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2021 Lincoln Corsair Review

Now in its sophomore year, the Lincoln Corsair is a compact and attractive luxury SUV that is helping the brand enjoy a bit of renaissance. It’s based on the chassis of the Ford Escape, but Lincoln has done an excellent job of making the Corsair look and feel like the premium compact crossover SUV it is.

Because the Corsair is so new, not much has changed for 2021, with one big exception: A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Corsair, called the Grand Touring, will make its debut in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model.

Aided by the new Corsair PHEV, which has an electric-only range of 25 miles, the Corsair represents a great introduction to the rebounding Lincoln brand. In short, this is an excellent crossover SUV with a variety of available powertrains, and it can range in price from about $37,000 to a fully-loaded $60,000.

What’s New for 2021?

The big news for 2021 is the debut of the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, a plug-in gas/electric hybrid model that can travel about 25 miles on electricity alone. It’s an all-wheel-drive (AWD) model based largely on the luxurious Corsair Reserve.

Other newness? Well, there’s a Monochromatic Package available on the 2021 Corsair Standard and Reserve models, which includes black 20-inch alloy wheels and body-color front and rear bumpers, rocker panels and badges.

There’s also a new Sport Package, also available on the Corsair Standard and Corsair Reserve. It includes a larger turbocharged 2.3-liter engine along with polished 20-inch alloy wheels, body-color bumpers, and a black mesh grille.

Two new colors also have come onboard for 2021: Asher Gray and Silver Radiance. See the 2021 Lincoln Corsair models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Sharp styling inside and out
  • Sliding second-row seats
  • Responsive turbocharged engines
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)

What We Don’t

  • Price can hit $60,000 when you order all options
  • Do you really need front seats that are adjustable in 24 ways?

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The Lincoln Corsair’s base engine is a good one, a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that produces 250 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged 2.3-liter also is available, but only in AWD Corsairs. The 2.3 puts out 295 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are teamed with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a front-drive 2.0-liter Lincoln Corsair returns 22 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg in combined driving. An AWD 2.0-liter is nearly as efficient, returning figures of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway/24 mpg combined, respectively.

When equipped with the 2.3-liter, the AWD Lincoln Corsair is rated by the EPA at 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, almost identical to the 2.0-liter AWD model.

The new Corsair Grand Touring, the PHEV model, is equipped with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine, a 14.4-kW lithium-ion battery and two electric motors. EPA fuel efficiency numbers are not available yet for the new PHEV Corsair, but we do know this premium compact SUV is expected to be able to travel 25 miles on electricity alone.

Of note: The rear wheels of the new plug-in Lincoln Corsair are driven exclusively by electricity.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Lincoln Corsair is sold in three versions: Standard, Reserve, and Grand Touring.

The Corsair Standard ($36,940 FWD, $39,140 AWD) is generously equipped. It comes with 18-in alloy wheels, active noise cancellation, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate, a 10-speaker audio, and an 8-in SYNC 3 infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. On the safety front, the Corsair Standard has Lincoln Co-Pilot360, which gives you a forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, plus lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

With the Corsair Reserve ($43,885 FWD, $46,085 AWD), you get all that the Standard model has plus leather seats, wood interior trim, a panoramic moonroof, 14-speaker Revel premium audio, a hands-free power liftgate, ambient interior lighting and 19-in alloy wheels. It also comes with Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 Plus, a safety suite that includes a front sensing system, a 360-degree camera, evasive steer assist, reverse brake assist, active park assist, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering, speed sign recognition, and traffic jam assist.

The 2.3-liter engine and adaptive suspension also are available in the Corsair Reserve, as are active LED headlights (that point into corners), Phone As A Key, wireless smartphone charging, and 24-way power seats.

