2020 Chevrolet Corvette: What's It Like to Live With?
Living with America's Sports Car
|Miles Driven||Average MPG|
Latest Highlights (updated 09/08/23)
- Corvette still reigns supreme in performance and comfort
- Over-the-air updates make recalls easy
- We've matched EPA mpg, which is a surprise considering our lead feet
- Performed another routine maintenance at 17,500 miles
What We Bought And Why
• Our test vehicle: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2LT
• Base MSRP: $59,995
• MSRP as tested: $80,660
• What we paid: $80,660
We at Edmunds have a thing with Corvettes. There are two of them literally hanging off the walls in our office, including a 1966 Stingray (same year this company was founded) that we ran in our long-term fleet. We also ran a seventh generation in our fleet when it was new, in 2014. So when Chevy unveils a new generation of this long-running nameplate, we feel obliged to buy one.
But this eighth-generation Corvette isn't merely an improvement over last year's model — it's the most radical change to the Corvette formula in its history: a mid-engine layout. Where every Corvette model before this one has had its engine positioned ahead of the driver, the 2020 Corvette's 6.2-liter V8 sits between the driver and the rear wheels. This positioning improves acceleration, handling and braking — there's a reason most supercars do the same.
What's more appealing is the value. With a base price of $59,995 and its specs and features, the Corvette is unmatched against any sports car costing less than $100,000. Ours cost a bit more, of course.
What Did We Get?
We specced the midlevel 2LT trim ($7,300) for welcome creature comforts, such as wireless phone charging, a head-up display, driver aids including blind-spot monitoring and an exterior camera for watching curbs. The camera is vital for Los Angeles sports car commuting, along with the electronic nose lift that remembers locations via GPS ($1,495).
We debated which of the three seat options we should pick. We decided on the midlevel GT2 bucket seats ($1,495) since this car would be more of a daily driver than track addict, and we feared how the Competition Sport seats would affect comfort over long drives.
Still, we do plan on doing some track driving, so the Z51 performance package was an absolute must. Though seemingly pricey at $5,000, it delivers a ton of value if you plan on driving fast. The package includes an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, an upgraded exhaust that adds 5 horsepower, Michelin Pilot Sport run-flat summer tires, and performance-oriented brakes and cooling. This package also made available the MagneRide and Performance Traction Management option ($1,895), which adds trick adaptive damping and a clever stability control system that helps you drive faster.
Rapid Blue paint ($500) makes a dramatic impression when you see the car, especially when paired with the Carbon Flash wheels. The wheels may be hard to photograph, but it's an attractive combo in person. We also added red brake calipers ($595), red seat belts ($395) and the Engine Appearance package ($995) whose carbon-fiber panels and LED lighting highlight the location of the engine — an important element of this Corvette.
Why Did We Get It?
A new generation of Corvette is always a significant event, and that's especially true with the eighth-generation version. Its mid-engine configuration and high-end technology features bring exotic levels of drivability and performance, but the price undercuts just about everything worthy of comparison.
From the value proposition to the historical significance, the C8 packs a lot of promise. Living with one for a year (hopefully longer!) will measure how well it lives up to our expectations.
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette: Real-World Fuel Economy
We've matched the EPA combined fuel rating our C8, an impressive feat considering how we've been driving it.
Average lifetime mpg: 19.2
EPA mpg rating: 19 combined ( 15 city / 27 highway )
Best fill mpg: 29.9
Best range (miles):: 429.2
Current odometer: 28,619
"With a touch over 10,000 miles showing on the odometer, our Corvette's fuel economy has settled into predictable averages. While tall gearing and cylinder deactivation make it a particularly light fuel sipper on the freeway — evident by Travis' still-best 29.9 mpg average — the C8 gets much thirstier around town. Factor in plenty of drag races for our YouTube channel and you get an average consumption of 18.1 mpg. We feel pretty good about that, considering the EPA's combined rating is 19 mpg." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"After nearly 5,000 miles in our long-term C8 Corvette, we're averaging 19.4 miles per gallon. That's impressive not just because it's better than the Corvette's EPA combined estimate of 19 mpg, but because of how fun the Corvette is to drive. I've driven it with quite a bit of enthusiasm, and even on my worst day, I'm getting around 14 mpg in the C8. Compare that to a record low near 7 mpg in our long-term GT500 and you'll see who comes out on top in the efficiency department.
Another place where the C8 trounces the GT500 is in our category of best-recorded fuel economy. I took a long road trip in our Shelby and the best I could get was 22.1 mpg. That was going from Northern California to Los Angeles, with 72 as my top speed and the cruise-control engaged for over 300 miles. With the C8, it was no contest. On a similar trip, from NorCal to LA, I was able to get 29.9 mpg by simply pinning the Corvette's cruise control at 75 mph. When I filled up at home, I had done 429 miles on one tank and I still had several gallons of fuel left. If you have a light foot, you can go 500 miles between fill-ups with this thing." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
|Total routine maintenance costs||$1,297.62|
|Elective maintenance costs||$2,414.65|
|Scheduled dealer visits||7|
|Unscheduled dealer visits|
|Days out of service||25|
|Breakdowns stranding driver|
|Total body repair costs||$3,476.52|
What is Corvette maintenance like?
