Testing cars these last 13 years has taught me one thing about the automotive field: You always notice when something works well. It might be a stunning stereo system that blows you away, an incredible hands-free steering option, or something subtle like the fact that some modern cars now alert you to the fact that you might have forgotten a pet or a child in the seat behind you. Greatness and excellence are obvious, flaws take a bit of work to find.
That’s why driving the 2023 Lincoln Corsair was such a joy. I noticed immediately that the lane-keeping system is smart, reliable, and…a bit bossy (in a good way). What I mean by bossy is that it works — the HUD in front of you shows a little red arc next to the lane, and the Corsair will immediately nudge you back into the center of the lane when you drift.
I’ve tested many dozens of cars with lane-keeping, and the technology varies widely between automakers. Sometimes it is subtle and merely an alert to let you know when you drift. Other times, it is not aggressive enough even if it will gently nudge you back in your lane. IN a few cases, I’ve noticed lane-keeping systems that were too abrupt.
I like the Corsair because it seems to have a nice balance of actually working — nudging you in an obvious way — but not so jarring or distracting. It’s just insistent. It does the job it is supposed to do, when you are not doing the job you are supposed to do.
Here’s an example.
I was driving in my town on a side road with a slight bend. I noticed the lake next to me and how the neighbor set his trash cans out on the wrong day. (Turns out, it was the week of Labor Day and he knew the pick-up day was on Thursday, not Wednesday.) I smiled to myself thinking he was confused and was lost in thought. And that’s when the Corsair nudged me over, just as another car was coming around the same bend, from the other direction.
Let’s be clear here. Safety tech can be annoying as heck. Yet, we want it to be that way. We want it to work, and not hold back when it matters. The lane-keeping does a good job of alerting you to what is happening in the HUD, but at the end of the day, it is not trying to get your attention as much as it is trying to keep you in the lane, and it worked really well.
In another test also driving around town, the lane-keeping held back a little — I am sure the engineers tweaked the tech to make sure it is not constantly nudging you like you are on invisible guardrails at all times. I learned to appreciate that the lane-keeping has some forgiveness to it, and only locks in when it really matters the most.
During my test, the lane-keeping worked when it needed to, but otherwise let me drive and do all of the hard work. It worked well on side road, on highways, and during a morning drive to a remote office. It’s also nice that, when you get “the nudge” there’s the visual alert in the HUD as well, so you know why it’s happening and how long it lasts before you are safely back in your lane. I’m a fan of how it works, even if I don’t always like being corrected.