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Auto Talk: 2020 Lincoln Corsair Reserve

It is the smallest Lincoln model available but still delivers a high level of luxury and refinement. I tested the top-of-the-line AWD Corsair with Reserve Appearance package. Priced to start at $50,500, a few options and a delivery charge took the sticker price to $68,175. Oh my!

But hold on, for that price you absolutely get everything you would want on the Corsair. And a big chunk of the price tag is an equipment group which includes a boatload of tech features. On the other hand, the Standard Corsair comes with a little less content starting at $44,200. Both look great on the outside, although I do prefer the big 20” Premium Painted wheels as they help give a somewhat purposeful look to the Corsair. Unfortunately, they are not available on the Standard model. Overall styling is subdued but not boring – just a toned-down elegance, much in the tradition of many Lincoln vehicles from the past. No styling gimmicks, no unnecessary curves and bulges.

The Corsair is well put together, with a body as rigid as any other well-made vehicle on the road these days. It's very quiet inside at any speed. Close the door and the muffled “thud” you hear gives a sense of solid workmanship.

While it looks small on the outside and is based on the Escape platform, the interior up front gives driver and passenger plenty of leg, shoulder and headroom. Rear seat passengers have enough legroom depending on how far the front seats are moved. Behind the rear seat is plenty of cargo space, more than enough for a couple travelling or hauling stuff from the nearest furniture store. Inside, there are storage places here and there and a space under the floating centre console for electronic devices.

Side mirrors are large to help with shoulder checking, but I do wish the rear window was just a little bigger for improved visibility in the back. Certainly, the rear camera is a big help, but you can’t always rely on the camera.

The 2.3-litre turbocharged four in my Corsair is now an established powerplant in the Ford and Lincoln family, putting out an impressive 295 horsepower while still sipping gas at 11L/100 km around town and 9.4L/100 km on the highway when averaging 120 kmph. There is more than enough low-end torque so you can smartly pull away from the intersection, and plenty of horsepower available at the upper end taking you beyond legal speeds. Coupled with an eight-speed automatic, the combo works well together with the tranny delivering extremely smooth shifts. A 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder rated at 250 horsepower is standard.

For the driver, controls are close at hand and easy to use with lots of tech like Apple Car Play and Android Auto available from the smartphone-like touchscreen. There is no gearshift lever – like a lot of manufacturers, Lincoln gives you buttons with shift paddles on the steering column.

Driving the Corsair is enjoyable with the 2.3-litre engine delivering enough punch for zipping around in traffic. Handling is good up to a certain limit, yet the steering is responsive and crisp. The driver gets a choice of driving modes from Normal to Excite to settings in between that help get you through snow, mud and whatever else. I didn’t notice much difference between them, so leave it in Normal and enjoy the ride.

Personally, the Corsair would be just the transport for me and Mrs. M. Interior room up front is ample, nobody suffers for legroom in the back seat and the amount of cargo space behind the rear seat with that seat up is more than enough for two people. I also feel it's just the right size for commuting in an urban environment.  The Lincoln website tells you their models are built to order and take six to eight weeks for delivery. I would strongly suggest ordering a Corsair to your specs to get the most bang for your buck rather than buying off the lot. It's nice to have all the bells and whistles in your vehicle, but over $68,000 for something the size of a Corsair seems very much overpriced. They do cost a lot less in the U.S.

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