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Lincoln Corsair – Great Luxury Entry Point

High Price Might Dampen Demand

The new 2020 Lincoln Corsair corrects many issues Lincoln had been facing.  Its predecessor is the Lincoln MKC based on the last generation Escape.  The MKC is a pretty nice compact luxury crossover SUV.  It even is available with a 2.7L V6.  But MKC was developed using Ford’s old design philosophy that a Lincoln should use as many Ford parts as possible.  In addition, MKC was saddled with Lincoln’s alphanumeric naming strategy.  Even when MKC received a tasteful facelift in 2018, they kept the MKC name.  Lincoln was launching the major change Nautilus at about the same time.  Ford PR explained that a fresh MKC with a name would stretch their marketing capabilities too far.

The Corsair is a completely different animal.

Major Upgrade from All New Ford Escape Platform  The Corsair is based on an entirely new front wheel drive platform shared with the Ford Escape compact crossover SUV.  While Corsair is based on the Escape, there is now significant differentiation between the two vehicles.  The Corsair is much more upscale than the Escape.  Its design is elegant and materials are top notch.  It’s powertrain choices are a significant step up.  At-a-glance, Corsair has design DNA from the all new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

Import Brand Competition  Corsair competes with the Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X3, Cadillac XT4, Infiniti QX50, Lexus NX, Mercedes GLC, Range Rover Evoque, Volvo XC40.  These XSUVs comprise one of the fastest growing product subsegments in the market today.  The compact Lincoln gives them all a run for the money.

Quiet Flight – Happy Car  One of the major differences of the Corsair is that it has been developed under Lincoln’s new “quiet flight” DNA.  While other compact luxury XSUVs try to follow the Germans down the sporty and Spartan tack, the Lincoln achieves serenity.  It is very quiet.  It is effortless to drive.  It is easy to live with.  You can describe it as a “happy car”.  Corsair has all the latest features you would expect in this class of vehicle, but the icing on the cake is its outstanding Head-Up Display.  While this is a $1,700 option, it is really worth it.  Driving a Corsair without HUD seems like you are driving a stripped down model. 

Lincoln Corsair Drive-Away  Having attended the Corsair media event in San Francisco and Carmel Valley, I was given the opportunity to drive the Corsair from Carmel to AutoPacific’s headquarters in Orange County, California.  The drive took less time than flying back from San Francisco International.

Getting from Carmel to Lost Hills on Interstate 5 involves driving on a lot of twisties and well-maintained country roads.  While not trying to set any speed records, the 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder provides more than adequate performance.  The base 2.0L turbocharged 4 has 250-horsepower.  The optional 2.3L has 295-horsepower.  The Corsair does not need the extra 45 horsepower that comes with All Wheel Drive, but the power is nice to have.

The media event provided the opportunity to drive aggressively in some of the more challenging roads in coastal California.  Corsair’s handling is outstanding for a crossover SUV.  Its ride matches the “quiet flight” description.  Getting to Orange County was more leisurely.

Once to Interstate 5, it is all freeway to Orange County.  Setting the Lincoln Co-Pilot Pro 360 Plus system to 77mph kept the Corsair moving with traffic using its adaptive cruise control and lane centering feature.  The cruise control can be set to maintain a margin above the set speed limit.  Having used that feature on the media drive, I opted to not activate it on I5.

Cars & Coffee & Corsair  On Saturday there was a Cars & Coffee at the former Ford Premier Automotive Group and Mazda parking lot in Irvine.  I drove the Corsair to C&C.  Lincoln was having a small driving event where consumers could drive a Nautilus or Navigator.  Having the Corsair was a surprise for the Lincoln marketing folks.  I rode along with several consumers and listened to their comments.  To a person they were very impressed.  They liked the size.  They liked the power of the 2.3L turbo.  They liked the quietness.  What they didn’t like was the price.

Price – $40,000 – $60,000 Range  Buyers often equate price with size.  The Corsair starts at a reasonable price for a nicely equipped 2.0L front wheel drive version – $35,945 but you need to add $995 for destination charges.  If you lease, you add another $645 for an acquisition fee. You can get all wheel drive on the Standard Corsair, but not the 2.3L engine.

Price goes up steeply when you start adding stuff you want.  High on my list of wants is the 2.3L turbo 4-cylinder.  This engine choice requires all wheel drive.  It also requires that you move up to the Reserve trim line.  Reserve begins at $42,630 + $995 for destination.  Getting the engine I would want pops the price up by $6,740.  Now the price is $49,370.  I want Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 Plus, and that is included in the Reserve I package that was forced when I got the higher horsepower engine.  Flight Blue paint is $395.  Then you have to add $2,750 for the Technology Package that gets you the 12.3-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster.  Add the Head Up Display and add $1,700 to the price.

So my Corsair would be $56,155.  And I left off the $700 Adaptive Suspension and $1,600 Reserve Appearance Package that would get larger wheels and a different grille texture.

This has a well-equipped Corsair well into the range of the all-new Aviator which is two size classes larger than the Corsair.  Going up to the Lincoln Nautilus – a larger 5-passenger XSUV and equip it pretty much the way the Corsair is equipped and the price is less – $52,030.  Admittedly, the Nautilus is on an old platform and will be replaced in a year or two with a more contemporary platform.  It does, however, deserve a close look before choosing the all new Corsair.

#lincolncorsair, #lincoln, #lincolnaviator, #lincolnnautilus

 

 

 

 

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