By on October 4, 2019

Image: Lincoln

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.

Image: Lincoln

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.

Image: Lincoln

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.

Image: Lincoln

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.

Image: Lincoln

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.

Image: Lincoln

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?

Image: Lincoln

[Images: Lincoln Motor Company]

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38 Comments on “2020 Lincoln Corsair: Enough Panache to Sway the Import Buyer?...”


  • avatar
    ravenuer

    What exactly is “rear integral bush suspension”?

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I don’t know, but it sounds like it was written by someone who’s not a native English speaker. Like instructions that come with something really cheap that’s made in China.

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        > I don’t know, but it sounds like it was written by someone who’s not a native English speaker.

        More like Euro-speak. They call suspension bushings “bushes” over there. So in proper American English it should be “integral bushing suspension.” Reveals the German origin of this car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      According to automobilemag,

      https://www.automobilemag.com/news/2020-lincoln-corsair-in-depth-photos-details-design/

      “essentially a three-link setup with toe, camber, and control arms”

      It looks like a three link IRS where toe is not adjustable. Hmmm…

      • 0 avatar
        notapreppie

        Looking at the press infographicvidjayo…
        https://media.lincoln.com/content/lincolnmedia/lna/us/en/permalink.html?VideoId=6026764375001

        It looks like a modified MacStrut setup.
        The toe link is the upper front arm. Camber could be handled by the upper or lower rear links.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Last time I was in a car with two women in the front seat and two males in the back seat I was probably twelve years old. Lincoln is not the brand for me, communicated in a video about a rear suspension that explained almost nothing about the suspension. Well done, Ford!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Hooray, another luxury crossover. Zzzzzzzzz…

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    This CUV has me thinking – what makes a vehicle “disposable”? Maybe it’s just the vintage car guy in me but a 1978 smog-era Corvette has more appeal to me than a CUV like this. (however a 1996 Mustang 3.8L or even the GT doesn’t have any appeal).

    When I’m an old(er) man I wonder how many of these crossovers of present and past will be considered classics? Will there be car shows where we ride in our self-driving electric blob-mobiles to see vintage CUVs?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Probably very few. But then again, most cars of the past aren’t really considered desirable classics these days. Everyone knows about the ’57 Chevy Bel Air and Nomad, but nobody gives a crap about all of the ’57 150s, Two-Tens, Townsmans, and Beauvilles which were used up and disposed of before they were 10 years old.

      it’s always been that way. Notable/special models get looked after, but everything else was disposable. Everyone loves GTXs and Roadrunners. Nobody cares about the thousands of Belvederes and Satellites which were sent to the scrap heap. People keep Fox body Mustangs going, but for every one being lovingly maintained today tens of thousands of (platform-mate) Fairmonts, Zephyrs, LTDs, Marquises, Cougars, and Thunderbirds were scrapped long ago.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      The formula for “classic” will never change. “Classics” must either have drop dead gorgeous and unique design, contain quantum-leap innovations, or offer exceptionally high performance. While Corsair appears to be a competitive product in its market segment, it does not appear to qualify in any of the potential “Classic” categories.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      In 30-years, a Corsair found untouched in a barn with 72K original miles will be as desirable as a 1969 Plymouth Satellite… sedan. Amazing what 2 fewer doors can do for a car’s future value.

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    You know, if I had too much money – which never happens – and was in the market for this kind of vehicle – which I never am – I’d shop it.

  • avatar

    Ford only sells 100,000 Lincolns a year. Who is buying these vehicles?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      People.

      That is, people who don’t spend their time bickering on car blogs.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Let’s say Lincoln has 800 stores. 100,000/800 ~ 125 sales per dealer per year on average (a little over 2 per week).

      You know the southeast Michigan stores (and other Ford employee havens) sell more.

      Who is buying Lincoln vehicles? (Ranked descending by guesstimate)
      – Ford employees who want to drive ‘luxury’ (Ford has ~85,000 employees in the U.S.)
      – Ford employee friends and family
      – Ford retirees (also roughly 85,000 based on 1:1 active:retiree ratio)
      – Dealer employees, dealer friends and family
      – People who know the dealer/the dealer buys from their business
      – People who know the salesperson
      – People turning in a Lincoln who haven’t shopped other brands
      – Fans of Matthew McConaughey
      – Confused conquest sales

      Not sure where fleet fits in.

