2022 Lincoln Corsair Review

2022 Lincoln Corsair - Broadening its appeal with a focus on comfort.


Lincoln is bringing names back to its vehicles with refreshed styling, new technology, and maximizing comfort. The Corsair is a compact five-passenger luxury crossover that debuted in 2020 as a replacement for the MKC. While the name is new, it shares a platform with the longer-running Ford Escape. It is available in three trims known as Standard, Reserve, and Grand Touring. Prices start at $36,580 for the Standard, $41,410 for the Reserve, and $51,810 for the Grand Touring. A variety of packages and options are available to make it your own.

There are three powertrains available with horsepower ranging from 250 up to 295. Standard is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder netting 250 horsepower. A more powerful 2.3L four-cylinder delivering 295 horsepower is also available as is a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain with two electric motors that generates 266 horsepower. All models come in either front or all-wheel drive. Competition includes vehicles such as the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Genesis GV70, Lexus NX, and Volvo XC60. I spent time in an AWD Corsair Reserve and here's what stood out...

Highway Cruiser (+)

The Corsair delivers a comfortable, smooth ride with sufficient power. The 2.3 turbocharged 4-cylinder in my test model was quick with its 295 horsepower and 310-pound feet of torque. I drove the Corsair to Indianapolis and found it to be an ideal highway cruiser. There was enough power for passing and it provided just enough engagement. It absorbed the road well to deliver a smooth ride the entire way. Handling is balanced and steering is well-weighted. It has five various drive modes to meet various conditions that include normal, excite, slippery, deep conditions, and conserve. These can be easily selected via a rotary dial in the center console. It's not a dynamic handling crossover like the BMW X3, but it is comfortable and more luxurious than its platform-mate Ford Escape. The electronic gear selector utilizes toggle-like buttons in the center console. Overall, this is a great vehicle for longer road trips where you'll spend a lengthy amount of time behind the steering wheel. It was easy to drive, and I never felt fatigued.

Co-Pilot 360 Plus (+)
An available upgrade on the Corsair is its adaptive cruise control system known as Co-Pilot 360 Plus. It's a $2,500 upgrade that also includes a 360-degree camera with front and rear camera washer, evasive steering assist, active park assist 2.0, forward sensing system, reverse brake assist, and puddle lamps. The system worked very well for my extended highway drive and was very user-friendly. At the push of a few buttons, I was able to activate the system, set my desired speed and the Corsair took it from there. It automatically adjusted the speed, stayed centered in the lane, and scanned speed limit signs along the way and adjusted the speed accordingly. I was able to sit back, steer, and enjoy the available massaging seats.

Another feature within this package is the evasive steering assist which assists the driver in avoiding a collision with a vehicle ahead. The system will provide added steering support when a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone. Also included is active park assist which will be valuable to anyone who does a lot of parallel parking.  Once activated, the Corsair will take over the steering, shifting, braking and acceleration functions to park itself. The system works well and provides step by step directions to the driver. It will work for both parallel and perpendicular parking. All these systems were part of a larger equipment group package (201A) in my test vehicle that was $5,300 and included more features.
Technology (+/-)
Tech was a mixed bag for me on this one. On one hand, the Co-pilot 360 Plus was very impressive. On the other hand, I was left wanting more with the audio system. It comes with a solid list of standard features including dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen that integrates with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  SYNC 3 is user-friendly and works well, but the screen felt small, and the audio quality was average compared to others like Volvo or BMW. Lincoln offers a 14-speaker Revel stereo system that fell short to me. A wireless charging tray is also available, but it's located within the center console within a clip style design and will require a cord to activate CarPlay.  An available 12.3" digital gauge cluster is clear, and the head-up display is more of an aid than a distraction. The head-up display is viewable in virtually all lighting conditions and can be read while wearing polarized sunglasses. You can customize the data that displays, including available Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control settings, Lane-Keeping System information and more. All in all, Lincoln offers everything you need without going over the top.

Comfort (+)

Lincoln shifted its focus to create space that appeals to the senses, and it has done a good job in the Corsair. When I first sat in the Corsair, I was impressed with how comfortable it felt and the layout did convey a sense of calmness. It features a horizontal design with mixed materials and colors. The materials are class appropriate and soft to the touch. Color options like Beyond Blue, Cashew and Medium Slate are all available. They provide a modern take on some nostalgic colors from older luxury vehicles. Available ambient lighting will further set the tone of the interior space.

It comfortably seats five passengers with sufficient head and legroom all around. Synthetic leather, heated front seats, and 10-way power adjustable seats are all standard.  Available upgrades include genuine leather, massaging front seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and 24-way power adjustability. The massaging seats were an unexpected luxury for a vehicle of this size and price. They worked well with a variety of settings and complimented the Co-Pilot 360 nicely turning a long commute into a more relaxing trip.

