2023 Lincoln Corsair Reserve 2.0L Turbo($43,075) – Interior, Exterior and Drive(Luxury SUV)

The 2023 Lincoln Corsair Is Gunning Hard for Title of Best Compact Luxury SUV

A fresh face, bigger screens, and segment-first Lincoln Active Glide hands-free cruise control maximize appeal.

The crowded and growing luxury compact SUV class is no place to pinch pennies, so just three years into its current production run, the Corsair is receiving significant investment from its maker, Lincoln. The strong-selling entry-level Lincoln Corsair SUV gains several hand-me-down technologies from pricier Lincolns, including the Auto Air Refresh cabin particulate-matter purging system from the midsize Aviator, and Lincoln Active Glide (Ford BlueCruise) hands-free highway driver assist from the max-profits Navigator.

The Corsair’s front end gets a thorough refresh, including new headlamps with a wing-shaped daytime-running-light feature comprised of LEDs that perform a little “Lincoln Embrace” welcome animation. New waterfall grille designs incorporate Lincoln star outlines that now cover the bumper crash beam. On base trims levels, these stars comprise the voids in a latticework. Upper trims thrust solid Lincoln star outlines forward, either in solid gloss black, or adorned with a bright or satin finish hot-stamped onto them, depending on trim.

A package with blacked-out trim and wheels will now be available across multiple trim levels. There are two new wheel designs available in each of three sizes measuring 18, 19, or 20 inches in diameter. And two new colors are added: Whisper Blue (which at first looks non-metallic, then reveals a pearly flake in direct lighting), and a Crystal Red maroon metallic. As before, Lincoln doesn’t badge its trim grades, but the plug-in Grand Touring AWD model is distinguished by blue “CORSAIR” lettering and a blue background for the grille’s star.

Interior Tech, Unmatched Driver Assistance
The base digital instrument cluster screen expands from 10.1 to 12.3 inches, and Lincoln is democratizing its largest 13.2-inch central touchscreen across the entire fleet, so it really looks big in the modestly sized Corsair. The infotainment system running on that screen is Ford Sync 4-based, so it’s over-the-air upgradable, and supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The bottom half-inch of the screen is permanently dedicated to HVAC controls, the hard buttons for which used to mount to a larger tongue protrusion hovering over the center console. Moving them allowed that feature to shrink, freeing up space to move the wireless device charger out of the center armrest bin and up to an enclosed bin, where the driver can see it. For those who prefer wired connections, that same bin includes a choice of USB-A or -C jacks.

As unique selling propositions go in a crowded segment like luxury compact SUVs, fully hands-free cruise control is a humdinger. Now certified for use on 130,000 miles of limited-access divided highways, the Lincoln Active Glide system in the top-shelf Corsair will face little competition. The electric Cadillac Lyriq is likely to be the next-most-affordable luxury SUV with similar tech (GM’s Super Cruise). Its lane-keep assist feature is also upgraded this year using info from the blind-spot monitors to apply steering torque to help prevent veering into another vehicle.

Reserve and Grand Touring buyers now get a choice of Eternal Red upholstery on the seats and lower dash, replacing the original Beyond Blue. The door panels simply get red stitching on black to avoid an “Eternal Bordello” look. Dash trim options include wood, two new aluminum looks with geometric brushing (the snazzier Pista option is exclusive to the red interior), or an aluminum-look film through which ambient lighting can shine at night.

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