2021 BMW X1 vs. 2021 Buick Encore GX

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 2020/10/21

The X1’s optional 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 X1 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available all-wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore GX has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The X1’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore GX’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Encore GX.

Reliability

© 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 2020/10/21

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the X1’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 X1 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 BMW vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 1 place higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

© 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 2020/10/21

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 91 more horsepower (228 vs. 137) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Encore GX’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder. The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 73 more horsepower (228 vs. 155) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 174) than the Encore GX’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The X1 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore GX (16.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Encore GX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/10/21

For better stopping power the X1’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore GX:

X1

Encore GX

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.81 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.39 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Encore GX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Encore GX’s standard 55 series tires. The X1’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Encore GX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 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 X1 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.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW X1 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 X1 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X1 flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore GX’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X1’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Encore GX (105.1 inches vs. 102.2 inches).

Passenger Space

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The X1 has 2.2 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore GX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The Encore GX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore GX with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 23.5 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore GX with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 50.2 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X1. The Encore GX doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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The X1 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.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/10/21

The X1’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Encore GX’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X1 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows 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 X1’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.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore GX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X1’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.

The X1 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Encore GX Select/Essence.

Both the X1 and the Encore GX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X1 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore GX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X1, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Encore GX has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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

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