Buick Encore Premium or Toyota RAV4 Limited

good deals on both vehicles
Price about the same
Buick styling caught my eye, but vehicle may be too small for my taste
RAV 4 nice but may be too bulky
Commute daily 100 miles and want more room, better ride and comfort, dependability and reliability
Roads are rough pavement in sections- don’t want a rattle trap.
Moving from a small car to small SUV.
Any thoughts on these two vehicles?
Especially in the use I would need?

The Rav-4 has an established history as one of the most reliable vehicles ever made.
Does the Encore have such a history?
I don’t think so.

Plus with the encore you are forced to buy the tiny turbo engine, which adds another level of complexity.

All things being otherwise equal, I’d prefer the Rav 4 b/c of the reliability history. Buicks have pretty good reliability too, but I doubt they are reliably rated as good as the Rav 4.

There’s more to life than reliability of course. You gotta enjoy life too. And the Buick might indeed have a more comfy suspension feel. Take some test drives.

I like the RAV4 because it handles well, has a lot of storage & passenger space and it doesn’t feel like I am driving a large SUV.

But that’s probably because it isn’t a large SUV… :smiley:

The RAV4 is not really bulky, they just popped the lights out and it seems to be that way. The new generation is probably a bit shorter that the older one. It is noisy, like any other CUV that size I have driven, but sure if the Buick would be better. For a 100 Mile a day commute, a midsize sedan (Camry, Fusion, Sonata) might be more tolerable. I say rent one of the ones you are going to buy before buying. I made a similar mistake with a Honda CRV.

Roads are rough pavement in sections- don’t want a rattle trap.

Then slow down or that’s what you’ll end up with. Hitting bumps hard is one of the surest ways to turn a car to junk.
Anyway, the RAV gets a pretty solid A in reliability. The Encore is basically an Opel Mokka, which sounds a little scary to me, but it’s probably too soon to tell much about reliability just yet. I personally will be surprised and impressed if it manages much above a C, and frankly an F wouldn’t surprise me.

Reliability won’t mean much if the car you choose is uncomfortable or unappealing, especially if you spend several hours a day in it. Test drive both of them, or better yet rent one for a couple of days and use it as you would in your regular life. Make sure the radio controls are where you like them or the rear hatch opens conveniently in your garage. See if the seats are comfortable and if the sun visor is in your way.

It won’t mean much to save a couple of thousand dollars in maintenance over the life of the car if you don’t really like it in the first place.

Great advice. RAV4 feels solid but styling is not as refined or upscale as the Buick. But the Buick seems too small, underpowered, and not solid like the RAV4/ almost toy-like. In the RAV 4 there is a rougher ride on harsh pavement, but the seats are ample and supportive. The Buick has smaller buckets, not as comfortable and seem straight from a compact. The Buick also has a very loud whining noise as the car slows from mid speed to a stop. This noise was heard in multiple Encores I test drove.

Then I’d forget the Buick. Have you looked at the Mazda CX-5?

As a loyal GM customer I would have to recommend the RAV4. On a 100 mile commute I would take comfort over style any day. I drive a 2013 Equinox and it has been very comfortable on long trips (+300 miles). When I first drove it I thought the seats were too firm, but I have learned to appreciate the support on long trips. The Encore is cute but I see it more as a city car.

My sister-in-law has a Mazda CX-5 and is very happy with it. Food for thought, my coworker also has a 100 mile daily commute (30% back roads, 70% highway) and bought a mid level trim Toyota Prius specifically for the commute. He averages 47-50 mpg and has found the Prius to be very comfortable. It’s running well at 180k miles and will probably be replaced with another Prius when the time comes.

Ed B.

Another thing to consider . . .

The Toyota will probably hold its value much better than the Buick

That Rav rear hatch is a mess. Car washes leave it dirty. It’s hard for seniors to open and even harder for adults.

If senior are not adults, what are they? :slight_smile:

Are you talking about the hatch with the spare tire in it? They don’t have that any more.