2021 Lincoln Corsair

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Updated: December 2, 2020

2021 Lincoln Corsair

The 2021 Lincoln Corsair is the smallest of the three Lincoln crossovers, with its bigger siblings being the Aviator and Navigator. It’s built on the platform of the Ford Escape, but it’s far more elegant. It offers a quiet ride, good infotainment, and a cabin that is spare but stylish, with ample cargo space.

The Corsair isn’t notably quick, but it has a lot of torque for strong getaways (and good towing, with the optional package), while its 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine makes a solid 250 horsepower. Uphill passes are easy, as the engine works well with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the Aviator and Navigator, the Corsair is front-wheel drive, with available all-wheel drive.

There is also a 2.3-liter 295-hp version of the turbo-4 engine, with standard all-wheel drive.

The EPA scores the front-drive 2.0-liter turbo-4 at 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined. With all-wheel drive, the mileage drops by 1 mpg. The 2.3-liter turbo-4 with all-wheel drive gets 21/28/24 mpg.

The NHTSA gives the Corsair five stars for safety, while the IIHS makes it a Top Safety Pick, at least those models with the LED headlights. The base Corsair headlights rate “Poor.”

Every Corsair comes with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors. An available package adds automatic parking assistance and a surround-view camera system. A head-up display is on the options list too, and its bright display is placed well and offers useful information.

Model Lineup

With a base price of about $37,000, the Corsair comes with synthetic leather upholstery, power heated front seats, keyless start,18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, automatic emergency braking, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The Corsair turbo adds a power sunroof, 24-way front seats, and 20-inch wheels. Options on the turbo include all-wheel drive, which comes bundled with navigation, a split-folding rear seat, and ambient lighting, bringing the price to more than $40,000. High-end audio with 14 speakers is optional. A fully loaded Corsair Reserve can cost more than $60,000

Lincoln covers the Corsair for 4 years/50,000 miles.

Exterior

The Corsair is very good-looking. Like the Aviator and Navigator, it strives to be lean and spare, with a streamlined shape that adds muscle in a few places. The nose plays its horizontal grille against the vertical Lincoln gunsight badge, and wraps slim headlights into softly contoured front fenders. A strong shoulder line mimics the roof, and makes the Corsair look long and elegant. A band of chrome breaks up the Corsair’s wide LED strip of taillights.

Interior

The Corsair cabin is both understated and visually striking, with a beautiful blend of wood, leather, and high-quality materials. Not only that, it’s very quiet inside. It’s a relaxing and welcoming environment.

The instrument panel is split on a horizontal line of vents, sandwiched by a wide touchscreen and console of controls, including a pushbutton shifter.

The front seats are very comfortable, in synthetic leather with standard power adjustment in as many as 24 ways, including at the thighs and the lumbar. Real leather, heating, and cooling are optional.

The rear bench seat can fit three full-sized adults if necessary. The seat cushion is a bit thin, but the seatback reclines. The bench slides back to create a solid 38.6 inches of leg room.

There is 27.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and the load floor is low. A hands-free liftgate is available.

Driving Impressions

The Corsair’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 250 horsepower and a very strong 280 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an 8-speed automatic that delivers quick and buttery shifts. This base engine can do 0-60 mph runs in about seven seconds, which is quick enough for most drivers. There’s a little turbo whistle at low engine speeds, which is fun, and some 4-cylinder rasp at the top end, a bit less fun but no big deal. The optional all-wheel drive adds 140 pounds but doesn’t slow the 2.0-liter down much.

The 2.3-liter turbo-4 makes 295 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, and uses the same good 8-speed automatic. You can feel the extra power in passing, but not at lower speeds, so we’re inclined to say it’s not worth the difference in cost; the base engine is fine.

The Corsair’s drive modes get names like “Excite,” which is simply Lincoln language for Sport; like most if not all Sport modes, it brings a quicker throttle response and upshifts later. But that also brings the slight buzz at 4,000 rpm and higher.

The steering is light and unbothered by everyday challenges. The ride on the base Corsair is supple. But the optional adaptive suspension makes it wonderfully composed, as it isolates and smothers bumps in the road.

Final Word

The base 2021 Lincoln Corsair is the best value, as it has enough power, the same sharp 8-speed automatic, a supple ride, and nice synthetic leather upholstery. The styling has some flow to it, and the cabin is pleasing, with very comfortable front seats and good leg room in rear. Keep an eye out for a plug-in model coming soon.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection