The Opel offers a few more powertrain choices. The standard engine is a rather sluggish, naturally aspirated gasoline-burning 1.6-liter four that makes a mere 115 hp; more interesting is the 1.7-liter turbo-diesel that produces 130 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. Both the Opel and the Buick are available with front- or all-wheel drive, but where the Encore is only available with a six-speed automatic, the Mokka also is available with a manual transmission. Buick’s claim that “everything is optimized around a single 18-inch tire specification” seems questionable in light of the fact that the Mokka can be had with smaller wheels.
There’s another difference, and that’s brand positioning: While Buick boldly compares the Encore to the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1, Europeans probably will view the Mokka as battling the Nissan Rogue’s sister model, the Qashqai, or the Honda CR-V. Whatever the press releases claim, the Encore is a Mokka and vice versa. We’re looking forward to driving both of these models and performing a more detailed session of compare and contrast.
By Jens Meiners