2013 Chevy Corvette Review
2013 Chevy Corvette Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Tremendous acceleration
- glorious mechanical soundtrack
- world-class handling and braking
- large cargo capacity.
- Not as agile or refined as many competitors
- old-fashioned interior.
A new 427 Convertible Collector Edition debuts, adding the Z06's engine and other components to the convertible body style. A 60th Anniversary Design Package adds special styling elements to any of the models. Black-painted wheels and a ZR1-style rear spoiler are now available on the base 'Vette and Grand Sport.
When it comes to performance, the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette is one of the world's best bargains. A lack of refinement proves you get what you pay for, but since you get a whole lot of old-school American muscle, that should be more than enough for many.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$240/mo for Corvette Base
Avg. Compact Car
Sixty years ago, a little two-seat convertible called the Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. It was the first American attempt at creating the sort of European-style sports cars GIs had fallen in love with while stationed overseas. Sales projections were humble and so was the six-cylinder power plant, but that little car ignited a love affair with Americans that has lasted to this very day.
From a refinement standpoint, the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette most definitely is not a European-style sports car. But with its lineup of mighty V8 engines, fat rear rubber and years of engineering fine-tuning, the modern Vette can still keep up with (or blow by) just about anything Europe has to offer -- be it in a straight line or on a winding road. Plus, the Corvette hits the register at a price substantially lower than cars that must first cross the ocean before finding their way into your garage.
Although it remains relevant in the sports car landscape, the 2013 edition is nevertheless well into the Corvette's twilight years as GM's engineers ready an all-new model. There are no changes this year, though a new 427 Convertible Collector Edition debuts. Its 505-horsepower V8 from the Z06 makes the 427 the most powerful drop-top Corvette ever. The regular Corvette also can be had with a 60th Anniversary Design package that adds some special badges and a white-on-blue color combination.
Otherwise, from the most basic 1LT coupe all the way up to the mighty supercharged ZR1, the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette provides the sort of thrills it has since Chevy started dropping in V8s. Indeed, the Vette still gives you more bang for your buck in terms of power than anything else on the road. Still, its lack of sophistication means cars like the Nissan GT-R and Porsche's Boxster, Cayman and 911 will continue to hold appeal. Chrysler's all-new 2013 SRT Viper is also set to be hugely impressive, while the Ford Shelby GT500 now boasts 662 hp for roughly the same price as the Corvette. So be it from America or abroad, the Corvette faces some seriously stiff competition in its 60th anniversary year.
Performance & mpg
Both the base 'Vette and Grand Sport feature a 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 430 hp and 424 pound-feet of torque. All Corvettes come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and launch control. A six-speed automatic is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a base Coupe went from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. With the optional dual-mode exhaust that adds another 6 hp and 4 lb-ft, a Grand Sport shaved 0.1 second off that time and sounded even cooler doing it. Despite this strong performance, the Corvette actually gets pretty good fuel economy at 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. Opting for the automatic drops fuel economy by 1 mpg.
All of the higher-performance Corvettes come only with a six-speed manual transmission. The Z06 and 427 are powered by a 7.0-liter V8 that produces 505 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. We found that the Z06 hits 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Fuel economy is again pretty good at 15/24/18.
The ZR1 gets a supercharged version of the 6.2-liter V8 that churns out 638 hp and 604 lb-ft. This is a massive amount of power, so much that no amount of rubber can appropriately cope. As such, its 0-60 time is only 0.1 second less than the Z06 even if it actually feels much quicker. Its fuel economy is 14/21/17.
Every 2013 Chevrolet Corvette gets standard antilock brakes, stability and traction control and side airbags. Side curtain airbags are not available. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
In Edmunds brake testing, a base Corvette came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is a bit longer than average for a sports car. We found that the Grand Sport and ZR1 came to a stop from 60 mph in between 100 and 104 feet, which is excellent performance. However, a Z06 Ultimate Performance package did it in an astonishing 96 feet, one of the best distances we've ever recorded.
No question here: The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette can bring the heat. 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. 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 agreeable and comfortable to drive around town.
Compared to a car like the Porsche 911, the Corvette's steering can indeed seem a bit deficient in terms of communication. Thanks to upgraded suspensions and tires, though, the ZR1 and Z06 (with the Ultimate Performance package) are noticeably better in this regard. The Vette's brakes are strong and fade-free, especially the available carbon-ceramic binders, and grip from the enormous tires is, well, enormous. However, the Chevy Corvette still feels less nimble than it should when driven on tight, curvy roads.
The Corvette's interior is certainly functional, and Chevrolet has been offering upgraded interior appointments for a few years now, yet the overall interior quality still leaves a lot to be desired. Step out of a Mercedes C63 AMG coupe or a Nissan GT-R and into a 'Vette and you'll likely find the Chevy's trim pieces, controls and overall ambience disappointing. While the affordable price of a base Corvette seems to excuse such things, the costlier Z06 and ZR1 play in a more demanding market.
