While Lincoln used to be known primarily for luxury sedans. However, in 1998, the Navigator arrived in dealerships, and today, its entire lineup is now entirely made up of SUVs. The 2023 Lincoln Corsair is the smallest and least expensive, followed by the Nautilus, Aviator and Navigator. The Corsair started at just $38,690 for the 2023 model year base trim (just called the Standard). From there, the mid-range Reserve came in at just more than $43,000, and the Grand Touring, like our tester, kicked off at $53,885.

It’s a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) finished in “Pristine White” ($750) with the ebony/cashew interior and the “Collection III” package, which adds another $8,000. That basically means it’s got, well, everything with regard to features and options. All in, you’re looking at around $62,000 out-the-door for this top-spec Corsair. Let’s run through five good and five bad things about it, and see if it gets the nod as a recommended buy in the compact luxury crossover market.

5 good things about the 2023 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring III

OMG it’s got massaging seats! I’ll admit that, even though I’ve entered the second half of my 40s in relatively decent shape, I absolutely adore massaging seats. I appreciated how easy it is to get into the massage controls, you just push the button for the seat massage next to the seat memory buttons on the door. Then a menu pops up on the nicely sized 13.2-inch touchscreen, and you can select your setting. When you’re done, you can press it again and it goes away.

I also liked how the front seats have a bifurcated front section so you can dial in more support for one leg versus the other. I didn’t use it all that much, but it could be helpful for a long road trip. The interior overall is full of nice details and solid materials that mostly feel at home in an SUV that costs more than 60 grand. Add in the fact that even the base model is very well-equipped and you’ve got a pretty solid compact luxury option already.

The Grand Touring is only available with the PHEV drivetrain, and AWD is standard. The plug-in hybrid powertrain has 266 horsepower, which is fine, adequate even, but it also has an estimated 28 miles of electric driving range. I found that very handy for around-town driving, I imagine most family errands can probably be done in all-electric mode depending on where you live. And if they can’t, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standing at the ready to keep you moving, reducing any and all range anxiety that you might have in a full electric vehicle.

Finally, it’s incredibly quiet. Even when the gas engine is going, you sort of coast down the road in impressive silence. Once you are in all-electric mode it’s dead quiet, which as was the case in the Lightning EV, is good and bad. Stay tuned.

5 bad things about the 2023 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring III

The piano black interior trim tend has to die a quick and painful death. Like a lot of other press loaners I’ve tested in the past couple of years, it shows absolutely every bit of dirt, dust and fingerprint. They deliver these vehicles pretty clean, so the pics below give you some sense of what things looked like in less than a week of use.

As I alluded to above, the Corsair is incredibly quiet. In fact, it was so quiet in electric mode is that you can hear the seat massaging motors quite prominently. As relaxing as the massaging seats are, hearing the motors churning away just behind (and below) you wasn’t an amazing experience.

Also, there were a few ergonomic challenges that I encountered during my week in the Corsair. Here they are in a handy bulletized list.

  • The start-stop button is sort of hidden up under the vents.
  • There are six buttons behind the steering wheel, I had no clue what they do.
  • The drive button is actually pretty far away, and I have long arms.
  • The area for the wireless charger has a cover, which is great. However anything you put on that hard plastic surface would most definitely slide around.
  • I found myself accidentally pressing the voice activation button very often, which is located around 10 o’clock on the steering wheel.

The Corsair has a boatload of standard driver aids. Even the base model has forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane keeping system, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assistance, intersection collision mitigation and rear automatic braking. On a few occasions, the Corsair’s electronic nannies yelled at me to keep my hands on the wheel. The only problem with that was that both hands were on the wheel. Maybe it was because I was on a super straight road and wasn’t turning very often, but it was pretty annoying to say the least.

Finally, and this drove me absolutely bananas, there was a small rattle or squeak up in above (or inside) passenger dashboard area. During the course of the week I simply could not locate it or do anything about it, so I had to just try and tune it out. This particular loaner has over 12,700 miles on it, and press loan miles are pretty hard, so I can give them the benefit of the doubt perhaps on that one.

The bottom line

While driving the Corsair, I was actually in the market for a new vehicle. I had already sold my 2023 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara and was preparing to sell my 2017 Jaguar F-Type R, so I wanted something interesting and comfortable that would haul the family. I very much went down the Lincoln rabbit hole after driving the Corsair and was pretty impressed with the vehicles I test drove. I didn’t end up purchasing one, but the mix of luxury and convenience features are pretty great. If you are in the market for a compact luxury crossover, the Corsair has a lot to like across each of its three trim levels.

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