AUTO REVIEW: 2020 Lincoln Corsair SUV’s New Looks and Tech Make It Real Small Luxury Contender

CARMEL, Calif. (Detroit Free Press/TNS) -
Lincoln Corsair
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair (Lincoln/TNS)

Sleek and loaded with advanced features, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair five-passenger SUV gives Ford’s luxury brand a vehicle that can compete with compact and subcompact luxury SUVs like the Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X3 and Cadillac XT4.

The Corsair replaces the MKC, which was 1.4 inches less long and 1.1 inch less tall than the new SUV. Despite having more room and features than the old vehicle, the Corsair weighs 100 pounds less than a 2019 MKC.

The Corsair is loaded with technology, including several features it shares with Lincoln’s bigger and more expensive Aviator SUV, which went on sale recently. The Corsair is based on the same architecture as the Ford Escape compact SUV. The vehicles are built in the same plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

Inside and out, the Corsair looks nothing like the Escape. Virtually every part you see or touch is unique to the Lincoln. Other differences from the less expensive Ford include a more powerful optional engine, unique rear suspension for a smoother ride and acoustic insulation for a quiet interior.

The Corsair looks bigger than it is, thanks to its long hood and roof and relatively low height.

Lincoln’s designers lowered the beltline — where the windows meet the doors and fenders — about 1.1 inches to improve visibility.

Lincoln Corsair
(Lincoln/TNS)

Lincoln expects Corsair sales to begin this fall.

What’s new?

A 250-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged engine is standard equipment. It’s available with either front- or all-wheel drive. A 2.3L turbo that produces 295 hp and is available only with all-wheel drive is an $1,140 option. All Corsairs get an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A plug-in hybrid will be available in 2020. There’s no word yet on its power, fuel economy or price.

Corsair prices start at $35,945 for a base front-wheel-drive model. The tab escalates quickly as you add features like the bigger engine, automatic parking and a feature that lets a smartphone replace your key fob.

I tested a loaded 2.3L Corsair Reserve that stickered at $57,970. All prices exclude destination charges.

Leading Features

—Adaptive cruise control with speed limit sign recognition

—Smooth lane centering that’s much less annoying than the intrusive lane-departure alert some companies offer.

—14-speaker Revel audio

—24-way adjustable, massaging leather front seats.

—Phone as a key

—Automatic emergency front and rear braking

—Automatic high beams

—Wood trim

—Wireless charging

—20-inch aluminum wheels

—Head-up display

—60/40 split folding rear seat

—Automatic parking for parallel parking and backing into perpendicular spaces

—“Seatbelt,” “door open” and other alerts using sounds recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Quiet on the Road, With Powerful Optional Engine

I spent a long day driving the 2020 Corsair in conditions ranging from congested downtown San Francisco to twisting hilltop roads and fast highways.

The 2.3L turbo provides more than enough power for zipping around curves, jaunts around town and high speed cruising.

The Corsair was quiet and comfortable on a long drive. The suspension absorbed bumps and kept the vehicle level and stable in quick maneuvers.

The interior is luxurious and quiet. Lincoln uses real leather, wood and aluminum trim so its vehicles look and feel exclusive.

The optional 24-way power seats include several massage settings that will come in handy on long drives.

Lincoln Corsair
(Lincoln/TNS)

Lincoln’s combination of buttons and dials for some features with touch screen and voice recognition is simple and easy to use.

Lincoln projects a head-up display onto the windshield in front of the driver. The optional color display can include information about cruise control settings, speed limit, navigation and more.

What Lincoln calls “intelligent” adaptive cruise control adjusts the Corsair’s speed to match changing speed limit signs, and allows the driver to program their preferred number of miles an hour above or below the posted limit.

The front seat is roomy and has plenty of storage space. A rear seat that slides 6 inches fore and aft can be adjusted for maximum passenger comfort or cargo space

Notable Exterior Features

—Long nose and roofline create impression of a larger vehicle

—Deep S-curve stamped into outer door panels

—Full-width LED taillights

— “Clamshell” tailgate that warps around the SUV’s rear corners

—A dual-wall dash for sound insulation

—Active noise cancellation

—Tires designed to reduce “rumble” and “ring” road noise

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2020 Lincoln Corsair SUV at a glance

Base price: $35,945 (excluding destination charges)

Compact five-passenger SUV

Front or all-wheel drive

Assembled in Louisville, Ky.

Three power sources:

—250-hp, 280 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0L four-cylinder turbo

—295-hp, 310 pound-feet, 2.3L four-cylinder turbo

—Plug-in hybrid coming in 2020

Eight-speed automatic transmission

EPA fuel economy ratings:

FWD: 22 mpg city/29 highway/25 combined

AWD: 2.0L 21/29/24

AWD: 2.3L 21/28/24

Dimensions

Wheelbase: 106.7 inches

Length: 180.6 inches

Width: 76.2 inches

Height: 64.1 inches

Base curb weight: 3,742 pounds 2.0L front-wheel drive to 3,848 pounds 2.3L AWD

Towing capacity: 3,000 pounds