Smallest Lincoln SUV goes on sale this summer
The Navigator helped put the Lincoln brand back in the buyer’s eye a few years ago, and ever since, the automaker has been on a roll introducing new utility vehicles. The follow-up was the three-row Aviator that rides on a new rear-wheel-drive platform and is also a stunner. Next up to bat: the compact Corsair.
What’s in a name?
Lincoln has thankfully abandoned its alphabet soup naming strategy. The MKX became the Nautilus, and the Aviator also continues the wayfaring theme set by Navigator. And the replacement for the MKC becomes the Corsair, taken from the Latin “cursus,” which means journey.
What’s underpinning this thing?
Like the new Ford Escape, the Corsair rides on Ford’s new front-wheel-drive platform that is car-like for all the crossovers that are replacing SUVs across the company. The Corsair has the same wheelbase as the Escape but is longer and wider, and the floating roof sits lower.
Power sets it apart from Escape
Lincoln has put more power under the hood of its vehicles than its Ford counterparts to justify the higher price point. The Corsair has a pair of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base engine is the 2.0-liter I-4 that generates 250 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Optional is a 2.3-liter that produces 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Conversely, the Escape has a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder as the base engine, and the 2.0-liter is the optional upgrade.
Both Corsair engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it has a piano-key set of buttons for gear selection. All-wheel drive is standard with the larger engine, and optional with the base engine that comes standard with front-wheel drive. The intelligent AWD system disconnects to automatically send as much as 100 percent of the power to the rear if needed.
Lincoln has pledged to electrify its lineup, and the Corsair will get a plug-in hybrid variant. But it likely will not be available in the first model year. The batteries will sit under the floor with the electric motor positioned in back. A full electric version is being considered but no timetable has been given. Electric propulsion fits with Lincoln’s desire to provide a quiet, sanctuary-like experience—kind of what Lexus used to be before it decided to get more aggressive and performance-oriented.
Great pains were taken to create a quiet cabin, including a dual-wall dashboard in the engine compartment with an air gap to keep vibrations from entering the cabin, and active noise control to create a sanctuary. Needless to say, Lincoln does not artificially enhance the exhaust notes of the powertrain. Six chimes recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra replace the standard electronic alerts, and audiophiles can opt for the 14-speaker Revel sound system.
Front seats are 24-way adjustable, heated, cooled, and provide massage. Sit back and plug in. A floating center console hangs over a spot to wirelessly charge your phone and a media bin with two USB outlets and a 12-volt outlet. In the rear, there are two more USBs and a 110-volt outlet. Overhead is a large panoramic sunroof. Beyond Blue is an especially cool interior color theme, but buyers can also choose Cashew (tan and black) or Slate (gray).
Ditch the key fob
Lincoln-only tech includes “phone as a key” that puts a virtual key on up to four smartphones. This feature allows these smartphone users to unlock and start the car, open the liftgate, and program up to 80 preferences including seat position, temperature, and music.