2000 Chevrolet Corvette

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$38,705

starting MSRP

2000 Chevrolet Corvette

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

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2000 Chevrolet Corvette review: Our expert's take

By

In autospeak, Corvette is just another word for magic.

Just ask my friend, Matt Seichepine. This young man knows Corvettes upside down and backward. He thinks, reads and dreams about them, and when that won’t do he turns his considerable artistic talent to creating fine illustrations of them.

When the 2000 Corvette came my way for a test drive, it seemed only natural to give him a chance to check it out. Decked out in a Green Bay Packers cap and a Corvette T-shirt, he soaked up every detail like a sponge. After a short spin he pronounced it “truly unbelievable.”

While my friend’s response might just be the unbridled enthusiasm of a youthful fan, I noticed that many other people reacted to it in the same way.

Corvettes, you see, are as much a part of the American automotive lexicon as the Model T and Harley-Davidson. Their appeal is so visceral that no matter where I drove the dark red coupe shown here, heads turned to mark its passing. From a performance-per-dollar perspective, it is serious competition for Porsches, BMWs and the like.

The current generation Corvette was born in 1997, and in the ensuing years it has continued to evolve as a world-class performer. The aluminum 5.7-liter, LS1 V8 engine spits out 345 angry horsepower so compellingly that it is hard to resist letting it run free at the slightest opportunity. Almost more intriguing is the 350 lb.-ft. of torque this baby cranks out, because torque is the force you feel through the small of your back when you crack the throttle.

The abundance of torque makes the six-speed manual transmission almost unnecessary. The shift linkage is clunky enough, and the mandatory first-to-fourth skip-shift feature aggravating enough, that if I were choosing a Corvette for everyday driving, I would pick the automatic.

This year, Chevrolet engineers reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide by 50 percent and hydrocarbons by 70 percent, so the engine now complies with the government’s LEV (Low Emission Vehicle) standard.

So what else is new? Not much needed tweaking. The Z51 Performance Handling Package gets larger stabilizer bars for flatter cornering, and while this package is primarily aimed at drivers who will use their car for occasional competition, it is great fun on the street, at least for a few days. It heightens the ‘Vette’s responsiveness to the point where you can scoot through turns at racetrack velocities with very little body lean. The Z51’s ride can be sharp, and it gets noticeably choppy at highway speeds on anything less than perfect pavement.

For $500, you can specify the active handling system that intervenes to help negate skidding and wheelspin. The way this system shuts down power to the wheels can be a bit intrusive, but the reassurance it provides, particularly in the wet, is worth the cost.

Another new feature this year is the handsome, five-spoke aluminum wheels, 17-inch in front and 18-inch in back. They are avail able plain or polished. The polished wheels on the test car were the perfect accent for the dark-red color. Larger back wheels do a better job of managing the V8’s torque and enhance grip in turns. Goodyear EMT run-flat tires obviate the need for a spare and make it practical to have wheels of two different sizes. Since EMT tires are so stiff you can’t tell when they go flat, a tire-pressure indicator on the instrument panel is standard.

Settling down into the cockpit gets harder as I get older. Actually, getting out is harder than getting in. Once there, however, you feel secure and a part of the car. The wraparound seats are fairly narrow, which means they grip your body like orthopedic chairs. The cockpit is bigger than in previous models, but it is still pretty tight. A small luggage area is located behind the seats under the glass hatchback.

The transmission tunnel is rather tall, and shifting the manual gear lever requires a deliberate tug.

Instrumentation i simple and easy to read. The head-up display ($375) projects the speed, tachometer and fuel gauge on the windshield so it looks as if they are floating on the end of the hood. As quick as this car is, being able to keep a constant eye on the speedometer is a good thing.

The current Corvette’s gut-wrenching performance is balanced by a higher degree of civility than that found in the previous generation, and while it is far from perfect, it exhibits a raw magnetism that is unusual these days.

Just ask my friend.

Price

The base price of our test car was $39,130. Options included the six-speed transmission, adjustable sport bucket seats with leather, active handling system, performance handling package, six-way power passenger seat, fog lamps, tilt/telescoping wheel, floor mats, dual-zone air conditioning and a rear luggage shade.

The sticker price was $45,339.

Warranty

Three years or 36,000 miles.

To get in touch with Tom Strongman call (816) 234-4349 or e-mail: strongmn@kcstar.com.

Point: Corvettes are fun, fast and glamorous. The aluminum V8 is as subtle as an anvil and twice as strong. The ride is firm but the handling is worth it.

Counterpoint: The Z51 package is choppy on rough pavement, the seats are narrow and luggage space is limited. What do you expect?

SPECIFICATIONS:

Engine: 5.7-liter, V8

Transmission: Six-speed

Rear-wheel drive

Wheelbase: 104.5 inches

Curb weight: 3,246 lbs.

Base price: $39,130

As driven: $45,339

Mpg rating: 18 city, 27 hwy.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

The dream come true

It is hard to tell which is better -- standing outside and looking at the beautiful lines of this Corvette coupe or being inside and starting it and hearing that wonderful rumble of the pipes. Holds the road beautifully.

4.7

My first Corvette, and its a beauty

I retired a year ago and decided to trade my three year old commuter EV for a C5 Corvette. I had been wanting one ever since they first came out in 1997. I had to look all the way to Boise ID to find a nice pewter metallic hard top (FRC). I found it on Cars.com and made contact with Mark at the dealership Fairly Reliable Bob's. I flew out and picked up the car. Early the next day I started out on the eleven hour drive home. Never having driven a Corvette, I had a bit of a learning curve. The shifter requires very positive gate insertions, especially in first and reverse. The other surprise was the pedal placements. I found myself accidentally hitting the brake pedal while pushing in the clutch, and occasionally pressing on the throttle while getting on the brakes. Once I got the hang of it, it became a joy to drive. I'm a stock exhaust kind of a guy and the system on this car is pleasantly tame while driving normally, but wow, does it sound awesome when you get on it! It was a fairly smooth ride until I neared the Lake Tahoe summit. The road up there is in horrendous condition. The corvette was transformed into a resonance chamber. I was becoming concerned that I would need to pull over and retighten all of the fasteners. But, it was all good again once I got past that stretch of road. The car had a flooded lead acid battery in it which is a no-no in a C5. I was glad that it did not crack and leak all over the ECM. I replaced it with a proper AGM battery a few days later. One thing I was worried about with a car that sits as low as this one does is whether or not I could get it up and down my steep driveway without tearing off the front end. The answer is that it scrapes pretty good in both directions but doesn't bottom on the skid plates. I have purchased a set of rubber castors to mount on the skid plates. I just need to get that job done. To summarize: My other car is a Fiero GT and I can report that neither car is for everyone. However, if you are looking for a street legal race car, the C5 is for you. I'm liking mine very much.

5.0

Awesome car.

Love this classic car. The options for the year are plenty. Love the heads up display. Love the ride and control of the car. Lacks cup holders but after market accessory are available.

See all 53 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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