A couple is loading kayaks on the roof of a blue 2020 Buick Encore GX next to a lake.

The Face-Off Between the 2020 Buick Encore GX vs 2020 BMW X1


Compact crossovers are everywhere these days. As the perfect solution for active folks and small families, it’s no wonder why these petite SUVs have taken over the streets. They offer the space of an SUV with the fuel efficiency of a sedan. This blend creates the ideal fusion vehicle in a former whitespace of the auto industry, and people are loving it. With the compact crossover’s rising popularity, it can seem a bit overwhelming if you’ve just started looking for the perfect one. That’s why we are going to make it easier for you to decide by comparing the 2020 Buick Encore GX vs 2020 BMW X1. These two entry-level luxury crossovers are about to head-to-head in a battle for supremacy in this tell-all article. If you are curious to see which one comes out on top, keep reading!

Power and Performance

The first question on everyone’s minds these days seems to be gas mileage. Most people want a capable vehicle that won’t drain their bank accounts. So let’s look at the power and performance of the 2020 Buick Encore GX and 2020 BMW X1 to see the differences.

The Encore GX is available with two engine options. The first is a turbocharged 1.2-liter 3-cylinder motor that uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and FWD. This powertrain produces 137 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, and it gets about 28 MPG combined (26 city/30 highway). The optional 1.3-liter 3-cylinder engine is turbocharged and generates 155 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain is equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission and FWD. In addition, when the Encore GX is equipped with this engine, it has a stellar fuel economy of 31 MPG combined (30 city/32 highway).

Comparing those choices to the 2020 BMW X1 will lead to some disappointment on the BMW’s side. All trims come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission and FWD, this powertrain has an estimated fuel economy set at 27 MPG combined (24 city/33 highway).

The Takeaway: It’s hard to beat the fuel economy from the Encore GX, and for a brand known for giving buyers plenty of options, one engine choice for the BMW leaves something to be desired.

A blue 2020 Buick Encore GX is driving around a corner in front of a brick building after winning the 2020 Buick Encore GX vs 2020 BMW X1 comparison.

Price Points

The budget can play a major role in which vehicle you buy. Whether you are single or a member of a small family, the price point can make or break a deal. So, let’s look at how much these two vehicles are before we go any further.

The Buick Encore GX starts at around $24,100. Depending on which trim level you want, the price can reach up to about $30,000. As for the BMW X1, it starts at $35,200 and goes up to $37,200, without any additional fees or options. While both vehicles are considered to be entry-level luxury models, the Encore GX is available at a much more affordable price point.

The Takeaway: The Buick Encore GX is a much more affordable luxury model than the BMW X1.

Seating and Cargo Space

The next question most folks ask is about the space. How many people do these vehicles carry? How much cargo room is available? We’re going to answer these burning questions right now!

The 2020 Buick Encore GX seats five people and offers 23.5 cubic feet of room behind the back row. If you need more space for whatever reason, you can simply fold the second row of seating down. This will expand the cargo area to 50.2 cubic feet, which is the maximum.

On the other hand, the 2020 BMW X1 also seats five people. However, the cargo dimensions are slightly different. Behind the back row is 27.1 cubic feet of room, and the maximum cargo area is capped at 58.7 cubic feet.

The Takeaway: The BMW X1 has more space for cargo, but both models will seat the same amount of people comfortably.

Base Trims

To fully understand the various trim levels, you should know one thing first. The Encore GX is offered in three trims, and the BMW X1 is only available in two trims. Let’s start things off by comparing the base models.

The Encore GX Preferred is the base model. This version comes standard with air conditioning, cruise control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split-folding back seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, and keyless ignition/entry. The infotainment interface is quite impressive. Using a 7-inch touchscreen interface, this system operates with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, and a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot. This means that anything you can do on your smartphone, you can also do via the vehicle’s infotainment system. In general, base models don’t usually have this many advanced infotainment features. That’s why we love the Encore GX so much. You get state-of-the-art technology for a much lower price. The Preferred also includes emergency braking and dual USB ports.

Meanwhile, the BMW X1 sDrive28i is the base model. It comes with power-adjustable front seats, air conditioning, faux leather seating, and a slew of safety features such as forward collision warning and emergency braking. The infotainment interface is displayed on an 8.8-inch touchscreen that functions with Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto. A navigation system is also standard. You may add the Convenience package to this model as well. This includes keyless entry and a sunroof. Another optional package is the Premium suite. It comes with heated front seats, a head-up display, and a heated steering wheel. Other stand-alone add-ons include leather upholstery, cruise control, and an upgraded sound system. Keep in mind that these features will bump the sticker price up significantly.

The Takeaway: While the BMW X1 may have a few more niceties, it’s missing key features that should be standard like cruise control, Android Auto, and keyless entry on the Encore GX.

A grey 2020 BMW X1 is shown from the side in front of hills and trees.

Mid-Level Trims

The Buick Encore GX Select is the mid-level version. It adds several luxury features such as heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and remote start technology. During the cold winter months, you can start your vehicle and get it warming up before you ever step foot outside. This model also comes with extra safety systems like rear cross-traffic alert, blindspot monitoring, and lane-change alert.

The BMW X1 is not available in a mid-level trim.

Premium Trims

The Essence is the top-tier Buick Encore GX model. It offers leather seating, a 120-volt outlet, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a cabin air ionizer.

The top-of-the-line BMW X1 xDrive28i comes with many of the same features as the base model. It adds AWD, push-button start, automatic climate control, and one-touch power windows. Dynamic Cruise Control is included as well as HD radio and a 7-speaker sound system.

The Final Takeaway: Again, the top-tier BMW X1 model finally gets features that the Encore GX already had at lower trim levels. In other words, you can get a lot more for your money if you opt for the 2020 Buick Encore GX.