2020 Lincoln Corsair Review
  • Car Review

2020 Lincoln Corsair Review

By Autolist Staff | July 1, 2020

Pros

  • Reasonable pricing
  • Generous standard features
  • Quiet and comfortable ride

Cons

  • Some materials’ quality is less than premium
  • Expensive options packages
  • Tight back seat

Overview:

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The Lincoln Corsair is an all-new crossover for the 2020 model year. It replaces the outgoing MKC model in the Lincoln lineup, and is based on the new Ford Escape platform.

The Corsair is aimed at new car buyers that want a compact luxury SUV at a reasonable price. Competition in the segment is strong, and includes the Acura RDX, Cadillac XT4, Lexus NX, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. The Corsair fits into the Lincoln lineup below the Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator in price.

As an all-new model, the Corsair does not carryover features from the previous model. The model line includes a choice of two powertrains: A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that makes 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, and a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four that makes 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

A hybrid option is due out this year.

Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. All Corsair models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Lincoln’s focus with the Corsair is on the feeling of luxury, which means that the engine and ride have been tuned to stay out of the way, rather than standing out. The Corsair is pleasantly surprising in how well it remains composed, quiet, and smooth in nearly all condition. That attention to the experience makes the Corsair one of the quietest and most isolating vehicles in its class.


More Photos

See more 2020 Lincoln Corsair photos here.


Exterior

TL;DR The 2020 Lincoln Corsair features updated styling that is more refined and modern than the outgoing MKC crossover it replaces.

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The Corsair is lower, wider, and longer than the MKC, which results in a gain of 2.5 inches in rear legroom. The Corsair deserves praise for its “grown-up” styling and simple lines; its style mirrors that of larger, more expensive vehicles in the Lincoln product line.

Where the MKC was rounded and smooth up front, the Corsair is more upright and has a more muscular profile, thanks to its square grille. The Corsair’s LED lighting and design are high-end features that give the vehicle an upscale appearance overall.


Interior Quality and Comfort

TL;DR Despite being larger than its predecessor, the Corsair is still short on head and legroom where it counts.

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The Corsair’s interior is finished in 10-way power, heated front seats with power lumbar support, and features a “Lincoln Soft Touch” material as its standard upholstery option. Leather upholstery is optional.

Various options packages are available that include ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic moonroof, and more.

Fit and finish on the Corsair is generally great, though some of the plastics and other surfaces can feel cheap in places. Despite that, the Corsair’s cabin feels spacious, and the seats are supremely comfortable. The Corsair’s back seats fold down in a 60/40 configuration, and can slide up to six inches forward and back.

Even after stretching the Corsair’s profile, making it longer than the MKC, the back seat can feel cramped and it may be too tight for taller adults. Adding the optional panoramic moonroof cramps the experience even further. The sliding rear seats open up more legroom, but the additional 2.5 inches don’t add up to a comfortable ride for full-size adults.

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Lincoln’s focus on isolation and luxury is apparent in the Corsair; all but the worst of exterior road and wind noise make their way into the cabin. The 10-way power seats are easily adjustable to suit all body types comfortably.

The Corsair features an eight-inch touchscreen that is mounted in a floating configuration high on the dash, and all other physical controls are mounted on a glossy black panel below the screen. We liked the bright and highly visible display, but noted that the “piano-key” control buttons below it took some getting used to.


Utility & Practicality

TL;DR The Corsair has more cargo space than some of its rivals and a generous list of standard features

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Behind the reclining rear seats, there is 27.6 fcubic feet of cargo space, which falls between the Lexus RX and Acura RDX’s measurements. With the back seat folded down, the space opens up to 57.6 cubic feet, which is slightly above the average for the class.

The Corsair’s standard power liftgate is a nice touch, as is the ease of use offered by the optional hands-free liftgate and power-folding rear seat.

The large cargo space has underfloor storage works well for small items and tools, while the power-folding rear seats help load and unload the cargo area conveniently. The Lincoln’s cabin is also full of small-item storage and clever cubbies, noting that there is plenty of space for smartphones, purses, and other frequently-used items.


Technology & Infotainment

TL;DR The 2020 Lincoln Corsair has a generous level of technology and comes with many advanced features

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The Corsair’s standard technology features include proximity keyless entry, remote start, dual-zone climate controls, and an eight-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system runs Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and comes with two USB ports, satellite radio, ten speakers, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The stereo can be upgraded to a 14-speaker Revel premium audio system and the gauge cluster can be upgraded to a 12.3-inch digital display.

The recently-updated SYNC 3 infotainment system is much improved over its predeccessors and is shared by Lincoln in a wide variety of Ford models too. The system is clean and colorful, and that menus are easy to use. Some may fault the screen's size, finding it too small for a luxury vehicle, but others will find the high mounting point makes it easy to see.

