by Karl Furlong
Lincoln's premium crossover, the Corsair, was first shown at the 2019 New York Auto Show as a replacement for the MKC. The smallest Lincoln crossover has made a fine first impression with a strong range of engines, a quality cabin, and good driving manners. Now, the Corsair Grand Touring has been unveiled and adds a PHEV option to the mix.
Lincoln claims a combined power output of 266 horsepower thanks to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a permanent magnet synchronous motor working in tandem. Allied to an electric all-wheel-drive system, the Corsair Grand Touring not only brings with it benefits at the pumps but provides an effortless driving experience that makes responsive take-offs a breeze. Add in a comfortable and spacious cabin that Lincoln says still offers good luggage capacity - many hybrids suffer in this regard - and the Grand Touring aims to position Lincoln as a tech-rich and accomplished alternative to the establishment.
The Grand Touring retains the regular Corsair's design, but look closer and you'll notice the unique grille treatment. In case you forget that this is a plug-in hybrid, the charging port cover just ahead of the driver's door is an easy giveaway. The Lincoln star logo is also finished in Spirit Blue and there are bespoke 20-inch wheels. Blacked-out pillars all the way through also give the impression of a floating roof, while the single taillight strip gives the rear-end some distinction. Overall, it's a stylish and handsome crossover but also one that doesn't really break new ground like its electric all-wheel-drive system.
The ability to drive on electric-only power will quickly show up a lack of interior build quality and sound-deadening, owing to the absence of engine noise. Lincoln has, therefore, spent plenty of time making sure that this is one properly refined SUV. Extra sound-dampening materials and Active Noise Control ensure that the roomy cabin remains a serene environment. Smart-looking air vents and a nice selection of materials ensure a premium feel. There's also plenty of versatility, with the second row of seats providing up to six inches of travel, either for more passenger space or greater cargo capacity.
There's lots of tech on-board, too, with the standard Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 suite featuring pre-collision assist, blind-spot detection, and a rearview camera. There's also an available head-up display. Overall, it's a great place to sit end enjoy the PHEV's strong performance.
The Corsair Grand Touring's hybrid powertrain pairs a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-pot gas engine with a permanent magnet synchronous motor to pump out a combined 266 horsepower. Five driving modes - some of them amusingly named - encompass Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery, and Deep Conditions. Also fitted is a PowerSplit electric continuously variable transmission and, of course, this is the first Lincoln to have electric all-wheel drive.
The combination makes for smooth getaways and instantly available power. Two additional driving modes can also be accessed, with Preserve EV recharging the battery up to 75 percent, and Pure EV mode powering the Grand Touring on electric-only power for an EPA-estimated range of over 25 miles. Our experience with the gas-powered Corsair revealed appealing road manners, with a comfortable ride and competent levels of body control.
Pricing is still unconfirmed, but expect the Grand Touring to fetch a premium over the regular Corsair's upper trim, which starts at $42,630. There are many plug-in hybrid SUVs from a class above, but a closer match for the Lincoln is the Mercedes-Benz GLC PHEV at just over $50,000. While more expensive, the GLC also delivers a meatier combined output of 315 hp. The stylish Volvo XC60 is another strong competitor, but the Corsair Grand Touring has lots of worthy tech on board and should prove a worthy foil to these established rivals.