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Base Camp: 2023 Lincoln Corsair

Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade. This week we look at the Lincoln Corsair, the brand’s smallest crossover.

By Matthew Guy Wheels.ca

Dec 13, 2022 3 min. read

Article was updated 2 months ago

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The Lincoln Corsair is Dearborn’s entry into the brutally competitive luxury compact crossover segment, marking the 2023 model year with a raft of updates. There are a trio of trims in Canada, two gassers and a plug-in electric hybrid, with the entry-level Standard setting its table with a sticker price of $48,900.

Under the hood is a (stop us if you’ve heard this before) 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine making a wholly acceptable – if not outstanding – 250 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft of torque, connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard-in-Canada all-wheel drive. This is the beyond-dominant powertrain configuration in this segment, though a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds when properly equipped with an optional $700 package does outstrip some of its competition.

Changes for 2023 will be easy to spot, including a larger grille than last year and wing-shaped daytime running lamps. Painted 18-inch alloys are the smallest found in this Corsair line, if you care about those types of things. Lincoln offers eight different paint colour choices on this entry-level trim, including snazzy options like Crystal Red and Whisper Blue. Note the only two selections not costing an extra $950 are Silver Radiance and Infinite Black. A so-called Jet Appearance Package gives the appearance of a floating roof along with a smattering of black badges and colour-keyed trim but requires the selection of another pricey options package.

Lincoln corsair interior

There are changes inside the Corsair for 2023, as well. Gone is the sad-sack infotainment system, replaced with an attractive 13.2-inch capacitive touchscreen which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus the typical Bluetooth and voice commands. A premium audio system with 10 speakers is part of the deal, as are a power liftgate and a choice of three interior colours.

However, if you want ventilated front seats, wireless charging, and a hands-free liftgate, you’ll need to pop for the not-so-creatively named 101A package which will add $4,000 to yer bottom line. The ’23 model bins several dial controls for ventilation, cleaning up the interior but vexing those who don’t like those functions routed through a touchscreen. An actual volume knob remains, so that’s good.

Active driving aids on all Corsair trims include blind-spot monitors, evasive steering assists, stop-and-go cruise, and automatic emergency braking. Around-view cameras are part of the optional package mentioned above, as is reverse brake assist, so make sure to double check for Johnny’s bike whilst reversing out of the driveway if you don’t spring for the option.

What We'd Choose

The next-rung Reserve trim is a $4,500 walk from the Standard. Given the $4,000 cost of the 101A package mentioned above, this seems like a no-brainer – until you realize most of 101A’s features aren’t included without extra charge in the Reserve, either. What does the extra cheddar net? Better colour selections, for starters, including a tasty Eternal Red interior which is almost worth the cash all by itself. Other extras are bigger wheels, snazzier headlamps, interior ambient lighting, and a slightly different front grille.

Is that worth making the leap? Your author would do so simply for the red interior because he is an annoying extrovert. Most other buyers may find themselves better off adding 101A to the entry-level car and enjoy their ventilated seats.

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