2020 Lincoln Corsair
by John Davis
Ford’s luxury Lincoln brand is on a roll, especially when it comes to utility vehicles. While still based on their parent’s engineering, Lincoln has infused its latest off springs with the kind of unique exterior style, and interior finesse, that rivals offshore brands with a far more established pedigree. Their latest effort is the compact 2020 Corsair crossover.
The Corsair name is new to the Lincoln brand, although not to Ford, and in fact fits on an all-new vehicle. The Corsair replaces the MKC as the smallest offering in Lincoln’s SUV lineup. Like the MKC, it shares a chassis with Ford’s Escape, which is also all-new for 2020.
Standard engine for Corsair is the Escape’s optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4 rated at 250-horsepower. Optional, is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost which most people associate with the Mustang. However, it was actually Lincoln that use it first in the MKC. Output now sits at 295-horsepower. Both engines sport a new 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is standard with the 2.3-liter, optional with the 2.0. Coming this summer is a Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid model with an all-electric range of about 25-miles.
In this new era of Lincoln, small and entry-level doesn’t mean de-contented. The list of standard features is quite lengthy including heated front seats, power lift gate, and remote start. Interior materials are quite nice, as the interior has little resemblance to the Escape. Lincoln calls it a sanctuary for the senses.
The Corsair is also very comfortable in all seating positions. The dash is low, which aids visibility all around; but that also means the infotainment screen rests on top; one thing it does share with Escape.
Plenty of technology filters down from larger Lincoln’s such as the available 12.3-inch full LED gauge panel, piano key-like gear selectors, 14-speaker Revel audio, and Co-Pilot 360 safety.
Corsair’s rear seat leg room is quite good for this class with 6-inches of seat travel. There is plenty of space for gear behind the seat at 27.6 cubic-ft., expanding to 57.6 with the seatbacks folded.
Our first drive opportunity saw us charging about the rolling hills around San Francisco. Power from the 2.3-liter is plentiful, and it is delivered quite smoothly; having a much different feel from the Mustang. The base 2.0-liter is certainly adequate, but the upgrade is worth the money.
Between all of the sound deadening and active noise cancelation, you won’t hear a whole lot of grumbling coming from either engine. Same basic suspension design as the Escape up front; yet it, as well as steering response, are tuned specifically for Lincoln customers. Read that a bit softer yet also more sophisticated than its Ford relative.
Standing still, and from all angles, the Corsair looks quite regal. Where the Ford Escape appears like a taller hatchback, the Corsair comes off as a smaller version of larger Lincoln SUVs, which is a very good thing.
For our complete road test of the 2020 Toyota Highlander, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3927 that begins airing March 6, 2020. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings and throughout the week on the MotorTrend cable network.
The tough thing for small luxury utilities to overcome, is that unless you really want to be pampered, you can buy a lot more vehicle for less money if you look to the midsize mass market brands, like Ford. So, luxury compacts must be really special to appeal to more than just brand loyalists. The 2020 Lincoln Corsair looks like the kind of upscale crossover that can do just that.