First surprise is the gas mileage. I have achieved as much as 32 mpg on the highway, with a 19 gallon tank lasting up to or beyond 500 miles of travel. The six speed manual uses 5th and 6th gear as ...
First surprise is the gas mileage. I have achieved as much as 32 mpg on the highway, with a 19 gallon tank lasting up to or beyond 500 miles of travel. The six speed manual uses 5th and 6th gear as primary and secondary overdrives- giving it much better fuel consumption than the 4 speed auto that C5 Corvettes were offered with.
Though underpowered compared to today's Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, and even some more modern four cylinder turbos, the 350 horsepower LS1 will still push you back in your seat. The exterior styling is still attractive though it is now two generations old. It is especially attractive in the liftback trim with a one piece targa top. This was also the piloted vehicle for GM's Heads Up Display, and it becomes very natural to see tach, speed, and oil pressure in the windshield sightline. It can also be scrolled to fit the driver's best line of sight. Power seats, windows, mirrors, as well as memory seat and mirror control. Buttons galore on the dash surround to show fuel mileage, odo, tire pressure, lap timing, oil pressure, oil life, estimated fuel range, change from standard to metric, and so forth. Comfortable for long trips, even with a sport-car tuned suspension, and a surprising amount of luggage room behind the seats.
For the critiques: The Radio. It is the exact same head unit that was in my father's 1992 Silverado. Six button AM/FM recall with a tape deck and monochromatic display. There is a 12-CD changer in the trunk. However, by 2004, I honestly expected at least CD input at the stereo itself, and possible auxiliary inputs. There is also nowhere on this unit to operate satellite radio if that was of interest. The gear shifter, aesthetically speaking, looks like it came from a Freightliner. There is a 1-4 automatic gear skip at lower RPMs that is meant to save fuel, but it is a nuisance if acceleration is your goal. Thankfully this can be bypassed either with plug-in tuners, or by pulling the right fuse.
Overall, this is a great everyday sports car. I do not drive it everyday, as I have a Volkswagen for my commuting, but if this corvette was my only car, I am not sure I would consider myself lacking. I have had both a Subaru BRZ and Pontiac Solstice in the past, as well as an IS-250 (sport-sedan?) and have driven Miatias, 350 and 370z's and some all drive Turbo 4's. Of all of the sporty coupes and sedans, this corvette is by far the most friendly day-to-day vehicle and long road trip vehicle I have found yet.