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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Buick Encore GX 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 GX’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Encore GX Select/Essence offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Countryman 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 Encore GX’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 GX’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.
Both the Encore GX 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore GX 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 almost 16 times as many Buick dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Encore GX’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 6th.
On the EPA test cycle the Encore GX FWD CVT 1.3 turbo 3 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Countryman FWD 7-speed Auto turbo 3 cyl. (30 city/32 hwy vs. 26 city/33 hwy).
The Encore GX 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.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Encore GX AWD, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Countryman.
The Encore GX has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Countryman doesn’t offer a CVT.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore GX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman.
The Encore GX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Countryman doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The front grille of the Encore GX uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Countryman doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Encore GX 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.
The Encore GX has .5 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more front shoulder room than the Countryman.
The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (23.5 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Encore GX has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (50.2 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 4% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.
The Encore GX 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 shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Encore GX has standard extendable sun visors. The Countryman doesn’t offer extendable visors.
On extremely cold winter days, the Encore GX 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 GX Essence has a 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.
The Encore GX Essence’s optional Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park by itself. The Countryman’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.
The Buick Encore outsold the MINI Countryman by over seven to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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