10 Things We'd Change About the 2014 Corvette Stingray on Edmunds.com
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10 Things We'd Change About the 2014 Corvette Stingray

The Tweaks the New Corvette Needs To Be Even Better


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Reviews of Chevrolet's all-new 2014 "C7" Corvette Stingray have been rapturous. "Make no mistake, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a real driver's car," gushed Edmunds.com's own Josh Jacquot upon first driving the new 'Vette. "It hunts apexes with laser-sight precision, clearly communicates its intentions and provides dynamic response on par with far more costly equipment."

But no matter how many superlatives a car may earn — or deserve — it's still just a car. And every car is made up of engineering compromises, styling missteps and ergonomic hiccups. That's right; even the C7 isn't perfect.

So here are 10 things we'd like to change about the new Corvette Stingray. Most of them are nits that need to be picked. After all, we're still gushing over the car.

1. The Taillights — There's no reason why every Corvette should have four round taillights. But there's no reason why the C7 should have taillights that look like Alice Cooper on a bad day, either. The general agreement here is that the tail of the C7 is overstyled and that redesigning the rear lamps would be a good first step toward achieving some aesthetic balance.

2014 Chevy Corvette

2. The Start Button — The Corvette was among the first cars to adopt a proximity sensor and start button in place of a traditional ignition key. But the button in the new Stingray looks agonizingly plain and ordinary. Here you are, the driver, about to ignite a 6.2-liter V8 rated at 460 horsepower in one of the most capable sports cars ever built (a car that tops out at more than 190 mph) and it's about as dramatic an event as turning on the rear window defroster. Shouldn't it be stowed under a protective cover? Maybe there should be a fingerprint reader as on the iPhone 5S? Shouldn't the button be painted with some sort of irradiated coating so it glows menacingly? Shouldn't pressing the start button on this car be exciting and spectacular every single time?

3. "Track Mode" Tachometer — When the Stingray is loaded for hard-core track action, the instrument panel defaults to a large hockey stick-style tachometer that's awkward to read and scan. Centuries of experience should have taught everyone that the most straightforward way to display engine speed is a simple circular dial (whether real or virtual) with a clearly visible needle sweeping across its face. Meanwhile, the circular tachometer used in other modes is great. After all, in the heat of battle, knowing precisely what the engine is turning isn't as important as being able to scan the instrument cluster and make sure the engine is operating within the boundaries of its own limits. And those limits could be marked with something colorful, like a red line.

Yes, this is adjustable so you don't have to use this tachometer in Track Mode, but the hockey stick offends as much in principle as it does in practice. Get rid of it.

2014 Chevy Corvette

4. Oversized Temp and Fuel Gauges — The largest portion of the Stingray's instrument panel is a configurable display directly in front of the driver. It's easy to read and GM has done a great job on the graphics (most of the time). So why are there permanent, redundant and massive temperature and fuel gauges consuming real estate to the right of it? Dump the real gauges and make the screen bigger.

5. The Speedometer — The same criticism that applies to the right side of the instrumentation goes for the left side where a large, permanent analog speedometer lives. Large is an overstatement, actually, since it's still not large enough to easily read the numbers on its face. It manages to be both too big and not big enough. And it's redundant information anyhow, since in most of the configurable screen modes there's a digital speedometer incorporated into the display. Maybe it's time to ditch the analog speedometer altogether.

2014 Chevy Corvette

6. Fender Gaps — The tires on the new Stingray look puny. As in swallowed-up-by-the-fenders tiny. That may be because there are larger-tire versions coming and the car was engineered in anticipation of them. Or it might be that the Corvette needs the room to accommodate snow chains — which isn't something that seems to concern the Italians over at Ferrari and Lamborghini. There are two solutions: Lower the car slightly or install larger-diameter tires.

7. Electronic Parking Brake — Electronic parking brakes are increasingly popular because they package more easily into a car's interior. So bye, bye, big handle; hello, tiny switch. But in a car like the C7, that leads to a disappointing lack of mechanical connection. And in a car like the C7, mechanical connection is everything. Plus it inhibits bootleg turns and other hoon-tastic antics.

2014 Chevy Corvette

8. Too Many Exhaust Outlets — Four exhaust outlets? Four! What is this? A Corvette or a circus calliope? Either cut it down to two or go full badass and add side pipes.

