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Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring: Digging into the PHEV goodness

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I have long held that a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is the best way to bridge the gap between traditional gasoline-powered vehicles and a pure electric vehicle (EV) – especially for those who live in a city. And the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring is a luxurious and well-mannered example of PHEV goodness.

During a recent test week, I drove 100 miles around the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, which was plenty of time to reinforce my original statement. This vehicle, especially with its perfect position massaging seats and ultra-quiet interior, soothes the soul in the middle of a hectic life.

With its compact size and lux-level amenities the Corsair is generally a favorite of mine in the compact luxury class, so I’m not going to spend this review gushing. Instead, I want to discuss more practical PHEV matters.

It’s all about that range

The point of a PHEV is to be able to use the electric-only mode for your “local” errands. In my case, that would mostly be to go to the gym and grocery store. Even when I needed to go further afield, I benefited from an all-electric range for at least a portion of my trip.

When I was at 100% of charge, I had about 22 miles of range. Since both my gym and grocery store are about 3 miles away, that’s plenty of range for my daily drives. When I needed to go out to the burbs to help my in-laws with an errand, I would have been within the range if it were an out-and-back trip. But with cold weather and extra stops, I went about 31 miles, and had about 10 miles of gasoline-powered driving.

That’s still exceptional.

All told, I drove 100.2 miles during the test period, with about 40 of those miles being on the highway. I had 82.6 electric miles, which means I had less than 20 miles that used the engine. Even better, I was averaging 83.7 MPG during the test week.

I did use remote start a couple times, so according to the trip computer I burned through about 24 miles of the gasoline range. I attribute that to using remote start, which occasionally prewarmed while plugged in on EV mode but used the engine when it was too cold.

Charging times

One of the great things about a PHEV is you don’t need any special equipment to charge it – just a regular 120V jack in your garage. Because we aren’t talking about a huge amount of electric range, this means charge times are generally lower.

If you’ll remember the Ford Mustang Mach-E I drove last year would have taken more than 96 hours to charge on the wall-jack. But the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring with its 22 miles of range took less than 12 hours to complete the charge on a 120V jack. That means you can drive to and from work, run your errands, do whatever your day holds, plug in when you get home and wake up to a full charge in most instances.

I found that if I ran errands, depleted the battery, plugged in for a couple hours then went to the gym, I often had enough juice to keep me out of the gasoline engine.

As an FYI, if you did spring for an at-home charger or have a 240V jack in your garage, time to charge back to 100% will be less than 4 hours.

Drive modes to save and charge

The Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring has several drive modes, and as you would expect, Pure EV is one of them. Assuming you have enough charge, this will allow you to drive in electric-only mode – even at aggressive highway speeds. This is certainly worth pointing out because there are some PHEVs that switch to gas mode, no matter what the range or drive mode, under hard acceleration.

Most of the time I stuck to Pure EV mode, but my second-favorite mode was Preserve EV. This allows you to hold your battery charge. So, if you’re taking a long road trip and you know you’re going to burn through your range on the highway, it makes sense to use Pure EV to get to the highway, switch to Preserve EV for the highway driving and then go back to Pure EV mode when you exit the highway at your destination.

This Preserve EV mode also allows you to charge your battery while driving, which is great when you burn through your range but have some highway driving ahead of you. While I was out in the burbs and zeroed out, I used the highway drive home to get enough charge on the battery so I could use Pure EV mode for the 2-mile trek from highway to home.

Other drive modes include Excite, Conserve, Normal, Slippery and Deep Conditions.

Sure, it’s more expensive

In the Lincoln lineup, Grand Touring, which is the top-tier trim, equals PHEV. Thus, it kind of makes sense it would cost more than the gasoline models. The Corsair is the smallest SUV in Lincoln’s lineup, and it has a base price of $37,564 in the Standard trim.

The Grand Touring trim starts at $52,790, which might seem hefty for a compact SUV. But frankly, it’s not a huge jump in the grand scheme of the lineup – especially considering what you get. Standard features include the panoramic moonroof, dual climate control, heated-and-ventilated front seats, adaptive suspension, LED headlights, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist.

The test vehicle did, however, add several pricing options, which included the perfect position massaging seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, park assist, head-up display and phone as key functionality. So, the as-tested price was more than $62k.

I’ll also point out that the Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV I tested had a price around $50k. While the RAV4 Prime does have 20 more miles of range, for $12k more, I’d still rather have the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring with massaging seats.

Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring

A couple annoying PHEV-related quirks

I was delighted to find that remote start was possible while plugged in, and it didn’t engage the engine. However, that was when temperatures were in the mid-30s (Fahrenheit). When temperatures dipped lower, for whatever reason, the remote start used the engine, which in turn dipped into the gasoline stores.

Additionally, if the vehicle wasn’t warm enough, you couldn’t get into Pure EV mode for about the first mile of driving. It would say it was in Pure EV mode, with a notation that the engine was engaged for system performance. As soon as it warmed up, it would flip over to Pure EV and stay there until the range dropped out. So, that was another chunk out of my gas tank.

The bottom line on the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring

Lincoln is a sleeper luxury brand, which in some ways makes it one of the best kept secrets in the auto industry. The Corsair Grand Touring with its luxury finishing touches, super comfy seats and decent all-electric range is a gem.

I challenge anyone who is looking at the Cadillac XT4 to test the Corsair as well. While the tech isn’t as grand (Corsair has a wimpy 8-inch info screen and a boring 12.3-inch digital display behind the wheel), you’ll likely be won over by the ride and handling and overall comfort. Plus, PHEV. Cadillac doesn’t have one of those.

Before I go into full-on gush mode, I’ll simply say this: Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring understated and worth every penny if you’re shopping in this class.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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1 Comment

  1. Jackie February 26, 2022

    Thanks for the great review! Important info I haven’t found elsewhere.


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