2019 New York Auto Show: Lincoln adds another star to its lineup

2020 Lincoln Corsair 2.JPG
2020 Lincoln Corsair (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

You might be tempted to call the 2020 Lincoln Corsair a replacement for the MKC. And it is. Kind of.

The MKC is going away, and the Corsair will become the new entry-level SUV in the Lincoln lineup.

But the Lincoln execs were very quick to point out that they don’t like to compare the two vehicles. At all.

John Jraiche, chief engineer for Lincoln Motor Co., said the Corsair is all-new from the ground up.

The Corsair will be wider, lower, longer and have a longer wheelbase. It will also have a better hip point, head room and leg room.

And the interior, from the brief look we got, is utterly gorgeous.

Lincoln charted a new course with the launch of the Navigator in 2018, setting an overarching theme of “Quiet Flight” for its products moving forward.

This mantra, then, helped form everything in this vehicle from the interior design to the exterior profile to the quiet-but-powerful engine lineup.

Throughout the preview to the actual reveal, every Lincoln executive in the room used words such as “balance,” “relaxation,” “sumptuous” and “indulgent.”

Keeping in mind, this is just the entry-level luxury SUV.

Yet, when I slid behind the wheel to take a closer look at the vehicle, it was like my entire body sighed into the seat. When the door shut, the silence was deafening. The materials were soft and silky in all the right places, and the finishing touches and details were well placed and well crafted.

There will be two engine options for Corsair, and both will be turbocharged 4-cylinders.

The 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine will deliver 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It will come standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive will be available.

The 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder engine will deliver 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It will only be available as an AWD model.

While both engines will have plenty of power to be both fast and fun – especially in “Excite” mode, Jraiche said not to expect it to sound like it is.

“If the powertrain sounds like it’s sitting in your lap, that’s not Quiet Flight,” he said.

He added that this will distinguish Corsair from a lot of Lincoln’s German competitors.

Jraiche also confirmed at some point in the future, perhaps six months or after the launch of the gasoline models, Corsair will also get a plug-in hybrid, but he wouldn’t confirm any timing or specs for the vehicle.

Corsair will also have a lot of available technology, the most notable item being the “phone as key,” which literally allows your phone to act as a key fob. You simply download the setup via the Lincoln Way app, and you can ditch the key fob. This option allows you to set up four phones as keys, and will personalize the driving experience – HVAC, radio presents and seat settings – based on which phone unlocks the door.

Lincoln hasn’t confirmed pricing for this option, but execs did say it would likely be an option that you buy at the time of purchasing the vehicle rather than a monthly subscription-based fee.

Another big technology feature that happens to be standard is Co-Pilot 360 safety suite that includes pre-collision assist, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, rear back-up camera and automatic high beams.

Co-Pilot 360 Plus is optional and adds adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane centering technology, speed sign recognition, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist and active park plus.

Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but we’d be surprised if Lincoln deviated too far off the current base price of the MKC, which is $33,995. However, there is a lot of new standard content, however, so expect maybe a $2K bump.

Corsair will hit dealers this fall.

The Bottom Line:

This newest Lincoln raises the bar, again, on what luxury should be. Cadillac XT4, Lexus NX and Acura RDX – all recently launched – may find themselves in a bit of a pickle, because if the Corsair drives as good as it looks, it’ll beat the pants off of all its competition.

I cannot wait to drive it.