These are both great compact luxury crossovers with impressive performance and competitive pricing.
The luxury compact SUV segment has quickly become one of the hottest segments in the automotive world. It’s not hard to see why these small crossovers are so popular; they’re luxury vehicles that are practical, efficient and often reasonably priced by luxury standards.
Two of the newest entries in this field are the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, which is an all-new model replacing the outgoing MKC, and the 2020 Acura RDX, which just entered its third generation in 2019. We’ve been very impressed by both of these crossovers, and we expect a lot of cross-shopping between the two, so let’s take a look at which is better.
The RDX is on the bigger side of "compact," and the Corsair‘s dimensions are pretty in-line with majority of this segment. The Acura is six inches longer than the Lincoln, plus one inch wider and two inches taller. The RDX will take up a little more space in your garage, but the size difference isn’t drastic. See the 2020 Acura RDX models for sale near you
Both of these SUVs have aesthetics that speak their respective brand’s design language, which is a good thing in both cases. The Acura has a sharp, edgy look with a striking pentagon grille and dramatic character lines throughout the body. The Lincoln is composed of more straight lines and soft edges, resulting in a classy, upscale look that reminds us of the bigger Aviator. See the 2020 Lincoln Corsair models for sale near you
Both SUVs feature nice interiors with quality materials and premium designs. Mirroring their respective exteriors, the Lincoln’s interior is a little more conservatively designed, but we certainly wouldn’t call it bland. The Acura, on the other hand, has a bit more dramatic styling on the inside. They both boast supportive seats and a good amount of interior space.
The RDX has more room in the back seats since it’s a slightly bigger vehicle, but the Corsair has sliding and reclining back seats, which is uncommon in this segment. This makes the interior of the Lincoln more flexible, so you can customize it to give more passenger space, more cargo space or whatever balance you’d like between the two.
Mechanicals and Capability
The Corsair has two engines available under the hood, and the RDX has one. They both come standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is also an available option. In the Corsair, AWD comes standard when you opt for the 2.3T engine option.
2020 Lincoln Corsair Engines
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four; 250 horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque; up to 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy
2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four; 295 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque; 21 mpg city/27 mpg hwy
2020 Acura RDX Engine
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four; 272 hp, 280 lb-ft of torque; up to 22 mpg city/28 mpg hwy
On paper, the base engines of these crossovers are very similar. The one in the RDX is a little more powerful, but the one in the Corsair is a little better on gas. When you upgrade to the optional 2.3-liter engine available in the Corsair (a $1,140 option on the Reserve trim), you get performance that the RDX can’t match — plus, it’s not much of a fuel economy penalty, especially when you consider that you’re getting standard AWD.
That said, both crossovers are a pleasure to drive, and the Lincoln is especially quiet on the inside. Engaging performance in an affordable luxury vehicle has long been a hallmark of the Acura brand, but Lincoln has caught up and found a similar sweet spot.
Technology is another area where both of these crossovers shine. The RDX comes with a generous list of features at the base level, and there’s even more available as you move up the model range. A few of its standard features include a 10.2-in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a moonroof, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
The Corsair is similarly equipped at the base level with a standard 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a safety tech suite called Lincoln Co-Pilot360 with driver assistance features similar to the Acura and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Both of these SUVs can be upgraded with features such as navigation, a head-up display, leather seating and much more.
The RDX has a starting MSRP of $37,600, and the Corsair starts at a more affordable $35,945. Pricing of the Corsair can get near the $60,000 mark when you upgrade to the better engine and add the Reserve II package. On the other hand, the RDX stays under $50,000, even when fully loaded with AWD and the Advance Package. Despite having a higher starting price, the Acura is arguably a better value because of how well appointed it is at the base level, how reasonably priced it is on the high end and the fact that it’s a little bigger than the Lincoln.
These two compact luxury crossovers are very evenly matched, making it hard to declare a clear winner. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you might like the RDX more with its generously equipped base model and lesser upcharge for more features. The Corsair, however, offers better performance with its available 2.3-liter engine, making it more of the enthusiast’s choice.
The best way to really know which is best is to test drive both of them and see which one is right for you and your budget. Whichever one you go with, you’re getting a fantastic small luxury SUV. Find an Acura RDX for sale or Find a Lincoln Corsair for sale