Have you noticed how we’re being bombarded with obnoxious automotive sounds?
Slide behind the wheel of pretty much any new vehicle today and we’re instantly hit with a cacophony of dings and chimes, warning that our seat belt isn’t fastened, or door isn’t properly closed.
Go into reverse and it’s all crescendo-ing, brain-numbing, beep-beep-beeps. Nails on a chalkboard sound more pleasing.
That’s why this new Lincoln Corsair sport-ute I’ve been driving is just such a soothing oasis of calm and tranquility. Behind the wheel, all you hear are violins. Literally.
To create the sound of its warning chimes, Lincoln turned to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, to orchestrate six unique symphonic chimes.
Now, for example, when go into “drive” and haven’t quite closed your door, all you hear is a touch of percussion – soft kettle drums if I’m not mistaken – with a background sound of violins and violas.
It’s nothing less than music to the ears.
It’s part of this latest Corsair’s big focus on refinement. In addition to the soothing sounds of the Detroit Symphony, this compact Lincoln features a double-thick firewall between the engine and cabin to reduce engine commotion to a whisper.
There’s also acoustic laminated glass, active noise control that works like those Bose noise-canceling headphones, low-noise tires, and thick layers of sound-deadening.
The result is impressive. Driving around town, snoozing kittens make more of a racket. At 75mph on I-75, the sound is of a gentle breeze wafting through the cabin.
For me, this kind of serenity is the definition of luxury.
Yet here is the first rung on the Lincoln SUV ladder. That means pricing from $36,105, with the more luxurious Corsair Reserve, like the one I’m driving, starting at $43,050.
Opt for a few extras, like all-wheel drive, a technology package, and the new Monochromatic package, and you’re looking at closer to $57,000.
Rivals include BMW’s X3 and Audi’s Q5, Mercedes’ GLC, Cadillac’s XT4 and Acura’s RDX. Yet the Lincoln is right up there with them.
Power-wise, take your pick from a turbocharged 2.0-liter or turbo 2.3-liter four-cylinder mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic.
And landing in showrooms right around now is the new flagship Corsair PHEV version with a hybrid powertrain featuring a 2.5-liter “four” and electric motor.
But for me, our 2.0-liter all-wheel-drive Corsair Reserve tester checks all the right boxes.
Normally I’m not a fan of white cars or trucks. Big fridge-freezers on wheels. But coupled with Lincoln’s stunning new “Beyond Blue” Bridge of Weir blue leather interior, the effect is just gorgeous.
Add to this the $1,600 Monochromatic Package that fits 20-inch black rims, a body-color front grille, and black lower front intake, and you have one cool-looking crossover.
Inside there’s seating for five with especially generous rear-seat legroom courtesy of a sliding back seat. Push the bench seat all the way back and you get an extra six inches of space. Slide it forward and you get a bigger load area.
And the whole riding experience is enhanced by the Corsair Reserve’s standard panoramic Vista glass roof. It’s huge and floods the cabin with light.
What Lincoln is doing so well these days is really upping its game in terms of quality and craftsmanship. The look and feel of the leather, the precision of the stitching, the general fit and finish is just terrific.
It also drives as good as it looks. Even with 250-horseys from the standard 2.0-liter turbo engine, performance is first rate. Off-the-line sprinting is lively, while mid-range response for safe passing is strong.
Switch to the “Excite” mode and the suspension firms up, the gearbox response quickens and everything feels a little more alive.
Yet it always drives like a luxury vehicle, with its smooth, refined ride, and balanced, well-weighted steering.
My only criticism is the occasional engine hesitation at low speeds and sometimes jerky power delivery.
But this latest Corsair is impressive in so many ways. And just like the Detroit Symphony, it hits a whole lot of high notes.