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The Cooper Clubman’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 GX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Cooper Clubman and the Encore GX 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front parking sensors.
The Cooper Clubman’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore GX’s (12 vs. 6 years).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Clubman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Encore GX.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Cooper Clubman’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Encore GX’s camshafts. If the Encore GX’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cooper Clubman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore GX’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 8 places higher in reliability than Buick.
The Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 52 more horsepower (189 vs. 137) and 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 162) than the Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The Cooper Clubman S’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 34 more horsepower (189 vs. 155) and 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder. The JCW Clubman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 146 more horsepower (301 vs. 155) and 157 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.
The Cooper Clubman offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Encore GX doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the Cooper Clubman’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:
The Cooper Clubman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore GX’s standard 55 series tires. The Cooper Clubman’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Encore GX’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Clubman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Encore GX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper Clubman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Encore GX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the MINI Cooper Clubman 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 GX has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Cooper Clubman has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper Clubman flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Cooper Clubman 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. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cooper Clubman’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Encore GX (105.1 inches vs. 102.2 inches).
The Cooper Clubman is 7.4 inches shorter in height than the Encore GX, making the Cooper Clubman much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
The Cooper Clubman has .5 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the Encore GX.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Clubman’s available rear seats recline. The Encore GX’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Cooper Clubman uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore GX uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
If the windows are left open on the Cooper Clubman the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Encore GX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Cooper Clubman’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 GX’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Clubman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Encore GX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Cooper Clubman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Encore GX doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Clubman has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore GX doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Cooper Clubman’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore GX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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