When we think of fun cars to drive around the city, the Mini Cooper is an easy first choice. Although the Mini is undoubtedly fun, it’s not the most practical option by any means. If you are looking for a compact city driver that offers more value, you should consider the Buick Encore.
The Encore is more comfortable
For such a compact SUV, the 2020 Encore it’s pretty spacious on the inside. Technically, the Encore can seat up to five but really the car cabin is best suited for four passengers. Standard models come with a handsomely stitched cloth interior. You also have the choice to upgrade to genuine leather.
Of course, the standard Mini Cooper also offers a handsome cabin, but not too many people would be happy to be in its rear seat. This isn’t an exaggeration. Consumer Reports gave the Mini’s rear seat a one out of five for comfort. The Mini’s backseat is most useful for storing small items like tote bags or maybe even a small pet.
The Encore’s quiet cabin makes it an even more comfortable ride. Excess road noise in this compact SUV is not a problem at all. This is an advantage the Encore has over the Mini.
The Encore comes with more tech
Another advantage the Encore has over the Mini is that it offers more available in-car electronics. For starters, the Encore comes with a modern and easy to use infotainment system that features an 8-inch touchscreen display. And unlike some of its competitors, the Encore comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
This Buick also comes with Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, and a wifi hotspot comes standard too. You can also upgrade the Encore with a Bose stereo system and HD Radio. With the 2020 Mini, the most notable phone connectivity feature that comes standard is Bluetooth. You have to upgrade to get Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto isn’t available at all.
The Encore is good on safety and reliability
It’s not exactly fair to compare the Encore and the Mini Cooper on safety since the 2020 Mini hasn’t been officially rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is worth mentioning though that the NHTSA has recalled the model twice. There are no current recalls on the 2020 Encore. Plus, the NHTSA has given the Encore a five-star crash safety rating. Consumer Reports and J.D. Power also gave the Encore above-average predicted reliability scores.
What also contributes to the Encore’s high safety ratings are its available driver-assist features to prevent crashes altogether. You can equip this Buick with forward-collision warning, rear-cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning. Front and rear parking sensors are also available.
The 2020 Buick Encore has a starting price of $23,200 and the 2020 Cooper starts at $23,400. While these options aren’t too far apart price-wise, the Encore comes with more desirable standard features and it’s more comfortable. There’s nothing like driving a Mini, but there’s a lot to like about the Encore too.