"The A/C in our Corvette stopped discharging cold air. We called Culver City Chevrolet to schedule an appointment and got one for the very next day. We were told that they were so busy that we should expect about a two-day turnaround for just the diagnostic, but we actually received the inspection results that same night. The A/C compressor perished and the belt snapped. The parts department only had the compressor in stock but did not have the belt. They could not give us an exact date when that belt would become available, so we picked up our Corvette the next day. The compressor has been set aside for us and the belt has been ordered. We will be taking our Vette back when everything is ready to go. Hopefully before the summer ends. Thankfully, everything will be covered under warranty." — Albert Hernandez, editorial assistant
"Oh, hey, look, another entry on tires! Here's some background: We first replaced the tires at around 10,000 miles due to wear. We then had a punctured rear tire at around 20,000 miles. This necessitated replacing both rear tires at the time. Unfortunately, we had to go with all-season tires at the rear because of the emergency nature of the flat replacement. The fronts were still the summer-rated tires. Now onto the latest news. I'm writing this in December 2022, at which our Corvette's odometer is about 26,000 miles. I took our Corvette to a local shop to replace all four tires with fresh ones we purchased online. This was to get all four tires back to the same summer-rated spec and prep the car for two things: some fun track-day stuff we've got planned in early 2023, plus an eventual sale. The bill for the new tires was $2,125, including shipping, and the mounting and balancing cost us $170." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Editor Jake Sundstrom took the Corvette in for a routine oil change and was notified there was a recall to take care of as well. That was a bit of a surprise because many of the Corvette's recalls have been performed in the form of software updates, and it appears this one is no different. The recall (A202321990) was related to air fuel enrichment and the oil change set us back $278.12.
Our Corvette was not originally listed as part of the recall when it was posted in June. The update is supposed to prevent vehicles from over-enriching fuel under certain driving conditions.
Senior News Editor Cameron Rogers was haunted by the ghosts of fractured windshield past, but thankfully not much more.
"Hey guys. Stop me if you've heard this one before..." Thus began a text chain with Mike and Rex, detailing yet another chip in the Corvette's windshield. Don't worry — it's not as bad as the crack it developed earlier. Just a chip this time, but we wanted to nip it in the bud before it became a bigger problem. After a little deliberation, we concluded a Safelite repair was the way to go. I scheduled a dropoff for a Friday morning.
I dropped the car off at the service center (really, a Safelite-certified technician working out of a single bay of a tire shop) and walked across the street to a Starbucks to wait.
Less than an hour later, the chip was filled. The starburst wasn't as noticeable as before, and should keep the chip from spreading into a crack and necessitating another costly windshield replacement.
Total cost: $148.74
Senior Manager of Photography, Scott Jacobs, suffered through a blowout in Central California in our Corvette.
"I was driving down the I-99 freeway on my way home from a shoot when I heard a bang. I looked around my periphery quickly to see if I ran over something. Not seeing anything obvious, I looked at the instrument panel and noticed the air pressure of the rear passenger tire dropping below 10 psi to zero within a second. I quickly pulled off the side of the road. There is no spare tire. I was in the middle of nowhere. After a few calls I found a tire shop about 30 minutes away that could supply the tire, which is a bit specialty. The tow truck showed up three hours later, and once it was on the flatbed, I saw the other tire was threadbare. I guess a dozen too many burnouts were done on this Blue Baby. Total cost $1,265.73 for two Michelin 305/30R20 Pilot Sports. Thankfully the tow was free."
"Our Corvette's oil life monitor was down to about 1% life left at about 17,500 miles, so I scheduled a service appointment at my local Chevrolet dealer (Michael Chevrolet in Fresno, California). I also checked the car's service schedule to see what else we might need. We were between the official 15,000- and 22,500-mile intervals so I just went with what the 15,000-mile service required. Conveniently, it calls for an oil change and to replace the wiper blades.
"I arrived at my scheduled time and informed my service adviser what I wanted. He took his notes, inspected the car and then rattled off some other things that were part of the service. I'm hazy on the details (something about the crankcase, among others), but I was surprised when he said the service would be something like $625. Now, I had read our car's service manual and none of the things he had just said sounded familiar. I asked him: 'Are all of these factory recommended services?' He replied, 'Yep.' Now, that seems bogus to me, unless you maybe get into the semantics of 'recommended.'
"Anyway, I said, 'No, just the oil change.' That took about 1.5 hours (I waited at the dealership) and cost us $235.75 for the final total." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
The saga to replace our 2020 Chevrolet Corvette's windshield has finally come to a close... after almost TWO WHOLE MONTHS. It's no one's fault, really, just a whole lot of circumstantial chain of events: pandemic, supply chain, quality control and us being tired of said quality control (or lack thereof) and finally going with Safelite to replace our windshield.
We were fed up waiting for a third party windshield installer and the dealership parts department supplying him to get the windshield. So we reached out to Safelite. We completed the online application, filled in the details for our car (head-up display, etc) and booked an appointment three weeks out. The only hitch was that we'd have the glass installed at Edmunds' headquarters. That was the earliest option available at the time so we grabbed it.
Three weeks passed and Safelite contacted us to confirm our appointment. The rep on the phone also to let us know that, since the Corvette windshield was complicated to install, it required two technicians and we would have to go to their Culver City location rather than them come to us. Reviews Editor Travis Langness volunteered to drop it off for us. Four days and a four-hour install later, our Corvette had a brand spankin' new windshield. — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle test technician
The windshields in this C8 are super expensive. Replacing the second one at our local Safelite took multiple employees too, so that meant they couldn't do it at my house. So, I drove in, with our broken windshield, and dropped it off. A few hours later, it was ready, with a price tag of $1,125.70. They did a great job and labor was only $80, but the windshield itself was $954. Ouch. — Travis Langness, reviews editor
During a recent oil change, our service advisor said our car was due for two Technical Service Bulletins. The first had to do with a leak in the front axle lifting system optioned on our Corvette.
