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What We Got
True to its bargain-performance sports car heritage, the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette started at just $52,000. For that price, the seventh-generation Corvette came with an all-new 6.2-liter V8 making 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It had a standard seven-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, aluminum frame and carbon-fiber hood. Also standard was a free two-year/24,000-mile scheduled maintenance plan.
We didn't stop with standard equipment on our Stingray. The Z51 package raised the MSRP to $53,800. It included 19-inch front wheels, 20-inch rear wheels, larger, slotted brake rotors, a dry-sump oil pan, an electronic diff, taller gearing, upgraded suspension and an aerodynamics kit. Next we added the ($1,795) Magnetic Ride Control with Performance Traction Management (PTM), a must-have for C7s being driven as Chevy intended.
That wasn't all. We also added the 2LT package ($4,210) for comfort, a multimode exhaust ($1,195) that added 5 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque, MyLink navigation ($795) to get us there, Lime Rock Green metallic paint ($495) due to a majority vote, black-painted wheels ($495) cause they're bitchin', suede microfiber seat inserts ($395) to keep us in place and a front license plate bracket ($15) because we live in California. Finally, we paid an extra $990 for the privilege of picking it up ourselves from the plant in Kentucky.
We paid MSRP for our well-optioned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe, a check that came out to $65,180. Was it worth the money? Here's a sampling of our impressions:
• "It's easy to discover the limits and either avoid them or step right over.... I especially appreciated the crystal-clear and highly precise steering, zippy turn-in, progressive break-away of the tires and the sophisticated traction control." — Chris Walton
• "(Driving the C7) has forced me to confront my prejudices against the Corvette... the Stingray feels so different... it has a fantastic ride.... I genuinely like sitting in this Corvette... from there, the car's agreeable throttle response and quick steering take over, and you just get wrapped in what you're doing: enjoying the drive." — Erin Riches
• "Out on the road again, the Stingray felt even smaller than I remember. But one sensation that hasn't changed is that sweet spot between 3rd and 4th gears, where torque seems endless and effortless. Simply tapping that vein every day would be enough to ward off the slightest tinge of buyer's remorse." — Dan Frio
• "26.6 mpg over 2,486 miles on winter tires through a blizzard. Amazing. Our long-term Stingray continues to impress." — Scott Oldham
• "And yes, with that 6.2-liter 460-horsepower V8, she gets a might thirsty when driven in anger. We averaged 5.8 mpg over the two days of full-throttle flogging at Laguna Seca." — Mike Monticello
• "I just spent four days driving our long-term Stingray 2,500 miles from Santa Monica to downtown Detroit.... The new seventh generation of Chevy's two-seat sports car is extremely comfortable. I'm 5' 11", about 180 pounds and my body was very happy in the Corvette.... This Corvette rides wonderfully in Touring mode and its cabin is luxury-sedan quiet." — Scott Oldham
• "The Corvette's seating position seems to favor shorter guys... taller guys aren't as happy in the cockpit. They can't adjust the seat to a low enough position, and there isn't enough headroom to fit a helmet while they're at the track without some serious recline." — Travis Langness
• "Sports cars are supposed to be impractical. That's part of the charm, right? Not necessarily. Others have extolled the virtues of the Stingray's relatively massive cargo hold. It even passed the infamous 'Will the bike fit?' test. At 15 cubic feet, it's roughly the size of a midsize sedan's.... Thanks to this handy cargo net (included with the 2LT package) my gym bag, a bag o' snacks, water and the Corvette's spare oil were all held fast." — John DiPietro
• "That's two carry-on bags, one checkable bag that's nearly as tall as the Corvette's insane lift-over height, one way-too-big backpack and one briefcase. Not pictured: a passenger. That's not something our 911 could do. At least, not elegantly." — Mike Magrath
• "Over the past year I've dug into the Corvette's instrument cluster for being too plain and simply uninteresting to look at. There's no art to its design. No sex. I stand behind those criticisms, but there's no denying the incredible amount of information they provide and the amazing amount of choices they offer." — Scott Oldham
• "It's official, our Stingray is getting a bit creaky. With the passenger seat slid short of its furthest-back position and occupied by a passenger, it creaks. I noticed this last week when I was driving the car hard on a back road. My passenger, who's accustomed to older, less-civilized cars, didn't notice." — Josh Jacquot
Audio and Technology
• "I really like the sound system... the sound quality on the 10-speaker Bose audio system is great. With the treble, midrange and bass adjustments all equalized, I had no problem blasting the newest Black Keys single.... After just a few experiences with Chevy's MyLink system, I found it easy to get used to its controls." — Travis Langness
