2019 BMW X2 vs. 2019 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X2 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the X2 and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 cross-path warning.

Warranty

The X2’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X2 for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Buick pays for maintenance for the Encore (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X2 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 11 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

The X2’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 90 more horsepower (228 vs. 138) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The X2’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 75 more horsepower (228 vs. 153) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The X2 M35i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 149 more horsepower (302 vs. 153) and 145 lbs.-ft. more torque (322 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X2 s/xDrive28i is faster than the Buick Encore:

 

X2

Encore

Encore DI

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

9.4 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

17.1 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

79.5 MPH

77.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X2’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Encore doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the X2’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Buick only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Encore w/Direct Injection Engine.

The X2 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (16.1 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X2 higher (7 out of 10) than the Buick Encore (3). This means the X2 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Encore every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X2, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

The X2’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Encore doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X2’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

X2

Encore

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.6 inches

The X2’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Encore are solid, not vented.

The X2 stops much shorter than the Encore:

 

X2

Encore

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X2 has larger tires than the Encore (225/50R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The X2’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore’s standard 55 series tires. The X2’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X2 M35i offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Encore’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X2 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Encore doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the BMW X2 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Buick Encore has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The X2 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X2 flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The X2 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X2’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Encore (105.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the X2 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore.

The X2 xDrive28i handles at .91 G’s, while the Encore pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X2 sDrive28i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.7 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (25.9 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X2 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (7.2 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the X2 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The X2 has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X2’s rear seats recline. The Encore’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (21.6 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (50.1 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The X2’s cargo area is larger than the Encore’s in almost every dimension:

 

X2

Encore

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

30.6”/63”

28.5”/55.8”

Max Width

48”

39.5”

Min Width

39.6”

36”

Height

28”

31.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X2’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X2. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the X2 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Encore doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The X2 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 7% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

The X2 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Encore doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X2’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Encore’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X2 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Encore can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X2’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Encore’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the X2’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Encore’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X2 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X2 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X2 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The X2 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Encore.

Both the X2 and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X2 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the X2 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The X2’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Encore doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X2, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Encore isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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