Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V

Dethroning the CR-V: An Encore Performance

It is no secret that the Honda CR-V is one seriously popular vehicle. Backed by Honda’s highly regarded reputation and a lengthy list of standard features, the 2018 Honda CR-V was recently named Motor Trend’s 2018 SUV of the Year.  As if that wasn’t enough, U.S. News & World Report’s Best Compact SUV for the Money – and it’s certainly not the first year that Honda has taken home significant accolades for its compact SUV. However, that all might be about to change, thanks to some fresh redesigns in the 2018 Buick Encore. In fact, if you’ve been looking at purchasing the Buick Encore, but you are also wondering if you’d be better off sticking with the perennial classic Honda CR-V, take a minute to read on – you’ll quickly see that when it comes down to the battle between the 2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V, the underdog Buick might just be waiting to overthrow the reigning champ.


The 2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V: It’s Not Your Grandparents Buick Anymore

If you ask me, Buick’s biggest issue must be that everyone’s grandparents used to drive a Buick. I mean, I can’t even hear the name “Buick” and not think of my grandfather pulling into our driveway. If you are like me and assume that driving a Buick means driving an old car the size of a boat around – albeit a boat that still has a cigarette lighter and an ashtray built in (remember that!) – you’re in for quite the surprise when you see the 2018 Buick Encore. With a starting MSRP of $23,000, the 2018 Buick Encore’s base model, the 1SV, comes standard with heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, LED running lights, cruise control, keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, Onstar telecommunications, a rearview camera, an eight-inch touchscreen display, smartphone integration and a six-speaker audio system. I don’t know about you, but my grandfather’s Buick certainly didn’t come that well-equipped.

Of course, neither does the base-model 2018 Honda CR-V, even though it has a starting MSRP of $24,250 – over a grand more expensive than the 2018 Buick Encore. The base model CR-V LX comes standard with a four-speaker audio system (that’s two less than in the Buick 1SV, for those keeping count), Bluetooth, 1 USB port (one less than in the Buick), rearview backup camera and a five-inch display screen (three-inch less than the Buick and also, not a touchscreen display). Not really sure what the appeal is when it comes to the base-model Honda CR-V? Yeah, us either.

So now that we know the base-model Buick Encore trumps the base-model Honda CR-V when it comes to both amenities and price,you’re probably thinking that the top-trim Honda CR-V Touring surely must best the Buick Encore Premium… after all, the 2018 Honda CR-V Touring starts at $32,750 vs. the Buick Encore Premiums’ starting price of $30,500 – that $2,250 surely must be good for some awesome features right?

Well – you be the judge. The 2018 Buick Encore in Premium trim comes loaded with features including: heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, leather upholstery, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, a forward collision warning system, lane departure technology, dual-zone climate control, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, a 120-volt power outlet, fog lights… the list continues.  Additional packages such as the Experience Buick package, which equips your Buick Encore with a sunroof, navigation and chrome 18-inch alloy wheels – and the Experience Buick package can be yours for just $2,390 – basically the price of the 2018 Honda CR-V Touring. Substantial differences between the CR-V Touring and the Buick Encore include… nothing really. Ultimately, both SUVs offer superior amenities and fun, functional features in their top trims – it’s just that the price is right on the Buick Encore, whereas the Honda is going to set you back extra dollars for really no good reason.


The 2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V: Rely on the Encore

Given the extreme popularity of the Honda CR-V, you’d assume that they would have to be some of the most reliable cars on the road. However, you might be surprised to find that assumption incorrect. That honor actually goes the to the 2018 Buick Encore, which earned a 4.5 out five predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power and Associates. For the record and according to US News & World Report, “that’s one of the highest ratings in the industry (three is average).” Compare that to the 2018 Honda CR-V’s very average three out of five rating, and well, it’s clear which SUV you want to be dependent on.


The 2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V: SUVs that are Synonymous with Safety

As fun as it is to compare things like trim types, reliability and performance, there really is just one metric where you want all automobiles to be winners, and that’s when it comes to measuring safety. Fortunately, when it comes to the 2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V, both cars come out as shining examples of safe SUVs. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave both vehicles five-star overall safety ratings. That means no matter if you ultimately choose to buy an Encore or a CR-V, you can feel confident that you’re cruising in a very safe ride – and in the end, no matter how cool some of the bells and whistles may be on either SUV – safety is all that’s really all that matters.


The 2018 Buick Encore vs. the 2018 Honda CR-V: Be Unique, Be Bold, Buy a Buick

By now it must be clear that while the Honda CR-V has done an incredible job upholding its reputation as the ultimate in popular SUVs, in reality, the 2018 Buick Encore is the better buy. With better base-model amenities, a better price and better reliability, it’s tough to see how you could ever choose the 2018 Honda CR-V over the 2018 Buick Encore. However, if you need one last push to buy the Buick, let us encourage you to break the mold. Buy something different, something that will make you stand out on your commute home. Everyone’s seen the CR-V – be unique and bring home the Buick Encore and really give the neighbors something to talk about.