2020 Lincoln Corsair Review: Surprise and Joy – Roadshow

2020 Lincoln Corsair

2020 Lincoln Corsair

This is a tastefully styled luxury utility vehicle.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Lincoln’s larger SUVs flyer and Navigator have led the advancing renaissance. That means that this compact Corsair has some pretty big tire tracks to fill.

To like

  • Infinite silence
  • Impressive technology
  • Premium cabin
  • Smooth ride

I do not like it

  • Adaptive cruise control could be better
  • Sometimes unruly transmission
  • Steep pricing

The Corsair is much more than just an MKC with a different name. It is completely new. Even if it shares the architecture and key components with Ford's new escape, you'd never know. The styling, features and overall feel are pure Lincoln. The design is tasteful and elegant, without gimmicks or unnecessary visual frills. Like the Navigator and the Aviator, the Corsair recalls Detroit’s glory days when the pistons were the size of coffee pots and American luxury cars were comfortable and quiet.

The Corsair is a compact luxury commercial vehicle, but it offers plenty of cargo space. There is almost 28 cubic feet of space behind the bench in the second row. If you fold the split backrest down, there are only 58 cubes left. It is more spacious in both dimensions than an Audi Q5 or Mercedes-Benz GLC, although it's a little less spacious than either one Infiniti QX50 or BMW X3.

But this little Lincoln not only masters the hauling of cargo, but also the movement of people. The seat in the second row of seats can be moved 6 inches forwards and backwards and offers sufficient legroom.

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If you don't have a family, there is enough space in the back seat of the Corsair to start one.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The Perfect Position bucket seats available at the front are also excellent. They can be set in 24 different ways and are heated and ventilated. But these things are damn more convenient for what they cost. They are only available for the top shelf reserve model and are included in the Reserve II package for $ 11,540. That means you have to pay around $ 57,000 to get a Corsair with these seats. Uff!

Fortunately, this option group includes a number of other kits, from a windshield deicer, a 360-degree camera and an adaptive suspension system to a reconfigurable 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a reverse brake assist, and advanced LED headlights. The adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistant, lane centering, stop-and-go function and traffic sign recognition is also included.

Impressive technology

Unlike many competitors, the Corsair doesn't try to be an electronics store on wheels. Yes, it has a lot of technology, but almost everything is refreshingly easy to use.

For example, the radio and climate controls are a series of physical buttons located on the center stack that are easy to use when you feel alone. The Sync 3 infotainment system is clear and straightforward, with a simple menu structure and quick performance. The available digital instrument cluster could not be easier to leaf through.

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A word that tastefully summarizes the interior of this vehicle is tasteful.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The 8-inch infotainment display is significantly smaller than what you get in an aviator or navigator. It feels a little cramped, but is appropriately sized for the cozy interior of the Corsair.

The Lincoln Co-Pilot 360, the automaker's driver assistance equipment, is standard equipment. It includes things like lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and automatic high beam. For additional cash, you can upgrade to Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 Plus, which gives you adaptive cruise control and other extras. As with its big brother, the Aviator, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra recorded warning sounds for things like an open door or an unbuckled seat belt. Instead of an annoying buzz or beep, you get a few melodious notes, which is an elegant note.

Speaking of music, this half-liter Lincoln features an advanced Revel sound system. The 14 loudspeakers were specially placed and calibrated for the Corsair. It offers an exciting listening experience, even if it is not quite as impressive as the system with 28 speakers available in the Aviator.

The interior of this luxury crossover is calm, comfortable and spacious where it matters, and it is made of beautiful materials. The leather is soft and the plastics are nicely grained. There are three interior colors available. It is blue and white, black and brown and gray with a hint of ebony. Unfortunately, no black label themes are offered. In other Lincoln's, these take luxury to a new level with even finer leather, unique materials and a number of advantages for the owner.

Speeds and feeds

The Corsair has two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with turbocharger and a larger 2.3-liter engine. The smaller of these two offers 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, just what it delivers in the Ford Escape. The luxury class engine delivers 295 hp at 310 lb.-ft. when driving with premium fuel. Both engines are tuned to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter engine has front-wheel or all-wheel drive, but the bigger brother only has four-corner traction.

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An engine is hidden under all the plastic … seriously!

Craig Cole / Roadshow

When equipped with this larger foursome, expect 21 miles per gallon in the city and 28 MPG on freeway journeys. In combination, this arrangement should return 24 mpg.

Lincoln develops a Grand Touring version of the Corsair that offers significantly higher efficiency. Its plug-in hybrid drive delivers an estimated 266 hp with a range of around 40 kilometers. This will be the version to get when fuel consumption is a major concern.

Smooth operation

The acceleration with the 2.3 liter engine is strong. Thanks to the high torque in the lower and middle range, this engine has no problems getting the Corsair to particularly high speeds.

Regardless of whether you are idling in a traffic jam or sprinting when the transmission shifts into the next gear, you will not notice one thing in the Corsair: the sound of the drivetrain. A sophisticated, double-walled dashboard provides additional sound insulation that protects passengers from rude mechanical bats. Active noise cancellation continues to suppress any turmoil that violates these defenses.

This Lincoln's eight-speed automatic transmission may or may not be as relaxed as its cabin. Depending on how the wind blows or how high the dew point is in Barrow, Alaska on a Tuesday, the upshift can be imperceptibly quiet or a bit chunky. This hit-or-miss performance is a bit disappointing, as everything else, including the ride, is refined.

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The Corsair's gear selector is similar to an old school cassette recorder. How cool is that

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Lincoln's Corsair is almost as soft as a duvet. In normal driving mode, bumps and drill holes are easily removed. The compromise for this smoothness is wavy body movements on irregular sidewalks as well as a lot of squats and dives, even when accelerating or braking moderately.

In this mode, the Corsair feels a little disconnected, wonderfully smooth, but a little sloppy. If you click on Excite – Lincoln-speak for sport mode – the optional adaptive suspension system is consolidated. This slightly degrades the ride quality, but offers far better body control, making the vehicle feel like a much more connected package. I recommend keeping this setting to get the best experience possible.

A minor annoyance is the Corsair's braking sensation. The pedal is too sensitive, a little pressure causes the calipers to stick to a soup bone like a hungry Rottweiler. Only a Skosch more pedal travel would make the modulation of these binders considerably easier.

The Corsair is an excellent road trip device that can cover long distances over long distances without tiring its passengers. The available adaptive cruise control certainly helps in this area, although it's not the best. It saws more on the steering wheel than I want and makes constant adjustments to the left and right while driving, which is annoying at best and, in the worst case, causes you to switch off the entire system.

Putting in the Ritz

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Craig Cole / Roadshow

The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is comfortable and high quality, smooth and sophisticated. I like traditional luxury, an approach that is unfortunately a rarity these days. And unfortunately all this goodness comes at a price. My tester rang the checkout here at $ 60,110, including $ 995 in delivery fees. That is the money from BMW and Audi for a brand that is still challenging.

The Corsair is a little hard to recommend for this price, but if you don't choose any options, you can drive home for only 38 giants. This is a much more attractive figure for a vehicle that should still be tempting.