2019 Buick Encore vs. 2019 MINI Countryman

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 2020/06/03

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 MINI Countryman doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Encore Essence’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Countryman 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 Countryman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Encore has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Countryman doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Encore and the Countryman 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 and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

There are over 16 times as many Buick dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 53 points higher than the Countryman.

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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Encore

Countryman

 

2WD

 

n/a

24 city/33 hwy

3 cyl./Manual

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

25 city/33 hwy

24 city/32 hwy

3 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

26 city/31 hwy

23 city/32 hwy

S/Auto

4WD

 

n/a

21 city/31 hwy

S/Manual

 

 

n/a

23 city/30 hwy

3 cyl./Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (138 HP)/Auto

23 city/30 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

S/Auto

 

1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (153 HP)/Auto

25 city/30 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

JCW/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Encore w/Direct Injection Engine’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Countryman doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Countryman doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Buick Encore comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Encore stops much shorter than the Countryman:

 

Encore

Countryman

 

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman.

Suspension and Handling

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

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

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The Encore has .4 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

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The Encore has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Encore has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (48.4 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 1% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

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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 Countryman doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 Countryman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

On extremely cold winter days, the Encore Essence’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Countryman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Countryman doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because it costs $198 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Countryman, including $77 less for a water pump, $15 less for a muffler, $210 less for a starter, $105 less for fuel injection, $164 less for front struts, $129 less for a timing belt/chain and $195 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/06/03

The Buick Encore has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Encore

Countryman

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Encore second among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Countryman isn’t in the top three.

The Buick Encore outsold the MINI Countryman by almost six to one during 2017.

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

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