Premium Price Wars, Part 2: Lincoln’s Compact Corsair Isn’t Afraid to Top the Cadillac XT4

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Lincoln Motor Company brass aren’t afraid to tout the brand’s concerted push to redefine the idea of what an upscale American vehicle should be — in the process, hopefully ridding itself of a longstanding stigma born of lackluster past offerings. The latest entry in Lincoln’s renewed lineup is the 2020 Corsair, bound for dealers late this year.

A replacement for the compact MKC, the Corsair lists the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Audi Q3, and especially the new Cadillac XT4 as its main rivals. As Lincoln has now bestowed pricing upon the Corsair, we’re able to contrast those two domestic challengers.

Starting at $36,940 after destination, the base Corsair Standard starts $1,650 higher than the entry-level (2019) XT4 Luxury. (If you’ll recall, this is a reversal of the pricing relationship between the larger Lincoln Aviator and Cadillac XT6.)

Adding all-wheel drive is a $3,600 option, bringing the Corsair’s after-destination total to $40,540. In contrast, the XT4’s AWD entry trim stickers for $37,790.

For these prices, Lincoln buyers get a turbocharged 2.0-liter making 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while Caddy buyers can expect similar displacement with 13 fewer ponies and 17 fewer lb-ft.

Lincoln buyers get the standard power liftgate and leather seating the base XT4 lacks; Corsair Standard AWD models come with the Standard 1 Equipment Collection, which adds voice-activated touchscreen navigation, ambient lighting, and other goodies, thus explaining the steeper price tag for all-weather traction. Caddy buyers can expect leather and a power liftgate on the XT4 Premium Luxury, which stickers for $42,290, though they can’t go any higher in terms of output. The same 2.0L carries all XT4 trims, including the Sport variant, priced the same as the Premium Luxury.

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Moving up to the Corsair Reserve starts the cash register at $43,625 after destination, and that’s with front-drive and the 2.0L mill underhood. Premium seating surfaces, 14-speaker audio, and larger 19-inch wheels are among the niceties included in the Reserve lifestyle; adding AWD pushes the after-destination price to $45,825.

If more power is what you want, Lincoln will provide. However, adding the 2.3-liter turbo four (285 hp, 310 lb-ft) demands the selection of AWD, bringing the Corsair’s price to a lofty $50,365. Included in that sum is the Reserve 1 Equipment Collection, which includes, among other things, an expanded suite of Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 driver aids. Adding the Reserve II package fuels even more inflation, with the Corsair topping out at $56,115.

For that price, some $13,325 more than an XT4 AWD Premium Luxury, Lincoln buyers receive adaptive suspension and 24-way Perfect Position seats, in addition to the power bump.

Though it starts at a slightly higher price point than the Cadillac, Lincoln’s Corsair packs in extra goodies and offers a slight edge in power. When pitched against the base Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, which carries a pre-destination price of $40,700, the newly upscale baby Lincoln could offer German intenders food for thought… assuming they can get over their biases.

[Images: Lincoln]

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