The system uses hydraulic fluid to lift the nose of the car so you don't scrape it on driveways. The fluid is contained in a reservoir, which apparently could leak through the cap. The solution? New cap. Simple enough.
The second was for something called "exposed wheel porosity." That means little holes can form in the wheels, like in the GM-supplied photo. We never saw these holes, but our dealer checked and found one of our wheels affected with this issue.
The solutions were simple enough, but coordinating parts and vehicle availability wasn't (hey, people like driving the C8). We were ultimately able to get these TSBs addressed a month after we were made aware. Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
We had a pretty big oopsie with our Corvette.
An errant steering maneuver by a member of our team on a race track introduced the passenger wheels to a sizable curb. The resulting impact bent both wheels and cracked the windshield.
We reached out to a few windshield replacement services who quoted us roughly $1,000 for a replacement, but said it would take around 20 days for the glass to show up.
As for wheels, we considered a few options. Aftermarket was one of them, as was the used market; there are quite a few C8 owners with aftermarket wheels looking to get rid of their OEM stock.
Ultimately we decided to go the dealership route so we could report on the costs and process. As projected by the windshield replacement companies, our car was at the dealer for a little shy of a month waiting on parts.
What was the damage to our wallet? The wheels set us back $595 each, and a new windshield cost $747. The remaining labor brought our total repair cost $2,596.09.
Again, a pretty big oopsie. I actually thought it would be worse, given the cost of previous C8 maintenance bills. Either way, I'm happy to have our Corvette back on the road. Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"From regular appearances in our drag racing video series to spirited runs up canyons to the occasional burnout, we regularly explore the performance capabilities of our Corvette. Considering how much fun it is to drive, how can you not?
Of course, this means tire wear. And with just under 10,000 miles showing on the odometer, and more than a few drag races and track adventures planned in the future, we decided to replace our Corvette's tires. We turned to Tire Rack, a regular favorite of ours for excellent service and speedy delivery. A new set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires — the factory equipment for our car — totaled $1,650 shipped (including tax)."
"Tire Rack offers a mobile installation service that comes to your home. We've had very pleasing experiences with this service in the past, especially during our Toyota RAV4 cross-country adventure where we drove through all 48 contiguous states. I also enjoyed using the service personally to change the tires on my wife's car.
Alas, extenuating circumstances that relate to an extremely particular commercial lease agreement prevented us from using that service on our Corvette, so we went to a local tire shop to do our swap. Shortly after, our Corvette was riding on new tires and ready for the next adventure to redline. " Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"Our Corvette received another wireless update recently. This one was for the part of the car that controls the airbags. After a few of these updates, I'm impressed with the simplicity of the process. The center display gives you a prompt when the update is ready to be installed. After accepting the update, the system walks you through a checklist to make it starts properly. After that, lock the car and walk away." Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"The C8 Corvette's first scheduled maintenance visit should be free. Ours cost $768.71. What happened?
Well, Chevy recommends the first service visit at 7,500 miles for an oil/filter change (if needed), air filter change and a transmission filter change. (For the record, we're following the "severe" service schedule because of a combination of track use and primarily city-based driving cycle.)
The Corvette's on-board oil life indicator tells you if the oil change is necessary. It starts at "100%" and drops depending on how you use the car, switching to "Change oil engine soon" when the oil life is near depleted.
Thanks to a number of drag races, instrumented performance testing, track time, and general hot-rodding, the oil life in our car was depleted at around 4,800 miles.
So we dropped off the C8 for an oil/filter change and, following the advice of the owner's manual, decided to tackle the transmission filter at the 7,500 mile service. Our advisor at Win Chevrolet, in Carson, said Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit, so our oil change would be free if we wanted to take advantage of that offer.
What our service advisor didn't tell us, through either a lack of knowledge or interest, was that accepting the offer during this visit would mean we'd have to pay for the transmission filter change later. How much does the filter replacement cost? We found out when it was time for the 7,500 mile service.
At Martin Chevrolet, in Torrance, the filter kit costs $204.78 (part number 24299326). A bit of trans fluid comes out when you change the filter, so you need a quart to refill it. The dealer charges $42.90 per quart (part number 19418016).
You can save quite a bit of money buying these parts online, but the labor required to access the transmission filler neck is intensive; the job rate is 2.5 hours (labor code 0665175), and Martin Chevrolet's service rate is $199 per hour.
In total, that's $768.71 after tax for a transmission filter change. Oof.
Obviously we would've performed the trans filter change along with the oil/filter change, but we didn't know that was a choice. Apparently, neither did the service advisor we worked with, but that highlights a knowledge problem with Chevrolet service departments that goes far beyond the scope of this update.
Oh, and while the first service visit is free, you're on the hook for future transmission filter changes, which are recommended every 15,000 miles." Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"An answer for the DIY curious: How do you lift the C8 Corvette?
Chevy's answer is on page 212 and 213 of the owner's manual, which shows four slots underneath the Corvette; two for the front and two for the rear."
"Like previous generations of Corvette, the unique size of these slots means owners use specially designed pucks or pads that insert into the holes."
"I ordered a set off Amazon that were designed for the C7 for $45. They fit great."
"The owner's manual doesn't make any other recommendations for lifting points, so it's up to the owner to figure out a strategy for jack-stand placement.
Or maybe it's a good excuse to spring for a QuickJack setup." Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"The existence of adjustable rear caster as an adjustable spec makes aligning the Corvette for track use a bit more complicated.
