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2003 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

2dr Cpe

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 25 MPG Highway

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  • $43,635 original MSRP
Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

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2003 Chevrolet Corvette

Source: MSN Autos

A 50th Anniversary Edition package helps mark the golden anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette, which got off to a shaky start after its late 1953 introduction.

General Motors likely would have dropped the slow-selling Corvette in 1955. Fortunately, Ford's introduction of its successful 1955 Thunderbird two-seater shamed GM into keeping the Vette and dramatically improving it with the help of gifted auto engineer and sports car racer Zora Arkus-Duntov.

The 1953-54 Corvettes only came with a 6-cylinder engine, automatic transmission instead of a manual gearbox found in most sports cars and side curtains instead of roll-down windows. You could buy a Cadillac for just a few dollars more than the Vette cost. .

The 1955 Corvette received Chevy's hot new V8, but the car still was considered too uncomfortable and by then was getting a reputation for being a loser.

Sports cars were new to this country in the early 1950s, and most Americans associated such autos with foreign countries—especially England, which exported the popular MG, Triumph, Austin-Healey and Jaguar. Those British sports cars got away with using side curtains, but not Chevrolet; it had a bland family car image until it introduced that V8 and stylish bodies for all 1955 models.

Corvette sales rose from merely 674 cars in 1955 to 3,467 in 1956—and to 9,168 in 1958. After that, Chevy never looked back and consistently improved the Vette, which by then was winning races against exotic foreign sports cars. It also was finally becoming profitable for Chevrolet.

Performance Bargain
The 2003 Corvette costs as much as a Cadillac, but is a bargain because most sports cars with its performance cost at least twice its price. The base hatchback version with removable roof panel lists at $43,225, while the convertible costs $49,700. Those trims have a 5.7-liter 350-horsepower V8.

The $50,485 Z06 fixed roof coupe is the Corvette's answer to the $80,000 Dodge Viper, which has 500 horsepower. The Z06's 5.7-liter V8 has 405-horsepower and comes only with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Other Corvette trims are offered with both the manual transmission and a 4-speed automatic.

The lighter, more potent Z06 is faster (0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds) than the 350-horsepower Corvette hatchback and convertible and is the most fun of the trio. But those trims still are extremely fast, hitting 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and topping out at 160 mph.

All 2003 Corvettes have a 50th anniversary emblem on the front and rear. The lower-priced trims are offered with the $5,000 50th Anniversary Edition package. But the package adds a little performance-sapping weight, so the very serious Z06 can't be ordered with it.

It's disappointing that, as with all previous Anniversary or "Collector Edition" Corvettes, there are no performance-enhancing features—only appearance items.

Anniversary Package
The Anniversary Edition package features "50th Anniversary Red" paint, although it's actually a lustrous burgundy with aluminum-oxide flakes to give sparkle and depth to the color under a special tinted clear coat.

The 1953 Corvette came only with "Polo White" paint and a red interior, but Chevrolet felt white would be too plain for the 50th anniversary model.

The Anniversary Edition package doesn't stop with only special paint—it has special badging and an unique shale interior with a color-coordinated instrument panel and console. It also contains champagne-painted "anniversary" wheels with special emblems, embroidered badges on seats and for the convertible, a Shale soft-top.

Major Technical Advance
The Anniversary Edition package contains a major technical advance, which is offered at $1,695 for Corvettes without the package. Called Magnetic Selective Ride Control, it works with a computer and uses a unique damper design that controls wheel and body motion with special shock absorber fluid.

The result? A quieter, flatter ride and more precise, responsive handling—especially over large bumps and dips. And also during sudden high-speed maneuvers. The system works with the standard traction control system to assure maximum stability on bumpy or slick surfaces.

While the Corvette handles well without Magnetic Ride Control, this futuristic feature really works well and will be used in other GM models.

More Standard Equipment
The 2003 Corvette also has more standard equipment, including sport seats with a power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control for driver and passenger, parcel net and a luggage shade for the coupe.

Again, Chevy is attempting to expand the Corvette's general appeal. The Viper was redesigned for 2003, but still falls short of the Vette in terms of comfort and user-friendliness.

The manual transmission really isn't needed for the 350-horsepower Corvette trims because they have so much power and torque. In fact, it's even a $915 option. But, what the heck, the Vette is a sports car and Chevy feels that a manual transmission thus must be offered.

Notchy Shifter
Those ordering the manual gearbox should be prepared for a gear shifter that is notchy when rushed and a long-throw clutch with a stiff action.

On the other hand, a driver who feels lazy can take off in second gear and almost immediately shift to fourth gear without hurting the car. In sixth gear, the Corvette loafs at 1500 rpm at 70 mph. That's why highway fuel economy is good for such a rather big, heavy, high-performance two-seater.

Good Highway Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway with the 350-horsepower V8 and manual transmission and 18 and 25 with the automatic. The Z06 delivers a respectable 19 and 28.

The Corvette provides quick steering and race-car-style handling. Anti-skid and traction control systems help keep it stable, especially on slippery roads. Until those systems arrived, most Corvette owners parked their car for the winter in northern snow-belt areas of the country.

The brake pedal doesn't depress much, but has a smooth action and allows short stops with the standard anti-lock system.

Long, Heavy Doors
The coupe has a quiet interior, although the convertible is a bit noisier. It's generally easy to get in and out, as long as you're not caught in a tight parking situation with the Vette's long, heavy doors.

The Corvette is wide, so there's decent room for two tall persons despite a large console. The bucket seats are appropriately supportive, and gauges can be quickly read. Still, the cockpit needs higher-quality materials.

Major controls are easily reached and most are nicely sized, but both sides of the steering wheel rim block some secondary controls. A driver shouldn't have to take eyes from the road in situations calling for a quick horn blow, but the horn button is hard to find without glancing at the steering wheel center area.

High Cargo Opening
The decent cargo area has a high opening, and the hardtop versions have no partition between the cargo hold and passenger compartment. Also, there is little storage space in the cockpit.

Corvette sales have been high for decades, and that has allowed Chevrolet to continually develop and improve the car without charging Ferrari prices.

Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Active Suspension System Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Passenger On/Off Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-Year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty.

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2003 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

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