Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2017 Buick ENCORE VS 2017 Audi Q3 In IA

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2017 Buick ENCORE

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2017 Buick ENCORE

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2017 Audi Q3

Safety Comparison

The Encore Premium has a standard collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Q3 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Encore Premium’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Q3 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

To help make backing safer, the Encore’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Q3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Encore has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Q3 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Encore and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Encore the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 102 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q3 is not a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty Comparison

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Encore for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q3.

There are over 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 11th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Encore gets better fuel mileage than the Q3:







1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

28 city/34 hwy

20 city/28 hwy



1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

25 city/33 hwy




1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

26 city/32 hwy

20 city/28 hwy



1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

23 city/30 hwy



In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Encore Sport Touring’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Q3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q3 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q3’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Audi Q3.

The Encore is 4.4 inches shorter than the Q3, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Q3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Encore has 2.6 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more rear headroom and 4.7 inches more rear legroom than the Q3.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Encore has a much larger cargo area than the Q3 with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 16.7 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Encore offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Q3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Encore Essence/Premium, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Encore Essence/Premium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q3 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

When the Encore with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Q3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Encore Essence/Premium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Q3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Encore offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Q3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Q3 because it costs $252 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Q3, including $415 less for a water pump, $45 less for an alternator, $489 less for a starter, $210 less for fuel injection, $206 less for a fuel pump, $284 less for front struts and $521 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Buick Encore, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Encore is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Q3 is not ranked.

The Buick Encore outsold the Audi Q3 by over four to one during the 2016 model year.

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