2021 BMW X2 vs. 2021 Buick Encore

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The X2 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Encore offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the X2 and the Encore 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 X2 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Encore has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The X2’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Encore’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X2 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.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X2 has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Encore’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

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The X2’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 90 more horsepower (228 vs. 138) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder. The X2 M35i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 163 more horsepower (301 vs. 138) and 183 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X2 is faster than the Buick Encore:

X2

X2 M35i

Encore

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

4.6 sec

9.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

13.3 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

105 MPH

79.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X2 gets better fuel mileage than the Encore:

X2

Encore

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/32 hwy

25 city/30 hwy

1.4 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

24 city/31 hwy

24 city/29 hwy

1.4 4 cyl./Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the X2’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Encore doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X2’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 Encore doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X2 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (16.1 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X2, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Encore.

The X2’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 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the X2’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Encore:

X2

X2 M35i

Encore

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

10.6 inches

The X2’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 are solid, not vented.

The X2 stops much shorter than the Encore:

X2

Encore

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X2 has larger tires than the Encore (225/50R18 vs. 215/55R18).

The X2’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’s standard 55 series tires. The X2 M35i’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X2 M35i offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Encore’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 X2 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Encore doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW X2 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 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The X2 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X2 flat and controlled during cornering. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The X2 offers an available 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 or off-road. The Encore’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X2’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Encore (105.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the X2 is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Encore.

The X2 xDrive28i handles at .91 G’s, while the Encore pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X2 sDrive28i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.7 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (25.9 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29.6 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X2 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (7.2 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the X2 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The X2 has 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X2’s rear seats recline. The Encore’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Encore with its rear seat up (21.6 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Encore with its rear seat folded (50.1 vs. 48.4 cubic feet).

The X2’s cargo area is larger than the Encore’s in almost every dimension:

X2

Encore

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

30.6”/63”

28.5”/55.8”

Max Width

48”

39.5”

Min Width

39.6”

36”

Height

28”

31.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X2’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X2. The Encore doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the X2 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Encore doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

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The X2 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Encore 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

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When two different drivers share the X2, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Encore doesn’t offer a memory system.

The X2 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Encore doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The X2’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Encore has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The X2’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’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X2 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 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X2’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’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the X2’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Encore’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the X2 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X2 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the X2 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Encore’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X2’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 doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The X2 offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Encore.

On extremely cold winter days, the X2’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Encore doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The X2’s 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. The Encore doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The X2’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Encore doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the X2 and the Encore offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X2 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Encore doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the X2 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Encore doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X2 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Encore doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The X2’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Encore doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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The X2 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the X2 will retain 46.55% to 52.31% of its original price after five years, while the Encore only retains 34.79% to 38.48%.

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 2020/10/20

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X2 and the Buick Encore, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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