2009 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

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Chevrolet Corvette Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 436 hp @ 5900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette

  • For the money, you're not going to get a better all-around sports car than the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Exotic-car performance for real-world money, daily-driver functionality, surprisingly respectable fuel economy.

  • Cons

    Not as nimble and communicative as some competitors, interior lacks pizzazz, Z06 and ZR1 look too much like the standard Corvette.

  • What's New for 2009

    The big news this year is the late introduction of the Corvette ZR1, which boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 producing 638 horsepower. It's the most powerful (and expensive) road-going Corvette ever. The rest of the Corvette lineup heads into 2009 with just minor changes, the most significant of which is the availability of Bluetooth phone connectivity.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (14 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Boyhood dream

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

I've salivated over Vettes ever since the 1958 model came out, and still think the 58 - 61 models are the most beautiful cars ever made. Wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, so my first vehicles weren't much to talk about, then along came wife and children. Children all grown now with their own children, so I love my machine silver 2008 LT3 convertible with titanium interior and gray top. My wife never liked Vettes, but now she's a fan too! Nearing 16,000 miles and only one small issue - the cheap plastic glove box latch broke and was replaced under warranty. NPP option is nice. I added a "mild to wild" module (easy to do) so I can run in either mode at touch of a button.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2008 corvette convertible

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

Amazing car - impressive acceleration and handling when driven hard. Smooth and quiet when driven soft. Surprisingly good fuel economy - 23-25 mpg. Good trunk space - even with the top down. Low cost insurance. Zero problems after 24K miles.


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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

Well I feel like a little kid because after having many different cars over the years I finally found my favorite new toy. Quite simply put, this car is the American Dream in all its glory. Go drive one and you will understand....

I'll get another one already

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

I have an 08 convertible with the 3LT option and my wife has the 08 coupe with the Z51 option and the dual mode exhaust. I did not get the exhaust option on mine or the Z51 option and quickly wanted to drive her car instead. Now I've added a GM performance exhaust system to mine and wooooo!!!! However, I am now already looking at jumping on an 09 model as they now offer the cyber grey color. I hope to get a dealer to put me into that car, otherwise my wife and I can still enjoy our two 08 models. Now I will shop for an 09 with the dual mode exhaust and Z51 options exclusively.

Go buy one today!

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

I've been looking to buy a new Corvette for about 3 months. With GM reporting a sales decrease of 45% for October, I knew now was the time to pull the trigger. I bought the machine silver 2008 convertible with titanium interior and a black top. It looks great in the garage and I smile everytime I open the garage door. Absolutely no buyer's remorse. The only reason I gave the interior design a 9 is because I can't plug my MP3 into the stereo... what's that all about? The NPP dual mode exhaust is cool as hell and the magnetic selective ride rocks. If you're thinking at all about buying one of these, don't wait any longer. Now's the time do get a great deal on a great American sports car.

An elephant in the alps

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

I got this car in place of a Porsche 911 S and believe me, this car is no Porsche. It's huge for a "sports car". A sports car is supposed to be small, powerful and nimble. The Vette's handling is comparable to an elephant trying to perform on the balance beam at the Olympics. Sure, I like the power under the hood. 30 horses with the dual mode exhaust sounds great, but that's about the only thing that's great on this car. After driving BMW's, Z cars, Porsche's and even my Mercedes E350, I am very disappointed in the way this car's handing and appointments are for the money. Can't anyone in the U.S. build a "sports car" at least in the league of the afore mentioned. Pitiful.

Full 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Review

What's New for 2009

The big news this year is the late introduction of the Corvette ZR1, which boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 producing 638 horsepower. It's the most powerful (and expensive) road-going Corvette ever. The rest of the Corvette lineup heads into 2009 with just minor changes, the most significant of which is the availability of Bluetooth phone connectivity.


If you tell the average person that you bought a new 2009 Corvette, they'll likely scrunch up their face, as if they'd just gotten a whiff from a bad carton of milk. "Really, a Corvette?" they'll say. It seems there's a certain stereotype associated with America's sports car, one that involves a midlife crisis and gold chains on exposed chest hair, possibly accompanied by visions of the hideous Vette Mark Hamill drove in "Corvette Summer." However, you can reply with this: "Corvette Summer" was 21 years ago, gold chains haven't come back into fashion yet and the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette has nothing to do with the stereotypes -- it's simply a fantastic sports car.

While there are certainly historical kernels of truth in this stereotype, most of them were excised with the debut of the model's sixth generation (the C6) for 2005. Last year, Chevrolet made further improvements, including more power and a better interior. Even the stats for the base Corvette are enough to drool over. The 6.2-liter V8 cranks out 430 hp, just 50 hp shy of the almighty Porsche 911 Turbo. The track-ready Z06 model puts out even more power (505 hp) and weighs less than 3,200 pounds.

If this isn't enough, there's an additional model being added to the 2009 lineup: the ZR1. The ZR1 moniker was last seen from 1990-'95 (when it was spelled "ZR-1") and represented the ultimate in Corvette performance. The new ZR1 starts with a hand-assembled, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 638 hp and 604 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Corvette ever -- and one of the most powerful cars ever, period. Naturally, there are further modifications, such as a strengthened transmission, specialized wheels and tires, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, unique suspension tuning with adaptive dampers and additional carbon-fiber body panels for weight reduction.