As previously reported, taking the measurement following GM's practices requires use of specialized tools that, in turn, require you visit a Chevrolet dealership and pay dealer shop rates. For us, that's roughly $300 for a track alignment. Double that if you return to street alignment after your track day. Want to buy the Chevy tools? They cost around $1,000.
Now if you have piles of money and tons of free time, this isn't a problem. But if that were the case, you'd probably have a Gucci-spec Porsche 911, a mechanic happy to wrench on it, and not a Corvette."
"See those two threaded holes on the bottom of the hub? The rods screw in there. Once in place, stick the angle gauge on the steel bar (yay, magnets!) and hang the bar from the rods. Boom, there's your rear caster measurement (zero'd here for demonstration purposes).
Not only is the price of this setup stellar, at $33.53, but the important thing is that it unties you from the dealer, which can be ideal if yours is too far away, too expensive, or if it simply has a poor reputation.
Next step? Heading to an alignment shop to see if this actually works. Fingers crossed." Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
Like a many modern high-performance cars, our Corvette's owner's manual has instructions on how to set the alignment for track use. They read:
Front (per corner)
Caster: +8.0 degrees
Camber: -3.0 degrees
Toe (total): 0.1 degrees toe in
Rear (per corner)
Caster: 0 degrees
Camber: -2.5 degrees
Toe (total): 0.1 degrees toe in
Thrust Angle: 0 degrees
There are a few things to note here.
The first is camber. The street setting is -0.5 degrees front and rear. Increasing it to -3.0 deg front and -2.5 deg rear is a significant jump that requires disconnecting the upper control arms and removing washers to provide enough space to attain the specification.
The second is the existence of rear caster spec. If you go to any alignment shop and ask about rear caster, they'll look at you like you're crazy. Or stupid. Call a few Chevy dealers and ask about Corvette rear caster and you'll be told it doesn't exist. I know, because I've done it multiple times. This is because adjustable rear caster doesn't exist on the vast majority of cars. In fact, the Corvette is the only car I can think of where it is A Thing.
But don't take it from me, take it from former Corvette test driver and engineer Jim Mero, who writes on his blog about development of the seventh generation Corvette:
"So, for the C7, we made both inboard attachments on the rear lower control arms adjustable. This kept the ride and roll curves linear. However, there was a bi-product of adjusting both lower control arm inboard attachments which was a rear caster setting that needed to be monitored as we increased rear negative camber." Mero continues to say that the rear caster is to be kept at zero, not adjusted as an additional alignment spec. Changing it too much causes problems with handling.
"Because of the undesirable toe curves generated when the rear caster was not 0 degrees, we never deviated from that setting."
I was among the first car critics to do dynamic testing of the C7 Corvette Z06. The particular car we tested had an unpredictable rear end. It was tiresome to attempt to control, and it performed far worse than we expected. When we shared our results to Chevy, that's when we learned about the rear caster issue; ours was out of spec.
It's vital to keep the rear caster at zero, but the problem is that the majority of dealers and alignment shops don't check for it. Mero continues:
"Finally, I know there are production tolerances on the alignment settings that are way more than I like. Decreasing them was a battle I continually lost. Also, I recently was been told dealers do not monitor rear caster when performing an alignment, I never knew that, but this is also unfortunate."
To get our Corvette's alignment set, I first went to a local alignment shop. It wasn't until after we'd finished with the front wheels that I remembered the rear caster issue. I asked the technician if he had a tool to measure it, and he said that he didn't. So I started calling local Chevrolet dealers.
The service writer at Martin Chevrolet told me rear caster wasn't a thing on Corvettes. The service writer at Win Chevrolet had his Corvette technician nearby, so he asked him. The tech said, yes, that is indeed a thing, and that he could take care of it.
How do you actually measure rear caster? Per the official instructions, the rear knuckles have two threaded holes that are designed to receive a Digital Gauge Adapter (CJ-47960-10). This is a solid bar that you install into the threaded holes with Alignment Adapter Mounting Pins (CH-47960-15). Once that's set, then you place the Digital Angle Gauge (CH-47960), and adjust so that it reads zero.
That's the official way to do it, but Google those part numbers and you'll find those tools total roughly $1,000. Read the Corvette forums and you'll find many users have fabricated their own adapter and pins by spending $20 at Home Depot. An angle gauge is $30 on Amazon.
How did the tech at Chevrolet do it? With the level app on his iPhone.
Chevy has gone above and beyond in ensuring the Corvette can be prepared for track use and has explained to owners how to get it done. The problem is that second part. If I, the owner, am serious about regular track use, I'm going to do one of two things: One, I'll find a local performance shop that's familiar with obscure track-orientated alignment settings, or two, I'll ensure that the tech at my local Chevy dealer is up to speed.
After that, then it's just payment. Because the alignment of the Corvette is so involved (removing underbody protection, removing washers, etc), expect to pay two to three hours of labor. At Win Chevrolet, that means $300 for a track alignment and another $300 to revert it back to street afterwards.
We'll likely just leave it in track and spend that money on new tires. — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
Recalls applicable to this vehicle
"We had our first recall for the Corvette issued and repaired in a little over a week through an over-the-air update. Upon starting the Corvette one morning, the entertainment system reported an open recall, showing the recall number and potential problem. It appears that somehow Corvette owners were accidentally popping the front trunk (or frunk) and driving around while ignoring the notification that the frunk was unlatched."
