I Test Drove The 2020 Lincoln Corsair and Here’s What I Thought
There are so many things to worry about when embarking on a long road trip: Sudden stops and turns, where the closest gas station is, creating the perfect playlist…And suffice it to say, it’s also really easy to get distracted (okay, and bored) after hour four of endless highway.
I put all of those concerns to the test when given the chance to test drive the 2020 Lincoln Corsair from Eastern Long Island to Cape Cod this summer—with a pit stop in Brooklyn in between. And you bet I brought along my quarantine pod (who entered the car only with negative Covid test results in hand). Despite all the potential diversions that come with driving (not to mention the seemingly endless array of in-car luxuries), the Corsair made it easy and almost enjoyable to focus on the driving experience.
Here’s what I thought of the experience.
The price: The Corsair AWD Reserve, the model I drove, starts at $44,830 but with all the bells and whistles (plus that flashy blue leather interior) the price came out to $60,610. A simplified version of the same car starts at $35,495, ideal for the budget shopper who doesn’t necessarily want a vehicle that can drive itself but still wants the luxe feel of this crossover.
The interior: Let me preface this with saying: All cars should have built-in massage capabilities. Seriously, even Cape Cod traffic on a Sunday afternoon was made slightly more bearable with the Corsair massaging out the knots in my lower back. Don’t worry: The mechanical masseuse wasn’t so intense that my driving was impaired, but the driver and passenger seats did make a bit of a racket while the massage function was on.
The rest of the car was delightfully spacious and tastefully done up in a soothing shade of Beyond Blue leather. The backseat was treated to a great view, even in the middle, thanks to the ample moon roof (or as Lincoln calls it, the Panoramic Vista Roof). And my road trip pal who was relegated to the backseat didn’t even fight for time to sit in the front; she loved how much room she had to lounge in the back.
In addition to having heated front seats (which were a real treat after being stranded on Martha’s Vineyard in a windy rainstorm), the Corsair I drove came with cooling seats. Which is, yes, the greatest luxury to have after a sunny day at the beach, because it meant we had no scorching leather seats to deal with.
The drive: Once I was ready to set out from my house for the first leg of the trip (Long Island to Brooklyn), I realized I couldn’t find one key component: The gear shift. That’s because the Corsair has a Piano Key Shifter, located right under the touchscreen center console. You simply press the Drive or Park button as needed, just like you’re playing a piano or a kid’s game.
Speaking of which, driving this smart car almost felt like a video game. The Lane-Keeping System, which operates via a combination of cameras and sensors, almost made me feel like I didn’t need a pulse to operate the vehicle (the Blind Spot Protection helped, thanks to its unapologetic albeit lifesaving beeping). Take any of the four wheels towards a white or yellow line and the Corsair subtly guides the steering wheel back on course—ideal when you take your eyes off the road for a second or when one of your fellow passengers passes you a handful of messy chips. Those features, plus the Reverse Parking Aid and Reverse Aid Assist added a welcome layer of security as I attempted to parallel park (or just drive) on the busy streets of Brooklyn.
However, the Adaptive Cruise Control, which actually steers the car for you, was one feature that felt a touch too advanced for me. Turns out, I like to have quite a bit of control over a car when I’m going 68 on a four-lane highway.
But thanks to the intelligent all-wheel drive and adaptive suspension, the Corsair seamlessly optimizes performance as you hit the curves of a small country road or encounter an unexpected rain shower on the highway. In addition, there’s the option to manually select the driving mode—I only used the one for Slick Conditions, though there are options for snow and slush—which made me less worried during those aforementioned showers, as I could feel the car hugging itself to the road a bit more.
Despite the size of this crossover SUV (about 108.6 inches). it drove like it was a light sedan—which is ideal if you’re just going to load the roomy trunk up with luggage—and it got great mileage. Lincoln touts that the Corsair gets 22 city and 29 highway, but throughout my four-day, over 550-mile excursion, I only had to put $45 worth of gas in the tank. Although, figuring out how to use the “capless” gas tank was quite a journey. Heads up: you have to fully push the pump in and pull it out just so in order to fill it up.
The best (and worst) technology: One of my favorite features was the automatic LED headlights that automatically turn the brights on when other cars aren’t around. Where I live on Long Island, there are no streetlights on the roads, so not having to worry about blinding other drivers on a pitch black night is a nice luxury.
The smart tech I could have lived without? The Approach/Farewell elements, that projected lights and the Lincoln logo on the ground as I walked to the car and literally sang to me as I entered the car and pushed the Start button. While I get the luxe factor those add, it just seemed a bit garish and over-the-top.
The final verdict: Even though I’m more of a sedan kinda girl (I find smaller cars so much easier to maneuver in a city and they tend to get better gas mileage), the Corsair definitely made me consider switching over to a crossover. Since it wasn’t quite an SUV but far sexier than a station wagon—and it was packed with all the safety features I never knew I needed—I’ve actually never felt safer while hitting the open road. And my road trip crew who were along for the ride (which they concurred was undeniably smooth) would certainly agree.