2023 Lincoln Corsair GT PHEV & 2023 Lincoln Corsair Reserve
Lincoln has 2 models of their Corsair compact SUV. They both drive fairly similar, with the difference between the Reserve versus the GT PHEV being the ability to save on fuel consumption, and the noticeably more smaller cabin of the Reserve. Therefore I will be writing this review on both models, going into additional detail on the PHEV’s rechargeable battery lie.
The 2023 Lincoln Corsair GT PHEV is a hybrid vehicle that drives like a sports car. Lincoln is Ford’s answer to the luxury vehicle segment, and as it is not as common as other luxury brands to Vancouver, I was highly curious to see what sets them apart. Not to mention this would only be my second time setting foot in a Lincoln.
Having much experience with other luxury models, I cannot help but compare. It felt like the Corsair took a lot of influence from Mercedes from its seat adjustment buttons being located on the door panel to the way it is configured to look like a seat. Except the Lincoln has 1 more adjustable component outside of what Mercedes does. What was unique to Lincoln was the ability to fine tune and adjust the bottom of the seat where your thighs rest. Each side could extend out further and independent of one another. So should you wish, you had the additional support for the leg and foot that accelerated and pushed down on the brake.
And then there is the ambient lighting option. It is not to the same calibre or quantity as the one that Mercedes is known for, but I appreciated the ability and its inclusion of hues like teal sea, foam, and purple. It would have been nice to be able to choose the brightness or intensity of the accent colour, as it was barely more than a whisper of colour. It is a nice little touch for the driver, much like the Lincoln symbol being broadcasted on the ground, by the foot of the driver side door. This “bat symbol” of sorts turns on when you unlock the car and walk to enter. And when you start the vehicle itself the headlights put on a show as well. They flash and dance as to say they are at the ready.
I was most excited for the massaging chair feature in the 2023 Lincoln Corsair. A massage chair is an indulgence most people do not even have in their homes, so to be able to enjoy it daily on your commute or trip to the grocery store was the definition of luxury. However, activating it would prove difficult, as it was not easy to locate, and if you didn’t already know it had one, you would miss out on enjoying it completely. It was not until I took the time to push all the buttons on the infotainment system, and swipe far right on the setting’s tab did I locate the option under “seat”. Although it is still not as intuitive as that to activate. The massage option shares the screen with the customizable seat settings, a tally of points placed on specific parts of the chair to add more lumbar, to provide more head support, and to better cushion the sides of your body in held comfort.
To access the massage function, you had to select its specific tab and it would start rolling and pulsating, depending on the mode. From upper to lower back focus to an all over recovery or relaxation massage. When coupled with the heated seat settings this had the workings of a great treatment, all during your daily commute. And on the highest setting I could feel every pushing and pulsating prong through the padding of my thick and puffy winter coat. And best of all, this did not time out, because honestly why would you ever want it to stop it? Although it does get noisy, and there is no getting around the massage motor. It was constantly swirling and whirling, ever churning noisily. Which did take away from what would be a calming interaction, some.
The rest of the interface is fairly straightforward. The dash is kept clean and simple with minimal buttons on the command console, and everything you can find located on the touchscreen through the scrolling and button pushing, as explained above. Your going speed, the actual limit, the time, and the temperature are projected onto the windshield for easy visibility. Interesting were the two joystick-like knobs on either ends of the wheel, it made it feel like you were behind a video game controller. It was ergonomic in design, its top fitting nicely against the fleshy part of your thumb.
As this was my second Lincoln, I was already used to the gearshift as buttons positioned under the infotainment screen. They still reminded be of the buttons of a boom box stereo with play, stop, fast forward, and rewind. It took some getting use to, but does clear up more space on the centre console for the cup holder, the coin bin, as well as the sealed compartment with both C and USB cables for phone charging. Although I would’ve liked to have the armrest a little closer to the screen to be able to fully extend and relax on it as an actual rest.
As for the way the 2023 Lincoln Corsair handled it was a smooth ride in an almost soundproof cabin. The lower stance meant less body rolls, and less bumps are felt behind the heavier wheel. It definitely feels like you’re putting in that work to turn and direct the car.
I am not a fan of fully electric vehicles as my building does not have the option to charge them, nor does any place in my everyday life offer such capabilities. Therefore, the compromise of the hybrid charging feature is ideal for a driver such as myself. Equipped with a battery that could self-charge each time the car rolled or came to a full stop, thus adding to minimize fuel consumption. The percentage of battery used and charge was lit up on the dash, it provided an entertaining game, as I found myself working to maximize the rolling charge percentage and consistently attempting a perfect score of 100% on returned energy when braking. A task that also helped to make me a much more responsible driver.
In short this was a fun vehicle to drive with many futures that elevate the driving experience. But given that Matthew McConaughey is a spokesperson for the luxury brand, I did expect more panache. Although this may be just in this model, I will have to continue testing and driving the rest of the Lincoln line to find out.