Subcompact SUVs like the 2019 Buick Encore vs 2019 Honda HR-V are taking over the market. Where once sedan style cars were the choice vehicle for families, SUVs are now dominating the market. Unlike sedan style cars, SUVs are built on a more powerful chassis like that of a truck. Many large auto manufacturers are even discontinuing underperforming sedan lines in favor of new SUV options.
There is a lot of competition out there for SUVs, which means automakers have their work cut out for them to create superior vehicles that will beat out the competition. This is great for consumers, but can make it a bit difficult to figure out which one is the best choice. The 2019 Buick Encore vs 2019 Honda HR-V are two subcompact SUVs that lead the pack because of their sleek designs and usability.
In order to properly compare the two SUVs, let’s take a look at their performance and handling, design, features, and safety specs.
Sharp turns, potholes, and inclement weather are all features of daily life and completely unavoidable. Since they are unavoidable, the best thing that can be done is to equip yourself with a vehicle that can withstand imperfect conditions on the road. Many larger vehicles are known to have difficulty maneuvering and might jostle passengers around if the terrain isn’t perfectly smooth. Not either of SUVs, though. Both the 2019 Buick Encore and the 2019 Honda HR-V feature terrific handling.
The Encore is exceptional in its class for daily driving. Passengers can enjoy a cushioned ride even on the roughest roads and they won’t find themselves tipping sideways when the driver makes a tight turn. As a subcompact SUV, the Encore is small enough to maneuver easily in and out of traffic which makes it great for city driving and for driving in tight spaces like parking lots.
Th 2019 Honda HR-V has a harder time being piloted around tight spaces, but it still takes turns with confidence and can make a great city car for the whole family. The HR-V’s steering is well-weighted and the SUV has more engaging handling when compared with other competitors. Passengers will stay comfortable on long road trips in the HR-V because of its noticeably smooth ride quality over imperfect roads.
These subcompact SUVs aren’t built to be crazy powerhouses on the road, instead they are built to keep you and your family safe and on the road. If you’re planning to commute, grab the kids, and drive back and forth from sporting events, weekend trips, and family get-togethers, you should consider one of these SUVs. If you want to do a little drag racing on the highway, well, you’re out of luck. Both of these vehicles come in FWD or AWD drivetrain, but have a limited range of engine options. In fact, the 2019 Honda HR-V only has a single base engine to choose from, a 141-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Getting up to speed may take a minute, but once you’re there you can cruise along just fine. This engine provides 26 – 28 MPG in the city and 31 – 34 MPG on the highway depending on the drivetrain.
The 2019 Buick Encore, unlike the Honda HR-V, has two engine options to choose from, giving potential drivers a bit more power if they so choose. With the Encore, there’s a choice of either the standard turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 138 horsepower or an upgraded version which produces 153 horsepower. The more powerful version is available on higher trim levels like the Sport Touring and Essence. Like the Honda HR-V, Encore drivers have the choice between FWD and AWD drivetrain. Depending on that choice, the Encore gets between 24 – 26 MPG in the city and 29 – 31 MPG on the highway.
Design and Cargo
Cargo space is a large part of any SUV. Most buyers want an SUV because of its ability to easily accommodate the whole family and have room to spare for cargo. Both of these subcompact SUVs are designed to sit up to 5 passengers comfortably and both feature cavernous cargo holds.
The 2019 Buick Encore has nearly 19 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which alone is enough to shove in 12 full grocery bags. To get even more cargo room, drivers can easily fold down the rear seats to create 48 cubic feet of space. For long items, there is a fold-flat front seat as well. This is more than enough to haul along just about anything you could need on a daily basis and is more than some rivals on the market.
Though the Encore offers more cargo space than many competitors, the 2019 Honda HR-V has it beat slightly and has among the most cargo space of any subcompact SUV on the market. If you really need that extra bit of space to haul your stuff, you’ll be able to fit it all in with 24.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats which expands to 58.8 cubic feet with the back seat folded down. If you opt for the AWD drivetrain of the 2019 Honda HR-V, the cargo space decreases slightly.
With such a competitive market for SUVs, auto manufacturers are pulling all the stops out when it comes to features. Things like fun infotainment systems with large screens and integrations with smartphone systems help to entice potential buyers. After all, drivers spend a great deal of time in their cars, so most value entertainment and convenience functionality highly. Both the 2019 Buick Encore and the 2019 Honda HR-V offer many fun features, though the HR-V doesn’t offer very many standard.
The 2019 Buick encore is jam packed with both available and standard features. The most exciting of these is potentially Apply CarPlay and Android Auto, a features which let drivers integrate their smartphone interfaces directly with the vehicle. These features are becoming more standard across the automobile industry, but few offer them standard. You can also get a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot in the Encore and a standard 8-inch touch-screen Buick IntelliLink infotainment system, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, and the dual USB ports, and Bluetooth. With all these features, drivers stay connected and entertained no matter where the road takes them.
The base model of the Honda HR-V comes with Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 5-inch audio display screen, but not a whole lot else. If you upgrade to a higher trim, you can get a 7-inch touch-screen interface for Honda’s infotainment system. After complaints about the system’s usability in model year 2018, Honda added a traditional, physical volume knob to the dash to help users operate a sometimes-challenging system. Android Auto and Apply CarPlay are available with upgrade on the HR-V as well as features including automatic climate control, a moonroof, remote start, a six-speaker stereo, an additional USB port, satellite radio, and navigation.
Both of these subcompact SUVs rank highly in a tight marketplace where automakers are already pulling out all the stops. Though both of these SUVs lack a little oomph in terms of acceleration, both are fuel efficient, handle extremely well, offer plenty of cargo and passenger space, and generally fit the bill for someone looking for a family vehicle. The 2019 Buick Encore is more modern inside and features some nice tech features standard, while the 2019 Honda HR-V gets slightly better gas mileage, though at the expense of engine options. All-in-all, both of these vehicles would make a good choice for someone doing a lot of city driving or who needs to cart around multiple people daily.