Review: The 2023 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring Is (Technically) The Most-American Luxury Car

corsair grand touring
(American Cars And Racing)

What does real American luxury look like today? A compact crossover, apparently.

The Lincoln Corsair currently sits atop the American University’s Kogod School of Business’ Made in America Auto Index, which ranks vehicles on the impact their pruduction and sales have on the U.S. economy.

The Kentucky-built Corsair received a score of 86 out of 100, although Canadian-sourced parts are factored in. That puts it ahead of the Tesla Model 3, the Chevrolet Corvette that’s also built in Kentucky and the Chevrolet Colorado.

That technically makes it the most-American luxury car, and It’s probably fitting, considering the popularity of luxury vehicles in this class, with nearly every premium automaker offering one … or several.

The Corsair starts at $40,730 for a front-wheel-drive model with a 250 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but our test car was the plug-in hybrid Corsair Grand Touring.

corsair charger

For $55,925 it comes with an all-wheel-drive powertrain that comprises an electrically-assisted 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a CVT transmission and a 14.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack. A full charge takes up to four hours on a 240-volt charger and it isn’t compatible with DC fast chargers, but that’s the point of a plug-in hybrid — not having to stop to plug in.

The total system output is 266 hp, but not all the time. The Corsair GT can be operated in an all-electric mode for up to 28 miles at less than maximum power, while the hybrid modes unleash its full potential.

corsair grand touring
(American Cars And Racing)

It’s rated at 33 mpg combined in hybrid mode after the battery has been drained, and drivers can choose to save the battery charge for when they want to go stealth, rather than run it out first every time.

Although far from the two-door coupes that the term originally applied to, the Corsair is the closest thing Lincoln has to what was once called a “personal luxury car.” It’s a littler short on the dramatic styling, but is a plush chariot that’s just potent enough to give you a feeling of well-earned power.

A computer controlled suspension keeps things in check and a fully-loaded example comes with heated and ventilated 24-way power front seats that have adjustable side bolsters, built-in massage and a split seat bottom that can be adjusted separately under each leg. Things aren’t quite as opulent for second-row passengers, who don’t get much legroom, even with the sliding seats set all the way back. They’re more useful for expanding the cargo area by moving them forward when legroom isn’t needed.

Corsair interior

The driver is presented with a full digital instrument cluster and a new-for-2023 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system display. Under it is a row of piano-style PRND keys for the transmission that takes some getting used to. It also has a volume knob and buttons for the hazard lights, a self-parking feature, traction control, defroster and 360-degree camera. Other functions, including the climate control are handled by the screen, with mixed results.

The leather is nice, and there’s available snazzy open-pore wood, piano black and metal trim, but also a fair amount rubbery stuff to remind you that this is an entry-level model. Work harder, move up the ladder and you’ll get that Navigator someday!

Corsair dash

The Corsair GT has the Lincoln ActiveGlide highway driving system as standard equipment. It uses highly accurate maps, cameras and sensors to provide hands-and-foot-free lane-centering adaptive cruise control on more than 130,000 miles of certified highway stretches, which will be expanded through over-the-air updates. It’s capable of checking for traffic and changing lanes when you hit the turn signal and will also nudge the car away from large trucks riding alongside it while remaining within the lane. Lincoln is changing the name to BlueCruise, which is what Ford uses for the same system, but the screens in the 2023 Corsair still call it ActiveGlide, which received more than a few guffaws when it was announced.

A recent update to a 1.2 version significantly improved its operation, and the facial monitor that ensures the driver is watching the road while it is active is impressive. Even just looking away with your eyes without turning your head will result in a warning and eventual deactivation.

corsair rear seats

The Corsair GT emits a pedestrian-warning hum at low speeds that’s a bit too loud in the cabin. It transitions to a synthetic motor rumble at around 25 mph that’s more pleasant, and the drivetrain itself is well-muted. The 14-speaker Revel audio system can overcome both of them with crystal clarity.

It does glide, even on mangled pavement, despite the relatively low-profile tires on its 20-inch wheels. Nevertheless, the shocks do a great job at keeping the body under control on winding roads. I spent eight hours it on one day and was no worse for wear at the end of it, which seems very much the point of a vehicle like this.


The closest one too it is probably the Lexus NX450h+, which has 304 hp, a 37-mile all-electric range and gets 36 mpg combined. It also costs a bit more and doesn’t qualify for any federal electric vehicle purchase tax credits, because it’s imported from Japan, while Corsair GT buyers can get up to $3,750.

Another American economic boost … to the owner’s wallet.

2023 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring

Base price: $33,925

Type: Four-door, five-passenger, all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid SUV

Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder w/electric assist

Transmission: CVT automatic

MPG: 33 combined

Electric range: 28 miles