What Is It?
The Lincoln Corsair is the premium compact crossover for Ford’s luxury division, and for the 2021 model year Lincoln added the Grand Touring trim with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain as the new top trim level. The smallest vehicle in the current Lincoln lineup, the Corsair debuted as a 2020 model based on the Ford Escape, replacing the MKC. The Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring has a U.S. EPA rating of 78 MPGe and an all-electric range of 28 miles.
Ford provided us with a Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring AWD finished in Pristine White metallic combined with a Beyond Blue premium leather interior. Base price for the Corsair Grand Touring is $50,390, and the test vehicle included a considerable list of options boosting the price as tested to $61,730 including a destination and delivery charge of $1,095. Options included the Elements Package, Technology Package, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and heated steering wheel.
Also included on the Corsair Grand Touring we drove were Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus, active park assist plus, adaptive cruise Control, 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels, a head-up display and perfect position 24-way seats. The seats offer unique construction similar to private aircraft seats or high-end office furniture with a plastic subframe and suspension system to help the seat flex around the body for both support and comfort. The seats include heat, ventilation, massage functions and multiple adjustments for the upper back bolster, lower back bolster, lower cushion bolster, lumbar, thigh support and more.
The new Corsair is easily recognizable as a Lincoln thanks to styling cues borrowed from the larger Nautilus and Aviator models, including a similar grille design and headlight treatment. The Corsair is distinguished by deeper contour lines along the sides. At the rear, Corsair has a wide hatch with integrated taillights that wrap around the corners of the vehicle. The taillights are connected by a light bar that creates a horizontal flow and emphasizes the vehicle’s width.
The Corsair may be an entry-level model in the Lincoln lineup, but inside it still delivers the level of luxury expected from Lincoln. Upscale materials create a premium feeling within the cabin, and the dual-wall dashboard with composite sound insulation — along with Active Noise Control — helps create a quiet interior. The Corsair we tested was finished in beautiful Beyond Blue premium leather trim, which contributes to the luxurious vibe within the cabin, along with the perfect position 24-way power seats.
In contrast to the Beyond Blue and to tie in with the Pristine White exterior, the Corsair also featured white accents on the dashboard. The seats are extremely comfortable and include heat/ventilation, massage functions, additional lumbar adjustment and the ability to adjust the lower seat cushion under each leg individually.
Under the Hood
The plug-in hybrid Corsair Grand Touring gets power from a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine combined with a permanent magnet synchronous motor, contributing to a combined output of 266 horsepower. The electric continuously variable transmission combines two electric motors for a smooth driving experience, and electric all-wheel drive powers the rear wheels for performance and capability when conditions require.
The Corsair Grand Touring offers a choice of seven drive modes: Pure EV, Preserve EV, Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions. Pure EV is designed to keep the driver in all-electric mode during most conditions, but if the driver demands more power exceeding the electric capability, the hybrid engine starts to provide additional power. Preserve EV recharges and saves battery power for later use but continues to use both the gasoline engine and electric motor to provide full capability. In Preserve EV mode the battery can recharge up to 75 percent while driving.
The other five drive modes offer different scenarios of hybrid operation. Normal mode balances engine and motor output and battery charge. Conserve is the most efficient mode with less aggressive pedal response and performance tuned to optimize efficiency. Excite mode offers the most responsive driving experience, coupling engaging driving dynamics, steering feedback and powertrain response with more aggressive pedal response, a stiffer suspension and battery cooling optimized for performance driving. Slippery offers maximum stability control and less aggressive pedal response. Deep Conditions offers a more progressive pedal and adjusts traction control for better handling in deep snow or soft sand.
As with other Lincoln models, Corsair is equipped with the latest high-tech safety features as part of Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360, including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot information systems, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams and a rearview camera. Our test vehicle also included the optional Co-Pilot360 Plus, which adds adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, reverse brake assist and active park assist plus, which will automatically park the vehicle with the push of a button.
On the Road
Not surprisingly, the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring is extremely quiet and particularly smooth, especially in electric mode. With nearly 30 miles of electric range, it’s easy to drive the Corsair in electric mode and still accelerate fairly quickly without tapping into the gasoline engine, which only kicks in if the driver aggressively pushes down the accelerator.
Although Corsair is the smallest vehicle in the Lincoln lineup, in Grand Touring trim it still feels much like a luxury vehicle thanks to amazing seats that are both comfortable and even more luxurious when trimmed in premium Beyond Blue leather. Corsair is a right-sized and comfortable for four adults; the crossover also possesses plenty of cargo space behind a second-row seat that slide 6 inches to create either more legroom or more cargo capacity.
On the Road
The Corsair Grand Touring’s smooth drivetrain translates to a smooth, responsive ride. Even though it’s a bit more aggressive in Excite mode, the Corsair Grand Touring does not drive like a sport sedan, given that it’s a luxury compact crossover. For us, the real appeal of Corsair Grand Touring is the 28 miles of all-electric range that for many owners with cover a day’s driving — or more. And the vehicle will recharge fully overnight using a 110-volt Level 1 charger, so that range is easily available every day without the need to install a 220-volt outlet. Impressive.
As more manufacturers move toward more electrified vehicles, we believe plug-in hybrid models will be a significant portion of that mix. With Corsair Grand Touring, Lincoln offers a premium luxury driving experience with the quiet and smoothness of all-electric driving and a 28-mile range that will meet the needs of many drivers on a daily basis. Add the advantage of electric all-wheel drive when conditions require and the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring is a compelling option in the luxury compact crossover segment.