"Upon starting the Corvette today, I was greeted by an over-the-air update that seeks to fix the problem. The solution? Limiting vehicle speed to 26 mph when the frunk is open and make it harder to accidentally open the frunk with the key fob.
The update process was just as simple as we've experienced in the Teslas we've owned. Simply start the update, turn the Corvette off, and walk away. Pretty nifty." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"The Corvette's steering is wonderfully direct and quick, with a good amount of resistance as you move from the center position. You don't have to wrestle with the wheel to get it to turn, but you are always aware of where it (and thus the tires) are pointing. The steering action goes a long way in making the car feel easy to drive on a commute — neither darty nor ungainly." — Cameron Rogers, manager, news
"The weird thing about our recent comparison between the 2021 BMW M4 Competition and 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is that it made sense. Both cars offer similar levels of horsepower and, when optioned respectably, cost about the same. Note: That means skipping all the BMW options with the word "carbon" in the name.
Despite these and numerous other similarities (automatic transmissions, variable-level stability control, so many driver-adjustable vehicle settings that two individually customizable presets make sense, and so on), the difference from behind the wheel was an enormous as the M4's snout.
The M4 was more thrilling due to its power delivery and oversteer-happy nature. In contrast, the Corvette was smoother and took less effort to drive quickly. The result came down to this: On a race track, the BMW was exciting for what it did, where the Corvette was exciting for what you could do with it. Similarly, I preferred the Corvette's ride quality, interior noise and driver's seat comfort while driving to and from the track.
The M4 Competition may be a racier car, but the Corvette is the one I'm glad we're living with." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"Put your foot in it and this thing just rips. 495 hp, stock, right out of the gate from the first year of production. I have a friend who wants to wait to buy the rumored Z06. While I salute him and all, I must admit that I don't feel the need for more speed with our Corvette. Why? 1) It's plenty fast; 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds. And 2) it's one of those cars that whispers in your ear, "C'mon, mate, go faster!" It's a speeding ticket generating machine as it is. I'd have no problem buying a base Corvette." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"There's a lot that's different with the new generation Corvette compared to prior models. So what stands out the most? For me, it's the car's handling. Or, more specifically, my confidence in the car's handling. The C6 and C7 generations had heroic grip ... but ... you had to have some faith that it was there, because the cars didn't do a great job of communicating it. Plus, mid-corner bumps could get the car out-of-sorts pretty quickly.
This new generation is sooooo much better. Thanks to the new mid-engine design and It feels low and balanced. It still has the grip but now I know that it's there and have more confidence on approaching the limits. The more expansive view out the windshield helps, too. Basically, there's a palpable connection now. I can drive this Corvette harder around turns and still feel in control." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Driving a new 2020 Acura NSX recently, I couldn't help but compare it to our long-term Corvette. Both the NSX and Corvette are packed with nostalgia. They might have slightly different fan-bases, and their histories don't span many of the same decades, but they share a lot of the same qualities.
The NSX, always a mid-engine car, has a reputation as a supercar-fighter. Early generations offered incredible performance for the money, rivaling the fastest of Ferrari's. Or at least that's the way I remember it from the magazine headlines. The original NSX was a game-changer. It fostered all kinds of respect for Japanese cars in the car community, it was driven by the most discerning of movie-bad-guys, and it's still an appreciating asset to this day. Own an early NSX in decent condition and you're bound to make some serious money when you finally sell it.
The Corvette is the same in my mind. Even before the current eighth-generation model and the switch to the mid-engine layout, the Corvette was America's answer to the pricey European supercar. I can't help but feel like the C8 has done what the NSX couldn't. The current NSX did its best with hybrid technology, all-wheel-drive and modern looks, but it was a lead-off hitter in a world where the Corvette came in to hit the grand slam.
The Corvette really does offer supercar-killing performance, and at a price that's much more attainable. As equipped, our long-term Vette is about half the price of even a base NSX — and it's way more practical in terms of cargo space, interior storage and even fuel economy. It might not look as good in yellow, but our C8 is a real champ here, and one that will surely spark nostalgia for generations to come.
Bravo, Bowling Green." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"What's drifting a C8 like? It's easy.
Mid engine cars generally rotate quickly and can be difficult to catch in an oversteer. Historically, Corvettes haven't been great for drifting either; previous generations offered very small windows to catch them with countersteer and minimal amount of slip.
None of this is true with the C8.
With past experiences of powersliding Corvettes for video in the back of my mind, I approached the corner with caution, trying to find how much slip the car would provide and big the window was to catch it when oversteer began.
It took two or three attempts to build confidence, but once I figured it out, I realized how easy it was: Approach the corner fast and hard on the racing line, turn in quickly to begin unloading the rear, and muscle the gas pedal to promote the powerslide. No flick needed.
The balance was such that it was easy to find the threshold where neutrality becomes a slide, and it was pleasing to bounce from one side to the other. The electronic limited slip differential is definitely doing a lot of work to help enable these kinds of antics, but I couldn't sense it from the driver's seat.
The power was such that the Corvette could maintain a slide, in third gear, uphill, with the steering basically on lock. Couldn't say the same for the 911 I drove immediately after. That car had too much grip, requiring a big flick to start the slide. It felt great once the slide began, but there wasn't enough power to maintain it in third gear. Bummer!" — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"Even though the Corvette is quite practical by sports car standards, it's still a mid-engine coupe. The cabin is on the small side, and given my body's silly proportions, I have to make some sacrifices in order to fit. This means choosing between scooching closer to the wheel so my head isn't butting up against the roof, or moving the seat back and propping my head against the roof's metal crossbar. I usually opt for less legroom/more headroom." — Cameron Rogers, senior news editor
"As luck would have it, I've spent a lot of time this year in our long-term 2020 Ford Shelby GT 500 as well as our Corvette. If you're on the fence between these two vehicles, here's where I'd spend my roughly $81,000.
