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Drew Dowdell

First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair: Comments

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One of the most anticipated releases of the New York International Auto Show was the 2020 Lincoln Corsair.  The Corsair is the replacement for the Lincoln MKC, and with that, Lincoln has only two MK vehicles left in production, the MKT which is surprisingly still in production, and the MKZ which may go away once the Ford Fusion dies out.  Lincoln upgraded the MKX to Nautilus for 2019. That same year, the MKC got a refresh to look more like the rest of the Lincoln lineup for the 2019 model year only and that was an evolutionary step to the Corsair we see today.

To say that the Corsair is a step up from the MKC is probably an understatement. Though similar in exterior form, the Corsair wears its styling in a much more confident fashion.  It is more upright and assertive a look than the outgoing MKC. While the Corsair shares a platform with the 2020 Ford Escape (My first impressions of the 2020 Escape here), this isn’t a simple badge job as all the sheet metal is different, and though they share the same wheelbase, the Lincoln is longer and wider than the Ford.  While originally derided as derivative, the big Lincoln grille is really coming into its own as a signature look. I’m glad that Lincoln has kept at it and not listened to critics of the look. The full-width tail lamps also are a continued improvement, this time reminding me of the Lincoln Continental.  The overall look is a much more cohesive design than the MKC which could look like a design compromise from some angles.

large.1554636586_2020LincolnCorsair-6.jpgThe Corsair deserves the award for “Most Improved Interior”.  While the MKC was never a bad design, it hasn't aged well and still had some recession-era components. This new interior looks well above its class.  While I detected some areas of cost-cutting on door panels and lower trim, nothing seemed out of line for the class and the excellence of the styling will let most people overlook it.  I am a big fan of Lincoln’s interior styling direction and they are greatly outpacing crosstown rival Cadillac in that department. There is the “stuck on iPad” look of the infotainment system, but such is life in most vehicles these days. The infotainment system runs Sync3 which I’ve had good experiences with in the past. Lincoln’s toggle button shift control and the pod of buttons that reaches out from the dash feels almost like a 1950’s steampunk spaceship (that is a compliment).  Front seating position seems just right and the leg room in the 2nd row is what I would expect from this class. It’s adjustable too, as the second row can slide 6 inches fore and aft to give more cargo room or more legroom as needed. I clock in at 5’10” and found there to be more than enough headroom.  Lincoln’s 24-way adjustable seats take a while to get set up, but once you do, they feel great.

large.1636162378_2020LincolnCorsair-5.jpgBoth the 2.0T and 2.3T from the MKC carry over, though the 2.3 has been tweaked slightly to add a bit more torque (Now 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque) and both come with an 8-speed automatic. Neither engine is a bad choice and should move the Corsair along with zest. A plug-in hybrid variant is coming. All-Wheel drive is optional on the 2.0 and standard on the 2.3.  The AWD system is able to decouple the rear axle in order to save fuel and recouple it when traction is needed. Up to 100% of the torque can be directed to the rear. Hopefully, the 8-speed automatic and decoupling AWD will improve the only average fuel economy of 20/27 city/highway that the MKC gets, but if not, at least there will be better performance.

Corsair will likely start around $35,000, which makes it a better value than the smaller and less powerful Cadillac XT4 that starts around the same price. It will also likely be a better value than anything coming from Europe.  The most direct competition, in both size and price, will come from the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Lexus NX. I expect the Corsair to do well against them.

The Corsair will be in dealerships by the Fall.  

The Lincoln Corsair Gallery has been updated with shots from the show floor.

 


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Nice rig.  NICE PICS.  i can't seem to get into the glue that Ford is sniffing these days, but they have made the newest Lincolns very salable.

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Beautiful, aspirational, powerful, serene, assertive.  What a luxury car was... and should always be.  Cadillac needs to take a long hard look at the direction they've chosen... Lincoln is eating their lunch, 100%.

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Good write up.  My first impressions based on pictures was that the interior was outstanding, but I saw a video from the show that showed it close up and you can see the Ford Fusion grade plastics and rubber on some of the door panels and lower parts.  But you see that sort on other cars in this class.  This still seems among the best interiors at it’s price point so kudos to Lincoln for that.  

At least these guys are trying and doing the best they can with styling, names and interiors, and they have pretty decent power in these cars too.  I thought 5 years ago Lincoln would be dead by 2020.

