I've owned my 2002 "C5" Corvette coupe for many, many years. Each time that I'm behind the wheel is the same - great! I have the "base" 350 HP model but it still feels like it gets from zero to sixty in just under five seconds. Always garaged, my car's light pewter color is still very good and it looks great with the dark tint of the side and rear windows. While the Z06/manual is the enthusiast's choice, the base LS1 with 4-speed AT is a superb daily driver that provides a ton of low-rev power. You always have what you need for the daily commuting challenge and it's a breeze on the highway. This model is now 15 years old and still gets 28-30 MPG on the highway (Summer time). I don't drive it during the Northern Winter, to avoid snow/ice and risk for frame rust. The interior is basic by today's standards but the leather wheel and seats hold up well, and look for the upgraded Bose entertainment system (which is still good by today's standards). Corvette seats have been the favorite joke of automotive writers but you need to decide for yourself. I've driven this car for 15 hours at a time with minimal stops, and have never had a sore back from the seats. I cannot say the same for a Porsche and its Recaro seats I owned in the past. The Corvette also bests its German rival with its reliability, especially for the power train and brakes. With its composite body and plastic interior pieces, it does have a few flex creaks (not rattles) with age, and I've needed to replace the weatherstripping. These are small issues when compared to how the 2002 Corvette cruises through each year with the same agility and power - with only oil changes and tire rotations needed. Overall, a great used super car bargain! If you are in the market, I recommend you search for models which have always been in warmer climates. If you buy from a dealer, it's not difficult to negotiate covered shipment for your car, and look for aftermarket parts/service warranties from reputable providers (parts can be pricey). Enjoy!
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.
Phenomenal ride. I have also dreamed of a Vette all my life alone with the posters in the forums. It definitely lives up to the hype. For a little more dough than a Trans Am or Mustang, it is so much better.
I purchased a black 2002 auto transmission Corvette with 33,000 miles on it (I wanted a manual, but my left knee is too messed up). I love the car, but it seems like she loses power after hard acceleration a few times in a row. Also, I think the voltage regulator is bad cause sometimes it drops down to 12.3 when I am driving and it also jumps up and down a lot when I step on the brakes. For the car having 350 HP it doesn't feel very fast to me except for when it is first started in the morning. Other than that issue, I totally love the car. I get compliments on it all the time. I love how the sport seats hug me during fast turns. I would definitely buy another one.
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!