"There's a lot to like about the Shelby, especially from a practicality perspective. Its roof is higher than the Vette's, so you don't have to scrunch down in your seat to see traffic lights. As a taller driver, I also appreciate the Mustang's superior headroom and its 2+2 seating arrangement means there's more front/rear seat travel than in the Corvette, where a rear firewall separating you from the engine compartment limits rear travel. Then there's the generously sized trunk, which is pretty useful for a sport coupe. Lastly, the engine note is downright nasty when you have it in Track mode, burbling loudly at idle and absolutely thundering at full whack.
"But the Corvette has my heart, hands-down. It's not the easiest vehicle to get in and out of, but I actually prefer it to the Shelby. Though the Mustang's door openings are taller, the high thigh bolsters challenge entry and exit. Despite the Vette being lower to the ground and with wider door sills, lowering yourself into the driver's seat is slightly more elegant. The Chevy's interior also looks more expensive and upscale than that of the Shelby, making you feel like you're in a luxury car even if you're just tooling around town. Finally, the mid-engine layout makes it less oversteer-happy than previous Corvettes, so you don't feel like death is imminent if you jump on the throttle a little bit midcorner. It also feels less jittery on rough pavement than the Shelby, and the Corvette's front-axle lift makes entering my driveway a cinch.
"Even though the Corvette seems like a much more specialized vehicle, after living with both for several months, I'd definitely take it over the Mustang if I was in the market. — Cameron Rogers, senior news editor
"No matter how people go on about the performance and handling, the thing that continually impresses me about the C8 is the ride quality. There is no more comfortable sports car on sale today than the Chevrolet Corvette. This fact makes the prospect of daily driving it not only realistic, but exciting as well. You get an exotic driving experience, thanks to the styling and mid-engine layout, and you also get to revel in the responsive steering, smart transmission and eager acceleration when you're running errands. Not many errands to be sure; the cargo space remains a limiting factor. But that ride quality removes some of the annoyances that come with driving a sports car in Los Angeles. That makes the Corvette a benchmark among sports cars." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"This engine sounds terrible. Wait, let me clarify that. The direct injection (DI) on this engine sounds terrible. It's a constant fluttery ticking sound that's audible at low speeds or at a stop. This is what DI does and this is how it sounds. The difference with the C8, as opposed to most every other car that uses it, is that you can hear it so clearly INSIDE THE CAR. And it's very audible at idle and at low speeds, so, like, everyday traffic. Why? Good question! If I had to hazard a guess, I'd put my money on the need to leave the engine exposed and the subsequent lack of insulation that would render the ticking inaudible. I'm surprised Chevy didn't deploy some auditory countermeasures (a white noise generator) to tone it down." — Kurt Niebuhr, vehicle test editor"Try to find a parking space with lots of room on either side. It is very easy to look like a doofus climbing in and out of the Corvette, folding and unfolding your limbs like the most ungainly Erector set ever created. Pray for our optional GT2 bucket seats, too. I'm six-foot and pretty flexible, but I needed to rest my butt on the side bolsters before dropping inside, and then grip onto them to hoist myself out. We'll see if there is any lasting effect over hundreds of entries and exits." — Ryan ZumMallen, reviews editor
"Along with being eye-catching, the new mid-engine Corvette is relentlessly comfortable on long road trips. Our long-termer is equipped with GM's magnetic ride control and with the GT2 seats, which are an excellent combination for eating up miles. In five days of driving the C8, over 2,200 miles, I never once got legitimately uncomfortable. The ride-quality, even over bumpy surfaces, is totally forgiving, while the seats are well-padded and well-bolstered." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"The amount of customization you can do with the Corvette is very cool. Like a lot of cars, the Corvette has some basic default drive modes, such as Tour and Sport, that you select from the knob mounted on the center console. There's also a My Mode setting where you can individually select the settings you want for various parameters, such as suspension firmness, exhaust loudness and steering feel.
But wait, there's more! Chevy also added a Z-Mode button on the steering wheel that you can push to instantly switch the car to its sport-focused settings. You can also customize Z-Mode to your own liking. And this is just the drive mode stuff. You can also set up different driver profiles with memorized settings. All of this choice can seem a little overwhelming at first, but I think once you've owned your Corvette for a while and had the chance to experiment, it's gonna be great." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Favorite feature on our Corvette? By far, the front suspension lift. As a former C6 owner, I had to deal with the "scrrrckkk" sound of my car's plastic underbody air dam scraping on my driveway every time I backed out of my driveway. It was almost embarrassing when neighbors were around. Oh, it would happen on parking garage entrance ramps, too! Those were awful. Scrrrckkk.