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Exterior I like allot, very nice and clean and should do well in this category. Agree with Drew that the interior is very much 1950's spaceship retro. Yet with that I will disagree with the excellent write up above as I am not a fan of this dated dash with a 21st century iPad shoved in the center. To me this is a dated look with a forced 21st century tech piece shoved on it.

@smk4565 Honestly, people who have never been in a Fusion or know anything about it will not even know that some of the lower plastic trim pieces might be from a Ford. Yet at this price point it is much better than the competition out there. Be it European, Asian or American, plastic on the lower trim area to take the beating of shoes is pretty much the norm here.

Over all I think this will do very well and should help Lincoln on their road back to Luxury competition.

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The Nautilus just came out for 2019, but still has the old Ford-style dash from the MKX...wonder when it will get a refresh to look more like the newer CUVs. 

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18 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

The Nautilus just came out for 2019, but still has the old Ford-style dash from the MKX...wonder when it will get a refresh to look more like the newer CUVs. 

Could easily see a interior refresh maybe next year as a model 2021 for 2020, otherwise I figure it will stay for the next 5 to 7 years and then on the new model get redone to match the family.

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For obvious reasons,  I'm a pretty big fan of this. The slightly larger footprint and space would be welcoming. I haven't come across needing additional space yet but I know there will be a time. I like the integrated infotainment screen on the current gen more but that's about it. Everything else looks pretty awesome. Plus, that blue/teal leather looks freakin' hot. 

1 hour ago, dfelt said:

Yet with that I will disagree with the excellent write up above as I am not a fan of this dated dash with a 21st century iPad shoved in the center

I don't think there has been a new vehicle in which you did not say the dash was dated. 

41 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

The Nautilus just came out for 2019, but still has the old Ford-style dash from the MKX...wonder when it will get a refresh to look more like the newer CUVs. 

Probably a bit of time as the Edge was all new for 2019, right? It did already get the new body panels to look like the Continental, Navigator, Aviator, and Corsair/MKC(MKC got a facelift last year to the new styling).

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3 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

For obvious reasons,  I'm a pretty big fan of this. The slightly larger footprint and space would be welcoming. I haven't come across needing additional space yet but I know there will be a time. I like the integrated infotainment screen on the current gen more but that's about it. Everything else looks pretty awesome. Plus, that blue/teal leather looks freakin' hot. 

I don't think there has been a new vehicle in which you did not say the dash was dated. 

There are some, a smooth flowing dash is what I like, but lately we seem to be in a retro mode of dashes in the auto industry or the coccoon dash where each person is isolated from the other front seat person with intruding plastic into your leg area.

I am hoping with the push of EVs, we will see some new 21st century designs and move the segment forward. Holden had some very nices dashes for a while. I see no reason that the center storage unit between the front seats needs to connect to the dash and eat up leg room. I will say that this is better than others out there as the leg space eating center unit is smaller than others.

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17 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

 

Probably a bit of time as the Edge was all new for 2019, right? It did already get the new body panels to look like the Continental, Navigator, Aviator, and Corsair/MKC(MKC got a facelift last year to the new styling).

Current Edge dates to 2015, had a minor MCE for 2019.   The Nautius is basically a carryover from the MKX, updated w/ the new Lincoln front fascia..the dash in it looks dated compared to the Corsair, Aviator and Navigator. 

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20 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Probably a bit of time as the Edge was all new for 2019, right? It did already get the new body panels to look like the Continental, Navigator, Aviator, and Corsair/MKC(MKC got a facelift last year to the new styling).

Edge just looks like it got a slight refresh of the fascias and powertrains for 2019, dash is still the old style.

 

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3 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Current Edge dates to 2015, had a minor MCE for 2019.   The Nautius is basically a carryover from the MKX, updated w/ the new Lincoln front fascia..the dash in it looks dated compared to the Corsair, Aviator and Navigator. 

Ohhhhh okay, I forgot it was new in 2015 and refreshed in 2019. For some reason I was thinking this refresh was all-new. Thanks! 

3 minutes ago, frogger said:

Edge just looks like it got a slight refresh of the fascias and powertrains for 2019, dash is still the old style.

 

Yeah, I screwed that up. Thanks!

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Speaking of Lincoln and restyles and renamings, I wonder what will become of the MKZ...

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1 minute ago, Robert Hall said:

Speaking of Lincoln and restyles and renamings, I wonder what will become of the MKZ...

