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U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Lincoln Corsair Performance Review


Performance: 7.8

The 2021 Lincoln Corsair delivers a composed ride and boasts good fuel economy. It's also now available as a plug-in hybrid. However, this Lincoln SUV isn’t as athletic as some competitors.

  • "This is by no means a performance crossover trying to challenge something like a Mercedes-AMG GLC or BMW X3M but both engines offer more than adequate performance for daily driving. Both engines offer ample low end torque and the auto stop-start system operates smoothly with quick restarts when the light turns green." -- Forbes (2020)
  • "… the Corsair packs a smooth, eight-speed automatic transmission to complement its supple suspension." -- CNET (2020)
  • "How does it all work? The Corsair is, in fact, a very smooth, very quiet cruiser. I drove about 150 miles in a couple Corsairs and never once felt fatigued, even at the end of the day." -- Autoweek (2020)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque (Standard and Reserve)
  • Available powertrains:
    • turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque (available in Reserve)
    • turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors with a combined 266 horsepower (Grand Touring plug-in hybrid)
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (standard in Grand Touring)
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic in Standard and Reserve trims; continuously variable automatic (CVT) in Grand Touring

The base engine has plenty of power for most shoppers. Some critics think the upgraded engine isn't much stronger than the base, but others say the 2.3-liter has a tad more pep. You'll have to be the judge of that. A plug-in-hybrid powertrain is newly available.

  • "We tested both engines with all-wheel drive and found that their acceleration performance is almost identical; the smaller engine managed a 60-mph run in 6.1 seconds while the 2.3-liter did the deed in 6.0 seconds flat. Both are quicker than the old MKC, which delivered an adequate but unexciting 7.3-second 60-mph time. Key rivals such as the Q5 and the GLC300 are quicker and more satisfying to drive, though. The plug-in-hybrid model pairs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor, a CVT, and all-wheel drive." -- Car and Driver
  • "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." -- Autotrader
  • "You can tell the 250-horsepower 2.0 isn’t quite as mighty as the 295-horsepower 2.3, but it’s a good engine that feels totally at home in this quiet and luxurious Lincoln." -- Kelley Blue Book

MPG Estimates

Official gas mileage figures have not been released for the 2021 Corsair, but the nearly identical 2020 model has average fuel economy estimates for the class. There are no fuel economy estimates yet for the Grand Touring plug-in-hybrid model. According to Lincoln, it can go about 25 miles on electric power only.

  • 2.0-liter, FWD: 22/29 mpg city/highway
  • 2.0-liter, AWD: 21/29 mpg
  • 2.3-liter, AWD: 21/28 mpg

Handling and Braking

The Corsair is focused on comfort, but it does come standard with several drive modes that adapt the ride to road conditions and driver preference. These modes include Slippery and Excite, which improve driver engagement with faster throttle response. Still, some class rivals are more engaging to drive.

  • "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." -- Autotrader
  • "While driving the 2.3-liter Corsair, the mode we liked best was Excite, what most companies would call Sport. The suspension firms up a bit for better body control in the twisty bits, without compromising the ride in an adverse way. We also like the quickened response of the gearbox, and how it holds a lower gear while descending grades to make life easier on the Corsair’s 4-wheel disc brakes. All told, we’re impressed with the way the 5-seat Corsair drives. It has great balance and excellent steering." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Corsair was quiet and comfortable on a long drive. The suspension absorbed bumps and kept the vehicle level and stable in quick maneuvers." -- The Detroit Free Press (2020)
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2021 Lincoln Corsair

MSRP: $35,945 - $50,230

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