My wife and I just received a gorgeous 2002 Pewter C5 "Base" with the AT as a gift from my father-in-law. The past six years he drove it less than 2500 miles. I was never too sure about Corvettes in the past because the ones I had ridden in were older (pre-C5) and felt like a car without shocks. Not this car. The ride is so comfortable I could use it as a daily driver. As it is, I am greatly enjoying this car. There was about $2,500 worth of deferred maintenance, but with a clean bill of health and only 120K miles, this car is in remarkable condition. Not a single ding in the body and the paint is flawless, which says a lot about how GM took care in the factory paint process. The drivetrain is the most responsive of any vehicle I have ever owned, and the handling is very tight. There are a few minor rattles (I would expect this for the age and mileage) and the driver's side window is frozen in the up position, so tomorrow I am taking it to a friend who has done a lot of work on GM vehicles. Apparently the window problem is common with Vettes. I am also doing a complete brake job all around, as I am told that rotors on Vettes aren't worth turning, so I have bought all-new parts. Will see how challenging this process is. The Bose sound system is very good, even by today's standards. Be aware that a common problem with the driver's seat is that it is subject to the seam splitting in the door side corner closest to the seatback. Will cost me about $100 to fix, not too bad. Also, the plastic housing of the bottom seat cushion typically separates some over time from the seat bottom cushion. It's not really repairable, and I am told that the sport seat holds up better. As far as maintenance costs go, everything is more expensive than the typical passenger car. Mention that it is a Corvette, and the parts cost is double. But in comparison to other cars in this class, it is a great value. Built-in cup holders are scarce - there is only one that I have found in the short time I have owned this car. I plan on getting another "portable" one for the passenger. So far all the electronics on this car are working flawlessly. My car came without keyless entry fobs, so I was able to order two on e-bay for $25 for the pair, and it only took about 60 seconds to program them myself using the owner's manual. This was a pleasant surprise considering that many cars require you to go to a dealer to get fobs programmed and can charge you a substantial (more that $50) amount for such a simple task. As far as overall value, this car is a great surprise and the re-sale values are pretty good. Low-mileage (less than 50K miles) go for over $20K, and some with the same mileage as mine and the same excellent condition and good Carfax are $15K to $20K.
C5's are probably the most car you can get for the money. They now average between $15,000 and 19,000 dollars. They are on a par, performance wise with some of the worlds super-cars. Accelerates, 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds equals a Ferrari F2. Corners like a Formula racer, stops like nothing else with huge brakes, it is simply the funnest car to drive, unless you step up to a C6 or C7. Supremely comfortable, easy on fuel, fun to work on, this is the best car I've ever owned. Get some of this!