2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Fuel Economy Update for May
June 4, 2014
We only added 1,953 miles to our 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray this month, but that was enough to vault past the 20,000-mile mark. With 4 months to go, it seems that 30,000 miles is a distinct possibility.
But we're still no closer to the Vette's 21-mpg EPA Combined rating. In fact we slipped a bit this month, the lifetime average falling from 19.5 to 19.3 mpg after a May that passed by at just 17.2 mpg.
One reason could be that seven-speed transmission. Chevy engineers clearly used seventh gear as much as possible during EPA testing, but it's easy to forget it's there in regular use.
It feels like your work is over when you reach sixth because the big V8 is utterly relaxed at 65 or 70 mph while cruising in that gear. I find myself thinking, "Oh yeah, seventh," and when I eventually go there it feels a bit weird to hear the engine turning over that lazily. The Corvette is certainly less prepared to maneuver past other commuters in top gear.
But our Z51 has another thing working against it on the mpg front: Five of the seven gears have higher-numeric ratios than the base Corvette. First, second, third, sixth and seventh gears have been tweaked for acceleration. Despite the difference in ratios the base seven-speed manual and its Z51 counterpart share the same mpg rating.
Their approach is different with the six-speed automatic, where all six gear ratios are the same in both versions. Here the Z51 automatic is paired with a 2.73-to-1 final drive ratio while the base automatic gets taller and more economical 2.56-to-1 rear end gears. Despite this difference, both share the same window sticker rating.
The way the law is written, Chevy can pretend the more performance-oriented Z51 gearing doesn't exist if no more than 33 percent of Stingrays sold will be Z51s. If they want to sell more than 33% with the Z51 package they need to test both versions and publish a sales-weighted mpg average.
In either case a Z51's actual mpg performance will lag behind the window sticker somewhat.
Worst Fill: 9.4 mpg
Best Fill: 30.8 mpg
Lifetime Average: 19.3 mpg
EPA Combined Rating: 21 mpg (17 City/29 Highway)
Best Range: 471.9 miles
Current Odometer: 21,199 miles
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 21,199 miles