With the 2023 model incoming, is the 2022 Corsair still a good buy?
Lincoln introduced the Corsair back in 2019 as a replacement for the successful MKC crossover. A recent update to the Lincoln Corsair rolls in important changes for 2023, including a new front end, improved technology, and ActiveGlide hands-free driving capability. The 2023 Corsair won't arrive on the market until next year, but CarBuzz recently had the opportunity to drive a 2022 model, so we'd have a fresh idea of what to expect from the new one.
The 2022 Corsair is mechanically identical to the facelifted model, but there are some key areas where the 2023 is noticeably superior. If you're currently in the market for a new car and can't decide if you want to wait until next year, here's a breakdown of what we liked on the Corsair and what needs to be improved.
All of Lincoln's current SUV models are handsome. The company's Quiet Flight design language is completely inoffensive, though we do believe it's a little copy/paste-like, as the Corsair looks very similar at the front to the Nautilus, Aviator, and Navigator. For 2023, the facelift gives the Corsair a unique personality within the Lincoln lineup, instead of seeming like a smaller version of the same thing. A larger grille is the most significant change, along with some new wheel options and updated wing-shaped daytime running lights. Some automakers have gone too far with the prominent grille trend, but we think Lincoln managed to keep it at a reasonable size.
The interior feels perfectly luxurious, but the eight-inch touchscreen dates the Corsair in a major way. Not only is the display tiny, but the user interface is laggy and the features are lacking. Fortunately, the 2023 Corsair gains a new 13.2-inch touchscreen powered by a newer SYNC 4 interface. This newer setup adds Amazon Alexa integration, wireless compatibility for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and over-the-air update capability. With this larger screen, the Corsair will go from an SUV with lagging technology to a potential class leader.
Though the infotainment technology was lacking in the 2022 model, the same is not true of the safety tech. Lincoln Co-Pilot360 is among the best safety suites we've tested, with pre-collision assist, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and auto high beams all standard. Co-Pilot360 Plus adds adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, reverse brake assist, and active park assist plus.
The existing lane-keeping system works tremendously well on the highway, giving the impression that it could almost take over without driver inputs. For 2023, the Corsair will be taken to the next level with available ActiveGlide 1.2, which can operate hands-free on certain highways. This system includes lane change assist, predictive speed assist , in-lane repositioning, and intersection assist.
It may only be a compact crossover, but the Corsair maximizes passenger space. The rear seats offer up to 38.6 inches of legroom, which is more than an Acura RDX, Audi Q3, BMW X3, or Lexus NX. Those seats can even slide forward or backward and recline for greater comfort. We imagine the Corsair would be perfect to use for Uber Black, as it provides mid-size legroom in a compact package. The massive rear legroom comes at the detriment of trunk space, where the Corsair's 27.6 cubic-foot trunk (57.6 with the seats folded) is smaller than rivals.
Up front, occupants can enjoy Lincoln's Perfect Position seats featuring 24-way adjustment and massage. Though we eventually got comfortable in them, the many directions of adjustment made it difficult for us to find our "perfect position" before handing the Corsair back at the end of the week. This won't be impacted by the facelift, despite it featuring some exciting new themes.
The 2022 Corsair was offered with three engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 2.5-liter plug-in hybrid. Lincoln will drop the 2.3-liter engine for 2023, meaning the 250-horsepower 2.0-liter will be the base powertrain. We had no issues with this motor, but it doesn't stand out in any way from other engines of this size. As for the eight-speed transmission, it often provided uncomfortable shifts that took away from the luxury experience.
We recommend opting for the Corsair Grand Touring, which includes the PHEV drivetrain. It delivers 266 hp and a 28-mile EV-only driving range. Unfortunately, the Grand Touring is more than a drivetrain option; it's also the top Corsair trim, which is great for all the features that adds, but not so great for your budget. Starting at $53,385 without destination and options for 2023, the Grand Touring costs $10,000 more than the mid-level Reserve trim. It's pricey, but the PHEV should qualify for a $7,500 tax credit, which partially alleviates the price premium.
To decide whether or not it's worth waiting for the 2023 model, consider that the price increase over the 2022 model is just $1,575, but the improvements are substantial; it looks better, has an improved infotainment setup, and a more comprehensive safety suite. If your budget allows it, stretch for the latest Corsair Grand Touring.