9. Overly Complex PTM Interface — The fact that the C7 has a "PTM Interface" alone makes it seem that in order to drive the car you must first file a TPS report with the new cover sheet. That said, the Performance Traction Management (PTM) system is among the best electronic driver's aids ever built. But getting exactly the right mode for whatever challenge you're undertaking is a pain in the well-upholstered posterior. It's the goofy little dial that selects the modes that drives us nutty. The combination of finger ballet and perfect timing necessary to select your preferred mode is frustratingly unforgiving. Can't we just tune the PTM through our smartphone?

10. Front License Plate — Chevy's got an option to affix a front plate, but it's a $95 kick in the pants and blocks off a good deal of airflow. We don't like either of these things. Since front plates are required in most states, that means either ponying up for the nice one or signing up for a lifetime of fix-it tickets. We'll take the tickets.

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Comments

  • boff_ boff_ Posts:

    I especially agree on the fender gap...it is atrocious and ruins the look of the car. There must be a way to lower this car, despite the unusual transverse leaf spring arrangement.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    "And it's redundant information anyhow, since in most of the configurable screen modes there's a digital speedometer incorporated into the display. Maybe it's time to ditch the analog speedometer altogether." Wrong answer. Analog gauges with a dial and a needle not only show the information that particular kind of gauge displays (speed, RPM, temp, pressure, etc.), they illustrate the RATE of increase or decrease in that unit of measure in a very intuitive way that flashing digits will never equal. Nice "Office Space" reference, though.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    a good list, and assessment despite the brief ownership experience. In 6 months you should follow-up with part 2. #7 doesn't bother me, though. The tail lights and especially the exhaust bug me because they are cartoonish.

  • yamahr1 yamahr1 Posts:

    Whatever.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Agree with the items on the list

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    #10 is a really inexusable bit of stupidity on GM's part. No front plate is the exception in the US, not the rule. There is just no excuse for failing to design in something that a majority of your customers will need. #2 is a really silly complaint

  • Calling Alice Cooper washed up is a bit harsh especially since he's an actual car guy. So from your list just about everything they changed sucks in your book minus the seats. I think the three things I don't like about the new corvette are: 1. stupid fish emblem 2. left over camaro lights 3. stupid digital tach hated in the 80s and still hate it today.

  • commuter11 commuter11 Posts:

    Huffman didn't do his homework on several items. The 4500 rpm red line he noticed on the digital tachometer applies only until the engine is warmed up. At that point it moves to its full value. There are two different front license plate setups available, including one that puts the plate low and centered in the grille opening. boff (first comment) is correct. It is easy to lower the car if you wish to do so.

  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    Only GM could throw billions at its flagship and come up with such an incohesive mess. This is one genuinely ugly automobile.

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    Maybe it's just me but I like the quad exhaust tips

  • Edmund's editors definitely are bereft of compelling topics for articles. Watch out, guys. Soon you'll be flipping burgers somewhere.

  • otto_driver otto_driver Posts:

    Maybe rename this article "9 Things We'd Change..."? http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2013/10/2014-corvette-stingray-front-plate-stays-legal-looks-good.html

  • goaterguy goaterguy Posts:

    Larger tires.... Yeah that's what we need a Donk Corvette. "I am much smarter that the engineering manpower at GM so let's ruin the ride and handling by adding larger diameter tires" sheesh...

  • dcam2 dcam2 Posts:

    I believe I wrote to you guys months ago concerning the new Corvette and the never ending "in the tank for Porsche" culture at your place. Sorry, I've owned and followed sports cars for decades and that is clear to me. With that said, I'm not surprised AT ALL that ONE MONTH into production and your office couldn't help itself but to start a "to do " list for Corvette. Is there that much panic over Corvette selling 4,000 cars in one month while Porsche can't give away Caymans ? Criticism is fine....but I will WAIT for the Porsche "to do " list and the BMW "to do" list ONE month into production of a new model. As usual, you guys are letting your Porsche underwear show ...since you felt the need to be humorous with your Alice Cooper graphic above ( sophomoric at best ) why not put up a big list of the obscene Porsche options list with a HUGE money bag photo over the top of it ...just for laughs...oh GOSH no..not Porsche ...how disprectful to a 125 grand 911 !

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    For 51 to 54K MSRP, I could easily live with any of these very minor complaints. Come on Edmunds, where is your list for German rivals at twice the price for less performance. I personally like the styling from front to back, and can't wait until the next gen ZR1. GM has done some great things lately with Cadillac, Chevy, and even Buick. Some of their cars are still to be desired, but overall they are really pushing for performance on a budget.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Seems to come down to personal preference... *shrug* How many of your staff disagree with items on this list?

