The Lincoln Motor Company, named in honor of the 16th President of these United States, steadily reworked its lineup of late, incorporating name-friendly designates, promoting five-door crossovers and going electric, albeit cautiously.
Retired are a series of tri-lettered monikers workable for those with memories long enough to recall ‘Mark’ days at Lincoln. Mark V and Mark VI referenced names familiar to fathers and grandfathers of past era Lincoln sedans. Tri-lettered references of past decades including MKC gave way to actual words employing vowels and thus, conjuring up images.
Our tester this week, the 2024 Lincoln Corsair
returns with a platform introduced in 2020, the same time period the Corsair name replaced MKC in Lincoln’s lineup. It measures as a compact, two-row, unibody (car platform) crossover sharing underpinning familiarity with parent company’s Ford compact Escape, but with enough distinguishable upgrades to stand apart. Consider Corsair the next-generation replacement for MKC. Currently Lincoln markets no sedans, convertibles or coupes, just five-door body styles. The three 2024 Corsair trims include Premier, Reserve and Grand Touring.
Corsair represents one of four five-door hatchbacks gracing Lincoln’s 2024 lineup, including the Chicago-built Aviator crossover, full-size Navigator Sport Utility Vehicle and Nautilus crossover (formerly the MKX). Of the four, Corsair qualifies as the smallest, most affordable and most fuel efficient. Fun Fact: Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant celebrates 100 years of operation in 2024, as one of the earliest and continuously operational auto assembly plants in the U.S. Lincoln itself celebrated 100 years of operation in 2022.
Corsair rates as a soft riding, quiet, confident, luxury-appointed selection; not quite the athletic option when compared to other compact luxury crossovers from Audi, Cadillac or BMW. Adaptive suspension, standard with Grand Touring, adds to the luxury-like gentle ride and handling stability.
As with its larger three-row Aviator stablemate, Corsair also offers a plug-in hybrid electric version (PHEV) solely in the all-wheel drive Grand Touring. It served as transportation for a week and impetus of this review. It utilizes a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder offering generating a combined 266 horsepower and teams with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A majority of PHEVs choose CVTs with an infinite number of gear ratios rather than a set number of planetary forward gears, providing a smooth, unrushed experience.
Grand Touring models, as is the case with just about all PHEVs, include a smaller, lighter battery pack (14.4-kilowatt hours) then what’s found in pure electric EVs (in the 77.4-kilowatt hour range) which supplies electricity for the electric/traction motors. The smaller size requires less time to recharge when compared to pure EVs. When fully juiced, Grand Touring travels an impressive (compared to similar-sized PHEV rivals) 28 miles in electric mode before seamlessly and automatically switching to the four cylinder engine taking on the characteristics of a traditional gas-electric hybrid.
Lincoln and Ford utilize a power-split design, the technology choice of many PHEVs, blending together torque from the gas engine and battery pack through a two-motor planetary gear system. Corsair includes a third electric motor, exclusively for the rear axle, providing the all-wheel drive experience.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) provide a logical step into the Electric Vehicle future for those unable to afford the price premium EVs still command in 2024. Even as EV pricing continues falling, the bottom line still remains out of reach for a good slice of potential buyers.
A mode dial between front buckets lets drivers switch from pure EV to the gasoline engine and back again if desired. This is useful as around-town, stop-and-go travel benefits from EV settings while highway driving with less braking interaction, maximizes fuel economy within an internal combustion engine (ICE) environment. Corsair defaults to the EV mode when starting or restarting by pushing the electronic start button.
Corsair’s two other lower trims offer a 2.0-liter inline turbocharged four cylinder pumping out 250 horses offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. When Corsair began offering the PHEV choice in the top-tier Grand Touring trim in the 2021 model year, a 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder option got dropped. As of yet, no pure all-electric vehicle dots Lincoln dealers.
Our Grand Touring tester started at $53,925. Lincoln offers a variety of packages and stand-alone options to sift through during the Corsair purchase. A Convenience Equipment Group ($8,675) joined three stand-alone options: Asher grey metallic clear coat exterior paint, leather seats ($1,285) and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels ($1,150) for a $67,180 bottom line including a $1,395 destination charge. A Premier trim with a conventional 2.0-liter engine starts at 39,430.
The group package includes rain sensing wipers, heated rear seats, heated/ventilated front seats and steering wheel, wireless charging pad, heads up display, active park assist and front/rear parking sensers.
Keep in mind a 2024 Corsair Grand Touring purchase qualifies for a portion of the Federal Government’s Clean Vehicle tax credit benefitting qualifying EVs, gas-electric hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles. While the full $7,500 tax benefit does not apply since it’s not a pure EV, Corsair does quality for a $3,750 portion of the Clean Vehicle credit provided certain income qualifications are met. Starting in the 2024 calendar year, this tax credit may be applied at the time of dealership purchase rather than during the tax filing season which could be 14 months down the road. Another plus for purchasers in 2024 and beyond; the dealership handles the paperwork, in effect fronting consumers the tax credit.
When powering up Corsair with a conventional, 120-volt alternating current wall socket (also known as Level 1), Lincoln estimates a full charge within 11 hours or less. However, during a January cold snap in the upper Midwest during this review, the Level 1 charge time took closer to 15 hours. Electric vehicle batteries (and most DC batteries in general) lose strength during below zero temperatures.
