When it comes to luxury compact SUVs, you could do worse than either the 2020 Lincoln Corsair or the 2020 BMW X3. Both offer upscale comfort and smooth rides balanced with the latest technology and safety features. The Lincoln Corsair has been fully redesigned for 2020. The latest BMW X3 debuted in 2018 but has only seen minor changes in subsequent models.
What are the pros and cons of each? Which is the better luxury SUV?
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair
Lincoln has been working hard the last few years to reinvent and redefine itself as a top luxury vehicle brand. Replacing the older MKC in 2020, the Lincoln Corsair is a stylish compact SUV that shares a platform with the Ford Escape. Its premium cabin will definitely appeal to luxury vehicle enthusiasts. The new Corsair has some awesome features. Unfortunately, you have to shell out more money to get them in various option packages.
The exterior design is visually appealing. It offers a signature grille, full-width rear tail lamps, and distinctive contouring on its side panels. Inside, you have 10-way power-adjustable front seats with a 24-way power adjustment option available if you need that. The driver has a great all-around view. There’s plenty of space in the back seat area, and the seats slide back up to six inches for extra legroom.
According to Car and Driver, the new Corsair doesn’t have the driving chops of the Audi Q5 or Mercedes-Benz GLC-class. The engines carried over from the MKC. You have a choice of two four-cylinder engines paired with an eight-speed transmission. One is a 2.0-liter engine that gets 250 hp and the other is a 2.3-liter engine that gets 280 hp. The smaller engine comes with front-wheel drive as standard. The 2.3-liter engine comes with all-wheel drive as a standard feature.
While the Corsair is a good luxury SUV, it’s not enough to keep up with the competition. It costs more to get the good features, it doesn’t have a lot to offer for performance, and it’s not as engaging as its peers to drive.
The 2020 BMW X3
For those who aren’t happy that the BMW sports sedans they’re known for aren’t around anymore, Car and Driver has a message. They didn’t vanish; they’re just SUVs now.
The 2020 BMW X3 is a perfect example of this because it’s fun to drive and impressive to own. It’s hard to beat an SUV that offers powerful acceleration, nimble handling, and one of the poshest interiors on the market today. Car and Driver says the BMW X3’s cabin one of its favorites and with the swarm of luxury vehicles on the market, that’s saying a lot.
The interior has 10-way power-adjustable front seats with side bolsters that adjust too so you can get comfortable. Those in the back seats get reclining seatbacks with really plush cushions that are a dream on longer road trips.
The X3 xDrive30i models offer a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that offers an appealing balance of good fuel efficiency and power. The M40i models get up to 382 hp which is dynamic for a crossover. The X3 M models get 473 hp if you need that.
The 2020 BMW X3 is pricey with the premium models heading toward $80,000. Most argue that it’s completely worth it.
Who does it better?
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is a quality compact luxury SUV that comfortably seats up to five passengers. A case could be made that it’s the best domestic offering in its class. It’s got some great technology features too.
The advantage, however, goes to the BMW X3 that manages to best it in most categories. The X3 has better powertrains and its cabin offers greater functionality. BMW’s all-wheel drive and suspension systems are excellent and give the X3 an important advantage over the Corsair in ride quality.
The 2020 BMW X3 has a comfy, upscale interior with lots of tech and safety features. It has an athletic attitude, and it’s incredibly fun to drive. Regardless of what you need in a small crossover, the X3 has it. The BMW costs more than the Lincoln, true. But the investment is well worth it.