  • speed12sil speed12sil Posts:

    Everything besides #2 and #7 sound like whining. Fender gaps? Are you riding outside of your car when you're driving? Yes? You need to go see a shrink. No? Then it's not going to "look" bad. I'd rather have fender gaps than have the car even lower and scraping every parking lot incline. As it is it's already performing far beyond anything in its price range. You want to drop it and make it a pain to drive anywhere? Fine, just not make it a factory height. Quad pipes were around in C5 and C6. Why weren't you whining back then? Taillights do their job. Even if this car is aesthetically perfect you're still going to whine about it not wearing a Ferrari badge amiright?

  • dcam2 dcam2 Posts:

    I couldn't agree with speed12sil more ! Let's call it what it is...this seems to happen EVERY time a new Corvette comes out with peformance gains, new tech, best bang etc. The elitist, smug, Euro obsessed auto media circle the wagons and take out the arrows ! They HAVE TO because it eats away at them that something might threaten Porsche, BMW, whatever Euros they are worshipping that month. It's so transparent it's not even funny....it's sad. Porsche should be arrested for what their prices have become and Ferrari has gotten away with murder for years on reliability and durability. I can NOT wait for the new Z06 or ZR1 to come out and really bury everything for half the money and watch the elitist auto media go into hyper knit picking, whining, attack mode but that's just called competition .....live with it !

  • tubybntz tubybntz Posts:

    dcam2: Calm down.

  • dcam2 dcam2 Posts:

    The truth hurts and this list is a joke. Auto journalistic integrity would be nice. WHAT A JOKE. One of the best new cars of the year on literally EVERY list out there....uhhh hey they need a new start button ! A start button....oh my God. Pathetic

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Give 'em a break here folks. Right at the top of the article they say: "...Most of them are nits that need to be picked. After all, we're still gushing over the car." So clearly they love the car and know none of these 'nits' in any way make the car less brilliant.

  • Meanwhile, Chevrolet has taken the electronic parking brake *off* of the 2014 Malibu, in favor of a handbrake that clutters up the center console. I vote that the Malibu and the Corvette swap parking brakes with one another :P

  • themandarin themandarin Posts:

    You can add the availability of the retarded color combination you chose for your long-term car to the list. The Corvette's designer is also responsible for Chevy trucks which explains most of the design issues. Porsche engineers dont design pickups. Previously clean bodywork now marred by lame details that will age quickly.

  • rj_xtrail_2 rj_xtrail_2 Posts:

    "Only GM could throw billions at its flagship and come up with such an incohesive mess. This is one genuinely ugly automobile." @nukedetroit AND YOU ARE A BULLSH*T!!!!!

  • rj_xtrail_2 rj_xtrail_2 Posts:

    and you are a bullsh*t, ne_blackshirts

  • speed12sil speed12sil Posts:

    I posted a comment that wasn't a flamebait/trolling one and I still get 3 people downvoting me? Man people these days.

  • johnpn johnpn Posts:

    The bullet point about the 4 exhaust outlets is a glowing reason to dump this list. It's like it's the first time the author has ever realized a car with 400+ hp has 4 exhaust outlets... and believes that it is the only car of this class with that many exhaust outlets. Reality is quite the contrary.

  • 1ns1dej9b 1ns1dej9b Posts:

    Instead of styling a car with an artistic vision in mind, GM's designers are a committee of pimps and it really shows with this new Corvette.

  • tbone85 tbone85 Posts:

    This list says a whole lot more about what's right about the Vette than what's wrong. I think the quad pipes look great, the tail lights are OK, but if the wanted a change from round, probably needed something even more innovative. The start-stop button too bland? If it had flashing sequential lights you'd say that it was designed by Michael Knight. Most of the gauge criticism are really nits, but I'm not a big fan of the OPTIONAL hockey stick.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Edmunds, are you actually criticizing a sports car for including real gauges, including the all-important yet perpetually overlooked temp gauge? Are you also really criticizing a sports car for having reasonably sized wheels instead of being donked out on ridiculous 50 inch chrome wheels? The exhaust criticism is totally valid though. On the license plate thing, living in Southern California I hardly ever see 'Vettes running front plates. I've never run them on my Miata and have never even gotten a fix-it ticket. At least in my area, the cops seem to wisely recognize that there are more grievous automotive sins and tend to let it go unless you're asking them for add-ons to the ticket they're already writing you.

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