A car review for parents.
Minivan? SUV? We're searching for a new family car and can't decide what should come next. So when Lincoln offered up a loaner of their new 2020 Lincoln Corsair I figured it would be the perfect chance to try out the luxury SUV and see if it would be the right fit for our family. [Full disclosure: They loaned us the car for testing, but did not pay for this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.]
We only have one child so we don't need too many rows of seating, but since we're a one-car family we do need something that can be a workhorse for multiple situations—from hauling everyday groceries to packing in the whole crew for a multi-day road trip. They let us borrow it over the long Thanksgiving weekend so we had plenty of opportunities to check it out in different settings.
First impression: It's a really, really fancy car.
For context, our current car is a used 2013 Kia Soul that we paid for in cash when I was pregnant with our son. We were just looking for something easy to park on Brooklyn streets and would hold our little family of three and all the possessions that come with us. The back seat is currently covered in cookie crumbs, my 3-year-old's Halloween costume (yes, it's been there for months) and various other items that are too embarrassing to put in print.
When I saw this luxury SUV pull up with its gleaming white exterior and pretty navy leather interior, I thought, we definitely can't eat in that thing.
Our current car only cost about $10K and is basically the super base model, so it was a huge shift to go from a car that can barely drive (kidding, sort of) to one that was way more tricked out. The model that I drove (the 2020 Lincoln Corsair All Wheel Drive Reserve) starts at about $45K, but when you add in *all* the add-ons it comes in at about $60K.
Is this car worth six times the car we're driving now? I kept asking myself this the whole time we tested it.
Family-friendly features I liked:
Courtesy of Lincoln
- For safety-minded drivers, I appreciated the 360-degree view camera. Not only do you have a standard rearview camera when backing up, but you also get to see a top-down 360-view of everything that's around your car at the same time. It was kind of strange at first but at the end of our three days with the car, I really grew to appreciate it.
- Sliding second row. You don't usually see this in two-row cars (so I've heard and read through doing research), but they included it here if you need more cargo space and less legroom (for example if you have a rear-facing car seat and your child doesn't need the space). This really helped when we needed extra room for getting Thanksgiving groceries and then hauling said Thanksgiving groceries (now in their delicious cooked form) and luggage to Grandma's house.
- The driver and front passenger seats have a massage function! Okay, this is "family-friendly" because it helps to decrease your stress levels in the car when your toddler asks to play "Baby Shark" for the 20th time on the road trip back home. I've never seen this in a car before, but I also haven't spent time in many luxury cars so maybe this is just a feature that comes in vehicles at a higher price point. Either way, it was amazing.
- I loved the various driver-assist features—like the adaptive cruise control, automatic parallel parking, steering assisted collision avoidance, blind-spot guidance, and automatic high beams. I'm more than happy to drive a car that has quicker reflexes than me, and I loved not having to turn the high beams on then off whenever another car was coming. I wish our current car had the blind spot guidance on the side mirrors the way the Lincoln does. I know most newer cars come with that now and it's just such a great feature to have when you're driving on busy highways.
The really awesome extras you don't "need" but really appreciate:
Courtesy of Lincoln
- The panoramic vista roof lets so much light stream into the car if you're driving on a sunny day. When the shade is fully back, it feels like you're just surrounded by glass and it feels so luxurious and airy.
- Like any other luxury vehicle, the car designers really put in a ton of thought into the car driving experience and how to make it as exciting and comfortable as possible. This car had a 24-way control for the driver and passenger seats, essentially letting you adjust every angle of the seat you're sitting in, including lumbar support, leg support, angle of the chair and how high or low you want it. It has an automatic lift gate for the trunk, dual-zone climate control (no fighting with the husband when he's too cold and I'm too hot), heated seats, remote keyless entry and remote start.
- I also really loved the user experience when you plugged in your iPhone to the car's USB. It would pull up your phone controls on the monitor console, and you could control everything through there—from your music to your Google maps. Plus, they've made charging your phone super easy in this car. They have a wireless charging "pocket" you can slide your phone into so it charges as you drive.
Okay, so what's the downside?
Courtesy of Lincoln
I'd say the only downside of this fabulous massaging wonder-vehicle is the price. At least for my pretty humble middle-class family, it's hard to drop $60K (or justify dropping $60K) for something to get us from point A to point B. But depending on your family, and your own needs, it might be worth it to you. This car does start at around $36K for the standard 4-wheel drive, which can make this luxury brand a lot more attainable for most people.
So, to answer my question from earlier about whether or not this car is worth six times the price of the car I drive now—I'd say yes and no.
For as much time as we spend in the car going on family trips or even just driving our kiddo back and forth to school and his various activities, it does make the entire experience so much more pleasant, convenient and worry-free overall (the car does so much thinking for you, it's kind of great).
But if you are going to drop your dough on a car like this, you do have other options with similar luxury brands like BMW, Audi or Mercedes. They, too, offer SUVs or crossovers in a similar price range. I'm not sure how the amenities of those cars compare to this one, though, so it would take a discerning car buyer some time to go through each of the offerings from the different brands to decide what would be best for them and their family.
To sum up, though, as my gear head brother says, "It's not about the bells and whistles, it's about how the car makes you feel," and this car made me feel like Beyoncé was singing to me on a sunny day. It was a really fabulous experience and one I would certainly do over again.