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2021 Volvo XC40 vs. 2021 Lincoln Corsair: Which Is Better?

The 2021 Volvo XC40 offers a mix of luxury and space-age looks while the 2021 Lincoln Corsair is working hard to revitalize the brand.  Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • Volvo XC40: In addition to its gas-powered version, there’s a new EV model.
  • Lincoln Corsair: Currently offers two engine choices with a third (PHEV) on the way.

2021 Volvo XC40

2021 Volvo XC40

Base price: $34,695 / Read our 2021 Volvo XC40 Review

What we like:  Two gas-engine choice – new EV version makes three; stylish exterior; roomy interior; Volvo’s standard active-safety features

What we would change: Improve fuel-economy on base gas engine and extend range on EV version; less touchscreen, more physical control; redesign electronic gearshift

Overview: The family resemblance is apparent with the Volvo XC40. Small, but well thought out, it features the brand’s modernized Scandinavian sensibilities for thoughtful styling and space utilization. There are two versions of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engines, depending on your drivetrain: T4 FWD gets a 184-hp version while the T5 AWD model includes 248hp and tows up to 3,500 pounds. Both engines mate to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The new battery-powered XC40 Recharge P8 AWD is powered by a 402-hp motor-generator but delivers a merely so-so mileage range of 208 miles.

What’s new for 2021: The big news here is the XC40 Recharge P8 AWD electric model. On the gas-burning side, the Momentum model trim level adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, LED headlights with automatic high-beams and active curve illumination and other features. Additionally, all new Volvos can alert other new Volvos to slippery road conditions or vehicles with active hazard lights. 

Features and technology: The XC40 T4 and T5 are offered in a choice of base Momentum, R Design, and Inscription trim levels. All models include a full slate of active-safety features. Momentum buyers will find leather, a power driver’s seat, a digital instrument cluster, and a 9-inch vertical touchscreen. The R Design steps it up a bit with a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, Nappa leather/Nubuck upholstery, navigation, and more.

High-line Inscription model has standard suspension, wood trim, and a crystal shift knob. Available options include adaptive cruise control with assisted steering, a 360-degree-view monitor, wireless charging, and self-parking. The Recharge P8 AWD comes in a single trim level. As in other Volvos, a vertical touchscreen is featured, but not so intuitive. More buttons and knobs would be welcome!

What the future holds: The addition of the Recharge P8 AWD rounds out the XC40 lineup. We expect it will receive only minor changes in the next few years. Find a 2021 Volvo XC40 for sale near you

2021 Lincoln Corsair

2021 Lincoln Corsair

Base price: $36,940 / Read our 2021 Lincoln Corsair Review

What we like:  Good-looking inside and out; powerful turbo engines; sliding second-row seats; front- or available all-wheel-drive

What we would change: Prices can hit $60,000 when ticking all the option boxes; 24-way adjustable seats might be a bit of overkill

Overview: This luxurious small Crossover is helping to return Lincoln to its former spot on the luxury map. Based on its Ford Escape cousin, Lincoln has worked hard to differentiate it from its more pedestrian relative. A new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) will soon be available for those of the hybrid persuasion.

What’s new for 2021: Big news this year is the new Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring model which is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle model capable of traveling 25 miles on electricity alone. It’s exclusively AWD and based on the high-zoot Corsair Reserve trim level.

Features and technology: Now two years old, the Lincoln Corsair continues on its silk trail. A new PHEV hybrid (with electric rear-wheel-drive) joins the lineup, expanding the reach and resurgence of the new Lincoln brand. The Corsair offers several engine choices ranging from a base 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 producing 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. For power users, there is the 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder that yields 295 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. AWD is available on both models. When properly equipped, the Corsair towing capacity is 3,000 pounds.

Even in its base form, the Corsair has lots going on for it: 18-inch alloy wheels, active noise cancellation, a power liftgate, 10-speaker audio and Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. From the safety side, the Corsair is equipped with Lincoln Co-Pilot360 which brings forward collision warning, with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. It’s as though a full suite of features shows up on the entry-level model.

What the future holds: After delays relating to Covid19, the PHEV Lincoln Corsair will arrive in 2021. Find a 2021 Lincoln Corsair for sale near you

XC40 vs. Corsair: Strengths Comparison

Volvo XC40 benefits: Luxury looks; three power choices including an electric Recharge P8 AWD model; up-to-date technology.

Lincoln Corsair benefits: Luxury looks; two-but-soon three engine choices; up-to-date technology.

2021 Volvo XC40 vs. 2021 Lincoln Corsair: Which is better?

The Volvo XC40 offers capability in an attractive package. The Corsair features the new look of old luxury. We tend to skew conservative in how we like our luxury to look, so we choose the 2021 Lincoln Corsair. Find a 2021 Volvo XC40 for sale or Find a 2021 Lincoln Corsair for sale

2021 Volvo XC40 2021 Lincoln Corsair
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 2.0-liter turbo inline-4
Horsepower 187 hp @ 4,700 rpm 250 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 221 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm 275 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 26 mpg (23 city/32 highway) 25 mpg (22 city/29 highway)
Also Available 2.0-liter with 248 hp, AWD, Recharge EV model AWD; More luxurious trim levels
Warranty 4 years/ 50,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 4 years/ 50,000 miles 6 years/70,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 5 star 5 star
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.4 inches 106.7 inches
Overall Length 174.2 inches 180.6 inches
Width 73.3 inches 74.3 inches
Height 65.3 inches 64.1 inches
Turning Diameter 37.4 feet 37.1 feet
Headroom, Front 39.0 inches 39.5 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 38.7 inches
Legroom, Front 40.9 inches 43.2 inches
Legroom, Rear 36.1 inches 38.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.7 inches 57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 56.3 inches 56.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 98 cubic feet 102.5 cubic feet
Cargo Volume 20.7/47.2 cubic feet 27.6/57.6 cubic feet



Mark Elias
Mark Elias
Mark Elias is a writer and photographer specializing in automotive topics ranging from new and used cars to classics and motorsports. His first car was a Matchbox Jaguar D-Type. From there, things have only become larger. During his professional career, he has been a staff photographer for the Associated Press, a contract photographer for Bloomberg News, and a contributor to automotive outlets... Read More about Mark Elias

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