The Chevrolet Corvette is a timeless classic with modern touches. It's an affordable sports car with a recognizable style, fun-to-drive characteristics, and available as a hardtop coupe or as a soft-top convertible.

Best Value

Chevrolet offers the 2018 Corvette in four trims: Stingray, Stingray Z51, Gran Sport, and Z06. Our “best value” pick is the Stingray Z51 Coupe. This model comes with high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, power-heated and adjustable side mirrors, aluminum wheels set within 19-inch performance tires (20-inch tires on the rear), Chevrolet MyLink with an 8.0-inch color screen, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and a rearview camera.

This model’s Z51 Performance Package brings in upgraded brakes, a performance suspension, performance gear ratios, a dual-mode performance exhaust, an electronic limited slip differential, transmission and rear differential cooling features, and an aero package with a rear spoiler.

  • Model: 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 coupe
  • Engine: 6.2-liter V8 engine
  • Output: 460 hp/465 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Seven-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • MPG: 16 city/25 highway
  • Options: Wing-Style Spoiler with Wicker Package ($1,100, body-color wing rear spoiler, wicker bill), Competition Sport Bucket Seats ($1,955), the bucket seats also require choosing the Jet Black interior color with leather seats with suede microfiber inserts ($695) and a a suede microfiber-wrapped steering wheel ($0)
  • Base Price: $56,590 (including a $1,095 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$64,280

Performance

Chevy Corvette

The Corvette offers a pair of 6.2-liter V8 engines. One is naturally aspirated, the other has a supercharger.

The standard engine makes 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet pairs this engine with a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. This model makes an EPA-estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The supercharged V8 makes an even 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. It offers the same transmission pairings. Fuel economy comes in at 13 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for models equipped with the automatic transmission.

No matter how equipped, we found all Corvettes deliver hardcore performance. Quick work of the manual transmission powers the Corvette from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, one-tenth of a second slower than the automatic. We found the electric assist power steering accurate with a pleasant amount of feedback. The clutch is soft with seamless uptake. You’ll attack turns with confidence and leave with precision.

Style

The sleek style of the Corvette underscores why this is America’s only true sports car. Sure, you can include the Ford GT if you want, but the Corvette is attainable, while the GT is not. As for the Dodge Viper, it’s no longer built.

The Corvette’s race car lines have evolved nicely over the years and the hatchback body style provides a surprisingly roomy place to store your luggage. Every square inch of the Corvette’s body screams “speed,” something the ‘Vette confirms on the road.

Getting in and out of the Corvette takes effort, but once inside you’ll find the seats very comfortable, even with the base seats. The Z51 comes with upgraded bucket seats, offering improved comfort and support. We found the interior sharp and modern with high-quality materials throughout. Yet, it doesn’t match the fit and finish of Porsche, although its multiple storage areas including the nifty hidden storage compartment behind the center console are pluses we like.

The Best and Worst Things

The available Performance Data and Video Recorder ($1,669) didn’t make our cut of recommended options, but it's something you’ll want if you like to record video and lap times. Not everything about the Corvette is ideal, however. We think an available twin-turbo V6 is a natural complement that has yet to find its way into this model. Precisely tuned, it should match the power of the V8, while delivering improved fuel economy.

Right For? Wrong For?

Chevrolet Corvette

Corvette enthusiasts, as 65 years of Corvette culture is all over this model. It remains the epitome of what Americans expect, a low-cost option to Ferrari and other European models.

The individual looking for advanced safety features, as these are not offered with the Corvette: lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. Furthermore, the Corvette has never been crash tested.

The Bottom Line

Make no mistake, the Chevy Corvette is in a league of its own, at least among American-designed models. Its reasonably low starting price makes it attainable, something few competitors can claim. If you want a supercar, the Z06 has what you want.