The Lincoln Corsair may be Lincoln’s smallest SUV, but it feels like something much more substantial. It looks and feels like a more expensive vehicle than it is. With good looks and a sporty handling, it may be the best driving SUV Lincoln offers as well. It slips into tight parking spots with ease and corners like no other Lincoln in the fleet.
As mentioned, it’s a small SUV. The design is well proportioned and fits the 106” wheelbase like a glove. Lincoln designers have done a very nice job with the details, from the chrome “floating orb” grille to the rear dual exhaust tips. The sloped roofline and the crease along the beltline give it an attractive sporting look.
Inside, the heated and ventilated leather seats are what catches your eye. They’re comfortable and very adjustable for all shapes and sizes of people. The steering wheel is especially attractive and the floating control panel above the center console is a slick look – clean and uncluttered. There is enough legroom in the back seats, although more would have been nice. The rear cargo area is spacious for luggage or shopping finds and the rear seats fold flat for even more space. The rear seats also recline and slide, which offers just about all the adjustability one could ask for. They’re also heated.
Under the hood lies Lincoln’s 2.5L inline four-cylinder hybrid engine, hooked to a CVT automatic transmission that then distributes the power to the front wheels mostly, kicking in some rear-wheel traction when required. The CVT has “shift points’ programmed into it to feel like a normal automatic transmission. It does a good job of faking that it’s not a CVT while delivering decent performance and economy. While driving enthusiasts won’t be raving about it, most drivers won’t notice the difference and will be happy with the performance and feel of the system.
Packed full of technology (reading the specs on a new car aren’t unlike reading about the specs for a new phone) and apps to make driving easier and more appealing, Lincoln’s ActiveGlide 1.2 system did a fantastic job of handling the driving on major freeways. Once activated, it allows the driver to relax and take their hands of the wheel for awhile. As long as the sensors recognize that the driver is paying attention to traffic and what’s going on around them, it continues to steer the car down the highway staying in it’s lane. Coming up fast on a slower car? Activate the turn signal for a lane change and, as long as no one is in the lane next to you, ActiveGlide 1.2 will automatically change lanes for you and get into the passing lane. It’s quite an exciting and impressive system.
The Corsair rides on 20” wheels wrapped in 245/45R20 tires. The brakes are capable of stopping the car with alacrity. The ride is smooth and cosseting, comfortable but confident. The steering isn’t quite as intuitive as we’d have liked but it’s certainly good.
We weren’t sure the little engine would be sufficient to move the small but heavy SUV very well, but it really did the job. There was plenty of power to get under way, enough to pass slower cars, and move you right along. The cabin is quiet and relatively wind-noise free. Overall, we were impressed with what a quality car it felt like. It’s neither super luxurious nor super fast, but it’s modest and comfortable transportation that looks good going down the road.
Pricing wasn’t available to us at the time we had it but expect a price in the $40-50,000 range. It seems reasonable for what it is.