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2020 Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair land Top Safety Pick awards

You'll have to choose the most expensive trims of each, however.

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- 02:28

Pay up for those good-performing headlights, people.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Headlights. They're typically the make or break part of a vehicle and decide if the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards a model a Top Safety Pick award. In both the 2020 Ford Escape and its Lincoln Corsair cousin's case, they were a positive.

The IIHS gave both crossover models a Top Safety Pick award following the usual barrage of crash tests, safety technology tests and headlight examinations. The good news is both the Escape and Corsair passed the crash tests with flying colors, which put them on their way to earn the even better Top Safety Pick Plus designation.

The bad news is the headlights kept them from total glory -- and buyers will need to pay up to get a crossover with the safety award.

Before we get to the headlights, we'll touch on the rest of the results. Most importantly, the 2020 Escape and Corsair models nailed the small-overlap front passenger-side crash test, which is the trickiest of them all. Vehicles need to earn at least an Acceptable rating, but the Ford and Lincoln crossovers earned "Good" ratings.

Standard active safety technology includes frontal-crash prevention, which the IIHS named Superior in both models. At 25 mph and 12 mph, the Escape and Corsair avoided a crash.

Back to the headlights. Only one Escape model earned an Acceptable rating for them, which let the model walk away with the Top Safety Pick award. That'd be, of course, the most expensive model, the Escape Platinum. It includes LED reflector headlights. Other models get halogen reflectors that scored Marginal.

Interestingly, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair didn't have identical results. While its top-performing headlights are also locked away in the pricier Reserve trim with the Reserve II options package and scored Acceptable, all other models' headlights received a rating of Poor. They're also LED reflectors, but they produced excessive glare in testing. The Corsair's best headlights also include high-beam assist and are curve-adaptive. The Escape's best headlights do not boast a curve-adaptive system.

If you're shopping Ford, you'll be looking at a $34,595 Escape Titanium before other options and after a $995 destination fee. If you find yourself looking at the handsome Lincoln Corsair, the headlights come bundled with a sticker shock. The best-performing LED headlights cost an additional $12,490 after adding in other additional features to apply the Reserve II package. That's on top of a $43,625 starting price (also including a $995 destination fee) for a grand total of $56,115.

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