Because the new Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid ($51,225) is based on the Corsair Reserve, it’s luxuriously equipped. Extras unique to the Corsair PHEV include the 2.5-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors, plus a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The PHEV Corsair also has two extra selectable drive modes: Preserve EV (which charges the battery and keeps it charges for use later) and Pure EV mode (which keeps the Corsair in electric mode as often as possible).  The Corsair Grand Touring also benefits from a feature that it allows it to be flat-towed behind a motorhome, and an audible signal to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence during otherwise silent all-electric motoring.


The Lincoln Corsair has been given a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It has also been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The base Corsair comes with Lincoln Co-Pilot360, a safety suite that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a lane-keeping alert, lane-keep assist, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. Co-Pilot360 Plus, on the Reserve, adds adaptive stop-and-go cruise control with lane centering and speed sign recognition, plus a 360-degree camera, reverse brake assist and an active parking program.

Behind the Wheel

There’s not a bad seat in the Lincoln Corsair. The seats are comfortable and there’s a good amount of room in the back in the sliding and reclining rear seats. There are premium materials all around and there’s nothing chintzy about this interior. The Corsair delivers a premium experience and we love its flexible interior that allows you to strike just the right balance of cargo space and passenger space with its sliding back seats.

The Corsair is a pleasure to drive. We expected a comfortable crossover with a smooth ride and adequate performance, but we got an SUV that felt a bit like a sport sedan. There’s not much difference between the 2.0 and the 2.3—both have plenty of power, which is complemented well by the good chassis. Selectable drive modes change the character of the Corsair, and the Excite mode made it feel far livelier and more responsive. All the while, it remained super comfortable on the highway.

Are the massaging 24-way-adjustable seats overkill. To some, perhaps, but to others that’s what you should expect in a premium SUV, along with a digital instrument panel and wireless smartphone charging.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Cadillac XT4 — The Corsair’s top domestic competition. The Cadillac XT4 has a slightly lower starting price and better rear legroom. Both models are built in the U.S.

2020 Acura RDX – Like the Corsair, the RDX counts sharp styling, strong performance, and a high-tech interior among its many virtues. They’re also priced similarly.

2020 Audi Q5 – This German is similarly priced and luxurious, while also being powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Both these premium compact SUVs look sharp, too.

2020 Infiniti QX50 – The handsome QX50 has a lot to offer with its roomy interior and good handling manners. We prefer the power delivery of the Corsair powerplants to that of Infiniti’s innovative variable-compression engine.

Used Lincoln MKX—Want something a little bigger? Consider a used Lincoln MKX. They’re attractively priced on the used market, and the top models are quite luxurious.

Questions You May Ask

When does the new Lincoln Corsair PHEV go on sale?

We expect the new plug-in Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring to go on sale in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model.

What is “Phone As A Key?”

This available technology allows drivers to lock and unlock their Corsair (or open its liftgate, or start its engine) with just their smartphone. The phone becomes your key fob. Seats and mirrors adjust automatically to individual drivers.

How long is the Lincoln Corsair’s warranty?

The Corsair’s basic warranty lasts or four years or 50,000 miles. Powertrain coverage lasts for six years ears or 70,000 miles.

How long does it take to charge the new Lincoln Corsair PHEV?

Using a 110-volt plug at home, the Corsair Grand Touring’s lithium-ion battery can reach a full charge in 10 or 11 hours. Using a 240-volt Level 2 charger, that drops to three or four hours.

 Where does Lincoln build the Corsair?

Lincoln builds the Corsair SUV in Louisville, Kentucky.

Autotrader’s Advice

The Lincoln Corsair continues to impress us. It’s stylish and luxurious, and it has a high-quality interior that’s rich in technology but not overwhelmed by it. With the 2.0-liter or the 2.3, power is ample and the driving is fun, and the new Corsair Grand Touring PHEV sweetens the lineup with its added efficiency. Given a choice, we’d opt for a Reserve model with the base engine and AWD because we’re suckers for leather and wood and active cruise control, plus we appreciate the stability provided by AWD in adverse conditions. Find a Lincoln Corsair for sale

Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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