The Lincoln Corsair, like many Ford vehicles, comes with a MyKey feature, which allows owners to set limitations on how far the vehicle can be driven, monitor its location, and set other restrictions for teen drivers and valets. Lincoln also offers an optional feature called Phone As a Key, which allows owners to lock, unlock, and remotely start the vehicle from a smartphone.


Safety & Driving Assistance

TL; DR The Corsair is packed with advanced safety tech as standard equipment and can be optioned with several other additional features

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Every Corsair comes standard with Lincoln Co-Pilot360, which includes a lane keeping system, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and post-collision braking. The Lincoln Co-Pilot360+ package is optional, which adds active parking assist. A head-up display and a 360-degree camera are also available.

We also liked the long list of standard safety features and advanced technologies. Some have compared the Corsair’s safety features to those of vehicles like Tesla, who are known for their cameras and driver assistance systems. The Lincoln’s alerts are easily understood and don’t interfere with everyday driving situation; even when alerts are needed, they are not frightening or confusing.

The Corsair’s safety equipment and configuration was good enough for the crossover to earn a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS and five stars from the NHTSA. In IIHS crash tests, the Corsair was given “Good” ratings for crashworthiness in all categories. The Corsair’s headlights were given an “Acceptable” or “Poor” rating, depending on the options packages. Crash prevention was given a “Superior” rating with the crossover’s standard equipment.


Driving Experience

The Lincoln Corsair’s driving experience is smooth and compliant, but feels disconnected and sterile.

The Corsair is currently available with two engine choices: A 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque and a 2.3-liter inline-four that makes 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed transmission. The smaller engine comes standard with front-wheel drive, while the larger engine comes standard with all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional for the base engine.

Both engines are good enough to push the Corsair from 0-60 mph in around six seconds of quiet, effortless acceleration. The Corsair’s suspension is good enough to soak up almost all of the imperfections and bumps on most road surfaces, though the experience can sometimes feel disconnected. The Lincoln’s cabin isolates the road so well that it removes some of the feedback that the driver gets from steering and braking inputs.


Fuel efficiency

TL;DR The Lincoln Corsair has solid fuel economy ratings that are very competitive in its segment

The Corsair equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo engine and front wheel drive is EPA-rated at 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined, and with all-wheel drive it’s rated at 21/29/24 mpg. When equipped with the larger 2.3-liter engine and all-wheel drive, the Corsair gets 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. The larger engine’s ratings are better than the outgoing MKC’s numbers by about 4mpg, while front-wheel drive models with the smaller engine are 2 mpg better.

The Corsair gets extra points for its efficient and powerful optional engine, though that extra power sometimes reduces fuel economy in other vehicles.


Trim levels & Pricing

TL;DR The 2020 Corsair has a reasonable starting price, but the MSRP grows quickly with options

The 2020 Lincoln Corsair Standard starts at $36,940, which includes the $995 destination charge. Standard features include a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, front-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, active noise control, heated sideview mirrors, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, heated seats, hill start assist, push-button start, LED headlights and running lights, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, blind spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keep assist, a push-button shifter, SiriusXM radio with a six-month trial, rear privacy glass, remote start, a proximity alarm, selectable drive modes, sliding second-row seats, and a reverse sensor system.

All-wheel drive versions start at $39,140 after destination.

The Corsair Reserve starts at $43,625 ($45,825 with AWD), and comes with genuine wood interior trim, Bridge of Weir leather-trimmed seats, a Wollsdorf leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, illuminated door sill pates, a particulate air filtration system, a 6.5-inch color instrument cluster display, driver profiles, a cargo management system, navigation, two smart charging USB ports, voice controls, and access to both Lincoln Connect and the Lincoln Way app.

Several options and packages are available, which include a Revel Audio 14-speaker sound system, a panoramic moonroof, Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus with active park assist, 24-way power seats with massage, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a head-up display, and various appearance packages.


Value

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The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is more refined and more comfortable than many of its competitors, but the addition of a few options drives the price tag up very quickly. At the higher end of the Corsair lineup, the pricing bumps into competition like the BMW X3, the Audi Q5, and other models from high-end luxury brands.

Despite the Corsair's reasonable starting price, the base model might feel a little light on options. The popular choice tends to be the Reserve trim, which brings most of the convenience, tech, and comfort upgrades without going all the way up in price. In any trim, the Lincoln Corsair's price and standard features should be enough to attract anyone shopping for luxury crossovers.

Though it’s a completely new luxury crossover model, the Corsair is likely to maintain the reliability levels of its predecessor. The Ford Escape, upon which the Corsair is based, is also a brand new model, but both engines in the Lincoln’s lineup are battle-tested, and the underlying technologies in Lincoln Co-Pilot360 are not new to the company’s vehicles.


More Photos

See more 2020 Lincoln Corsair photos here.