It’s no surprise that there are countless newcomers to the small premium crossover segment. It’s the hottest automotive segment on the market right now, so naturally more and more automakers are going to want a slice of that pie. While most of them are honestly throwaway, forgettable transportation, some of them have become really quite good. Two of the newest entries from this past year are the 2020 Audi Q3 and the 2020 Lincoln Corsair.
For the past few years, the idea of a Lincoln actually competing with an Audi would have been laughable. However, Lincoln has seen a bit of a turn-around as of late and is actually putting out some very nice cars. The all-new Corsair is its latest and it’s a small, front-wheel drive-based premium crossover, just like the Audi Q3.
In a recent comparison test from Kelley Blue Book, we get to see which car is best. The Audi Q3 is the veteran in this test, as it’s now in its second generation, while the Corsair is the newcomer. So can the old-dog fight off the new one?
On paper, both cars are really quite similar. They’re both based on front-wheel drive architectures from less expensive brands but they’re both all-wheel drive and more premium than the cars they’re based on. They’re both powered by 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinders, thought the Lincoln (250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft) is more powerful than the Audi Q3 (228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft).
More importantly, they both have eight-speed automatics. That’s more important because it’s the Audi’s that causes some trouble for it in this test. According to KBB, the Q3’s herky-jerky shifts are quite a bit worse than the Lincoln’s smoother cog-swaps.
The Lincoln Corsair also looks better, with a smooth, nicely sculpted design. Its interior also looks more interesting and seems a bit more premium, even if the Audi’s is made incredibly well. Style matters in this segment and the Lincoln has more of it.
Neither car is going to be particularly interesting to drive, so this segment really is about looks, comfort and practicality. The Lincoln Corsair, with its extra style, sliding rear seat and extra power seems to be the better buy then the Audi Q3, whose transmission is coarse and feature list a bit spartan.