2020 Ford EcoSport vs 2020 Buick Encore – Cincinnati, OH

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  • 2020 Ford EcoSport

    A silver 2020 Ford Ecosport is angled left on a white background.

    Starting at

    $19,995

    2020 Buick Encore

    A silver 2020 Buick Encore is angled right on a white background.

    Starting at

    $23,200

    50Max Cargo Space (cu.ft.)48.8
    4Available Trims2
    2,000Max Towing (lbs)n/a

    If you’re shopping for a compact SUV, you’ll likely find many models to choose from. Compact SUVs are a dime a dozen nowadays due to their utter popularity in terms of utility, power, and fuel economy. That said, just because there are a large number of models to choose from doesn’t mean that each model is a great buy. To help you narrow down some of your options, we will compare one of our very own against the competition, the 2020 Ford EcoSport vs 2020 Buick Encore. Here are two compact SUVs that are set at similar prices, have some similar features, but only with only one standing out as the better buy. 

    The 2020 Ford EcoSport is available in one of four different trim levels the S, SE, SES, and Titanium. With an MSRP of $19,995, the Ford EcoSport is one of the more economically sound models within the compact SUV market. Its competitor is the 2020 Buick Encore, a luxury compact SUV that gives drivers two trims to choose from the 1SV and Preferred, unless you opt for the Encore GX. Although, at an MSRP of $23,200, the Buick Encore is the most expensive of the two vehicles. However, we’ll take things a step further and determine if this compact SUV is worth the higher cost, or if you should go with the more affordable Ford EcoSport.

  • Performance

    A silver 2020 Ford EcoSport is parked in front of a lake.

    In the world of compact SUVs, performance really matters, and both the 2020 Ford EcoSport and the Buick Encore deliver some worthwhile engine performance. 

    The 2020 Ford EcoSport

    Beneath the hood of the 2020 Ford EcoSport, you’ll find a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine that, while compact, gets the job done with flying colors. This base engine is rated for up to 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, giving it the power necessary to get this SUV where it needs to go. This engine utilizes a 6-speed automatic transmission and comes equipped with front-wheel drive.

    For drivers looking for more power and performance, Ford packs the EcoSport with an additional engine option. This secondary powertrain is a 2.0L Ti-VCT engine that produces up to 166 horsepower and 149 lb-ft of torque. This version of the EcoSport comes with all-wheel drive that allows you to travel both paved mountain road and rugged off-road trail alike. 

    Towing capacity for both of these engines is relatively substantial. Models equipped with the 1.0L EcoBoost engine able to pull 1,400 pounds. If you are looking for more towing power, models equipped with the 2.0L Ti-VCT engine are able to tow 2,000 pounds. 

    How Efficient is the 2020 Ford EcoSport?

    As for fuel economy, when the EcoSport is equipped with the 1.0L engine, drivers can expect up to 29 MPG on the highway and 27 MPG on the city. With the 2.0L engine, drivers can expect up to 29 MPG on the highway as well but up to 23 MPG in the city. 

    The 2020 Buick Encore

    Comparatively, the 2020 Buick Encore offers only a single powertrain, which considering that hefty price tag can feel a little lackluster. That said, the Encore comes with greater horsepower than the Ford EcoSport, thanks to a 1.4-liter DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. This engine produces up to 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. 

    One of the biggest drawbacks of this engine is that it is not rated for towing. Considering that the EcoSports smaller engine can tow up to 1,400 lbs, this can be a major problem for a lot of drivers. 

    How Efficient is the 2020 Buick Encore?

    The Buick Encore has an almost identical fuel economy to the Ford EcoSport. If you equip the Encore with front-wheel drive, drivers can expect up to 25 MPG in the city and up to 30 MPG on the highway. With all-wheel drive, the Encore can get up to 24 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway

  • Interior

    The two rows of seats in a 2020 Ford EcoSport which is parked in Cincinnati, OH, are shown from the side with cargo overflowing into the back seat.

    While the performance of these two compact SUVs is important, interior comforts and utility should also take a top-ranking priority. The 2020 Ford EcoSport and the 2020 Buick Encore both support enough room for five passengers, and as SUVs, they ought to offer a decent amount of cargo space on top of that. Besides utility, both SUVs should provide a wealth of interior features that make riding and driving a seamless and relaxing experience.

    Inside the 2020 Ford EcoSport

    The Ford EcoSport, for instance, sports 20.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. When you fold those rear seats down, you’ll get 50 cubic feet of cargo space to take advantage of.

    Inside base models, you’ll find comfortable yet durable cloth upholstery. Although if you upgrade to top trim levels, you’ll find additional luxuries such as leather upholstery. Besides having a lot of cargo space and leather interior materials, the EcoSport comes with some basic interior tech in entry-level models. For example, the S trim gets power features, cruise control, air conditioning, as well as an infotainment system that offers Bluetooth streaming and two USB ports. 

    Higher-end models add to this standard package, delivering a bigger 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen system that is integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On top of that, drivers can find an audio system designed by Bang and Olufsen, 17-inch wheels, and a snappy navigation system. This diverse range in features, allows drivers to craft an experience that works for both them and their wallet.

    Inside the 2020 Buick Encore

    How does the 2020 Buick Encore compare? Well, in terms of cargo space, the Encore falls a little short of its competitor. The Buick Encore only offers 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and can only be expanded to 48.4 cubic feet. While not incredibly small, this one or two feet of difference really add up, especially in a compact SUV. Although, the Buick Encore makes up for the slight lack in spacing with higher-quality interior materials. While base models get some soft to the touch cloth upholstery, leather can be found in higher trims. 

    Standard interior tech is a step up from the Ford EcoSport. In base models of the Encore, drivers can enjoy a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a sprawling 8.0-inch infotainment system that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you are looking for a better infotainment system, you won't find one on the Encore's top trim. The Ford EcoSport is definitely the model to choose if you value entertainment. 

  • Safety

    A woman is standing next to a red 2020 Ford EcoSport, winner of the 2020 Ford EcoSport vs 2020 Buick Encore comparison, which is parked at a beach with a bike on the roof.

    Available and Standard Safety Features on the Ford EcoSport and Buick Encore

    Safety features are a serious factor for drivers, especially considering how modern technology allows for vehicles to do more than just react. However, you'll find that the 2020 Buick Encore is a bit limited in terms of safety features. With the Encore, drivers will find ten airbags, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, OnStar and Buick connected services, a rearview camera, and StabiliTrak. These are systems that are common for most models, regardless of make. Drivers can opt for rear cross traffic alert and side blind zone alert, for added peace of mind. 

    Although, the Ford EcoSport, by comparison, offers just a little bit more in terms of standard safety features. One of those features is an emergency brake assist system that helps drivers stop faster if it senses them brake heavily. Another great feature is MyKey, which is a system designed to help parents monitor their teen drivers as well as restrict driving settings to encourage better driving habits. If you are looking for a model that is as safe as it is powerful, the Ford EcoSport is a great option. 

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