There’s an almost overwhelming number of choices in the entry-level segment for luxury sport-utility vehicles.
And with the addition of new — or newish anyway — offerings from Genesis (GV70) and Tesla (Model Y), and updated utes from Lexus, Cadillac, Acura, Infiniti and more, it’s tough to stand out in that crowd. This leads us to the Lincoln’s entry in the segment: the Corsair.
The 2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve AWD is attractive, the exterior showing it’s clearly related to its larger siblings, Nautilus, Aviator and the Navigator. However, it’s styling is distinct. Until the arrival of the Nautilus, it was the brand’s best seller. In fact, if it has a strong run at the end of the year, it could end up being Lincoln’s top-selling vehicle.
The design is simple and conservative, but not bland. Lincoln’s “sculpture in motion” design aesthetic. In the Corsair, it shows in the deliberate contours of the of the body panels that give it depth without making it curvy. Our test vehicle came with a burgundy velvet exterior that was surprisingly polarizing, eliciting “love it” or “hate it” from all who saw it. I am firmly in the “love it” camp.
As is often the case with luxury vehicles, the interior makes or breaks it. Lincoln’s been drawing rave reviews for its interior designs lately and the Corsair is one of the reasons. The designers did an excellent job of incorporating a lot of technology in a way that isn’t fussy or tough to use. All of the touchpoints are responsive, and the 12.3-inch touchscreen is just the right size.
The leather seats, which are heated and ventilated, were very good, with the seatback providing ample support. The head-up display is one of the best I’ve seen, offering a clear view of all the information needed, such as speed and direction, even on bright days. The rear seats were comfortable, due in part to the fact is one of the larger spaces in the segment.
The Corsair can be had with two powertrains. The first is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder producing 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Our test model featured the 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It put out 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s plenty of power for a vehicle this size, and perhaps more importantly, that power comes on quickly, but smoothly.
It also came with Lincoln’s intelligent all-wheel drive, which shifts between front- and all-wheel modes depending upon road conditions. My week in the Corsair was enjoyable. It performed well during a variety of drives ranging from short errands to multiple-hour runs
Safety and Technology
Unsurprisingly, luxury vehicles are safe vehicles — or at least that’s how they’re pitched. They all come with a massive amount of technology designed to keep you from ending up in harm’s way and the Corsair is no different.
Ours was equipped with Lincoln’s Co-Pilot360, which includes technology like adaptive cruise control, evasive steer assist, pre-collision assist, blind-spot information, lane centering technology and more. I can say the lane centering technology is … effective. You will know if you’re not exactly centered in your lane — I promise.
The concierge technology is excellent, starting with the specially tuned 14-speaker Revel audio system. The speakers are set up specifically for the Corsair and they make everything from baseball games to podcasts to guilty pleasures sound great.
Wireless charging is available, assuming your device is compatible. It’s located in the front-row armrest, plus there is a media bin in front as well. Multiple power outlets are located throughout the ute, and Wi-Fi, which is standard, keeps everyone connected.
The Corsair does a lot of things pretty well. It’s comfortable with plenty of go pedal and it handles well. Formerly the MKC, it’s definitely an improvement from its predecessor.
However, after spending a week in the 2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve all-wheel drive, one overriding thought came to mind — I wish I was driving the Aviator. In the interest of clarity that feeling is more about how good the Aviator is and less about any real issue with the Corsair. I’d previously driven the Aviator for a week and was completely smitten.
2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve AWD specifications:
|Dimension||L: 180.6 inches/W: 76.4 inches/H: 63.8 inches/Wheelbase: 106.7 inches|
|Powertrain||2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4-cylinder; 8-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||21 mpg city/28 mpg highway/24 mpg combined (gasoline only)|
|Performance Specs||280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $45,090; As tested: $57,435 including $995 destination and delivery charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The 2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve AWD is a very good machine … but it doesn’t seem to inspire much … passion or excitement. I didn’t run to tell friends and family about it as I did when I drove the Aviator. And that’s perplexing because for $57,680, you’re probably going to want to be a bit jazzed about what you’re spending nearly $60K on.
2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve AWD — Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Lincoln Corsair come in AWD?
The Corsair Reserve comes with AWD standard whereas the lower trim level makes it only an option.
What’s the difference between the Corsair Standard and Reserve?
A 6.5-inch instrument cluster display is integrated into the Standard edition. The Reserve model comes with a 12.3-inch color display in the instrument panel. A 10-speaker sound system is standard inside the base trim. The Reserve edition has a 14-speaker audio system with the Revel label.
What trim levels does the Corsair come in?
The 2021 Lincoln Corsair comes in three trims: Standard, Reserve, and Grand Touring.