Even if "all" the 2009 Corvette provided was performance equal to high-dollar exotics but at half the price, it would still be high on our list of recommended cars. But a surprising level of utility comes along for the ride, too. The Corvette offers a massive amount of luggage space and a user-friendly cockpit, along with enough ride compliance for daily-driving duty. There's also a convertible body style for those who want to catch more rays (or hear more from that voracious V8), and even fuel economy isn't too shabby -- a standard Corvette has an EPA highway estimate of 26 mpg, the same as an upscale Chevy Malibu.

Our quibbles with the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette are few, though they may be significant for those who expect world-class refinement at the Vette's elevated price point. Although the interior features a soft-touch dashboard material, it still looks rather plain and there are too many chintzy plastics. Nor can the Corvette provide the nimble and engaging handling offered by European sports cars, or the brutal effectiveness of Nissan's new GT-R. But for many shoppers in this segment, these will likely be minor issues. Put down the gold chains and don't worry about the scrunched noses -- the stereotypes are long gone for America's sports car.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette is available as a two-seat coupe or convertible. Trim levels include the standard Corvette, Z06 and ZR1. The standard Corvette coupe is actually more of a targa, as it comes with a removable body-color roof panel. Like Corvette roadsters before it, the convertible features a hide-away top.

Standard on the 1LT coupe and drop top are 18-inch front alloy wheels and 19-inch rears, xenon headlamps, cruise control, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, OnStar, leather seating, a six-way power driver seat, a tilting steering wheel and dual-zone automatic climate control. The standard seven-speaker audio system includes a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, steering-wheel-mounted controls and an auxiliary audio jack. The 2LT Package adds Bluetooth and upgraded leather seating with a power passenger seat. The convertible gets a power-operated top with the 2LT Package. More equipment can be found on the 3LT; it includes a head-up display, a power telescoping steering column with manual tilting, heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings and a Bose audio system. The top-level Corvette 4LT is very similar to the 3LT but includes an exclusive two-tone leather interior (with leather covering the dash top, console top and armrests).

The Z06 (coupe only) largely mirrors the standard model in terms of feature availability, but gains a more powerful V8, a fixed roof, a lighter frame and body panels, larger wheels and tires, a more stiffly tuned suspension, upgraded brakes and special sport seats. Compared to the Z06, the ZR1 boasts a more powerful supercharged V8, plus larger wheels, high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes, an exclusive suspension with adaptive dampers and additional lightweight body panels.

Major stand-alone options, depending on the model, include a navigation system, a transparent roof panel for the coupe, a two-tone interior, a dual-mode exhaust and different wheels. There are also suspension options for the standard Corvettes: the Magnetic Ride Control suspension (which automatically firms up and softens the suspension according to how the car is being driven) and the Z51 performance handling package (which adds extra cooling, stiffer suspension calibrations, bigger brakes, specific tires and shorter gearing for the six-speed manual). Also available are custom color and trim combinations, plus delivery to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Powertrains and Performance

Both the base coupe and convertible Corvettes feature a 6.2-liter V8 that makes an impressive 430 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. The optional dual-mode exhaust adds another 6 hp and 4 lb-ft. The Z06 boasts an exotic-class 505 hp and 470 lb-ft from its 7.0-liter V8, while the ZR1 has an otherworldly 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque.

All 2009 Chevrolet Corvettes have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic is available for the base coupe and convertible. Regardless of which Corvette you choose, you'll get stunning performance. In our testing, a base coupe went from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The Z06 will knock that down to 3.9 seconds. GM estimates the ZR1 does the 0-60-mph sprint in 3.4 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at a laudable 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for a manual-transmission Corvette. Opting for the automatic drops these numbers down by 1 mpg. The Z06 checks in at 15/24/18 mpg, and the ZR1 is still respectable considering its performance with a 14/20/16 EPA estimate.


Antilock disc brakes are standard, as is a superb stability control system known as "Active Handling." The latter provides noninvasive assistance and allows a "competitive" driving mode that gives the expert driver more leeway while still maintaining a safety net. Side-impact airbags are optional on 1LT models and are standard with all other LT packages. Head curtain airbags are not available.

Interior Design and Special Features

Chevrolet has made big strides in terms of interior fit and finish since the debut of the current-generation Corvette. Still, poke around a bit and you'll find some flimsy plastic panels. Overall, the interior is a step or two behind class leaders, particularly at the rarefied price points of the ZR1 and Z06, though the pricey 4LT leather package does help considerably. Large gauges, simple controls and remarkable cargo capacity (22 cubic feet in coupes and 11 cubes in the convertible) make the Vette a sports car that's easy to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Driving Impressions

Thanks to a snarling V8 and an engaging view of the raised front fenders through the windshield, the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car that never ceases to put a smile on your face. On a deserted twisty road, the driver will likely run out of talent before the Corvette runs out of capability. The brakes are strong and fade-free and there's massive grip from the tires. In tight corners, however, the Vette doesn't feel as nimble as, say, a Porsche Cayman due to its lackluster steering feel and propensity to get unsettled when driven over midcorner bumps.

Around town, the Corvette is an easy and comfortable car to drive. Even the Z06 or models equipped with the Z51 suspension have a respectably compliant ride, and even manual-shift Vettes are surprisingly docile in stop-and-go traffic, with a forgiving clutch and a reasonably sporty shifter. Wind and road noise can occasionally be a bit intrusive, but it's nothing out of the norm for this type of car.

Talk About The 2009 Corvette

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs