The compact luxury crossover segment is easily one of the most popular in the USA, so it only makes sense that local brands want a piece of the action. However, the 2021 Lincoln Corsair is up against some really stiff competition from the Europeans. The BMW X3, Mercedes GLC-Class, and Audi Q5 currently dominate the market with their perfectly struck balance between performance and over-the-top luxury. Lincoln doesn't offer quite the same level of refinement, though it is getting there. Three powertrains are available, including a hybrid (reviewed separately), with the strongest being a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that develops 295 horsepower. That is more than enough for a pleasantly quick drive around town, and the ultra-smooth ride comfort perfectly complements this mentality. This is where the 2021 Corsair shines, but when other cars offer the best of both worlds, is this enough?
Having replaced the outgoing MKC last year, the Corsair SUV is still barely into its first generation, but a few important changes have been made for the new model year. These include a new Monochromatic Package, which equips 20-inch black wheels with exterior trimmings that match your chosen body color. Similarly, the Sport Appearance Package adds 20-inch polished alloys and body-colored bumpers up front and in the back, as well as a black mesh grille and illuminated door-jamb scuff plates. The SUV can also be upgraded with a new Towing Package, and Asher Gray and Silver Radiance are new exterior color choices. Most importantly, a plug-in hybrid specification, the Grand Touring, has been added to the lineup with 266 horsepower.
See trim levels and configurations:
When it comes to 5-door luxury crossovers, you can't afford to drop the ball in any area. The Lincoln Corsair certainly does a lot of things right. It has enough power to get around town, and the suspension setup is perfect to ensure a sublime ride. Unfortunately, neither of the powertrains will ever thrill you, and the bias towards comfort comes at a cost to handling and overall sportiness. Inside, the crossover certainly looks good, and Lincoln packs it with all the desirables in terms of comfort, conveniences, and driver-assist tech. Unfortunately, build quality and material choices aren't up to snuff when you compare it to the German contemporaries.
On the plus side, there is an actual official review of the 2021 Lincoln Corsair from the NHTSA, and it shows a perfect five-star safety rating. Reliability is rated at 87 out of 100 by J.D. Power, although numerous recalls for this year and the preceding model year call this into question. However, if you don't want to settle for less than the best, you'd be better off looking at something from across the pond in this.
When buying a luxury car, it's hard to settle for less than the best, but currently, that version of the Corsair is the PHEV, which costs a fair amount more. Thus, we recommend getting the best gasoline variant. The Reserve model of the 2021 Lincoln Corsair has a price tag of $40,825 before you start adding extras. It already gets a hands-free liftgate, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a 14-speaker Revel sound system, and loads of safety features. The appearance packages don't add any real value, but the Reserve I group upgrades the Co-pilot 360 suite of drive assists to the Plus version, which adds adaptive cruise control with stop, and lane centering. Not really worth another $5k in our opinion.
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