The Ford Escape is a very popular little crossover SUV — but what if you’d like it with more engine — or a plug?
Maybe a 14-speaker Revel ultra-premium audio rig, too?
Head on over to a Lincoln store.
There you’ll find the Corsair, which is based on the Escape, but it’s more than a Ford. It offers a stronger version of the Escape’s strongest optional engine — and the option to roll faster without any engine at all for about 28 miles or so, depending on how you roll.
What It Is
The Corsair is the smallest crossover Lincoln sells. It is also the most affordable, with its base price of $35,945 being just slightly higher than the price of a loaded Ford Escape, which stickers for $33,300 — and which you cannot buy with the 295-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged engine that’s available in its Lincoln-suited brother.
A plug-in hybrid version of the Corsair is also now available.
It stickers for $50,230.
Ford also sells a plug-in version of the Escape, but with less engine — and without AWD.
It does, however, offer more range — up to 37 miles.
The Grand Touring plug-in hybrid version — which packs 268 horsepower, a 14.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and three electric motors — is the main addition to the Corsair’s options list for the 2021 model year.
A monochromatic appearance package is also available.
It includes a special 20-inch wheel/tire package, another not-available-with-Escape enticement to go with Lincoln rather than Ford.
A posher, more powerful Escape.
Electric operation — without the electric wait.
Extremely competitive price versus similar compact-sized crossovers such as the BMW X3 ($48,895 to start) and Mercedes-Benz GLC ($47,910 to start).
What’s Not So Good
A bit less backseat leg/head and cargo room than in the Escape.
It costs a lot to drive without using any gas.
The stop-start “technology” (non-hybrid versions) is difficult to turn off.
Under The Hood
The Corsair comes standard with one more cylinder — and lot more power — than what comes standard in an Escape. The latter is equipped with a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that manages (remarkably, given how small it is) to gin up 181 horsepower through the miracle of pressurization, i.e., via turbocharging it.
Still, it’s not much engine — even for a small crossover.
The base trim Corsair comes standard with a more size-appropriate 2.0-liter, much stronger 250 horsepower engine — also turbocharged — that is the same engine as the Escape’s strongest available engine. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic – not a CVT — and either front-wheel-drive or (optionally) all-wheel drive.
Lincoln gives you another option, too. One that is not available with the Escape.
You can upgrade to a 295 horsepower, 2.3-liter engine — also turbo’d. This engine is available in all trims, too.
It is paired exclusively with AWD — to spread out the power over four rather than just two wheels — and gets the Corsair to 60 in just over six seconds, a more-than-fractional difference versus the Escape equipped with its strongest (2.0-liter) engine, which takes about 7.7 seconds to make the same run.
On The Road
The hybrid Corsair can’t go as far as its Ford-badged brother, but it has considerably more potential electric-only range than hybrid versions of pricier luxury-brand small crossovers such as the BMM X3 and Audi Q5 — which max out around 20 miles (or less).
But how far you can go on the batteries alone depends greatly on how fast and how hard you drive.
It takes power to move anything and more power to move it quickly — whether the source of power is hydrocarbons or kilowatts. If you accelerate gently, easing up to speed — and keep your speed closer to 55 than 75 — you may well get as far as the touted 28 miles before you run out of electric power.
Still, you can travel a respectable distance — and at viable road speeds — without the gas engine kicking on, which is what it’s all about when it comes to hybrids.
And not having to plug the thing in is even more so.
At The Curb
The Corsair looks larger – and longer — than it is, which is just 180.6 inches. This can be credited to the visual effect of its lower, more rakish roofline (versus the Escape), which is about two inches down from the Ford’s. The downside of this is a bit less backseat headroom and total cargo capacity — 57.6 cubic feet versus 65.4 cubic feet in the Ford.
Still, the Corsair is capable of getting eight-foot-long boards home with the rear liftgate closed. Just drop (electrically) the second-row seat backs and slide them down the center aisle. Use a floormat on the center console to keep from scuffing anything. Like the Escape, the Corsair is large enough on the inside to be a family’s primary vehicle, which a car with the same or even a much larger footprint on the outside isn’t.
If you do some cross-shopping, you’ll discover that the non-hybrid version of the Corsair is a deal relative to what it would cost you to buy a BMW X3, a Benz GLC or an Audi Q5 — all of which are similar in size, features, amenities and power.
The Bottom Line
Lincoln isn’t selling cars anymore — but that doesn’t mean Lincolns aren’t selling.
This Corsair being an example of why.
(SET IMAGE) epe080321adAP.jpg (END IMAGE) (SET CAPTION) View the Lincoln Corsair this week. (END CAPTION)
Eric’s latest book, “Don’t Get Taken for a Ride!” is available now. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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Last Updated: Monday, Aug 02, 2021 14:04:32 -0700