At the northern tip of the Sonora Desert just a couple miles north of the U.S. border, sits the small town of Osoyoos, British Columbia. Better known as the south end of Canada’s Okanagan valley, the twisty roads, beautiful lakes and inspiring peaks of the Rocky Mountains make the perfect location to experience the first drive of Lincoln’s new compact luxury SUV, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair.
The smallest of Lincoln’s SUV line up, the 5 passenger Corsair is big on luxury, comfort and convenience. We arrived in Kelowna to rain, a bit of snow and wet streets. A Corsair Reserve edition, with base price of $50,500 (starting price for the Corsair is $44,700) waited for us at the airport and we quickly headed south on 97, the principle highway that twists up and down the Okanagan valley. Adjusting the optional 24-way Perfect Position seats took a minute but the comfort is amazing, especially on longer drives. The heated steering wheel and seats, both front and rear, were appreciated in the cool temperatures and adjusting the massage settings to give my back relief from the imperfect seats of airplane travel.
Traffic through Kelowna is busy even in the off season but the Head Up Display (HUD) is wonderful, keeping my eyes on the road with enough vehicle information to drive safely. I especially like how the forward facing camera detects speed limit signs and shows the speed limit on the HUD. The voice directions from the Navigation system led us on our way and the directions also show up on the Head Up Display.
Controls on the Corsair have been designed to be simple to operate. The voice control button on the steering wheel is conveniently placed where your left thumb would normally rest on the steering wheel, while two buttons on the steering wheel spokes control most functions and menu selections. Operation is intuitive and in only a few minutes I felt comfortable making selections while on the road. I often found myself reaching for the gear shift lever but transmission gear selection is done with a row of push buttons across the top of the radio and climate controls at the front of the console. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel enable quick gear changed of the 8-speed automatic transmission but the computer control of gear selection was perfect in the varying road conditions we drove in.
Climbing up into the hills south of Kelowna, the 2.3-litre turbo engine provided more than ample power. With 310 lb-ft of torque and 295 horsepower, the Corsair never felt underpowered even when passing other vehicles when climbing a grade. A 250 horsepower 2.0 litre turbo engine with 8 speed transmission and all wheel drive is standard equipment on the Corsair but personally I always prefer to go for the additional power.
As we headed along the long Lake Okanagan on our way to Osoyoos, fruit trees and massive vineyards cover the valley. You could spend a month here and never be able to visit all the wineries in the valley but visiting a few are definitely worth while. Wines are award-winning and locally grown food is highlighted in most winery restaurants.
The quiet and smooth ride of the Corsair made the time go by way too quickly, while the precise steering and driver assist features make the drive very relaxing. To make viewing the sights safer, adaptive cruise control will bring the vehicle to a complete stop if necessary when traffic stops ahead of you and the lane centering feature warns the driver of drifting outside their lane and applies a slight torque to the steering wheel to move the vehicle back to the center of the lane.
Touring around Osoyoos, we stopped at Spotted Lake. Located just east of Osoyoos beside Highway #3, this small lake, sacred to the Okanagan Syilx Nation, is rich in a variety of minerals that create “spots” in the lake as water evaporates leaving concentrations of minerals. The Syilx people use these minerals for their healing properties.
My time in the Lincoln Corsair was far too short. As a first drive, I was impressed by its performance and pampered by its features. This may be the baby of the Lincoln SUV line up but it is mature in the way it treats its occupants.
2020 Lincoln Corsair Reserve Edition AWD
Price as tested: $68,175.00
Configuration: Front engine/all-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.3L turbocharged I4/8-speed automatic transmission
Power/torque: 295 hp/310 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Regular (62 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings: 9.8 L/100 km
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Acura RDX, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT4, Infiniti QX50, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60
- Great interior fit and finish, Perfect Position seats excel in comfort
- Compact exterior with good interior space
- Five Drive modes can be selected to match road conditions
- Option packages are pricey
- Shifter buttons take a while to get used to