with new top-of-the-line models that offer excellent tech and an abundant amount of safety features. The starting MSRPs alone for the 2020 Buick Encore and the 2020 Ford EcoSport will blow you away. Buick is one of those manufacturers that packs as much punch as possible in the base models and offers more performance to spec ratio than manufacturers like Ford. If we take a look at the 2020 Buick Encore vs 2020 Ford EcoSport, it can be a little tough to see at first glance why the Buick comes out squarely on top. However, that will change with a little bit of research. It is clear that what Buick offers in the 2020 Encore, Ford just cannot match. Comparing the two engine-to-engine and tech-to-tech, it doesn’t take much to see which is the better deal and what more is offered in terms of Buick’s Encore.
Buick’s engines have been top-line for almost a century. The 1.4L DOHC Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that comes standard with keyless entry and auto-start in the 2020 Encore is everything we want and dream of for a crossover. The engine, having 138 hp and sporting 148 lb-ft torque, also guarantees adventure seekers get what they are paying for. An integrated turbocharger and exhaust manifold ensure reliability and ease of handling when it comes to a wide range of jobs and driving conditions. The vehicle can take a little over-burdening without killing the engine.
The Encore can handle those steep mountain or back-road climbs that push other crossovers to their limits. The engine design is light and compact without over-pressuring key components or leaving gaps in performance that are known to create common problems such as overheating and transmission slipping. With the Encore, those setbacks are not prone to happen. An electronic thermostat also helps to maintain engine cooling and allows for a wide range of use in variable conditions. With a 6-speed automatic transmission as standard, the Encore is ready for some spirited adventure with or without cargo.
Ford has been known to meet customer demands with engine design since the beginning of the auto industry. They drastically cut size with their new 1.0L EcoBoost engine that comes standard in the EcoSport, but durability has suffered. The engine power is massive for its size and fuel use. It is innovative and pushes the limits of what we knew as small engine tech, but it might not be the most stable or well-handling option.
The newness of the current engine used in the EcoSport has a lot more road testing to be done before it can hold up to the longer-standing reputation of the 1.4L DOHC Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine found in the Encore. Ride versatility also suffers with the smaller 1.0L engine. The EcoBoost is groundbreaking for crossovers and offers a fuel economy rating that leaves little to be desired, but the overall consistency across variables and situational needs for trips and back-roading does not yet hold up as well as the competition.
Even though both vehicles have outstanding safety ratings when it comes to their performance and engines, they are not as high in the EcoSport as the Encore. The Encore’s heavier-duty engine and better-balanced body offers more rollover resistance and a steadier and smoother drive that is more reassuring, especially in variable conditions. Though the EcoSport’s EcoBoost engine is exceptional for fuel economy, the stability from the Encore offers more range in fuel economy depending on drive variables and handling.
Buick’s engine is time tested and perfect for the needs of the consumer in addition to anticipating wants and future needs. Although the EcoSport is exceptionally innovative, it is not time tested and reports shakier handling, and could use more tweaking before competing with the Buick’s sturdy reputation.
The 2020 Ford EcoSport exterior is sleek and offers some expansions of cargo that, although pricey for what they are, can truly enhance the flexibility of the vehicle. The interior lighting and running light options are decent quality, and the extra interior cargo options allow for some tailoring. Although they are not as versatile as the options available with the Encore, built-in storage or custom fit trunk containers are always nice.
Some exterior convenience options such as a front fender/grill recovery hook and some other ease-of-access accessories aid maintenance in the EcoSport and come standard holding to Ford’s traditional missions of putting tools in the owner’s hands. Plus, Ford’s typical offerings of extra small-part back-up kits, like extra wheel locks and small repair tools, are cheaper than Buick’s same options or come standard. Part of the long-lasting appeal of Ford is the simplified and smooth interior that, although lacking in options, is just what Ford lovers want, especially in a crossover. Although the EcoSport has a little bit more to offer in the interior/exterior department when it comes to the SE, Titanium, or SES, the starting MSRP for these models may be a turn-off when compared to that of the competition.
The 2020 Buick Encore has many exterior and interior features that are standard or available as add-ons in the base model. The Ford EcoSport just does not compete with all of Buick’s base-line options, especially in the recreation department. The Encore has available top rails on the base that also come standard with the Premier. Roof storage containers, interior protection, and exterior enhancement options that come standard or at an extremely low price-point is part of what makes the Encore so appealing.
Overall, the 2020 Encore offers much cheaper recreational and extra storage add-ons plus better all-weathering interior protection and maintenance choices than many of the other base models out there. The more adaptive cargo add-ons with the Encore helps to make up for the slightly smaller cargo space, which is about 1.5 cu.ft. less than the EcoSport. But with net and open-layout trunk storage and organizing possibilities, the Encore is more appealing to the consumer looking to tote around more than just the weekly groceries. Better and slightly more expansive color choices also give the Encore a leg-up over the competition. Essentially, Buick is still coming out ahead in almost all interior and exterior features.
Buick’s belief that “safety is the highest Luxury” drives their mission alongside their innovative tech and safety options. Many options in the Encore are standard, leaving many other manufacturers behind when it comes to marrying technology and safety in lower-price-point vehicles. The 2020 Encore offers side blind zone alert, extra chargers, forward collision, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rear vision camera as very inexpensive add-ons. The add-on price essentially makes them standard. There’s almost no point in purchasing the Encore without these features given the price difference alone.
The overall body style, engine performance, and tech integration offer a well-balanced ride that is smooth, responsive, and alert for the engine size. Vehicle weight is low but proportionate to the advertised purpose and better adaptive to a more variable lifestyle with decent engine-life expectancy. With auto-braking technology, collision avoidance, standard rear-camera, and guidance assist in the Premier model, and the availability of Stabilitrak, the 2020 Encore continues to deliver on Buick’s safety promises.
Ford is just about as bare-bones as possible in tech when it comes to the EcoSport, especially when looking at the base models. The EcoSport does not have the best rollover ratings, possibly due to a purposefully unbalanced axel to make up for the known vibrations from the engine differential due to its power to size ratio, so don’t expect a quiet ride. Most safety features that come standard in other base model crossovers won’t be seen in the Ford EcoSport until hitting the Titanium model.
The price points for the same features offered almost standard in the Encore are not cheap in the Ford. Not only does a base EcoSport come with next to nothing, other than what is now required by industry, but the prices of the remaining trims do not compare to the Encore’s starting MSRP. Ford offers electronic auto braking systems, computer guidance and navigational tools, enhanced electronic power steering, and adaptive transmission, but so does everyone.