• "On Day 2, the C7 and its MyLink infotainment system fried my iPhone. Halfway through my second day with the car, with the iPhone (5, IOS7) plugged into the USB input, the screen displayed 'no device connected.' Music kept playing for a bit... then the music stopped... my iPhone and the screen was frozen on the music player. Nothing responded and the phone was unreasonably hot to the touch." — Mike Magrath
• "The nav system has done a commendable job getting us in and through rural Alabama, but its processing delay is frustrating. Each input, each number and letter, must be slow, firm and deliberate. Our long-term Cadillac ATS is also like this, and it's a reminder that GM needs to find a supplier with a better grip on smartphone and tablet interfaces. At least the graphics are crisp and clear." — Dan Frio
• "As I made my left turn onto the actual mountain road, I picked up the pace considerably. It's a tight bit of blacktop, lots of decreasing-radius curves, mostly 2nd gear, high-rpm stuff with fun, slightly tail-loose exits. I was just starting to get comfortable with the car's limits, getting into a rhythm, when a chime came on. Uh-oh, that can't be good.... 'Engine Overheating, A/C has been turned off, please idle engine.'" — Mike Monticello
• "After six months of ownership and about 13,000 miles of driving including testing and a track day under their belts, the factory Michelin Pilot Super Sports on our Corvette have given up the ghost and need to be replaced.... Even with light pedal pressure, the 'Vette just absolutely roasts these meats. It's a blast. Grip is boring. But grip is also safe and this car is bonkers fast." — Mike Magrath
• "The nice man that answered my call said, '911, what is your emergency?' I said I was sorry to bother him, but my car is stuck in the snow and I'm essentially blocking Interstate 70 eastbound somewhere between Vail and Frisco.... The Corvette was snowed in... it wouldn't budge. There was just no traction. The car's stability system was keeping the tires from spinning but it was also shutting off its big V8 engine in an attempt to cut power to the tires." — Scott Oldham
• "Our Corvette recently started overheating at the hands of mechanically unsympathetic drivers who shall not be named, but even with ambient temperatures above 100 degrees at lower elevations and the A/C blowing cold, the coolant temp needle barely budges. My only real worry is a surprise visit from an oncoming highway patrol unit." — Dan Frio
Maintenance & Repairs
The Stingray requests routine service at 7,500-mile intervals. Two years or 24,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance was standard on 2014 Corvettes, so upkeep was cheap. We didn't touch our wallet for the 7,500-, 15,000- or 22,500-mile visits.
No recalls were issued during our test but there was an open TSB addressed. Bulletin 13384 included topping off the differential fluid and was performed at the 7,500-mile interval. The only other extracurricular maintenance of the Stingray came in the form of minor body damage repair and tire replacements. A nagging navigation system gremlin popped up from time to time but due to its unpredictability was never formally remedied.
Fuel Economy and Resale Value
Observed Fuel Economy:
EPA estimates for our Corvette Stingray Z51 were 21 mpg combined (17 city/29 highway). We averaged 18 mpg. Our best single tank was nearly 31 mpg and covered 472 miles of ground.
Resale and Depreciation:
We purchased our Stingray for $65,180 one year and 27,200 miles ago. Last week we sold it to CarMax for $50,000, reflecting 23 percent depreciation. At the time, Edmunds' TMV® Calculator valued the Corvette at $51,800 based on a private-party sale.
Unbeatable price-to-performance ratio, comfortable enough to drive every day, fast enough to hang with cars that are twice the price, delivers excellent mileage if you're careful with the throttle, generous cargo space, free maintenance for first two years, supportive seats.
Shows signs of some minor build quality issues like creaking seats and peeling badges, had trouble handling hot driving environments, navigation system reacts slowly to inputs.
A world-class sports car with a real-world price. This latest version of the Corvette delivers a vastly upgraded interior along with no-compromise performance and a livable ride. It's far from inexpensive, but if you can afford it, you won't be disappointed.
|Total Body Repair Costs:||$1,125.31|
|Total Routine Maintenance Costs:||None (over 12 months)|
|Additional Maintenance Costs:||$1,723.22 for 4 new tires and $30 for a patch|
|Warranty Repairs:||TSB 13384: differential fluid top-off|
|Scheduled Dealer Visits:||3|
|Unscheduled Dealer Visits:||1 for cooling system check-up|
|Days Out of Service:||4 in the body shop|
|Breakdowns Stranding Driver:||None|
|Best Fuel Economy:||30.8 mpg|
|Worst Fuel Economy:||9.4 mpg|
|Average Fuel Economy:||18.3 mpg|
|True Market Value at service end:||$51,800 (private-party sale)|
|What it Sold for:||$50,000|
|Depreciation:||$15,180 (23% of paid price)|
|Final Odometer Reading:||27,200 miles|
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.