The 2020 Lincoln Corsair makes for a handsome new entry in the compact SUV market and a nice bookend to the Lincoln brand’s rejuvenation. Not so long ago, Lincoln was pretty much left for dead due to a dated model range that lacked the performance and refinement found in luxury rivals. Little by little, thanks to updated and all-new offerings like the Navigator and Aviator SUVs, the brand has once again found its footing.
The Corsair needs to keep up this positive trajectory, seeing as how it’s pitted against strong competitors like the Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. How did it stack up during our recent test drive? Well, if you want our full impressions then be sure to read our entire review, which you can find via the related link above. For anyone who doesn’t mind spoilers, we’ve compiled a quick-reference list of the best and worst attributes of Lincoln’s newest SUV. The good news for Lincoln — and SUV shoppers in general — is that accolades for the Corsair greatly exceed its demerits.
Here are eight things we like, and three we don’t, about the 2020 Lincoln Corsair:
Things We Like
1. Smooth Sailing
As we pointed out in our review, the name Corsair itself references a pirate ship. And yes, we had pirate puns aplenty! Continuing with this nautical theme, the Corsair is a smooth-sailing machine and deserves credit for having an incredibly well-controlled ride. While it’s based on the Ford Escape, the Lincoln team endowed the Corsair with a more complex (and, as it were, pricier) suspension, particularly at the rear of the SUV. Smart move, Lincoln.
2. Hushed Cabin
A luxury SUV isn’t going to win many fans if you hafta shout at your passengers to be heard over the roar of the road. In the Corsair, there’s no need to raise your voice — unless you wanna yell, like, “Avast, ye scurvy seadogs!” at your wretched, bedraggled crew … er, kids. The powertrain is nicely muted, while wind and tire noise are minimal.
3. Classy Cabin
Lincoln has made a point to give its cabins the materials and richness of detail that luxury buyers demand. That’s true with the Corsair, too. While it’s Lincoln’s smallest SUV, the brand didn’t cut corners when it came to classy trim, premium plastics and plenty of soft-touch surfaces.
4. Plenty o’ Power
There’s a choice of two engines in the Corsair, and both provide more than enough power and performance. The base engine is a 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s up to any driving reasonable task. Even more entertaining is the 295-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Not only does the latter pack more ponies, but this upgraded turbo-four provides a stout 310 pounds-feet of torque.
5. Comfort Not Compromised
Have you noticed how many new cars and SUVs look slinky and seductive, but their bold designs take a big chunk out of outward visibility? Not so in the Corsair, which has large windows that help create an airy interior. Even better, there’s plenty of space for occupants in the front and second-row seats. In fact, the backseat can slide forward and back by up to 6 inches, letting you prioritize a few extra cubic inches for bulky packages or legroom for lanky people.
6. Safety Features
Standard safety equipment on the Corsair includes forward emergency braking, front collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, blind spot monitors and automatic high beams. Our test vehicle was also fitted with options like adaptive cruise control with speed-limit sign recognition (more on this later) and evasive steering assist.
7. Easy-to-Use Infotainment
The 8-inch touchscreen used in the Corsair is simple to use and easy to navigate, without distracting the driver from, y’know, driving. Tech fans will be happy to know that both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard on every Corsair.
8. Goodbye Confusing Names
Maybe it’s somewhat superficial, but we’re more than happy to see Lincoln’s clunky and meaningless model-classifying convention walk the proverbial plank. As the replacement for the MKC, the Corsair not only represents a new SUV, it banishes the last of Lincoln’s silly names to Davy Jones’ locker.
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- How Do Car Seats Fit in a 2020 Lincoln Corsair?
Things We Don’t
1. Slow-Rowing Transmission
The eight-speed automatic transmission used in the Corsair seems to have trouble keeping step with either of the two available engines. There is a noticeable disconnect between the two powertrain components, as the gearbox suffers from a lazy response when you punch the gas pedal. It’s not a deal-breaker, though it needs some fine-tuning.
2. Adaptive Cruise Control Adapts Too Quickly
Whoa there, big fella! While the adaptive cruise control is capable of automatically adjusting its speed when it detects a road sign, the results aren’t always what you expect. Our test vehicle suddenly accelerated when it somehow detected the speed limit was 85 mph. Point of clarification: It wasn’t! We’re grateful we didn’t wind up having to explain that one to a highway patrol officer.
3. Screen Could Be a Touch Bigger
OK, our final tweak would be the inclusion of the larger Lincoln touchscreen in the Corsair. The 8-inch unit works fine and looks good, except the larger 10-incher you find in the Aviator is a smidge more user-friendly thanks to its bigger size.
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