What happens when the Ford/Lincoln designers forget that they don’t work for BMW/Mercedes? They create vehicles like the 2020 Lincoln Corsair. I’m serious – this Corsair feels and drives just like a BMW/Mercedes. Remove the badges and no one would be able to tell the difference on the inside – especially if you blindfolded them and sat them in the front seats. Ford have really stepped up their game with the Lincoln lineup. No longer is it just a tiny bit more luxurious than the Ford equivalent – it’s a completely different vehicle! They share the platform, but that’s it – everything else is luxury dialed up to 11, but DO NOT call it a grandpa’s Lincoln with thoughts of floaty suspension and overly boosted power steering – those days are thankfully long gone.
What Is It?
- Mid-size SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) – based on the same platform as the Escape, but so different they might as well be from different manufacturers
- Two available models: Standard and Reserve
- A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version will be available later this year with an electric-only range of about 40 kms and an estimated 266 hp
- Base/standard engine is Turbocharged 2.0L I-4 Engine, 6-Speed SelectShift (paddle shift) Auto Transmission producing 250 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque
- Test vehicle is the Corsair Reserve with the optional Turbocharged 2.3L I-4 Engine, producing 295 hp / 310 lb.-ft. of torque
- 8-Speed SelectShift (paddle shift) Auto Transmission
- Drive Modes – choose from Normal, Excite (aka sport mode), Conserve, Slippery and Deep (Sand/Snow)
- Lincoln Co-Pilot + Co-Pilot360 Plus (see below) comes standard
- Digital Head-Up Display (+ $1,500) – projects standard driver information on the windshield. The display is viewable in virtually all lighting conditions and can be read while wearing polarized sunglasses. You can customize the data that it displays. This is a very good one, but I think Head-Up should be standard on ALL vehicles
Lincoln Co-Pilot – a suite of five driver-assistance features comes standard. Features include Blind Spot Detection with Cross-Traffic Alert; Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking; Lane-Keeping System; Rear View Camera and Auto High-Beam Headlamps
Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus includes a 360-Degree Camera; Active Park Assist Plus; Evasive Steering Assist; Reverse Brake Assist; Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist (which includes Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering as well as Speed Sign Recognition).
How Does It Look?
- The Lincoln Corsair is waaaay better looking than its step-sister, the Escape
- From the side it looks longer – especially in the cargo area, but they’re identical
- The size is just about perfect – not too big, not too small
- The optional 20” rims are very attractive
- There’s just enough chrome on the vehicle to give it a classy look without being tacky
What’s It Like Inside?
- Gorgeous! I had no idea the Corsair was this luxurious – I was expecting a bit of an upgrade, but not this much!
- The two-tone interior (Ebony/Cashew) looks expensive and is very tastefully done (there’s an optional blue interior I’d like to see in the flesh)
- I love the centre dash it’s completely different from the Escape and much better too
- Finding the shifter for the first time was quite an episode. I thought I’d lost my mind… how could I not see it? Maybe it’s on the column? Nope – that’s the terrain management button… ah, there it is!!
- It’s been a while since I’ve been in a Lincoln – the push-button transmission selector is a bit weird at first, but you adapt to it quickly and it comes second nature in no time
- The Perfect Position (24-Way) Power Driver and Passenger Seats with Heating And Ventilation; Power Thigh Extenders; Five Massage Settings And Three Intensity Levels; Power Lumbar, 3- Person Memory and Four-Way Head Restraints are extremely comfortable (they are similar to the Continentals, but I think they feel better) – the adjustments didn’t work on the driver’s side (I think it was just a software glitch or missing update), my wife got to enjoy her seat however
- 3-Person Driver’s Seat & Mirror Memory
- I really like the shape of the outside mirrors – you don’t realize how much more you can see just by changing the shape from rectangular!
- Revel® Audio System with 13 speakers + subwoofer, a 12-channel amplifier and QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology comes standard on the Reserve Series – sound is incredible
- Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System
- Sync3 infotainment system plus Waze on the dash screen along with Android Auto and Apple Play
- Panoramic Vista Roof with Power Sunshade
- Abundance of legroom for rear passengers – virtually flat floor, plus the seatbacks recline
- Cargo space is 27.6 cu.ft. (782 L) or with rear seatbacks folded flat, it gives 58 cu.ft. (1,642 L) of total space – less than the Escape!
- SYNC3 AppLink, links your favorite compatible mobile apps with your voice
- Android Auto – displays the Android interface on your vehicle’s touchscreen. Get voice-guided navigation from Google Maps and Waze
- iPhone – Apple CarPlay – displays the iPhone interface on your vehicle’s touchscreen. Send and receive text messages by voice and get directions via Waze
- Amazon Alexa users can enjoy their Amazon Echo with the Ford+Alexa app
- MyKey technology
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- It’s pretty quick – I wasn’t expecting it when I jumped behind the wheel for the first time – after all it’s a Lincoln, right?
- The 2.3L Twin-Scroll EcoBoost engine is a treat to drive with virtually no turbo lag – in fact it almost feels like it just wants to GO whenever you barely touch the gas pedal
- Clicking it over to Excite (sport mode) noticeably firms up the optional adaptive suspension system – it feels very planted – more like a sports car than an SUV, I really didn’t expect to have so much fun! The Corsair felt a lot more responsive in the steering, suspension and the throttle – therefore a LOT more enjoyable to drive, you can have a bit of fun but it punishes you a little in the L/100 kms department. I went from 8.1 to 11.9.
