2019 Buick Encore vs. 2019 BMW X1

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Buick Encore are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X1 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Encore’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Encore’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Encore and the X1 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, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the BMW X1:

 

Encore

X1

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

122

328

Neck Injury Risk

26%

32%

Neck Stress

298 lbs.

360 lbs.

Neck Compression

12 lbs.

60 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.3 inches

.5 inches

Neck Stress

122 lbs.

175 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

249/289 lbs.

309/268 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Encore is safer than the BMW X1:

 

Encore

X1

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

73

143

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

120 G’s

154 G’s

Hip Force

388 lbs.

486 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

100

193

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

65 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

707 lbs.

815 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X1. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X1 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 6 times as many Buick dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Encore’s reliability 38 points higher than the X1.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Encore gets better fuel mileage than the X1:

 

 

Encore

X1

 

2WD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/6-spd. Auto

26 city/31 hwy

23 city/32 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/6-spd. Auto

25 city/30 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

The Encore has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X1 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Encore stops shorter than the X1:

 

Encore

X1

 

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Encore’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the X1’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Buick Encore may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the BMW X1.

The Encore is 7 inches shorter than the X1, making the Encore easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X1 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Ergonomics

The Encore offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X1 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Encore Essence’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The X1 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Encore has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X1 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Encore offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X1 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Encore will cost $185 to $965 less than the X1 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the X1 because it costs $63 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the X1, including $410 less for a water pump, $436 less for a muffler, $430 less for a starter, $428 less for fuel injection, $187 less for a fuel pump, $227 less for front struts, $567 less for a timing belt/chain and $686 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Encore will be $2609 to $7850 less than for the BMW X1.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Buick Encore, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Buick Encore outsold the BMW X1 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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