2018 Chevrolet Corvette

2018 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 w/1LZ Review

The highly impressive Corvette proves that American sports car design is alive and well.
8.2 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The Chevrolet Corvette has been a performance icon in the United States for more than six decades now, and this 2018 version is no different. The base Stingray's powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine (455 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque) sits up front and drives a set of gigantic Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

If the regular Corvette Stingray is too tame, the Corvette Grand Sport raises track credibility up to near maximum levels thanks to made-for-the-track aerodynamics and mechanical modifications. Then there's the supercharged Z06. With its 650 hp, it'll lay down lap times that even European exotics costing four or five times more will have trouble matching.

Naturally, the Corvette is a sports car, replete with the usual foibles, such as two-person seating and a low ride height that makes it hard to get in and out. But you'll likely be surprised to find that the Corvette's track-ready performance doesn't come paired with a harsh ride. Across its model lineup, the Corvette continues to be the rare alpha performance car that's comfortable for normal driving, too.

Taking just one test drive in a 2018 Corvette may have you forgetting about civility and embracing what so many sports car aficionados already know: This is American performance at its best.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the Corvette receives only minor revisions. The optional performance data recorder has been improved to include more information (e.g., individual readouts from each wheel) and the magnetorheological adaptive dampers are now available as a stand-alone option. A new Carbon 65 Edition trim package, available only on 650 vehicles in a Ceramic Matrix Gray exterior color, is uniquely numbered and includes carbon fiber-trimmed spoiler, rear quarter vents and steering wheel.

We recommend

First off: It's a Corvette. That means: a) you can't go wrong, and b) there's likely a version that matches your exact wants and needs. But in our opinion, the Grand Sport is the ideal choice. It provides the upgraded handling and visual flair of the Z06 but without the Z06's substantial cost increase. Sure, the Z06 is faster, but the Grand Sport's 460 hp is plenty, trust us.




Trim levels & features

The 2018 Chevrolet Corvette is a two-seat sports car that is available in both coupe and convertible body types. The coupe features a removable roof panel that stows in the trunk, while the convertible has a power-operated soft top. The Stingray, Z51 and Grand Sport are split into 1LT, 2LT and 3LT subtrims; the Z06 comes in 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ subtrims.

Chevy fits the Stingray, Z51 and Grand Sport with a 6.2-liter V8 (455 hp, 460 lb-ft). A performance exhaust that increases output to 460 hp is available on the Stingray and included on the Z51 and Grand Sport models. A seven-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matched downshifts is standard, while an eight-speed automatic is optional.

Standard features for the Stingray 1LT include 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels with summer tires, Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, LED running lights, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and a power-adjustable steering wheel.

You also get OnStar (with a 4G LTE data connection and Wi-Fi hotspot capability), Bluetooth, a driver information display, an 8-inch central touchscreen with Chevy's MyLink infotainment interface, a rearview camera, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio.

All Stingray 2LT models come with front-view parking cameras, auto-dimming driver side and rearview mirrors, a head-up display, a cargo shade (coupe only), upgraded interior trim, heated and ventilated seats with additional power adjustments, driver-seat memory settings and a 10-speaker sound system.

The Stingray 3LT models add premium leather upholstery with extended surface coverage, simulated-suede upper interior trim and a navigation system that includes the Corvette's unique performance data recorder.

The Stingray Z51 upgrades the Vette's performance potential with 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, larger front brakes, slotted brake rotors, sportier suspension tuning, revised transmission gear ratios for snappier responses (manual only), an electronic limited-slip differential, a differential cooler, dry-sump oiling for the V8 engine and a dual-mode performance exhaust.

The Grand Sport largely mirrors the Stingray Z51 in terms of feature content, but it adds a slew of performance features taken from the Z06, including an upgraded cooling system, wider fenders and tires, adaptive dampers, upgraded suspension components and bigger brakes.
Sport seats are optional on all Corvettes.

The Z06 1LZ starts with the Stingray Z51 1LT's standard equipment and adds a supercharged V8 (650 hp, 650 lb-ft), a Z06-specific sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, larger brakes, wider tires, a carbon-fiber hood, a more aggressive aero package (including wider front and rear fenders, expanded cooling vents, and a unique front grille and rear fascia) and the head-up display. The Z06 2LZ gets the 2LT's upgrades, while the Z06 3LZ gets the 3LT's upgrades.

For the Grand Sport and Z06, Chevy offers a Z07 performance package. It adds carbon-ceramic brakes, an even more aggressively tuned suspension, bigger and stickier tires, and extra aerodynamic body pieces. For all Corvettes, various interior and exterior styling and trim upgrades are also available.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible (6.2L V8 | 7-speed manual | RWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.2 / 10

Driving

9.0 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking9.5 / 10
Steering7.5 / 10
Handling8.5 / 10
Drivability9.0 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.5 / 10
Noise & vibration7.0 / 10
Climate control8.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use8.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out5.5 / 10
Driving position8.5 / 10
Roominess7.5 / 10
Visibility6.5 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

6.0 / 10

Small-item storage7.0 / 10
Cargo space6.0 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation8.0 / 10
Smartphone integration9.0 / 10
Driver aids6.0 / 10
Voice control7.0 / 10

Driving9.0

With the Grand Sport package, the Corvette is an almost telepathic performer. The engine and brakes are very strong and easy to modulate, and the manual transmission operates smoothly. Steering feel is lacking at the limit, but those limits are far beyond what most roads allow.

Acceleration9.0

The 455-hp 6.2-liter V8 is breathtaking, a wave of force. The Corvette has power everywhere in the rev range and is great fun at partial or full throttle. When you put your foot down, the car leaps for the horizon. It comes with more powerful engines, but this one is more than enough.

