2019 BMW X4 vs. 2018 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The X4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Encore doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X4 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Encore doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The X4 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 has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The X4 offers optional Active Park Distance Control which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Encore doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X4. But it costs extra on the Encore.

The X4 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Encore only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The X4’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Encore doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X4 and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The BMW X4 weighs 789 to 1086 pounds more than the Buick Encore. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The X4’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X4 for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Buick pays for maintenance for the Encore (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 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 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 3 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

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The X4 xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 110 more horsepower (248 vs. 138) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 148) than the Encore’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The X4 xDrive30i’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 95 more horsepower (248 vs. 153) and 81 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The X4 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 202 more horsepower (355 vs. 153) and 188 lbs.-ft. more torque (365 vs. 177) than the Encore’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regardless of its engine, the X4’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 X4 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (17.2 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

 

X4 xDrive30i

X4 M40i

Encore

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

13.7 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

10.6 inches

The X4’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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X4 has larger standard tires than the Encore (245/50R19 vs. 215/55R18). The X4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (F:245/40R20 & R:275/40R20 vs. 215/55R18).

The X4’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 X4 M40i’s optional 245/40R21 front and 275/35R21 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X4 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Encore. The X4 M40i offers optional 21-inch wheels.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X4 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

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW X4 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 X4 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X4 flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The X4 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 X4’s wheelbase is 12.2 inches longer than on the Encore (112.8 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the X4 is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore.

For greater off-road capability the X4 has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (8 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the X4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The X4 has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Encore (97.8 vs. 92.8).

The X4 has 3.3 inches more front shoulder room and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

Cargo Capacity

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The X4 has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (50.5 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X4. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the X4 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Encore doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the X4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Encore. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

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

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The X4 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 X4’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.

The X4’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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X4 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 X4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X4 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X4 has standard 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.

Both the X4 and the Encore offer available heated front seats. The X4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Encore.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the X4 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Encore doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The X4 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 X4 and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X4 has available 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 X4 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 X4’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.

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