The front seats and their bolsters were enhanced last year, so they may finally lose their standing as the worst seats found in a sports car. 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.
2013 Chevrolet Corvette models
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette is available in hatchback coupe and convertible roadster body styles. The base Corvette and Grand Sport (GS) are available in both body styles, and each is broken into 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and 4LT sub-trims. The higher-performance Z06 and ZR1 come as coupes only, while the 427 is convertible only. Each is broken down into its own sub-trims.
The Corvette 1LT comes standard with 18-inch wheels, run-flat performance tires, automatic xenon headlights, foglamps, heated and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors, a removable roof panel (coupe), a manually operated soft top (convertible), keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-way power seats, leather upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, the OnStar emergency communications system and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The 2LT gains a head-up display, a cargo net and cover, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a touchscreen interface, a navigation system and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with an iPod/USB audio interface. Stepping up to the 3LT adds driver memory functions, heated sport seats with power-adjustable lumbar and seat bolsters, and a power telescoping steering wheel (manual tilt). The Corvette convertible gets a power-folding roof. Finally, the 4LT gets leather-trimmed interior surfaces and leather/faux suede upholstery.
The Grand Sport is also available in the above trims, but adds to each stiffer suspension tuning, larger cross-drilled brake rotors, special wheels and Grand Sport styling elements. When equipped with the standard manual transmission, it also features a dry-sump oil system and a differential cooler.
Options on the base Vette and GS include adaptive suspension dampers, a transparent removable roof panel, dual-mode exhaust (adds 6 extra horsepower) and a convertible wind deflector.
The Z06 is available in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ sub-trims. Each one gets a bigger V8, essentially the same suspension and brake setup as the Grand Sport, axle and transmission coolers, unique wheels, carbon-fiber front fenders and floor panels, a fixed roof and a head-up display. In terms of comfort and convenience equipment, the Z06's sub-trims are pretty much identical to their "LT" counterparts except that the 3LZ gets the 4LT's extra leather interior trim. The Carbon Fiber package adds most of the ZR1's carbon-fiber body pieces for reduced weight along with a ZR1-style spoiler. The Z06 Ultimate Performance package adds carbon-ceramic brakes, lightweight black wheels (19 inches front and 20 inches rear), Michelin Pilot Sport Cup run-flat tires, adaptive suspension dampers, Performance Traction Management and a larger spoiler.
The 427 Convertible is available in 1SA, 1SB and 1SC sub-trims. Each gets the Z06 engine, carbon-fiber body panels and hood, a ZR1 spoiler, the adaptive suspension and special 19-inch wheels. They are equipped similarly to their Z06 counterparts, though all come standard with the navigation system and Bluetooth.
The ZR1 gets a supercharged V8, unique wheels (19-inch front, 20-inch rear), carbon-ceramic disc brakes, the adaptive suspension dampers, Performance Traction Management, additional carbon-fiber body panels (roof, front fascia, hood) and a clear panel in the hood that shows off the supercharger. The 1ZR trim is similar to the 1LZ in equipment, while the 2ZR is similar to the 3LZ. The ZR1 High Performance package gets those items from the Z06 Performance package not already included on the ZR1 as standard.
The 60th Anniversary Design package is available when opting for the uppermost trims of each model. It adds special white paint, "Diamond Blue" interior trim, special badges and stitched seat emblems, a suede steering wheel and a ZR1-style spoiler.
Like many exotic sports cars and high-end luxury vehicles, the Corvette can be personalized in a number of different ways, including contrasting stitching, different headlight surround colors, brake caliper colors and personalized exterior/interior color combinations. One interesting option is Corvette Museum Delivery, which allows you to pick up your car at Corvette's historic museum and factory facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
MY AMERICAN FERRARI....
