Executives at BMW have to be getting annoyed by now, with all of the new competition entering the segment. Years ago, the suits in Munich only had to worry about Mercedes-Benz and Audi, really. Now, it has Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Cadillac and even Lincoln to keep an eye one. The latter of which hasn’t been considered a proper luxury brand in decades, more often than not just rebadging Fords and calling it a day. However, the American luxury brand’s newer cars are far more impressive. So can the all-new Lincoln Corsair really challenge the stalwart BMW X3? Motor Trend compares the two in this latest test.

The BMW X3 is a surprisingly good car. While most enthusiasts scoff at the notion of buying an SUV, the new X3 drives with an agility that belies its weight and size. It’s still not a sports car but, like a linebacker that can also play safety, it has moves that impress for its size.

On the flip-side, the Lincoln Corsair is more of a traditional premium crossover. It’s front-wheel drive-based, good looking, spacious, practical and surprisingly luxurious on the inside. It isn’t a dynamic athlete but it isn’t trying to be, nor does it give off any sort of athletic vibe. Instead, it’s just a calm, smooth and very premium crossover.

The real question is: can the Corsair really offer a more well-rounded product than the BMW X3, a car that’s been around for over a decade? The answer is actually yes. While the Corsair might not handle as well as the X3, it’s certainly every bit as comfortable and likely rides a bit better, too. It’s also quite lovely on the inside, has more practicality features and, most importantly, comes at a much lower price. Personally, I also think it’s damn good looking, which is something I never thought I’d say about a modern Lincoln.

In the end, the answer is simple. If all you want is a premium crossover that’s going to get you from A-to-B in a smooth, stylish and comfortable fashion, then it’s probably worth saving the money and getting the Lincoln Corsair. If you’re looking for a crossover that’s also fun to drive and can be sporty when you want it to be, spend the extra money and get the BMW X3.

[Source: Motor Trend]