I heard something about this just the other day. I'll have to find it.. That is, if it isn't canceled because the Fusion is canceled. 

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2 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Speaking of Lincoln and restyles and renamings, I wonder what will become of the MKZ...

Hmmm.. With Fusion gone it is hard to see a future for it or the Continental in the near term.

 

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I do wonder if Lincoln has any plans for new sedans..would be weird to see it become a CUV/SUV only brand. 

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1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

Ahh here it is.

Lincoln Zephyr

Interesting...going full circle on the name.  RWD/AWD on the new Explorer platform would make sense...

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Just now, Robert Hall said:

I do wonder if Lincoln has any plans for new sedans..would be weird to see it become a CUV/SUV only brand. 

Agreed. I think they should keep two cars around and have them both large. I'd step up the Continental to something even larger like the original continentals were, HUGE. Make it S- Class-sized. Then make the MKZ even larger but not quite as large as the current Continental, for obvious spacing/pricing reasons. 

Obviously, this is easy so say knowing nothing about the platforms' flexibility. 

Maybe a 3rd car.. Mustang variant.. Or the big Conti with a Mustang variant for only two cars. 

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1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

Agreed. I think they should keep two cars around and have them both large. I'd step up the Continental to something even larger like the original continentals were, HUGE. Make it S- Class-sized. Then make the MKZ even larger but not quite as large as the current Continental, for obvious spacing/pricing reasons. 

Obviously, this is easy so say knowing nothing about the platforms' flexibility. 

Maybe a 3rd car.. Mustang variant.. Or the big Conti with a Mustang variant for only two cars. 

Yes, ditch the mediocre FWD platform, move to the Explorer/Aviator RWD/AWD platform and make some serious sedans that are CT5 and CT6 sized or larger..

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2 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Yes, ditch the mediocre FWD platform, move to the Explorer/Aviator RWD/AWD platform and make some serious sedans that are CT5 and CT6 sized or larger..

Yep. Be Lincoln. Don't try and be anybody else. They're known for big and luxurious.

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2 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

The Nautilus just came out for 2019, but still has the old Ford-style dash from the MKX...wonder when it will get a refresh to look more like the newer CUVs. 

 

2 hours ago, dfelt said:

Could easily see a interior refresh maybe next year as a model 2021 for 2020, otherwise I figure it will stay for the next 5 to 7 years and then on the new model get redone to match the family.

As soon as the Edge moves to the new Explorer platform, so maybe not for another year or so.  MKC got a one year only makeover, so if Ford really wants to push the models out, they could have the new Edge and Nautilus waiting in the wings (cough) already. 

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1 hour ago, Robert Hall said:

Current Edge dates to 2015, had a minor MCE for 2019.   The Nautius is basically a carryover from the MKX, updated w/ the new Lincoln front fascia..the dash in it looks dated compared to the Corsair, Aviator and Navigator. 

Recession-era design.

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      Inside, Cadillac has upped their game on the quality of the materials, but they phoned the styling in. As some readers have pointed out, it even appears as if some trim pieces have been repurposed from the CTS. There is a large tablet stuck to the dash for the infotainment system, which is thankfully no longer the old CUE system. It looks to be similar in function and layout to those found in GMC's trucks. I have found that system to work well, so I don't see any problem there. A large dial in the center console can control the unit as well, useful if you're wearing gloves.  Capacitive touch buttons have been replaced by real physical buttons. They are well weighted and feel substantial, indeed even Mercedes-like for the HVAC controls.    Cadillac took to heart all of the criticism over their gauges in the previous cars and produced a good looking set of round dials for tach and speedometer with a driver information screen between.  The seats are firm and supportive, getting into position is quick and easy, but they don't match the 24+ way seats that Lincoln is offering these days.  Rear seat room has improved dramatically over the ATS, though feels about the same as a CTS.  Cadillac's Precision Control Shift is there.  I've found it annoying to use, but it has a similar operation to the BMW gear control that many people like, so maybe it is just me.  I think Cadillac (and everyone else) should chuck the shifter knob on their cars and go to something more digital.  One piece of technology in the CT5 that I really love is Cadillac's SuperCruise.  I've used SuperCruise to drive from Pittsburgh to New York, roughly 350 miles, and I was only actively piloting the car for about 10% of the time. 
      Engines in the CT5 seem to be introductory offers, but there is also room to grow. The base engine is a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbo producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a bit light for the class.  The optional engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo making 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.  Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional. Both engines also have displacement on demand and can shut down cylinders to conserve fuel in light-load situations.  Cadillac has plenty of room to maneuver here with engines though. For future versions like V-Sport and V-Series, they have the 400hp version of the 3.0TT, or the 420hp 3.6TT, or the new 4.2 liter Blackwing when more performance is called for.  
      Overall, this could be a very compelling car starting at $34,995 and being as long as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That's where the size issue comes in. Cadillac would have a hard time moving this CT5 if they price it alongside the same size German models. If this is going to be Cadillac's strategy, offer the biggest car for the price, then they need to drum that mindset into the heads of consumers. That takes advertising dollars.  Otherwise, they are just going to be repeatedly compared to vehicles outside of their price class and lose in every comparison test.  The CT6 being priced just $1,000 more than an E-Class leads me to believe this is what they are intending to do.   
      Read other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below:
      First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue
      First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair
      First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape

