Ford Escape vs. Lincoln Corsair

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - April 20, 2020

The 2020 model year brought in two all-new compact crossovers with shared DNA, the Ford Escape and the Lincoln Corsair. The Escape marks the beginning of this popular model’s fourth generation, while the Corsair is the successor to the now-discontinued MKC.

The Lincoln Corsair is based on the Ford Escape, making these models similar under their skin. Are there enough tangible enhancements to the Corsair to make it worth the significant price hike over the Escape? Continue reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Escape & Corsair »

What the Escape Gets Right

Since the Ford Escape is basically a downmarket Corsair, it has a significant pricing advantage. The Escape starts from just $26,725 including destination, making it over $10,000 cheaper than the base Corsair, which is priced from $36,940. The range-topping Escape Titanium trim still costs less than the base Corsair.

The bae Escape may lack in features, but step up to the second-from-the-top SEL model, and it matches most of what's found on the base Corsair – and it's nearly $6,000 cheaper. These amenities include leatherette upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen, 18-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, reverse sensing, and more.

The Escape Titanium puts an even bigger ding in the Corsair’s luxury status with its standard leather seating, adaptive cruise control, LED fog lights, 19-inch wheels, ambient lighting, 10-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system.

With its base 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the Escape delivers a big win in fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated 27 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 30 combined. The base Corsair only gets 22/29/25 mpg (city/highway/combined).

Despite being closely related and almost identical in exterior dimensions, the Ford Escape has a few key size advantages inside. In its rear seats, the Escape offers 40.7 inches of leg room, beating the Lincoln by 2.1 inches. Also, the Escape offers more cargo space at 33.5 cubic feet with the rear seats upright and 65 cubes with them folded. These numbers beat the Lincoln by 5.9 and 7.4 cubic feet, respectively.

What the Corsair Gets Right

While the Lincoln Corsair is derived from the Ford Escape, Lincoln did an admirable job hiding their similarities inside and out. The Corsair looks like a legit luxury crossover with a stunning body, bold grille, and upscale cabin draped in premium materials.

The Corsair widens the gap with luxurious ambiance created chimes recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. So, instead of an aggravating seatbelt reminder ding, you may get a pleasant, professionally recorded, Matthew McConaughey-approved string note.

The Corsair's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower is optional on the Escape, but standard for the luxury badge. The Corsair further sets itself apart with its 280-hp, 2.3-liter turbo-four that delivers noticeable pep when passing on the highway. The Corsair also delivers a comfortable ride, even with its largest wheel option.

Inside, the Corsair’s luxurious side shows with its superior front seats that offer gobs of support. The Corsair’s front thrones continue their dominance with up to 24 adjustments and optional massage feature that’s sure to make you forget all about that bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Of course, the luxurious Corsair’s standard features list is much longer than the Ford’s. It includes desirable goodies like 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, a power liftgate, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats with power adjustments, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and more.

Want Value?

The Lincoln Corsair is clearly superior, but the Ford Escape is right on its heels with many of the same features at a dramatically lower price. Plus, buyers who want to max out their cargo space will enjoy extra room in the Escape.

Our Verdict: Lincoln Corsair

The Lincoln Corsair is yet another step in the right direction for the rejuvenated brand. It offers plenty of separation between it and its Ford Escape cousin thanks to its sharp looks, premium options, potent optional engine, and cozy cabin.

Take a closer look at the Ford Escape »

Take a closer look at the Lincoln Corsair »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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