    • 0 avatar

      I also wonder “Who buys those 400,000 Toyota Camrys each year which are such a boredom on wheels. Every time I am offered rental Camry I ask for replacement, any replacement even if it is Kia Rio – it actually happened to me last time I rented car in Houston – She:”Good news – we can give you Camry for no additional cost” – I’m:”No thank you, I ordered standard size sedan” (Camry is considered full size sedan).

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice grille/front end.

    Nice interior although Ipad dash hurts it instead of helping. I hope it retracts somehow.

    The slightly slooping roof profile makes it look cheap.

    There should only be one engine OR AWD should be standard (probably easier to certify/offer one engine in two configurations). I get the offer the weak sauce engine standard to get you into the 2.3, but you are not zee Germans and at 37K without AWD (or likely 40K+ with) for what is in reality an upscale Escape you can spring for the good motor as standard.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      A 2.7L AWD Nautilus starts at $49.5K. a 2.3L AWD Corsair starts at $51K so there does seem to be some crowding.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Is the Nautilus the new name for the MKX? I was just getting used to MK-everything, and they’ve gone and changed it again.

        Maybe it’s easier to just refer to the them by their Ford equivalents. Nautilus = Lincoln Edge?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “a 2.3L AWD Corsair starts at $51K”

        Ummm….. what? There is a *ten thousand dollar* penalty to move up to the 2.3T motor?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          yes, because the 2.3 is bundled with AWD *and* is locked to the “Reserve” trim.

          I don’t see the problem. They’re just doing the same thing Honda and Toyota have done since forever.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the info. The problem is the overall attitude of why be exceptional when we can just blend in?

            I can spend 15K less for an AWD Escape Titanium, before incentives. A slightly better motor, styling, and cheap things like added soundproofing do not make me want to spend that amount extra.

            https://www.cars.com/research/ford-escape-2019/trims/

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            like I said above, the people who buy these things by and large aren’t spending any time arguing about them on car blogs.

      • 0 avatar

        Nautilus looks dated compared with Corsair. Because it is MKX with new grill.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      The iPad doesn’t make sense on this one. It isn’t above the dash but in front of parts and not integrated so it takes all the disadvantages of both the integrated and the posted on top screens.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Love these names.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    They continue to ape Audi’s clamshell liftgate, but other than that, this looks distinctly Lincoln. I think, if they price it right, build it right, and get their dealership experience in check, it could ascend straight into the upper echelon of compact luxury crossovers.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Kyree, I like your optimism. It would be great if Ford got it’s act together. Their designers did a great job, but what is wrong with this company that allows this to happen on what they acknowledge is a critical product….

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/09/as-ford-grapples-with-explorer-and-aviator-issues-one-reader-doesnt-like-what-he-discovered/

      There is no excuse for the quality issues Ford and Lincoln have. And they want a price premium? C’mon.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Here’s hoping the vehicles look as good up close as opposed to just pictures. I haven’t seen a Ford with a decent paint job (sans orange peel) in a long time. Maybe acceptable in a Ford, not at Lincoln prices.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        It’s not acceptable in a Ford, either. Ford has gotten rid of its entry-level vehicles and jacked up the prices on what remains, offering better-on-paper vehicles than before. Still, when someone is considering $60K on an Explorer ST, they’re not going to be too impressed with orange peel in the paint…when a much-cheaper Atlas, Enclave, CX-9, Palisade or Telluride wouldn’t have it. Let alone the new or gently-used X5, XC90, GLE-Class or Q7 that is also within reach at that price point.

        FoMoCo has some really competitive promising stuff, but they need to step up the build quality. I don’t understand why there are issues with the Aviator and Explorer, but they should have absolutely made sure culprit vehicles didn’t reach the lot and customers garages. Now, all of the PR on both products is going to be about how awfully they’re built.

        I have also personally noticed many examples of the Expedition, Nautilus and Continental with crooked doors and trim, and none of those is a “cheap” option.

        I hope they get this sorted.

      • 0 avatar

        I had couple of Fords last 5 years and did not see any problems with paint or alignment. I think you guys are making up stuff just because of conformation bias. Kia and Hyudai have a better quality? Give me a break. I am sure they are buying from lowest bid suppliers. And their interiors do not look premium at all – one of the reasons they never end up in my shopping list.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I know some Ford guys who would love to give it a go. Otherwise it’s mostly a matter of status vs monthly lease payment.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Will the quality be complete garbage like other Lincolns?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Kyree agree and I have noticed the same. I would rather have no trim than have misaligned trim but seeing that trim I have questions about the overall quality of Ford products which the recent defects on Lincolns have have proved my concerns to be correct.

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