       
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      One of the most anticipated releases of the New York International Auto Show was the 2020 Lincoln Corsair.  The Corsair is the replacement for the Lincoln MKC, and with that, Lincoln has only two MK vehicles left in production, the MKT which is surprisingly still in production, and the MKZ which may go away once the Ford Fusion dies out.  Lincoln upgraded the MKX to Nautilus for 2019. That same year, the MKC got a refresh to look more like the rest of the Lincoln lineup for the 2019 model year only and that was an evolutionary step to the Corsair we see today.
      To say that the Corsair is a step up from the MKC is probably an understatement. Though similar in exterior form, the Corsair wears its styling in a much more confident fashion.  It is more upright and assertive a look than the outgoing MKC. While the Corsair shares a platform with the 2020 Ford Escape (My first impressions of the 2020 Escape here), this isn’t a simple badge job as all the sheet metal is different, and though they share the same wheelbase, the Lincoln is longer and wider than the Ford.  While originally derided as derivative, the big Lincoln grille is really coming into its own as a signature look. I’m glad that Lincoln has kept at it and not listened to critics of the look. The full-width tail lamps also are a continued improvement, this time reminding me of the Lincoln Continental.  The overall look is a much more cohesive design than the MKC which could look like a design compromise from some angles.
      The Corsair deserves the award for “Most Improved Interior”.  While the MKC was never a bad design, it hasn't aged well and still had some recession-era components. This new interior looks well above its class.  While I detected some areas of cost-cutting on door panels and lower trim, nothing seemed out of line for the class and the excellence of the styling will let most people overlook it.  I am a big fan of Lincoln’s interior styling direction and they are greatly outpacing crosstown rival Cadillac in that department. There is the “stuck on iPad” look of the infotainment system, but such is life in most vehicles these days. The infotainment system runs Sync3 which I’ve had good experiences with in the past. Lincoln’s toggle button shift control and the pod of buttons that reaches out from the dash feels almost like a 1950’s steampunk spaceship (that is a compliment).  Front seating position seems just right and the leg room in the 2nd row is what I would expect from this class. It’s adjustable too, as the second row can slide 6 inches fore and aft to give more cargo room or more legroom as needed. I clock in at 5’10” and found there to be more than enough headroom.  Lincoln’s 24-way adjustable seats take a while to get set up, but once you do, they feel great.
      Both the 2.0T and 2.3T from the MKC carry over, though the 2.3 has been tweaked slightly to add a bit more torque (Now 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque) and both come with an 8-speed automatic. Neither engine is a bad choice and should move the Corsair along with zest. A plug-in hybrid variant is coming. All-Wheel drive is optional on the 2.0 and standard on the 2.3.  The AWD system is able to decouple the rear axle in order to save fuel and recouple it when traction is needed. Up to 100% of the torque can be directed to the rear. Hopefully, the 8-speed automatic and decoupling AWD will improve the only average fuel economy of 20/27 city/highway that the MKC gets, but if not, at least there will be better performance.
      Corsair will likely start around $35,000, which makes it a better value than the smaller and less powerful Cadillac XT4 that starts around the same price. It will also likely be a better value than anything coming from Europe.  The most direct competition, in both size and price, will come from the Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, and Lexus NX. I expect the Corsair to do well against them.
      The Corsair will be in dealerships by the Fall.  
      The Lincoln Corsair Gallery has been updated with shots from the show floor.
       
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