But now I can just lift the front-end with a push of a button or, better yet, program it into the navigation system so that it does it automatically when I approach my driveway. Brilliant! I remember reading a few years ago about a front-end lift feature on a Lamborghini and kind of snickering to myself. Like, "Ooh, poor baby Lambo owner doesn't want to scrape his car? Let me get my little violin." But now I've actually experienced the beauty of this feature, and it is glorious." — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Thank goodness for the technology features we added to our Vette. First off, the blind spots are massive, so I'm forever grateful for the blind zone alert system that came in our 2LT package (though it really should be standard). Likewise, parking is aided by the front camera split into three different angles to help you maneuver around safely. The Vette is actually pretty compact, so with the cameras it's much easier than I expected to fit into my tight, ‘50s-era garage. Finally, the adjustable front lift is a lifesaver for keeping that pointy front end away from driveways. Its $1,495 price tag is steep, but it reacts quickly and has undoubtedly saved us from countless scrapes already." — Ryan ZumMallen, reviews editor
"The Corvette's optional 14-speaker Bose sound system doesn't set new standards in audio clarity, but it gives me exactly what I want out of a stereo: volume. I can dial in the different EQ levels and tune a system to fit my ear with a little bit of fiddling, but the most annoying thing in a new car is when the stereo just doesn't get loud enough - especially on a road trip. That, however, is not a problem with the C8. The C8's optional 14-speaker Bose system system uses a 10-inch subwoofer in each door, plus another 12 speakers throughout the cabin that absolutely BLAST tunes. Not once, in five days of cruising up and down California, did I ever turn the system up to its maximum volume - a practical first for me in nearly a decade of testing cars. Whether I had the top up or the top stowed away in the trunk, the system was loud enough to drown out road noise, wind noise and any honking-and-waving passers-by who were admiring the Corvette. If you're getting a new C8 - put the upgraded Bose system on your list of must-haves." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"At the time I'm writing this (April 2022) we've put about 18,000 miles on our Corvette. Overall the car is still amazing, but I have noticed one thing that's not so great: a distinct interior rattle. It's coming from either the driver's door or something nearby. Unfortunately I haven't been able to pin down the exact cause. But it's kind of a bummer. Chevrolet put a heap of effort into designing and upgrading the C8's interior (largely successfully!) and yet this rattle is cheapening the experience a little and bringing back memories of earlier Corvettes. " — Brent Romans, senior editor, written content
"Oh look! Another shiny GM part that blinds you as you drive along! A lot of previous Chevrolets in our fleet have been criticized for their use of chrome interior trim, which reflects bright and blinding levels of sunlight during the right time of day. And rightfully so. With the Corvette, it's not chrome that's the culprit -- instead, it's piano black buttons. The center console has this long strip of controls and when the sun hits them just right -- BOOM! Your eyes are assaulted with a nearly blinding level of sunlight, requiring really dark sunglasses, or some sort of tape to cover it up. I went with tape and the rest of my journey I was able to actually see the road ahead of me. If I owned this car, I'd invest in some pretty serious sunglasses." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"I'm into leather. No, not like that, ya perv. I work with leather on many of my maker projects and have an appreciation for craftsmanship. Before I go into my little rant, I will say I do indeed like the Vette and when I nitpick, that's a good sign for a car. So, here goes. The leather craftsmanship in the C8 disappoints me in two spots: the steering wheel and the little palm rest thingy on the center console. There are some inelegant creases where the wheel meets the spokes and where your thumbs would naturally fall and where the leather wraps underneath for the palm rest. Those creases tell me that the patterns weren't quite right and the leather wasn't properly burnished flat. It wouldn't be as much of an issue if they weren't primary contact spots. Want to know who consistently gets it perfect? Alpina. Their uber BMWs show a remarkable attention to detail and they use the best hides (even Rolls-Royce has started using the same material). I know I shouldn't expect perfection from a C8 Corvette, but I should expect better craftsmanship than a 2008-era Kia." — Mark Takahashi, senior reviews editor
"Quite an impressive job by the folks at Chevrolet. The surfaces are appropriately soft and the touch points feel hefty and responsive. Sure, the dash is way too busy and some of the lines come together in a mish-mash sort of pattern – particularly around the door handles. It's also strange that the drive mode dial has to return to center, making it difficult to tell if your command registered. Why can't it just rotate and stay there? But all in all, this is a huge step forward in the Corvette lineage. I even like the square steering wheel. They can make it a triangle for all I care, as long as it drives like this." — Ryan ZumMallen, reviews editor
"If you've ever wanted to see what the C8 Corvette's targa top looks like in the trunk... there you go. (Yes, there's a protective bag to store the top in, but that's black and then you wouldn't be able to see everything so clearly.) This leaves the subset of C8 owners who golf with a bit of a conundrum — do you take the C8 to the country club with the roof on, or leave it at home? Maybe they'll just take their SSR instead." — Kurt Niebuhr, vehicle test editor
"Frunk! It's fun to say, but is it easy to use? I mostly drove around with the roof off, taking up nearly all usable space in the rear trunk, so I had to use the frunk (!) for any items. Groceries were no problem, and I even threw in an impromptu pumpkin just for fun. But I did run into another C8 owner who complained she won't be able to take her Vette on vacation. Overall storage capacity, down about 20 percent from the previous generation, just isn't good enough, she said. In my opinion, just pack light. I fit an overhead Away case and a duffel bag into the frunk (!) with no problem. Embrace the duffel. A little thing like storage space shouldn't stop you from taking trips. Just consider it less of a vacation and more of an adventure. Frunk!" — Ryan ZumMallen, reviews editor
"Can a C8 Corvette be used as an airport shuttle? Yes, but only for one person and provided you follow the standard airline rule of one carry-on luggage, plus a personal item. Last weekend, I took my wife to the airport. Her carry-on roller luggage was on the larger side, but still within the recommended parameters. It fit vertically in the front trunk and I placed her computer bag in the rear cargo area near the engine. In hindsight, I should have had her carry it in front, as the heat of the engine warmed the bag considerably. Still, it got the job done on both the departure and arrival." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Combine the small, duffel-bag-sized frunk, and the wide-but-deep trunk in the C8 and you've got quite a bit of cargo space for road trips. I was able to fit all my bags easily, with room to spare, for a five-day trip and I don't pack lightly. To be a good grand-touring sports car you have to be fast and comfortable, sure, but you also have to have enough space for a long-weekend's worth of clothes - and the Corvette has definitely got that covered." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"I really enjoy looking at this thing from the side or the rear three-quarter view. Otherwise, I'll be honest — it's a struggle. I can't get over the melting rear. It looks like you took a Chevy Cruze and mushed it down like a backyard hamburger. And when I took the C8 to a car meet held by professional designers, I was relieved to learn I'm not the only one who finds the front view unnecessarily busy. So. Many. Creases. On the road, the Vette gets a lot of attention. People race ahead to snap a picture or give you a thumbs-up. It makes them happy. It's just not very pretty. The word I keep hearing is "generic." If it were my money, that's the main thing that would stop me from buying one. I don't see this aging well." — Ryan ZumMallen, reviews editor
"This is a very cool book.