Sandy Mandel, 07/11/2015
2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2dr Coupe (7.0L 8cyl 6M)
...THAT JUST HAPPENS TO HAVE A KENTUCKIAN ACCENT. Actually, it's more technically a bargain basement Mercedes AMG SL_, what with all the German parts in it. After putting over 30K miles on Mr. Z so far, the only thing that I'd recommend to anyone who gets one is to GET RID OF THE OE GOODYEARS. I switched over to Michelin Sport Pilots and they completely transformed the car. With these … tires, most all of the handling and 'squirrelly' handling and tramming nearly completely disappeared. 90+ mph in the pouring rain is confidence inspiring with this car on the Michelins. And half the noise. This car has been extremely reliable, very inexpensive to own (except for the tire replacement) and a pure joy to drive. Ok, the interior may not be the best, but, I don't think it's nearly as bad as others might say. The styling is like that of a 430 F1 from the front. And good enough to admire with a glass of (your beverage choice) in your hand as you sip and admire it's great styling. It's very comfortable in ride (with the Michelins). Much like a stiffly sprung Caddy. Even the gas mileage is great. I get 380-420 miles range on a tank. And the best part of buying the 2013 is the 7 years of upgrades and updates from the 2006/7 cars. The transmission, once warmed up, shifts with the flip of the fingers (except for 6th, which requires a bit more effort). The only hiccup has been very occasionally, I might get out of the car after running then get back in and the keyless ignition might not allow the car to start. But, just push the bottom of the START rocker switch to go into ACCESS then press the top to start and it fires right up. Doesn't happen often and it's pretty random. But, at least there's a work around. I did have 3 niggles during the warranty period. Sticky ECO pod switch, HOUR button stopped working on the infotainment module and a distorted trim piece on the door/window bottom. All replaced under warranty. Otherwise, no other issues. I figure 30Kmi is a pretty good shake down period and a good indication of reliability. So far, so good! Love this car! If you want a bona fide 200 mph car for well under $100K, this is your only choice. When it comes to hot rodding, in this case, the factory did it best! The only real upgrades of any value? TIRES!!! Review Update: I now have over 53,000 miles on this car as well as 5 hours of instructional track time. So far, no issues. Nothing repaired. Just did a oil/filter change where I bring in my own oil. AC Delco filter, inspection, battery load test; all for $36!! This car has been SUPER inexpensive to own. I still feel this car is a incredible performance bargain. I even got to drive a 911 Porsche GT3 2007 and after, I was wondering why it's $30K to $37K more than my Z06...after even got back behind the wheel of my Z06. Maybe $5K-10K more...But not more than the price of a family car more...Bottom line...If you want a car that competed with the best at it's time of design, this GT sports car is a 'no-brainer.' 1/13/18: Still an amazing car. Closing in on 60Kmi. Winter now. Batt tender is attached. 1/21/19: Same as above. But, the HVAC mode control is acting wonky. Might have a stuck airflow door. Bad air flow door actuator failure confirmed. Cost to repair: $1960. Decided not worth it. Only lost window defog function. Run A/C as soon as it starts raining and this helps keep it from fogging. Otherwise, everything else is still working. Interior still looks new. Car still feels new to drive. No buzzes, rattles, squeaks or knocks. No electrical or sensor failures so far.
5 out of 5 stars
An American Icon
Lou Marinucci, 09/25/2016
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 6M)
I bought my manual transmission 2013 red coupe used, with only 8,000 miles on it, and it now has 49600 miles, as I drive it daily. It's always with expectation and excitement that I get into the car and turn on the engine, with that exhaust roar making me smile ear to ear. I get compliments, thumbs up and waves wherever I go, from old and young alike. There are other sports cars with … more refinement, more and better technology, and very, very few, with better performance, and costing twice as much. I have owned a BMW M5, and Audi S4 and a Porsche Boxer, but none provided me the driving enjoyment that I get every day in the Vette. I always take the long way back home, because driving this car is an endless joy, and it gets 26 to 31 MPG on the highway at speeds up to 80-85 MPH !!!. Proud to drive a truly American Icon, a car that looks, sounds and drives awesome, a car which will require all your attention while driving it, but will reward you with the pleasure of driving a truly great car. This car demands and gets respect from everyone on the road, and makes me feels sorry for all those poor souls in their German or Japanese wannabe sports cars. An amazing value, with no squeaks, rattles or mechanical problems in almost 50,000 miles !!!! Nothing like it on the road (OK, maybe a Lamborghini or a Ferrari). Buy it, and you won't regret it.
4 out of 5 stars
My 60th Birthday with my 60th Anniversary Corvette
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 2dr Convertible (7.0L 8cyl 6M)
This is the best Birthday gift ever!! I rented a base 2012 Corvette awhile back for a few days, so I was excited to drive this when I got it. I picked up the car a couple days ago, and with the weather here in Maine this time of year, I only had it out for a few hours. To get to the interstate, I had to drive this car on a few back roads with he frost heaves and I was amazed that the … ride, it was allot nicer than expected. Once on the flat toads the car is a dream to drive. A long road, cruising around 70, relaxed back in the seat with the rumble from the engine and you could feel so good you need to be careful you don't nod off. Hit the curves and you know how Mario Andretti felt. I am a novice driver so the traction control options help keep you in check when you start pushing the car, especially if the roads are a little wet. The anniversary car came with all the options, so I am spending free time reading through the owners manual. The information the car can provide the driver is unbelievable. The heads up display is a cool option. The power roof works without a flaw. If you buy a car like this for the ultimate excitement of driving a sports car, then there are no disappointments. I don't think there are allot of cars out there where you can get this type of performance for the price.....
5 out of 5 stars
Life and times in a Corvette 427
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 2dr Convertible (7.0L 8cyl 6M)
First and foremost, this car is very fast. It definitely isn't for the weakhearted or those looking to save money on gas. It certainly doesn't have the pristine handling of the Z06 but that 7.0 LS7 engine is something special. This car turns more head than the run of the mill Z51 C7 Corvette's that are very common. While the interior is typical early 21st century GM, this car's … components make it an absolute beast (3.7 0-60, 11.8 1/4 mile).
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, so we've included reviews for other years of the Corvette since its last redesign.
2013 Corvette Highlights
|Combined MPG||19 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$240/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|