CHATHAM, Mass. – We liked it a lot following last year’s review and after spending a week in a 2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve, our very-positive opinion of this luxury compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) continues.
Ford’s luxury up-scale division introduced an all-new Corsair last year and decided to leave well enough alone for the 2022 model year by limiting the changes for this year to:
– two new colors (Asher Gray and Silver Radiance),
– two additional USB ports in rear console
– Monochromatic Package available on Corsair Reserve (includes 20-inch black aluminum wheels, body-color grille, front and rear bumpers, rocker panel, and monochromatic badging)
– Sport Appearance Package available on Corsair and Corsair Reserve (includes 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with magnetic painted pockets; front bumper body color; Lincoln-design black grille, and illuminated scuff plates, which our sample had)
– Tow Package available across the range
The Corsair has been popular since its autumn 2019 launch, as has the hybrid Corsair Grand Touring which premiered later that year (also as a 2020 model). For 2021 the compact SUV range maintains its status as a leading luxury example, providing a comfortable environment with the latest technological bells and whistles.
Interior a place for relaxed motoring
Lincoln likes to talk about their vehicles offering a sanctuary from the maelstrom of every-day-life and the Corsair Reserve, smallest of its SUVs, does an excellent job of coddling its passengers without isolating the driver from his/her responsibilities.
The electrically adjustable, 10-way heated/ventilated power seats allow the front occupants to find – and if need be, adjust during a drive – a perfect seating position (including individual thigh-support modules). Part of the multi-adjustment system is both multiple back support positions and massage capability. (And up to three drivers can load their preferred settings, along with those for outside rearview mirrors and electrically adjustable, heated steering wheel, into one of three memory positions for instant recall.)
The rear seats may not offer as much adjustment as those in the front, but are still comfortable, heated, slide forward-and-back, and can be folded flat (60/40 split) to increase the overall storage.
Despite the compact nature of the Corsair, the feeling is never claustrophobic thanks to large glass all around and a panoramic moonroof with electric sunshade.
Lincoln combines buttons, switches, voice activation and touch-screen controls for intuitive, easy operation of its interior systems.
The infotainment system, boosted by the Revel 14-speaker audio system, can be controlled by steering-wheel buttons, voice or ergonomically designed dash dials, knobs and buttons. It includes AM/FM/satellite radio/streaming audio as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The standard navigation system can be controlled through either the touch screen or voice activation via a button on the steering wheel.
The dual-zone, automatic climate-control system also uses a combination of dash buttons and dials along with the touch screen for operation.
USB ports, wireless charging and Lincoln Connect (4G modem with WiFi capability) provide Corsair Reserve passengers a means to keep their connected lives going even while riding in the Lincoln.
In front of the driver is further helpful technology, first in the form of a 12.3-inch color instrument cluster which is customizable, and then in a very informative and easily seen (even with sunglasses!) head up display.
Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus brings complete ADAS portfolio
The fully equipped Corsair Reserve we sampled included the Elements Package which added some of the luxury features mentioned above (heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, etc.) as well as features like windshield deicer; rain-sensing wipers, and a 360° camera.
It also meant upgrading from the standard Lincoln Co-Pilot360 to Co-Pilot360 Plus advanced driver-assist system (ADAS). The Co-Pilot360 (standard on all Corsair models) includes Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot information System, a Lane-Keeping System, rear backup camera and auto high-beam lighting.
The additional features added with the Co-Pilot360 Plus package are: Active Park Assist (active park assist plus which can put the Corsair into virtually any parking space with virtually no driver input); Evasive Steer Assist (it provides additional steering support when a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone); Reverse Brake Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The systems work without being annoying which means you will be less likely to disable them, thus making them even more effective than those offered by some other manufacturers.
A powertrain which performs while being efficient
The Lincoln Corsair Reserve was motivated by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting a spirited 280 horsepower and 310 pounds-feet of torque through an eight-speed transmission.
Lincoln’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system allows for enhanced all-weather capabilities and bold performance. It optimizes efficiency by seamlessly switching between front- and all-wheel drive depending on road conditions, resulting in all-season confidence behind the wheel and an enhanced ride for passengers. The system’s all-wheel-drive disconnect capability switches automatically from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive, in response to road, speed, temperature and other conditions.
The suspension provides a smooth ride and solid, reassuring handling performance. Adding to this feeling was the braking system, power-assisted, our-wheel disc with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC® ).
The federal Environmental Protection Agency rated the 2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve AWD with 2.3-L engine at 24 miles per gallon overall (21 city/28 highway), but my week behind the wheel – with my usual spirited driving approach – resulted in an overall 27.5 mpg average. As usual, individual results will vary, but I was impressed by this number (which did not include a lot of highway time).
Reinforcing an earlier conclusion – an excellent luxury SUV
When I drove the 2020 Lincoln Corsair I was impressed. I was impressed by its comfort, its style, its features and its value within the luxury SUV market. A year later, with many other vehicles under my belt, I am still impressed. The 2021 fully equipped Corsair tipped the scales at $58,430 (including $995 destination) – not inexpensive, but a solid choice when comparing with the other brands in this segment.