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Lincoln Corsair

The 2021 Lincoln Corsair: let’s get the annoying bits out of the way

Ted Laturnus

Now and then, a car comes my way I simply can’t get along with. Almost everything about it presents an obstacle to a pleasant driving experience. I seem to spend half my time fussing and fighting with it.

In this case, it was the 2021 Lincoln Corsair which, despite embodying the pinnacle of automotive design – at least as far as SUVs go – drove me crazy and annoyed me every time I slid behind the wheel.

The Corsair has some attributes, but driveable, it ain’t. At least not for me.

Built in Kentucky, Ford’s Corsair is classed as a compact SUV. Available in two trim levels, power is delivered by either a 2.0- or, as of 2021, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, both turbocharged with 250 and 295 horsepower, respectively. I had the latter powerplant.

Transmission is an eight-speed, and both models – Standard and Reserve – feature all-wheel drive. This drivetrain, as far as I’m concerned, is one the Corsair’s strong points. I also like the piano-key gear shifter – it works better than I expected.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 2020 Lincoln Corsair dripping with luxury features by Ted Laturnus

But let’s get the annoying bits out of the way.

Front seats

Corsair Interior

The Lincoln Corsair Interior

These turned out to be the most uncomfortable seats I’ve ever parked my backside in. The lumbar support, in particular, made any trip over 15 minutes in duration a test of endurance, and a road trip would have been out of the question.

Usually, Ford fits pretty comfy seats to all their models. Not here.

I seem to remember encountering these seats in the new Aviator as well. Of all the complaints listed here, the seats were issue number one – just unbearable.

Power tailgate

My Reserve model had a remote tailgate fob. Hit it twice, and Bob’s your uncle – theoretically.

But every time I used it, the tailgate would close, no problem, and then promptly open again. I found that pushing back on the tailgate was the only way to stop this. That can’t be right. Maybe a case of readjustment?

Ignition button

Will it shut the vehicle off?

I don’t know – sometimes it did, sometimes not. Way too fussy and badly conceived.

When I shut a vehicle off, I want it shut off right now – no radio left on, no headlights blazing, no interior lights staying on. Off means off. Period.

I’ve said it before: push-button start should be an option – give me an old-fashioned key every time.

Climate control

No problems figuring it out but getting a healthy blast of air out of the vents seemed to be impossible. No matter how high I turned up the fan or swivelled the vent controls, I couldn’t get the flow-through ventilation or heat I wanted and couldn’t direct airflow where needed the most. Again, poorly executed.

Ride quality

Usually, SUVs have a nice firm ride, but the Corsair seems to be sprung like a funeral limousine. Too hyper over bumpy roads and twitchy while being flaccid at the same time. The word ‘wallowing’ comes to mind.

Again, over the long haul – a road trip – this would be intolerable. Gravol, please.

All of these things combined made the Corsair a drag to drive, at least for me. I don’t think I’ve driven a car lately that bugged me this much.

That said, I do like the look of it. Simple and purposeful lines and a nice visual presence make the Corsair one of the better-looking models in this segment.

But this could be a case of just overthinking something; design over function and overdoing the luxury side of things.

2021 Lincoln Corsair

Engine: 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: eight-speed
Drive: all-wheel
Horsepower: 295 at 5,500 rpm
Torque: 310 at 3,000 rpm
Base price: $50,000
Fuel economy: 11.1 litres/100 km city, 8.3 litres/100 km highway, with regular fuel

Some alternatives: Porsche Cayenne, Hyundai Genesis GV80, BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Audi RS Q8, Cadillac XT5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus NX, Acura MDX

Ted Laturnus writes for Troy Media’s Driver Seat Associate website. An automotive journalist since 1976, he has been named Canadian Automobile Journalist of the Year twice and is past-president of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). For interview requests, click here.

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