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2022 Lincoln Corsair Trades Elvis for McConaughey

I know, I know, Matthew McConaughey drives a Lincoln. So did Elvis Presley, who owned a Mark III and gave away Mark IVs like party favors. The King made them cool, but McConaughey is making them relevant. His commercials highlight the fact Lincoln has transformed from building block-long plushmobiles to offering all versions of SUVs without losing its American spirit. Drive the 2022 Corsair Reserve and you just might prefer it to its rivals.

There’s a certain flash American flair to the Corsair’s big mesh grille and long nose, but also hints of Range Rover in the sleek sheetmetal and shooting brake roofline. Its basic architecture is shared with the Ford Escape, but it presents as a larger and more substantial vehicle riding on 20” alloy wheels and exhausting through twin chrome outlets. A full raft of LED lights, including a wide strip across the power liftgate, add distinction.

Moving inside, stylists blended traditional Lincoln elements with a more European flair. Soft leather and woodgrain dash trim meet heated and ventilated seats that can have right and left sides of their bottom cushions independently adjusted. Rear seats and the steering wheel are also heated. Add to that dual-zone automatic climate control, panoramic sunroof, and rain-sensing wipers. Everything feels expensive, but also posh with a thick slice of technology.

Tap into the intuitive touchscreen infotainment (with actual volume/tuning knobs) to control the smooth Revel audio system and connect devices via Apple CarPlay and wireless charging. Driving is made easier with a reconfigurable flatscreen instrument display and widescreen head-up display that shows speed and navigation hovering over the hood. Safety is further enhanced by blind spot warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control systems.

I assure you no Lincoln from the ‘70s can match the Corsair’s performance. Where it once took gigantic V8s to shove Elvis’ rides down-road, the Corsair Reserve ravages left lanes with its 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 295 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque – all routed to the all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Select drive modes to configure the powertrain from sedate to sassy. Fuel economy rates 21/28-MPG city/highway, which would wholly embarrass any classic Lincoln.

So would its handling. An electronic adaptive suspension system provides a comfortable ride on the highway and on city streets, but tightens up near instantly and automatically when tossing through corners or planting a landing off of a bridge or ramp. No bouncing allowed. Heavy steering adds to the feeling the Corsair is much larger than it seems from the outside.

You may be surprised given all of the luxury compacts I’ve driven that the Lincoln Corsair is one of my favorites. Lincoln embraces its American heritage, but translates it for today’s drivers. I especially like the luxury features plus a comprehensive infotainment system that couldn’t be easier to use. The turbo-four is a delight. It does it all, beginning at $36,580 and rising to $58,505 as tested. Competitors include the Acura RDX, Mercedes-Benz GLB, Cadillac XT4, Infiniti QX50, GMC Terrain Denali, and Lexus NX.

Storm Forward!

Send comments to Casey at AutoCasey@aol.com.

2022 Lincoln Corsair Reserve

Five-passenger, AWD Crossover

Powertrain: 2.3-liter T4, 8-spd trans

Output: 295hp/310 lb.-ft. torque

Suspension f/r: Elect Ind/Ind

Wheels f/r: 20”/20” alloy

Brakes f/r: disc/disc

Must-have features: Style, Simplicity

Fuel economy: 21/28 mpg city/hwy

Assembly: Louisville, KY

Base/As-tested price: $36,580/$58,505