2020 Lincoln Corsair: Enough Panache to Sway the Import Buyer?
Lincoln’s MKC was a solid effort for the brand’s first foray into the compact premium crossover market, but certain gripes stood out. For this not-broad-of-beam writer, the relatively narrow front chairs didn’t usher in that sense of coddling a buyer demands of a high-end vehicle. In base spec, the 2.0-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder felt slightly labored, and that push-button transmission, with the selector keys mounted high on the center stack, isn’t something a driver grows used to in a hurry.
It looked above-par for its class, however. Kudos to Lincoln’s designers.
For 2020, the MKC nameplate mercifully bites the dust, replaced by an all-new vehicle with an honest-to-goodness name and an extra helping of style.
While yours truly hasn’t had an opportunity to nestle his backside into the pilot’s chair of the new Lincoln Corsair, the brand’s new baby ride is available with 24-way Perfect Position seats featuring a massage function. If there’s any width added to the bottom cushion, this should spell an improvement over the MKC.
If you’re sitting in the back, you’ll notice the rear seats now offer six inches of travel.
Looking very much like its equally new Aviator midsize sibling, the Corsair is Lincoln’s attempt to boost the level of coddling offered up by its entry-level crossover. While the Aviator’s proportions don’t carry over completely, thanks to the Corsair’s front-drive underpinnings, it retains its big brother’s profile and styling cues. Recall that Lincoln canned the old split-wing grille in favor of a Continental-esque opening on the 2019 MKC. That’s the main carryover here, though the full-width taillamps and wide liftgate opening also harken back to the MKC.
The push-button gear selector carries over, too, but the buttons now orient themselves horizontally below the uninterrupted line of vents that serve as the mid-dash line (“center stack” doesn’t apply as much to Corsair, as Lincoln opted for a protruding, iPad-like 8-inch touchscreen placed atop the shelf). Is it an improvement? Hard to say — at least they’re closer to where you’d go to search for a shift lever. Unlike the MKX, the Corsair’s buttons operate an eight-speed automatic, up two cogs from the previous model.
Under the hood, two familiar powerplants stage a reappearance, only with a bit more oomph than before. The 2.0-liter Ecoboost now generates 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, up 5 ponies and foot-pounds, respectively, from the MKC. The more potent 2.3-liter four now boasts 295 hp and 310 lb-ft, up 10 hp and 5 lb-ft. The fact that the Corsair went on a diet, dropping roughly 100 pounds, should aid the model’s fleet-footedness.
If these powertrain options fail to excite, just wait a little. A plug-in hybrid option is expected to arrive later next year, offering buyers a measure of gas-free driving and a 2.5-liter four that has “Ford” written all over it.
Throughout the Corsair, Lincoln sought to create a so-called “sanctuary for the senses.” Luxury means a hushed environment; the Corsair’s dual-wall dashboard tackles that fight, buffering sound from the engine bay, while Active Noise Control counteracts unwanted decibels electronically, via the speakers. Choose the Revel audio system and you’ll find 14 of those noisemakers.
Further insulating Corsair drivers from the realities of life is the model’s rear integral bush suspension, which Lincoln claims does a better job of keeping occupants un-jostled. All-wheel drive can be had with either engine to boost all-weather confidence, and Lincoln Co-Pilot360 comes as standard fare. With this system, drivers can keep the insurance adjuster at bay with Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping, and auto high beams.
You’ll have to fork over a bit extra to gain Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus, which brings to the table adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, evasive steering assist, rear emergency braking, and Active Park Assist Plus. That last feature allows the vehicle to park (or de-park) itself with minimal human assistance.
Conveniences and niceties abound, though some you might have no use for. The automaker’s app-based Phone As A Key feature can be had to avoid the indignity of carrying a key or fob in your pocket. A head-up display is also available for those who like seeing data projected onto the windshield.
On sale this fall, the 2020 Corsair aims to sway buyers from the likes of Lexus’ NX, Acura’s RDX, and Audi’s Q3. Maybe you can add BMW and Mercedes-Benz to the list. Starting at $36,940 after destination for a FWD 2.0L, the Corsair quickly piles on the price, especially if you’re in the mood for the extra cushy Reserve trim and the available options and packages that come with. Who wouldn’t want a Beyond Blue interior?
[Images: Lincoln Motor Company]
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