In 208 pages with excellent imagery, "The Mid-Engine Revolution" charts the history and development of the C8 Corvette.
Starting with a forward written by Mark Reuss, president of General Motors, the book turns to the C8's roots, which begin in the 1960s with Chevy engineer and racing driver Zora Arkus-Duntov.
The book covers significant steps in GM mid-engine history, from the CERV II intended to race at Le Mans, the concept XP-882, and even the Wankel rotary-powered prototypes.
Arkus-Duntov has a lengthy section dedicated to his life, works and racing history. The latter greatly informed his desire for a production mid-engine Corvette.
My personal favorite section is on Blackjack, the C8 development mule that looks like something from the Mad Max universe. Seriously, it's up there in cool factor with the Porsche 918 development prototype.
The book then turns to the highlights of the C8, including its major features, key players in the development team, and how history informed elements of its design.
The book is perfect for any Corvette owner (like us!) and costs $45 on Amazon." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
"Like all other C8 Corvette owners out there, we received this really cool appreciation gift from Chevrolet. It's a 1:18 scale model of the C8 painted in the same color as our car. It's attached to the base via magnets, and there's even a cute little plaque with the year, make, model and VIN. Also included was a reminder that, as Corvette owners, we have access to a two-day program at Ron Fellows Performance Driving School in Nevada for $1,000. We certainly want to take part in that experience once we're able to travel safely again. Maybe 2021? Until then, this little memento is a cool thing to have on the desk." — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"No matter where you drive the new mid-engine Corvette, it gets looks. Maybe it's the fact that ours is painted in a bright shade of Rapid Blue, or maybe it's the fact that this radical change to the American icon known as the Stingray is so new, but this thing gets looks everywhere. You get thumbs-up from passing motorists and pedestrians, you get your photo taken pretty much everywhere you go, and there's really no inconspicuous way to travel in the new C8. I've only driven it a bit around town so far, but I can't wait to take it on a 2,000-mile road trip (yup, I got one of those coming up) and see the reactions it gets here, and outside of the state of California." — Travis Langness, reviews editor
The Chevrolet Corvette C8 and the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing go head-to-head in our first U-Drag race. In this drag race video, Ryan ZumMallen heads out to the track and lines up a 2020 C8 Corvette and a 2022 CT5-V Blackwing to see which of these V8s reigns supreme. Will the CT5-V Blackwing have enough horsepower to take down the mighty C8 Corvette? What are the C8 and CT5-V's 0-60 times? Ryan covers all of these questions and more in the first of our four videos in our new series we dubbed "U-Drags." It's the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 vs. 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing.
In this luxury coupe comparison, Carlos Lago from Edmunds takes an in-depth look at two popular sports cars, the Chevy Corvette C8 and BMW M4 Competition. You might not think these two sport coupes would have much in common, but the Corvette and M4 share many similarities. Both are rear-wheel-drive two-door coupes that have around 500 horsepower. They have similar prices, and both are insanely fun to drive. Which one is the better choice? We answer that question and more in this exciting sports car comparison of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2021 BMW M4 Competition.
The Chevrolet Corvette and BMW M4 Competition are two of the most premier sports cars on the road today. In this drag race video, Carlos Lago and Kurt Niebuhr from Edmunds take the Chevrolet Corvette and BMW M4 Competition out to the track for a day of drag racing. Watch as our experts push these two sport coupes to the limit as we test 0-60 mph times, braking distances and more. Both the Corvette and M4 have around 500 horsepower and similar weights. Which one is quicker? Find out in this drag race of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2021 BMW M4 Competition.
We hit the track with our very own 2020 Corvette and 2020 Model Y to see how well a high-performance EV SUV can do against America's iconic sports car. Which one has the better 0-60 time? Can the Model Y keep up against the Corvette? How fast can the Model Y go on a full charge? We answer these questions and more in this very special gas vs. EV drag race.
We went into this thinking the GT500 would dominate and the 911 would come in dead last. Boy, did we have some surprises waiting for us!
You can almost pity the person who has around $100,000 to spend on a new sports car. The options have never been as good or as diverse. Consider these three: the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera. That's right, we're tackling the C8 vs. GT500 and Corvette vs. 911 in one go.
We love our 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray. In this video we'll briefly talk about why before we jump into performance testing.
We bought a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray! We're pretty smitten with it so far, too. In this video, Carlos Lago explains what we got, shows off some neat features, and shows the assembly process of our particular car from the factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky.