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Buyers loved the aesthetics and performance of SUVs so much that many automakers decided to minimize their appearance and market new models as subcompact SUVs. These models look every bit like a normal SUV, just in a miniature size. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore are two examples of this type of vehicle that have performed well. Providing the perfect mixture of sedan qualities and SUV design elements, the Buick Encore and the Chevrolet Equinox thrive off easy handling and agile navigation. Their smaller stature makes them weigh less, thus aiding in more responsive driving. Not to mention, these models fit better in packed parking lots and tight driving lanes, too.
Also known as crossovers, these two models are beautifully equipped to handle family travel well. They boast more seating area and passenger space than traditional SUVs, and they also throw in the convenience of a back hatch that lifts upward upon opening. Though it may not seem like a vast improvement, this simple action makes loading and unloading easier. Large objects, like strollers and coolers, can simply be stowed in the back without much effort thanks to the rear liftgate these models encompass. Despite their smaller size from traditional SUVs, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore still make the most of out of their configurations in a way that benefits passengers.
Aside from their shared size, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and 2021 Buick Encore are quite different. Each one incorporates certain brand-specific attributes and a few features that are special to their model. Let us look to see how these compare to determine which is a better fit for different types of buyers.
Playing into their small size, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore each rely on turbocharged engines to give them the extra power they need to zip around. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox comes with two engine options that consist of a subdued entry-level 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and an energetic 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Many buyers opt for the latter of these two options, because it provides plenty of power for this subcompact SUV. Front-wheel drive is standard with both selections, but an upgrade to all-wheel drive is also a potential enhancement. A six-speed automatic transmission is also included as standard and provides seamless shifting for the Equinox.
Unfortunately, the 2021 Buick Encore got rid of one of its two engine options this year. Previously, the Encore offered a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but this model has been eliminated. The only remaining engine for the 2021 Buick Encore is a turbocharged four-cylinder option that produces 138 horsepower. Even for a smaller vehicle, this lack of power production can be felt in every aspect of your drive. Despite this shortcoming, the 2021 Buick Encore makes up for it with standard all-wheel drive. It also implements a modern continuously variable transmission across all models. These enhancements certainly give us some hope for the 2021 Buick Encore.
One thing we love about the smaller Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Encore models is their exceptional fuel economy. Their lighter weight and miniature stature make them competitive in this area. The small, turbocharged engine of the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox averages 30 mpg fuel economy, while the 2021 Buick Encore matches that. Of course, the fuel efficiency of both models will go down when all-wheel drive is selected in lieu of front-wheel drive, but this is a sacrifice many buyers are willing to make for better drive quality.
If you are concerned about the warranty that accompanies your new vehicle purchase, you should consider the 2021 Buick Encore over the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox. While both models offer varying warranty types and terms to accommodate buyers and give them peace of mind, the Buick Encore rises over the Chevrolet Equinox in this area. While the Equinox boasts a limited warranty of three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles, the Buick Encore comes in with a 4-year or 50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year or 70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Both crossovers also offer complimentary maintenance for your first visit, but nothing thereafter.
A main concern buyers may have about these two vehicle options surrounds their ride quality in relation to other vehicle selections. Small and spry, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore do not let much get them down. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is commonly known for its hesitancy in downshifting, which can create issues when extra power is demanded. For the most part, though, this crossover benefits from easy driving, accurate steering, and competent handling. The cabin may be a bit unpleasant at times, because of its stature and wheel size. This is a factor potential buyers should take into consideration.
Buyers will undoubtedly feel the difference between the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore. Feeling more top-heavy than other models, the Encore leans hard into corners which can create a feeling of instability if taken on at higher speeds. Although the steering of this model is not overly exciting, it is competent and agreeable enough for buyer satisfaction. The suspension of the 2021 Buick Encore absorbs jolts and bumps much better than the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox, so drivers will notice a difference between these two models in this area.