- Unfortunately, you have to select your drive mode every time you return to the vehicle! Talk about annoying – why can’t it just lock into the mode you want?
- Switching to “Conserve” or econo-mode, the gas pedal was considerably less responsive – somewhat lazy around town, but perfectly suited to highway driving where performance isn’t quite necessary. On the highway for extended periods it actually adds more kilometres to your tank as you drive! (see below)
- Very quiet and hushed interior – as you’d expect
- Steering input is very good – heavy enough to give you good feedback, but light enough that parking etc. is easy
- Brakes are superb, but sometimes a bit grabby, making it feel like you’ve never driven a car before!
- Maximum Towing Capacity – 1,361 kg (3,000 lbs) with Class II Trailer Tow Package ($800)
Horsepower: 295 @ 5,550 rpm
Torque: 310 @ 3,000 rpm
Top Speed: 209 km/h / 130 mph (estimate)
0-60 mph (sec): 6.0
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair (Standard) price: $41,337 / (Reserve) Price: $46,365
As Tested: $65,975
Equipment Group 202A: $11,350 (details below ⇩, after Verdict) / Head-Up Display: $1,500 / Reserve Appearance Pkg: $1,600 (20” Premium Painted Wheels & Body Trim) / Burgundy Velvet paint $850
- Rated at (L/100 km): City -11.1 / Highway – 8.1
- I averaged 8.1 L/100 km being fairly conservative with the gas pedal on the highway. Around town it averaged 10.3 L/100 km
- Using the Econo mode “Conserve” I got an impressive 7.4 L/100 km driving around 115 km/hr. the added bonus of conserve during one trip is that you actually add more kilometres of distance to empty. I filled it up and had 576 km to empty. Got to my destination (65 kms) and had 595 km to empty left in the tank!!
- Around town it averaged 10.3 L/100 km
- Auto Start-Stop is a nice bonus for city/town driving, but it often doesn’t work while the A/C is on – my wife tells me this is for passenger comfort – and similarly in the cold auto stop/star may also not engage in order to keep the cabin temps stable
- Basic: 4 years/80,000 km
- Powertrain: 6 years/110,000 km
- Roadside Assistance + Travel Planning
The Lincoln Way app. / Lincoln Service Valet
- Allows you to remotely lock and unlock your vehicle, start your vehicle, remote start your vehicle on a schedule, and operate the climate control system using your smartphone or iPhone
- Features a Lincoln Concierge that can help you find and pre-pay for parking in select cities among other things
- Additionally, you can locate your vehicle, check for recalls, call roadside assistance and check approximate fuel range.
- When it’s time for service, you can simply schedule a Lincoln Pickup & Delivery appointment with the Lincoln Way app or by phone. They pick up the vehicle and deliver it back washed and ready go when service is complete. In between, you’ll get a complimentary Lincoln loaner
- Lincoln + CLEAR® biometric technology (6-month complimentary membership) allows members to bypass security lines at 30+ of the busiest airports and sports stadiums across the nation, getting them through security in about 5 minutes or less
Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X2/X3, Infiniti QX50, Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4MATIC, Range Rover Evoque
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- The Good: Terrific vehicle that is very comfortable and fun to drive
- The Bad: It’s worthy of the Lincoln badge, and is neck and neck with CUV’s in its competing category and price range, but I feel it’s competition will more than likely win out based solely on perceived value and status, and that’s too bad
- The Ugly: Heart-stopping as-tested price
What’s The Verdict?
Last year we drove the Corsair’s sister vehicle, the 2020 Escape and really liked it. My dad actually leased one and we came close to getting one too. The Corsair is a huge step up in luxury and price compared to the Escape. I showed the Corsair to my dad and he drooled over it, but when I told him the price his eyes bugged out. And that I think is going to be the Corsair’s Achilles heel – getting people to look past the as-tested price of $66k when comparing it directly with BMW, Lexus, Jaguar and M-B. Yes, those vehicles are in the same price point, but their options will quickly balloon their price MUCH higher to get to the Corsair’s level. Is it competitively priced? I think it probably is, but can Lincoln get bums on the seat to prove it to people looking in this segment?
Nice bonus: Canadians are paying pretty close to what the U.S. is paying – but in Canadian dollars
The test vehicle had the 202A Equipment Collection which adds the following:
- Technology Package – Phone As A Key with Remote Start / Wireless Charging Pad / Jeweled Headlamps with Dynamic/Static Bending / 12.3” Colour Display in Instrument Cluster / 110V/150W AC Power Outlet / Leather-Trimmed Enhanced Micro-Perforated Heated Front Bucket Seats
- Perfect Position (24-Way) Power Driver and Passenger Seats with Heating And Ventilation; Power Thigh Extenders; Five Massage Settings And Three Intensity Levels; Power Lumbar, 3- Person Memory and Four-Way Head Restraints – they didn’t work on the driver’s side, my wife got to enjoy her seat however
- Adaptive Suspension
- Elements Package – Heated and Ventilated Front Seats / Heated Second Row Outboard Seats / Heated Steering Wheel / Rain-Sensing Wipers / Windshield Wiper De-lcer
Copyright © 2020 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text / Images: Iain Shankland