Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW X1 VS 2015 Buick Encore Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW X1

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2015 Buick Encore

Safety Comparison

Both the X1 and the Encore have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Encore’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Buick pays for maintenance for the Encore (4/50,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Encore’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the X1 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the X1’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Encore’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the X1’s reliability will be 19% better than the Encore.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 19th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The X1 sDrive/xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 102 more horsepower (240 vs. 138) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The X1 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 162 more horsepower (300 vs. 138) and 152 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 148) than the Encore’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the X1 sDrive/xDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Buick Encore:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

11 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.3 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

18.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

77.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X1 sDrive/xDrive28i xDrive gets better fuel mileage than the Encore AWD (32 hwy vs. 30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’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 X1 s/xDrive28i’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 X1 has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Encore (16.6 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

X1 s/xDrive28i

X1 xDrive35i


Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.7 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.2 inches

10.6 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 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X1 has larger standard tires than the Encore (225/50R17 vs. 215/55R18). The X1’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Encore (F:225/35R19 & R:255/30R19 vs. 215/55R18).

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’s standard 55 series tires. The X1’s optional 225/35R19 front and 255/30R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Encore’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 offers optional 19-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 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 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 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’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X1’s wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the Encore (108.7 inches vs. 100.6 inches).

The X1 xDrive35i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Encore AWD (26.7 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Encore (7.6 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The X1 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Encore.

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The X1’s front power windows 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 front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

If the windows are left down on the X1 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Encore can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Comfort Access optional on the X1 allows you to unlock the driver’s door, 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 Buick Encore doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The X1 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Encore doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X1 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Encore doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X1 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 X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Encore doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X1 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X1 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Encore offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X1, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Encore isn't recommended.

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