Lincoln’s all-new Corsair offers luxury, refinement and performance in a handsome package.
Review and photos by Tom Sedens
Welcome to the Corsair, Lincoln’s upscale crossover that replaces the MKC and slots in between the smaller Nautilus and the bigger Aviator.
The Corsair’s lines and creases are smooth and subtle, with no weird surprises. There’s a beautiful grille, tasteful splashes of chrome and a sleek sloping roofline, as well as gorgeous wheels. The styling incorporates a little drama, but in a good way. It’s done in a harmonious, balanced way.
The LED tail light bar is very cool and definitely stands out at night.
This vehicle gets a lot of looks, and basically anyone that talked to me about it said they really liked the styling. I whole-heartedly agree. I don’t think it has a bad angle.
Inside, the materials feel very upscale. The plastics are nicely textured, there is contrasting stitching on the doors and the dash, and the pinstriped trim pieces on the dash look great.
The heated and ventilated leather seats are very comfortable and offer a massaging function, which is a boon on longer road trips.
I love the steering wheel. It’s heated, nice to look at and is wonderfully grippy in the hands. Some of the functions are performed using little thumbsticks on either side. However, the buttons for the cruise control are hidden behind those little gloss black panels below the steering wheel spokes – they only light up and become visible when you turn on the cruise control. Speaking of the steering wheel, take a look at the top-left corner of the rim. See the button there? It’s to activate the voice control – and if you think that might be a terrible placement for it because you would constantly be inadvertently tapping it, you are absolutely right. I probably activated the voice control feature accidentally at least once each time I drove the Corsair. I can’t imagine how this passed by anybody’s real-life testing. Awful idea!
The dash is home to the SYNC touchscreen – it is a well-done user interface and handles your phone, navigation, vehicle settings and the outstanding Revel audio system.
There isn’t really a centre stack – rather it’s more of a floating “chin” where you’ll find climate controls, the “piano key” push-button transmission and a few knobs and hard buttons to control what’s happening on the screen.
Ambient cabin lighting abounds, and there’s a massive panoramic sunroof overhead, allowing a ton of light into the cabin.
The rear passengers are treated to quite a comfortable and spacious retreat, as well as a continuation of all the lovely materials from the front. The seats split 60/40 – you can slide them fore and aft, and they recline as well. Outboard seats are heated and there are adjustable air vents, two USB plugs and a 110V household plug.
If you’re moving little people, there are two sets of ISOFIX child seat anchors.
At the front of the console is a carpeted bin, covered by a sliding lid – inside you’ll find USB-A and USB-C plugs. You’ll also find a nifty detail here – if it’s dark, a Lincoln logo is projected onto that lid. I love it!
The armrest has storage space under the lid as well, as well as a wireless charging clamp for your phone. I like this solution because it gets it out of the way and makes it inconvenient to simply pick up your phone while you’re driving and in the process hopefully makes it less distracting.
The trunk, accessible via power liftgate, is sizable at 963L and can be expanded by folding the rear seats down – you can do that remotely from the trunk.
Under the Hood
The upgraded 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder stomps out 295 horsepower and 310 lb.ft of torque and sends it through an 8-speed automatic transmission to all four corners via an all-wheel drive system. This combination is rated at 11.1/8.2 L/100 km (city/highway) – we averaged 11.3 L/100 km over a week of very cold driving through lots of snow.
This powertrain brings a ton of power to the table. The Corsair hauls off the line, and there was substantial power in basically every driving situation. I suspect the base 2.0 engine would be enough for most drivers. The transmission was outstanding – smooth, virtually imperceptible shifts and virtually always in the right gear.
You’ll find a modern Lincoln ride, which still leans toward comfort, but is definitely more taut than you may traditionally associate with the brand. That means you get great handling too, and I found the Corsair to be a surprisingly sporty crossover with genuine agility.
You get five different drive modes, some of which Lincoln has blessed with goofy names – they are Normal, Slippery, Deep Conditions (for snow, etc.), Conserve (basically Eco) and Excite (basically Sport). These impact the vehicle’s responsiveness as well as the handling, thanks to the dynamic suspension.
The all-wheel drive system came in very handy, as we had the Corsair during some truly awful winter weather – coupled with winter tires, the Corsair felt unstoppable and made easy work of snow, ice, ruts and brutal driving conditions.
I was surprised at how powerful the brakes were – they do a great job hauling things down from speed, and at first, they were almost too grabby for me. As I’ve come to expect from Lincolns, the sound during the driving experience is very well damped – even at highway speeds with winter tires, the cabin remained exceptionally quiet.
WAF (Wife Approval Factor) was super-high. She loved the looks and how luxurious it felt while driving. She liked most of the interior as well.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the Corsair. It is stuffed to the brim with current technology, it’s a luxurious cabin with plenty of space and utility, and the performance is outstanding.
Unfortunately, the same can be said for plenty of the competition, and at nearly $70,000 before taxes, anyone shopping in this category has lots of excellent choices. The Corsair is a great vehicle- the question is, will people come to Lincoln dealerships to check them out? I hope so. I really liked it.
Disclosure: Vehicle was provided by Lincoln Canada.
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Pricing: 2020 Lincoln Corsair
Base price (AWD trim): $50,500
Options: $11,350 Equipment Group 202A (Elements package; heated/vented seats; heated rear seats and steering wheel; Co-Pilot360 Plus Package; 360-degree camera; adaptive park assist; adaptive cruise; technology package; remote start; dynamic handling package); $175 all-weather floor liners; $1,500 heads-up display; $1,600 Reserve Appearance package; $850 Red Carpet Met Tri-Coat paint
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $68,275