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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 Cooper Clubman 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Encore (except Base)’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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Encore (except Base)’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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Encore and the Cooper Clubman 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.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Encore the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 212 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cooper Clubman has not been tested, yet.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Encore 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Clubman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Clubman 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.
The Buick Encore’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Cooper Clubman’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
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.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Encore uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Cooper Clubman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
The Encore stops much shorter than the Cooper Clubman:
60 to 0 MPH
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Encore has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Clubman.
The Encore uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Encore has .8 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the Cooper Clubman.
The Encore has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat up (18.8 vs. 17.5 cubic feet). The Encore has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat folded (48.4 vs. 47.9 cubic feet).
The Encore’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Cooper Clubman’s two swing out doors impair rear visibility, need a lot of clearance, and can block loading in tight quarters.
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 (except Base) 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 Cooper Clubman 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Encore’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Clubman’s power windows.
The Encore’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Cooper Clubman’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.
Keyless Access standard on the Encore allows you to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The MINI Cooper Clubman’s Comfort Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.
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 Cooper Clubman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Encore has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the Encore Essence is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Cooper Clubman’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Encore (except Bae) 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
Insurance will cost less for the Encore owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Encore will cost $515 less than the Cooper Clubman over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Encore is less expensive to operate than the Cooper Clubman because it costs $200 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Encore than the Cooper Clubman, including $111 less for a water pump, $292 less for a starter, $102 less for fuel injection, $151 less for a fuel pump, $160 less for front struts, $85 less for a timing belt/chain and $694 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 $1735 to $11729 less than for the MINI Cooper Clubman.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Buick Encore, based on reliability, safety and performance.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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