Braking9.5

The Grand Sport brakes are strong and consistent. In our tests, the Corvette came to a stop from 60 mph in just 95 feet, which is impressive. Even better, the pedal feels very natural, and it's easy to modulate in normal driving.

Steering7.5

The steering is nicely weighted and very precise. It's easy to place the car right where you want it. That said, there's almost no road feel from the steering wheel. The car's incredible grip makes that less of an issue, but it's difficult to know when you're approaching its limits.

Handling8.5

The Corvette just sticks to the ground, and with coupelike rigidity it isn't bothered by midcorner corrections or bumps. It changes directions unbelievably quickly, with negligible body roll and drama. Unfortunately, it's a challenge to recover the back end if you push past the car's limits.

Drivability9.0

The manual transmission is easy to shift. Clutch uptake is consistent and predictable, and the throttle is linear, so it's easy to make smooth starts. The rev-matching downshift feature works well. But upshifting from fourth to fifth gear can be tricky as you can grab seventh by accident.

Comfort8.0

There's no getting around the fact that this is a convertible sports car, but it requires surprisingly little compromise on comfort. Magnetic Ride Control provides good ride quality, and the seats are comfortable for all but the tallest drivers. Ultimately, the biggest problem is tire noise.

Seat comfort8.0

The seats have plenty of adjustability and good bolstering. They strike a nice balance between cushioning and support, being slightly softer than some sports car seats. They may be a little tight and sit a little high for drivers 6 feet tall or taller.

Ride comfort8.5

Magnetic Ride Control provides a buttoned-down ride without ever feeling crashy or harsh, and we wouldn't buy a Corvette without it. The ride is surprisingly forgiving for a car with big wheels and run-flat tires, and is communicative without being too jarring.

Noise & vibration7.0

Wind noise isn't really a problem with the top up, and it's only a problem over 65 mph with the top down. But the Corvette's aggressive tires make a lot of noise on anything other than the smoothest tarmac, and they're pretty audible in the cabin. The engine is only loud when you want it to be.

Climate control8.5

The climate control system has to work to keep up when it's hot out, but it always does the job and is easy to use. Heated and cooled seats are nice to have, especially when the top is down. Passengers will appreciate having a dedicated air and seat temperature control by their door.

Interior7.5

For a relatively small two-seater convertible with a large bulkhead right behind the seats, the Corvette surprisingly doesn't feel cramped. The control layout is thoughtful, and driving position is quite adjustable. But visibility and entering and exiting are problematic.

Ease of use8.5

Controls are located so the driver can access them easily and are clearly marked. Driving modes and aids such as traction control can be adjusted without using the touchscreen. The rev-matching paddles on the steering wheel are easy to accidentally hit in spirited driving, which can be a nuisance.

Getting in/getting out5.5

Low-slung sports cars have never been easy to climb into and out of, but with our tester's optional side rocker extensions it's even harder. Unless you're parking with the top down or you're very fit, it's a bit of work, and a little embarrassing.

Driving position8.5

The seats and steering wheel offer plenty of adjustability, so most drivers will be able to find a good position. Tall drivers may feel the seat is too high even in the lowest setting. The important controls are within reach and easy to find, and the gauges and head-up display are very visible.

Roominess7.5

The cabin has sufficient headroom for taller drivers and is wide enough that it doesn't feel cramped. Two people can share the car without problems. A backward glance reveals the convertible's bulkhead and makes the space feel smaller. Putting the top down sets everything right.

Visibility6.5

With the top up, the high deck and small rear window contribute to huge blind spots and poor rear visibility. It may be difficult to see the headlights of cars behind, and tall drivers may have to lean forward to see stoplights. Putting the top down solves many issues and improves rear visibility.

Quality8.0

The interior materials look and feel appropriate for the price, although there were a few small problems with fitment and a few rattles from the convertible top assembly. Overall, it's a high-rent-feeling car, even if some body lines aren't as precise as competitors'.

Utility6.0

Convertible buyers won't be expecting much in the way of utility, which is good because the Corvette doesn't offer it. The small trunk and limited interior storage mean you won't be using it for trips to Costco.

Small-item storage7.0

The shallow center bin has enough space for a phone and wallet, the door pockets are too small for a water bottle, and the cupholders are on the small side, too. The real trick is the hidden storage behind the touchscreen, which slides down. It's sufficient, if not overwhelming.

Cargo space6.0

The convertible sacrifices the coupe's tremendous liftback space, leaving a small, flat rectangular opening in the rear deck. When down, the top consumes about half of the 10-cubic-foot trunk. What's left is enough for a weekend getaway if you pack light, or you can leave the top up.

Technology8.0

All of Chevrolet's connectivity tech is available, from smartphone integration to OnStar and even a Wi-Fi hotspot. The MyLink system is fast and easy to use. Blind-spot monitoring would be welcome considering the limited visibility.

Audio & navigation8.0

Bose systems can be disappointing, but this implementation provides quite good sound quality. Its performance with the top down is impressive, providing clear sound without getting overwhelmed. Navigation is easy enough to use, but if your view is zoomed out, you can lose sight of smaller roads.

Smartphone integration9.0

The center console has two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet, and there's a USB port in the hidden compartment behind the infotainment screen. There's also Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Wi-Fi with an optional 4G connection. You can't ask for much more in a car like this.

Driver aids6.0

Parking cameras in front and rear are a nice touch, but image quality isn't very good. There's no blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert, which would be nice with the compromised visibility. There's also no forward collision alert. Driving this car is 100 percent the driver's job.

Voice control7.0

Voice control prompts are helpfully displayed on the touchscreen, but functionality isn't as extensive as in some competitors and phrasing needs to be precise. Entering destinations is easiest if you have an address. Using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto voice control is certainly preferable.

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.