Plug-in hybrid now available. Big news for the 2021 Lincoln Corsair is the newly available Grand Touring plug-in hybrid model. The addition increases the Corsair’s powertrain lineup to three options, giving consumers more to choose from and a high-tech way to save money on fuel.

Unlike a few competitors, the Corsair is only available with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base motor is a 2.0-liter unit that produces 250 horsepower. It’s not the peppiest engine, but it delivers a decent amount of power for daily use.

A more powerful 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder is available, which is rated at 295 hp. Despite coming with all-wheel drive as standard, the larger motor isn’t worth the upgrade, as the power is only noticeable when passing on the highway. Both are paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.

The new plug-in hybrid Grand Touring model comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with two electric motors and a continuously variable transmission. Combined output is rated at 266 hp, while AWD is standard. Official fuel economy figures haven’t been announced yet, but the EPA expects the plug-in hybrid to have an all-electric range of 25 miles.

If you’re looking for a compact crossover SUV that’s enjoyable to drive, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The Corsair may have a drive mode that’s called “Excite,” but it’s hardly thrilling to drive. Instead, it’s all about being smooth and comfortable, which it does incredibly well.

Exceptionally luxurious. For quite a few years, Lincoln has had a tough time shedding its reputation of producing fancy Fords. The Corsair, which utilizes the same platform and base engine as the Ford Escape and is even built in the same factory, manages to feel like a true luxury vehicle.

It all starts with the exterior, as the Corsair looks like a smaller version of the Lincoln Aviator. The Corsair's neat front end features stylish wraparound headlights, slim LED running lights, and a modern square grille.

Strong shoulder and roof lines make the Corsair look longer and more elegant than the majority of its rivals. The way the thin rear taillights are connected in the middle of the liftgate is another great design element.

On the inside, the Corsair features a visually striking design. The long dashboard splits the cabin horizontally with vents that run nearly the full width of the interior. The intuitive way that Lincoln placed the HVAC controls in a separate area is not only stylish, but intuitive to use, as well. Passengers are treated to first-rate materials that look like they belong on a much more expensive vehicle.

Lincoln Corsair

Strong safety features. The majority of luxury crossovers in the compact class aren’t packed with standard safety features, but this is where the Corsair goes its own way. Standard safety features include forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and automatic high beams.

Lincoln also offers a variety of available safety features, including traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, parking assist, and evasive steering assist.

The NHTSA gave the Corsair a five-star overall safety rating. The IIHS hasn’t crash tested it yet, but last year’s model was named a Top Safety Pick. Without any major changes, we expect the rating to carry over for the new model year.

Lower trims are better value. Prices can quickly rise with just a few options with the Corsair. We recommend staying close to the bottom of the range and choosing minimal packages, or else you’re looking at an expensive vehicle. It’s not like you’ll be missing out on anything, as even the base Corsair comes handsomely equipped.

Wi-fi hot spot capability, smartphone compatibility, a 10-speaker audio system, synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen, a power liftgate, and heated exterior mirrors are standard.

With a few options, like the Convenience, Elements, and Premium packages, the Corsair feels just as upscale as rivals and is still relatively affordable.

Final thoughts. The 2021 Lincoln Corsair isn’t what you’ve come to expect from the automaker. It’s one of the few American options in the hotly contested compact luxury crossover segment and holds its own well. Being stylish, comfortable, and a relatively strong value option, the Corsair is a unique choice.

While the four-cylinder engines may be adequate, they’re not nearly as exciting as some of the powertrains found in competitors. Additionally, the Corsair doesn’t have a sporty bolt in its chassis. If you want a fully decked out version, you’d better be prepared to pay for it, as prices go from affordable to expensive quickly.

The Porsche Macan is a much sportier, more expensive, and more upscale vehicle than the Corsair. The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class feels and looks more upscale than the Corsair and is also available in multiple high-performance trims. It’s more high tech than the Lincoln and feels like a more premium product.

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