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2020 Lincoln Corsair Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader October 2019

There's been a lot of talk over the last few years about the big renaissance happening at Lincoln. You may still remember Lincoln as the manufacturer of big, comfy sedans that make ideal airport shuttles but there's much more to the brand today.

Part of the American luxury brand's turnaround is the 2020 Lincoln Corsair. It's a compact luxury SUV that replaces the outgoing MKC and is based on the new generation of the Ford Escape. In short, the Corsair is an excellent crossover and a fantastic introduction to the Lincoln brand if it's one you've never considered before.

What's New for 2020?

The Lincoln Corsair is an all-new model for 2020 and replaces the MKC as Lincoln's compact SUV. See the 2020 Lincoln Corsair models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Sharp look inside and out

  • Flexible interior with sliding and reclining second-row seats

  • Surprisingly strong performance, especially from the optional turbocharged 2.3-liter engine

  • Competitive pricing

What We Don't

  • Some controls, like the power seats and steering wheel buttons, have a slight learning curve

  • Pricing on the high end -- can get into Aviator territory

How Much?

$35,945-$55,120

Fuel Economy

The Lincoln Corsair's base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It has a fuel economy rating from the Enviromental Protection Agency of 22 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving for the front-wheel drive model. As of this writing, there's no official EPA fuel economy rating for the base engine with all-wheel drive but we expect those numbers to be slightly lower.

AWD is standard with the optional 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that makes 295 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns a respectable fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The Corsair technically only comes in two trims, Standard and Reserve. However, Standard has two different flavors and Reserve has three, all of which we'll dive into individually. AWD is a $2,200 option on every trim except for Reserve II, on which it's standard.

The Corsair Standard ($35,945 FWD, $38,145 AWD) is pretty generously equipped for a base model. It comes with 18-in wheels, a power lift gate, 10-speaker audio, an 8-in SYNC 3 infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, active noise control and Lincoln Co-Pilot360, which gives you automatic high beams, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, a rearview camera and blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

The Standard I ($37,345 FWD, $39,545 AWD) adds 18-in dark painted wheels, 60/40 split EasyFold second-row seats, ambient lighting, a universal garage door opener and navigation.

An upgrade to the Corsair Reserve ($42,630 FWD, $44,830 AWD) has everything the Standard I trim has plus leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, 14-speaker Revel premium audio, a hands-free power lift gate and 19-in wheels.

The Reserve I ($46,030 FWD, $48,230 AWD) adds Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus, which adds a front sensing system, a 360-degree camera, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist, active park assist and adaptive cruise control with lane centering, speed sign recognition and traffic jam assist. It also includes ventilated front seats, heated second-row outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers and a windshield wiper de-icer. This is also the most affordable model with the 2.3-liter engine as an available option for an extra $1,140 on top of the cost of adding AWD.

Finally, the loaded Reserve II ($55,120) model gives you the excellent 2.3-liter turbocharged engine and AWD as standard equipment, plus adaptive suspension, a 12.3-in color display for an instrument cluster, an AC power outlet, jeweled LED headlamps with dynamic bending, Phone As A Key, wireless charging and 24-way power seats.

Safety

As of this writing, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair has not been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What we do know is that it comes well-equipped with safety technology. The base Corsair comes with Lincoln Co-Pilot360, which is a suite of driver assistance tech that includes automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, dynamic brake support, lane-keeping alert, lane-keeping assist, driver alert, a rearview camera and a blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert. This is upgradable to the Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus system, which adds adaptive stop-and-go cruise control with lane centering and speed sign recognition, a 360-degree camera, a front sensing system, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist and active park assist plus.

Behind the Wheel

There's not a bad seat in the Lincoln Corsair. The seats are comfortable and there's a good amount of room in the back in the sliding and reclining rear seats. There are premium materials all around and there's nothing cheap-feeling about this interior. The Corsair delivers a truly premium experience and we love its flexible interior that allows you to strike just the right balance of cargo space and passenger space with its sliding back seats.

The Corsair is a surprising pleasure to drive. What we expected was a comfortable crossover with a smooth ride with adequate performance, but what we got was an SUV with almost sport sedan-like performance. The base 2.0T engine is an improvement over the base engine in the outgoing MKC and frankly, it's more than enough for most drivers. However, if performance is a priority for you, then the 2.3T engine is a must. The optional engine upgrade gives this Lincoln some serious thrust with responsive torque, big power and tight handling that is composed on back roads but still plenty comfortable on the open highway. The drive modes can change the character of the Corsair with Excite mode making it more, well, exciting, and Normal and Conserve modes making it a bit more tame and efficient on the highway.

Lincoln didn't hold back with tech on the Corsair. Advanced available features like Phone As A Key (which is exactly what it sounds like), massaging seats, wireless charging and an all-digital gauge cluster are just part of what makes it a strong luxury value. Advanced driver assistance tech like intelligent cruise control (which can read speed limit signs and adjust the car's speed accordingly) combined with lane-keeping assist and other tech makes it nearly effortless to drive on the highway. Even heavy highway traffic is a breeze with intelligent cruise control and your massaging seat on.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Cadillac XT4 -- The Corsair's top domestic competition is the XT4, which has a slightly lower starting price and the claimed best-in-class rear legroom. The Corsair and the XT4 are both built in the U.S.

2020 Acura RDX - The RDX has many of the same virtues of the Corsair like strong performance, sharp styling and a high-tech interior. They're also priced similarly.

2020 Infiniti QX50 - The QX50 has a lot to offer with its roomy interior and an impressive blend of performance and fuel efficiency from its clever VC-Turbo engine.

Used Lincoln MKX - If you'd like something a little bigger, a used MKX is a strong value. This midsize crossover is attractively priced on the used market and can get quite luxurious in the higher trims.

Autotrader's Advice

The Lincoln Corsair is better than we ever expected a compact Lincoln SUV to be. Its stylish looks, its luxurious, tech-rich interior and its surprising performance make it a serious competitor at an attractive price. The turbocharged 2-liter engine is adequate for most drivers but the turbocharged 2.3-liter adds a nice performance boost that we think is worth the extra cost for anyone who enjoys driving. The most affordable version of the Reserve trim with the base engine and FWD is a nice sweet spot between value and luxury, but you really can't go wrong, no matter which Corsair you choose. Find a Lincoln Corsair for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2020 Lincoln Corsair Review - Autotrader
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