Invest in a Level 2, 220-volt wall-mounted charger and the time required reduces to under four hours. Households already include 220-volt wiring for HVAC units and washer/dryers. Remember, even with the lithium-ion battery’s estimated drive range down to zero, Corsair continues traveling for 300 miles in gas/electric hybrid mode compliments of the inline four-cylinder internal combustion engine. Grand Touring’s fuel tank holds 11.1 gallons of regular, 87-octane fuel, a bit smaller than the other two trims.
At the start of 2024, the U.S. Treasury Department brought back the once expired Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) tax credit as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, resulting in tax credit of up to 30 percent from the Federal Government (Form 8911 when filling out Federal Tax Forms) covering installation and hardware of a Level 2 EVSE wall charger up to $1,000. Currently, it’s set to expire in 2032. Costs of hardware and installation vary but estimates range in the $500 to $2,500 range.
Since Corsair’s lithium-ion battery pack (14.4 kilowatt hours) checks in as relatively small, only Level 1 and Level 2 charging levels pertain. Pure Electric Vehicles utilize a third choice, a commercially available DC fast charger, speeding up the recharge time substantially when away from home through bypassing the vehicle’s onboard charger (OBC). Corsair’s OBC converts alternating current from household outlets into direct current for storage in the battery while also acting as a gatekeeper preventing overcharging. Most PHEVs on the road today only connect up with Level 1 and Level 2 charging.
Often, we in the media get asked if investing in a Level 2 wall charger is worth the expense when purchasing a PHEV. A conventional 120-volt outlet usually suffices with their smaller battery packs and shorter charging times, so for most consumers, a conventional 120-volt charger works just fine.
Corsair’s majestic, square, front grille contains a small, repeating black diamond background interwoven with multiple sightings of Lincoln’s inch-sized vertical elongated logo donning brushed aluminum highlights, creating waterfall appearance. Front and center is a larger sized Lincoln logo. Flanking the grille, a pair of bejeweled LED bulbs with smaller, frosted versions underscoring the upper two.
In back, the power hatch door features a narrow red-illuminating light bar extending from fender to fender while also incorporating amber blinkers when called upon during signaled turns. When open, the hatch swings up providing enough head clearance for those six-feet two-inches and shorter. Below the rear bumper, dual exhausts. Suffice it to say Corsair carries forward Lincoln’s visual DNA with a resemblance to a scaled down Aviator.
The plug port connecting Corsair to the wall socket power source locates on the driver’s side front fender; with the cap-less fuel lead found on the driver’s side rear fender. Strap-like door handles illuminate at night when approaching with the key fob on person.
A wireless charger is available solely in Grand Touring trims and lays the smartphone flat when in use. Sooner rather than later, Lincoln would be wise to standardize this across all trims; it’s a convenience most luxury brand car shoppers demand. When summoning the voice-activation system, a button located on the steering wheel needs a gentle push. Lincoln’s system recognized vocal commands better than many tested from rivals.
Visually centering the front dash, a sizeable 13.2-inch multi-function flat touch screen extending up from the center portion. It’s bright, touch sensitive and rather intuitive to familiarize even for a sixty something curmudgeon.
Corsair locates the electronic push button transmission below a center flat screen and horizontal, adjustable air vents to the right of the circular, electronic push-button start which illuminates with a green indicator when engaged. Five push tabs include P, R, N and D, each illuminating within an orange-colored hue when pushed. Jetting out from the bottom of the transmission buttons, a 45-degree angled shelf combining audio and HVAC controls.
A left-side twist/push dial turns the audio system on/off and monitors volume. Unfortunately, no similar dial exists for station selection. The HVAC controls work in tandem with this shelf and the touch screen interface.
The all-digital, easy read 12.3-inch instrument panel illuminates in a purplish, shooting star like fashion when staring via the electronic push button. When the cosmic fireworks calm down after about four seconds, the lower right-hand corner includes a constant digital display of remaining all-electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) ranges. Also indicated, the current technology in use between the two.
Row two’s 60/40 split bench backrests fold flat onto cushions, and when prone, recline back several inches contributing to enhanced comfort. Seats also slide back and forth on a vertical floor track. Although a five-seater, a pair of adults travel in optimal comfort in row two for extended jaunts. With the second row prone, 26.9 cubic feet of space remains, a useful glob of space promising multiple uses.
Corsair’s Grand Touring PHEV also includes BlueCruise hardware, a hand’s-free driving system not offered in the Ford Escape, Corsair’s corporate kissing cousin. This systems allows a certain degree of respite, but was never intend to replace driver input and should not be interpreted as self-driving.
When on a divided highway with visible pavement markings, BlueCruise recognizes painted guides, keeping Corsair between the lines without the driver’s hands on the wheel. BlueCruise requires a monthly subscription when purchasing the larger Navigator and Nautilus models, but Lincoln offers this free on Corsair for the first four years (the subscription lasted just two years prior to 2024) after which the annual subscription fee kicks in.
Lincoln’s U.S. sales in 2023 reached 81,444 units, a slight decrease from the previous 12-month cycle reaching 83,486. Total Corsair sales reached 24,348 in 2023, a slight decrease from 27,668 in 2022. Yet, Corsair again qualifies as the best-selling choice within the Lincoln lineup. 2024 Lincoln Corsair PHEV
Price as tested: $67,180
Gas Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder
Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: 14.4 kilowatt hours
Combined Horsepower: 266
Electric range: 28 miles
Fuel economy: 33 miles per gallon
Wheelbase: 106. 7 inches
Overall Length: 181.4 inches
Overall Height: 63.8 inches
Overall Width: 74.3 inches
Curb weight: 4,493 pounds
Powertrain warranty: Six years/70,000 miles
Assembly: Louisville, Kentucky