No one defines American luxury as well as Lincoln. Vehicles like the Navigator and Aviator ooze with unmistakable style and grace, giving them their unique identities. What if you want that but in a smaller package? Enter the Corsair, Lincoln’s smallest SUV. This model takes the goodness of its larger siblings and brings it to the compact luxury segment. It adds electrification to the mix in the 2022 Lincoln Corsair GT or Grand Touring, making it even more enticing. This car also proves that you don’t need to compromise by going to a smaller vehicle. Let’s take a deep dive and find out.
2022 Lincoln Corsair GT: Honey, I Shrunk the Aviator
Lincoln’s vehicles feature the brand’s family look but they each get a distinct character. In the case of the Corsair, it’s like a baby Aviator. It gets similar headlights and grille with a blue Lincoln logo embedded in it to denote the plug-in hybrid model. Designers also gave the car the same expansive greenhouse. In the back, you get full-width LED taillights that remain thin all the way through.
Inside, the Corsair GT’s American identity shines through. You get a distinct cabin that looks nothing like the competition and exudes the ambiance of a jazz club. Excellent build quality and a good variety of materials give the SUV the same premium aura as its larger siblings. Wood, leather, and bright metal enhance the car’s uniqueness. Superb levels of sound insulation turn the Corsair’s cabin into a tranquil environment, making it perfect for long road trips.
For its size, you get great accommodations. Four adults fit comfortably along with their gear. The squared profile gives you lots of usable space, especially with the rear seat down. You also get lots of storage spaces including a large bin for your smartphone on the center console.
User-Friendly Tech Features
Ford and Lincoln’s Sync user interface now ranks among the most intuitive systems. Even the older Sync 3 UI in the Corsair works quite well and has next to no learning curve. Minimal submenus keep things as simple as possible. Unfortunately, its response times could be quicker and the graphics now look a little dated, especially next to the newer Sync 4 and 4A systems. The standard 8.0-inch touchscreen is on the small end of things next to competitors with 10.0- to 14.0-inch displays. Lincoln wins back points with the 14-speaker Revel audio system, which ranks among the best with its clarity, crispness, and immersiveness.
Although the Corsair uses an older version of Lincoln’s CoPilot360 driver assistance suite, it still works well. The components never get intrusive and do a good job ensuring you stay in your lane. You can upgrade to Lincoln CoPilot360 1.5 Plus to add extra functions like traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control, and evasive steering assist. These components also operate subtly but remain proactive in ensuring you retain your set distance. It also enables the car to react quickly to someone cutting you off and help you take gentle curves on the highway.
2022 Lincoln Corsair GT: Smooth Operator
The plug-in Corsair’s powertrain reveals its on-road character: smooth and seamless. It couples a 2.5-liter I-4 with two electric drive motors, a 14.4-kWh battery, and a planetary gear set. Although 266 hp combined isn’t much, the usability stands out. Between the electric drive motors’ instant torque and the gas engine, you get strong, linear acceleration for all driving situations.
Continuing on the smoothness train, the Corsair provides a nice balance between comfort and agility. It does a fantastic job soaking up road imperfections even with the optional 20-inch alloy wheels. This adds to the cabin’s serene environment because of the additional layer of isolation.
You also don’t sacrifice handling in favor of cushiness. Since the smallest Lincoln shares its underpinnings with the Ford Escape, it too possesses car-like road manners. It happily tackles corners and remains planted even when during an evasive maneuver. Accurate, well-weighted steering enhances the overall driving experience and adds to the SUV’s approachable demeanor. Sport mode tightens the steering and adaptive dampers while retaining its comfort levels, resulting in a nicely balanced vehicle.
The e-AWD system provides additional traction by mounting the second electric drive motor on the rear axle. Lincoln did a fantastic job in its calibration because it responds immediately, giving the plug-in Corsair good grip levels. This system also keeps the vehicle neutral on spirited drives. By overdriving the rear wheels, the back end rotates controllably, minimizing understeer. Get a little too eager though and it will slide out more.
Versatile and Livable
According to the EPA, the Corsair Grand Touring can travel 28 miles in all-electric mode. Drive it like a traditional hybrid and it goes 430 miles or 34/32/33 mpg city/highway/combined. During my week, I managed to beat both estimates, frequently doing 35 to 40 miles before the gas engine kicked in. This also allowed me to average 43 mpg since I reserved hybrid operation for highway driving.
Additional modes including Battery Save and Charge allow you to reserve your all-electric range, providing extra powertrain flexibility. Since the Corsair essentially uses the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the Escape, it has the same quirks. This includes the gas engine randomly activating in all-electric mode or during the first time you turn the vehicle on. Consequently, it’s hard to keep the Corsair GT in all-electric mode unless it’s fully warmed up.
Like other electrified Ford and Lincoln models, the Corsair PHEV’s brake pedal operates naturally. That means you get seamless transitions from regenerative to mechanical braking, preventing you from getting jolted around if you have to stop suddenly. You also get strong energy recuperation from the two electric drive motors, improving overall efficiency and allowing you to preserve the battery’s state of charge. However, this won’t bring the car to a complete stop, meaning you need to use the brake pedal to come to a standstill.
The Best Lincoln Model
Starting at $53,650, the 2022 Corsair GT is on the lower end of the price bracket. This makes the SUV a great value considering its smoothness, long list of standard equipment, and that fantastic interior. Fully loaded, it rings up at roughly $65,000 before factoring in local and state incentives and the $6,843 federal tax credit.
The most attractive part of the 2022 Lincoln Corsair GT is that it manages to distill the goodness of its larger siblings into a compact package. As a result, you don’t feel like you’re getting a cheaper, lower-tier vehicle. It feels every bit as luxurious as the Aviator and Navigator only this time you get a nimbler vehicle that’s easier to maneuver. Lincoln’s plug-in hybrid powertrain only enhances the Corsair’s virtues giving you smooth power and efficiency. To put it simply, the plug-in Corsair represents the best of Lincoln: pure Americana in an alluring package.