Battle of small SUV’s.
According to carsalesbase.com, Subcompact SUV’s sales continue to grow across the U.S. Although smaller in size, most of compact SUV’s are offered in all-wheel drive, making them still very practical in mountainous areas and cheaper than a full-size SUV. Here is an ‘on-paper’ comparison of two popular AWD models in that segment. The 2018 Buick Encore and 2018 Jeep Compass.
The following safety ratings are provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
|2018 Buick Encore||2018 Jeep Compass|
|Front Driver Side||5/5||4/5|
|Front Passenger Side||5/5||4/5|
|Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings: Front Seat||5/5||5/5|
|Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings: Rear Seat||5/5||5/5|
|Side Barrier: Driver||5/5||5/5|
|Side Barrier: Passenger||5/5||5/5|
|Overall Side Pole Rating||5/5||5/5|
The Encore (depending on trim level) has available active safety features including; Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.
Performance and Economy
|2018 Buick Encore||2018 Jeep Compass|
|Engine||1.4 L Turbo (4 Cyl -DOHC)||2.4 L (4 Cyl)|
|Horsepower / Torque||138 hp / 148 lb-ft||180 hp / 175 lb-ft|
|Fuel economy (mpg) City||24||22|
|Fuel economy (mpg) Highway||30||30|
|Fuel economy (mpg) Combined||27||25|
As you can see from the table above, even though there is a big difference in engine displacement, the turbo on the Buick performs slightly better when it comes to fuel economy.
Size and Dimensions
As far as size goes, the Jeep Compass comes in slightly longer and wider than the Encore. The Compass is 173″ long x 74″ wide and 65″ high. The Encore is 168″ long x 70″ wide and 65″ high. Cargo volume in the Encore suffers a little with tit being smaller compared to the Jeep. Cargo volume in the Encore is 18.8 ft³, 48.4 ft³ with seat area. The Compass takes the win for cargo volume with 27.2 ft³, 59.8 ft³ with seat area.
Technology and Entertainment
Below is key features listed on the base, entry-level trim models.
2018 Buick Encore
- 8″ Frameless Intelilink color touchscreen
- OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in WiFi hotspot (subscription required, but comes with free trial from new)
- Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto allows seamless smartphone integration
- HD Radio
- Rear Vision Camera
- QuietTuning technology with Active Noise Cancellation
- 4.2″ color driver information display
There are three trim levels available in the AWD version of the Encore. These are; ‘Preferred’, ‘Sport Touring’, and ‘Essence’. A Bose audio system is available as an option on the Sport Touring and Essence models. A heated steering wheel is only available n the top of the line Essence model as well as optional automatic RainSense™ wipers. New for 2018 model years is a built-in Ionizing air cleaner.
2018 Jeep Compass
- 5″ Touchscreen with UConnect 3 (8.4″ screen on trim levels ‘Altitude’ and above.
- ParkView® Rear Backup Camera
- Integrated Voice Command with Bluetooth
- Bluetooth streaming audio
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Push button start
There are 5 trim levels available on the Compass; ‘Sport’, ‘Latitude’, ‘Altitude’, ‘Limited’, and ‘Trailhawk’.
The Jeep has 8.2″ of ground clearance on all trim levels except the Trailhawk which is the off-road trim line. The Trailhawk has 8.5″ of ground clearance. The Buick Encore, however only has 6.2″ of ground clearance.
Jeep is the clear leader here having the Trailhawk model in the line-up offering more features akin to off-roading. A Selec-Terrain Traction Management system allows the driver to select modes based on road/weather conditions. The Trailhawk also features Hill Descent control, Skid Plates and tow hooks. The Trailhawk is also awarded, “Best in Class Off-Road Capability”.
Entry-level trim lines;
2018 Buick Encore Preferred in AWD (6- Speed Auto) starts at $27,095 MSRP (per Buick website)
2018 Jeep Compass Sport 4X4 (9-Speed Auto) starts at $25,540 MSRP (per Jeep website). Equipped with manual transmission is $1,500 less.
Talk to your preferred dealer for a more accurate price based which may include discounts and incentives.
Wozniak , Krzysztof. “US Car Sales Analysis Q4 2017 – Subcompact SUV Segment.”Carsalesbase.com, CarSalesBase, 17 Jan. 2018, carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-analysis-q4-2017-subcompact-suv-segment/.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. She has driven hundreds of vehicles, not only new cars but beaters without heaters, fast cars on fire, slow cars in snow, off-road trucks in the mucks, and old pickups with pups. She’s driven heaps of Jeeps, miles in muscle and once took her gran in a car from Japan.