Used 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Review
The 2010 Chevrolet Corvette is one of those cars whose reputation precedes it, and in this case the reputation unfortunately involves silver-haired Vegas types, gold chains, chrome wheels and automatic transmissions. But truth be told, the only thing about the 'Vette that fits with this picture is its lackluster interior.
Trust us: Driving is believing when it comes to this American icon. Even a short stint behind the wheel will revolutionize your thinking. The Corvette is silly fast in any form, it sticks to the road and it's more pleasant as a daily driver than anything this capable has a right to be.
For 2010 there are even more reasons to sing the Chevy Corvette's praises. Launch control is now standard on all manual-transmission models, a feature that will come in handy for taking the guesswork out of eking out the best acceleration times. The new Grand Sport edition -- an improvement on the discontinued Z51 performance package -- pairs the base engine with unique exterior styling cues; a sport-tuned suspension; Z06-size wheels, tires and brakes; more aggressive gearing; and a dry-sump oiling system for models fitted with the manual transmission.
For the ZR1, Chevy has added a sophisticated Performance Traction Management system that allows drivers to select from five modes (Wet, Dry, Sport with Active Handling, Sport without Active Handling, Race) that optimize power delivery for specific conditions.
One Corvette feature that hasn't changed is its power ratings, which range from the ridiculous to the completely absurd. Even the base 6.2-liter V8 cranks out 430 horsepower. But the Corvette does have some competition that didn't exist even a couple years ago. BMW's sweet-handling M3, for instance, has a starting price that's not too far above the Vette's and provides a far nicer interior. Ford's Shelby GT500 is also much improved this year.
As for the more expensive Corvettes, one shopping for the Z06 could also consider the Nissan GT-R and Porsche's improved range of 2010 cars, including the Boxster S, Cayman S and base 911. The ZR1, meanwhile, is only a few grand shy of one of our favorite sports cars ever, the sublime Porsche 911 GT3.
Still, the 2010 Chevrolet Corvette is undeniably a lot of car for the money, and its honking V8 will bring a smile to its owner's face at every push of the engine start button. Dye your hair silver and don a gold chain if you must -- test-driving a Corvette is worth the effort.
performance & mpg
Both the base and GS feature a 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 430 hp and 424 pound-feet 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 pumping from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8. All 2010 Chevrolet Corvettes have a six-speed manual gearbox with launch control as standard, while a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is a no-cost option for the base and GS models.
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. The ZR1 isn't much quicker to 60 mph (3.8 seconds) due to traction limitations but has a much quicker quarter-mile time.
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 by 1 mpg. The Z06 checks in at 15/24/18 mpg, and the ZR1 garners a still-respectable 14/20/16 rating.
Antilock disc brakes and side airbags are standard, as is the "Active Handling" stability control system, which provides noninvasive assistance and includes a "competitive" driving mode that gives the expert driver more leeway while still maintaining a safety net. The ZR1 gets the even more sophisticated Performance Traction Management system described above. Side curtain airbags are not available.
The 2010 Chevrolet Corvette's roaring V8s provide endless grins. The base car is extremely fast; the Z06, terrifyingly so. As for the ZR1, any car whose speed at the end of the quarter-mile approaches 130 mph is just in a different league -- the ballyhooed Nissan GT-R trails the ZR1 by a full 10 mph here. Top to bottom, the Corvette stable has enough broad-shouldered eight-cylinder force to satisfy even the most depraved speed fiend. Nor does this hamper drivability, as all Corvette models are pretty easy and comfortable to drive around town.
Aspersions are sometimes cast on the base Corvette's and Z06's steering feel, but few cars are more capable on a racetrack in the hands of an experienced driver. Moreover, if you really value delicate communication with your tires, the ZR1's extreme internal makeover has yielded just that. The Vette's brakes are strong and fade-free, especially the ZR1's carbon-ceramic binders, and grip from the enormous tires is, well, enormous. However, we'll dock the Chevy Corvette a point or two for its bulky feel in tight corners, a surprising shortcoming given its low curb weight (even the ZR1 weighs in at just 3,333 pounds).
Chevrolet has improved the current-generation Corvette's fit and finish since its debut, but overall interior quality still leaves something to be desired. Step out of an M3 or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and into a 'Vette and you'll likely notice disappointing trim pieces and controls.
The front seats are comfortable, but we've found them to be flimsy and deficient in terms of side bolstering. This issue isn't horrible in the base Corvette's price range, but up where the Z06 and ZR1 play, it becomes more relevant. On the bright side, the Vette's large gauges and remarkable cargo capacity (22 cubic feet in coupes and 11 cubes in the convertible) make it a sports car that's easy to live with on a day-to-day basis.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.