Second-row seats can slide forward/back up to six inches which helps with various size passenger legroom or cargo area in back. All the seats in the Corsair are well-padded and plush. Rear seats also recline which add to the serene sanctuary vibe that Lincoln is striving to attain.

Panoramic Roof (+)

An available option is a full-length panoramic vista roof that adds a very calm open-air vibe to the interior.  The front half opens to let the outside air in with a nice sized opening with the rear section is a fixed glass. It comes with a power sunshade to let the light in or block it out based on the weather. This is among the biggest panoramic roofs in the class.

Cargo (+/-)
There is 27.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 57.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Overall cargo is average for the class.  Additional underfloor storage is also available. The power rear hatch has a clamshell like opening that is wide and makes loading in cargo easy. There are also buttons in the back that can be pressed to automatically fold down the second row when needed.

Exterior Style (+/-)
At first glance, the Corsair is not strikingly different from the MKC it replaced. However, upon closer look you'll notice the details that have been updated and highlight its luxury class definition. Up front is a luxurious chrome grille with a mesh pattern that mirrors the shape of the Lincoln emblem. It features jeweled LED headlights with separated turn signals and built into the lower portion of the bumper are slim fog lights. The front hood wraps around and over into the fenders to align with a high belt line. Like all Lincoln models, there is a nameplate identifier on the front doors. Its side profile shape is like the Ford Escape, but mixes of chrome accents around the windows and sophisticated wheel designs add a premium feel. Around back, a clam shaped tailgate wraps around into the fenders providing a wide hatch opening and clean rear design. LED taillights stretch across the hatch with LINCOLN spelled out under the glass. A dual exhaust, cladding, and reflectors give the lower portion dimension. Overall proportions are good giving the Corsair a solid presence. There is nothing overtly unique in its simple, but clean design though which causes it to blend in more than stand out.

Wheels (+/-)

Standard models come with 18" painted aluminum alloys, Reserve models get 19" bright-machined aluminum with magnetic painted pockets, and Grand Touring models come with 19" bright-machined aluminum with a dark tarnish finish. The designs are class-appropriate and compliment the rest of the design. Tires are more touring than performance and aid in providing a comfortable and smooth ride.

Safety (+)

Lincoln has given the Corsair a nice list of standard safety features that include the basics such as airbags, rear view camera, stability control, tire pressure monitoring and LATCH child safety system. Also, standard are the following driver assist features...

* Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking
* Auto High-beams
* Blind Spot Information System
* Cross-traffic Alert
* Rear Parking Sensors

Other available driver assist features include reverse brake assist, intelligent adaptive cruise control, active park assist 2.0, front sensing system, and evasive steering assist. It has received a five-star safety rating from NHTSA for crash tests and receives mostly good IIHS safety ratings.

Final Statement

The Corsair is a compact luxury crossover that flies under the radar. It does most things well and delivers a smooth, very comfortable ride. Its styling is conservative with clean lines and nice finishing touches, but it lacks any memorable flare found in some competitors. The interior is supremely comfortable with well-padded seats and a cozy feeling layout that is easy to get acquainted with. This was a great vehicle for my highway trip to Indianapolis and proved to be very urban friendly with its compact size. Lincoln did a nice job with this vehicle, but its biggest challenge will be standing out in a crowded segment.

First Impression Summary:
Test Vehicle:
2022 Lincoln Corsair AWD Reserve
Powertrain: 2.3L Turbocharged I-4
Exterior Color: Flight Blue Metallic
Interior Color: Sandstone Premium Leather
Options: Equipment Group 201A with panoramic vista roof, elements package, heated/ventilated seats, Co-Pilot 360, 360-degree camera, active park assist, and more ($5,300), Adaptive suspension ($1,025), Technology Package ($2,800), Luxury Package ($2,200), and Sport Package ($2,500)
MSRP as tested: $58,505 (With Destination & Delivery)

Jim OBrill

Jim is Director of Marketing for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and Chicago Auto Show and a co-host of Drive Chicago Radio on WLS 890 AM Chicago. His passion for cars started young and he’s often referred to as the ‘car-guy’ among family and friends. As a former auto detailer, he has an eye for identifying solid used cars and tags along on many car buying adventures. Early in his career he worked at several car dealerships in various areas of the business. As a co-host on Drive Chicago and member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, Jim has had opportunities to attend track school and drive vehicles on multiple circuits such as Road America and Gingerman Raceway. With a background in photography, taking pictures of vehicles has always been a hobby.

Jim also enjoys the trails and taking trucks like his 4Runner off road. He has a special appreciation for older cars and can often be found spending free time at cruise nights or home washing one his four vehicles. Jim resides in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three kids. Follow Jim on Instagram at @jpcars22 for new vehicle content or @forgotten_survivors.312 for shots of older cars still on the streets of Chicagoland.