As a buyer, you can expect reasonable levels of comfort from both these models. Their obviously smaller size leads buyers into the assumption that their cabins will be compact and cozy, which is not necessarily the case for either one. The 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is focused on durability, but it also holds passengers in the front and rear seats comfortably. The 2021 Buick Encore is equally as comfortable, but it integrates a few more convenience features and upscale amenities. Despite its smaller size, the Chevrolet Equinox can fit up to eight carry-on suitcases in the rear. The Buick Encore requires the rear seats to be folded down to gain more space, but once they are twenty suitcases can fit in this area.
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The biggest difference between the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore emerges in their safety features and ratings received from national agencies. Although they are smaller in size than traditional SUVs, the need for them to be safe and intuitive still exists. However, the 2021 Buick Encore falls short in this area. It widely lacks any driver assistive safety features as standard. This is part of the reason why this model is scored so poorly by the NHTSA and the IIHS. Key safety features can only be attained by upgrading and paying the price for these available elements. Not to mention, the back seats in this model are so small they hardly fit children in car seats conveniently or safely.
Comparatively, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox is quite the upgrade from the 2021 Buick Encore. This crossover scored well in evaluations by the NHTSA, earning a five-star safety rating from this agency. Although it missed out on a Top Safety Pick accolade from the IIHS because of its lackluster headlights, the Equinox is still quite a step up from the Buick Encore. In fact, many driver assistive safety features are included as standard in this model. Standard safety amenities for the Equinox include lane-keeping assist, automatic high beam headlights, and automated emergency braking. Buyers do not have to upgrade their trim to gain access to these safety features, either.
Which Has the Best Value?
The cheapest vehicle is not always the one that offers the best value to buyers. This is a common misconception that can mislead even the savviest consumers. To determine a vehicle's true value, the entry-level cost, price of ownership, and available trim levels must be evaluated. Not to mention, everything that is included in these trim levels should be considered, as well. Just having several trims to offer does not mean each one incorporates a multitude of features and options within each one.
In terms of cost, the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore start off much the same. They are virtually equal in price in their base models. Yet, the 2021 Buick Encore is significantly lacking in safety attributes. It does make up for this downfall in convenience amenities, but the Chevrolet Equinox prioritizes its safety enhancements and comfort amenities in opposition from the Encore. The Equinox views safety as being more of a priority and spends time innovating that facet.
The 2021 Buick Encore only offers two trim options, whereas the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox offers four total. Therefore, the Equinox increases in cost substantially over its models, whereas the Buick Encore remains around the same price. In terms of what each of these crossovers has to offer and how these attributes benefit buyers, we view the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox as encompassing the best value.
Which is Better?
Similarities in pricing, design, and comfort make the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore strikingly comparable across the board. Yet, these two crossovers begin to differ when it comes to the development of the amenities that matter the most to buyers. Those in search of more options in a vehicle will likely be more satisfied with the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox. There are two engine options, four trims, and a plethora of standard and available safety features to choose from in this crossover. With safety placed at the forefront of its design, buyers can feel confident in transporting their families in this model, too.
In contrast, the 2021 Buick Encore places a greater emphasis on comfort and convenience. It seriously lacks in safety amenities, which has led to its subpar ranking by national safety rating agencies. With a single engine option and just two trims, there is not much to choose from in this crossover. It is based on the concept of what you see is what you get. Without much variation, the 2021 Buick Encore is a crossover that was made for those who want a simplistic vehicle that is straightforward. However, it is not a good option for families with small children. Its compact rear seats do not allow for convenient car seat accommodate or safe driving in this manner.
If we had to choose between the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2021 Buick Encore, we would have to go with the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox as the better choice. It is far more versatile than the 2021 Buick Encore. Not only can it hold and transport your entire family, but it can do so safely. If you need extra space in the rear seat, it is available. When you want to make more space by folding the rear seat down, you have that option, too. The 2021 Buick Encore severely limits the number of options and layouts available to buyers. In conjunction with its terrible safety rating, this leads us to disregard the 2021 Buick Encore as a potential vehicle for purchase.