Lincoln’s 2023 Corsair is a compact crossover that doesn’t get enough attention, or advertising, but it’s a compelling choice, especially as a PHEV.
Corsair’s primary feature is that it offers Lincoln’s traditional comfortable and safe transportation, and it comes with top safety scores.
Corsair is available in three trim levels of Standard, Reserve and Grand Touring, the latter we tested in PHEV configuration. With the AWD PHEV, Lincoln says it can travel up to 28 all-electric miles on a full charge, that’s sufficient for around town and grocery store runs. But there’s always the dependable 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle inline 4-cylinder with two electric motors to back it up. Total system output is 266-hp that provides EPA mileage estimates of 78 MPGe (electric and gas). For gas only, it’s 34-city, 32-highway mpg. Power gets sent to the wheels via a CVT transmission and Corsair has a tow capacity is up to 3,000 pounds. The combination provided decent acceleration from a standing stop and during highway passing maneuvers. Powered by the PHEV is the way to go instead of an all-electric, especially when taking long trips. Lincoln got the right idea here. It’s the best of both worlds.
As a compact (Corsair is based on the Ford Escape), the ride is exceptionally smooth and quiet on tall 20-inch Continental tires. Corsair is not a sports car in the handling department, it’s just a fine luxury crossover that parks easily, is enjoyable to drive and ride. Both of which have been Lincoln’s customary traits over the years.
Performance aside, Corsair has a beautiful interior that sports a 13.2-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch gauge cluster. Sumptuous, deeply padded, heated/ventilated leather seats offer extended under thigh and sensible lumbar support. The entire cockpit melds all controls and amenities ever so nicely.
The CVT transmission gets its commands from a piano key style gear selector that are horizontally aligned across the vertical stack. These do take some getting used to, especially if coming from a floor or column mounted gear selector. Many new cars I test align the switches vertically so these needed seat time to acclimate to.
Corsair’s infotainment screen serves the usual gamut of audio, navigation, rearview and frontal cameras with overhead view, HVAC, weather, traffic conditions, local charging stations, auto parking instructions and more.
As for the auto parking, Corsair can park itself with the driver controlling the accelerator and brake.
The console hosts a phone charging pad along with receptacles for wired charging. All but two HVAC functions must be selected on the touchscreen, the exceptions are the front/rear windshield defrosters. This could be a bit troublesome in that selections take the eyes off the road such as when decreasing fan speed or changing interior temperatures.
Also, the console is a rotary mode switch for Conserve (Eco), Preserve EV (electric power only), Normal, Slippery and Excite (Sport) modes. Selections display on the gauges cluster that includes a driver information display for functions, features and alerts.
Corsair’s rear seat is a duplicate of the fronts in that they are heated, sofa soft with generous leg and head room. Step-in is an easy 19 inches.
Back in the cargo area, and with the rear seats upright, there’s 25.9 cubic feet of space that measures 36 inches deep, 43 wide and 29 high. Press two buttons and the rear seatbacks power down for 55.2 cubic feet of space with 66 inches of cargo loading depth. The cargo underfloor has a space saver tire around which some small items can be stowed. Lift-over into the cargo area is a low 28 inches.
Corsair came standard with a host of safety features and amenities including blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist, pre-collision assist, SOS post-crash system, Lincoln Connec w/Wi-Fi hotspot, adaptive suspension, panoramic sunroof, park assist, Co-Pilot 2.1 drive, wiper deicer and more.
Since my test Corsair did not have a window sticker (Monroney), Edmunds.com lists a comparable Corsair PHEV w/Grand Touring package at $53,636. They also list the Reserve model with ICE power at $39,280 and the base Standard with ICE at $39,280.
Corsair has received impressive government 5-star safety scores with four stars for driver frontal crash, five for passenger; and five for front/rear seat side crash. Rollover was not rated.
Lincoln’s luxury crossover comes with a 4 year/50K mile general warranty, 4/50K for pickup/delivery service and 5/70K powertrain warranty.
Corsair has several features which are a first for the segment such as Lane Change Assist, Predictive Speed Assist, In-Lane Repositioning, and Intersection Assist 2.0 that are very innovative, but were not on the test car.
All in all, Corsair has a lot of competition in its class, but with the PHEV system, it gives Corsair an edge over comparable ICE competitors. And it’s an exemplary family cruiser offering comfort, economy and Lincoln’s fine heritage.