Real-World Review

2015 Chevrolet Corvette: Real World Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader September 2014

If there's anyone who could resist the appeal of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, it's me.

See, I've never been a Corvette guy. I love the first three Corvette generations, but they came out before I was born -- and the 'Vettes since the '80s have always left me feeling as though GM could have done better. Even the most recent Corvette, the C6, had a cheesy interior that I couldn't get past. Aside from marveling at the parts-bin dashboard, I remember driving the C6 on the track and staring in awe at the back of the passenger seat flopping forward helplessly during hard braking.

This is America's sports car?

Luckily, I just spent a day with the 2015 Corvette, and I'm here to tell you that it's irresistible. You know all that stuff you've been hearing about the Corvette for decades? How it's an "incredible performance bargain" and so forth? Well, it's finally true. The C7 Corvette is indeed a top-tier sports car at a fraction of the going rate. My fellow Americans, here at long last is a modern Corvette to be proud of.

V8 Perfection

Another issue I had with the C6 was that its base engine always left me wanting a little more. I know that's a crazy thing to say about a 430-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, but it's true. I'd be driving a base C6 and find myself thinking, "It's fine, but it's no Z06." Back then, the Z06 had a 7.0-liter V8 making 505 hp, and it felt like the perfect motor for that car.

That's not the case with the C7. Today, the standard 6.2-liter V8 makes 460 hp, and beyond that, it just feels stronger. I remember the old 6.2 feeling a little soft at low rpm, but the new model isn't soft anywhere. It hauls the mail -- period. This time around, it's the base engine that's the perfect motor for the Corvette. I haven't driven the new-for-2015 Z06 with its 650-supercharged horses, but I can tell you right now that that's insane. It's too much. The regular 460-hp V8 is just right.

An Automatic Worth Paying For

You pay extra for an automatic transmission in a Corvette, and until now, that's always been a raw deal. But the 2015 Corvette sports a new 8-speed automatic, and it's genuinely worthy of this awesome machine. Although it's a standard automatic with a torque converter, the 8-speed upshifts about as fast as Porsche's industry-standard PDK dual-clutch automated manual. It's so quick, in fact, that you don't even notice a torque interruption during full-throttle shifts; you're just pinned to your seat the whole time. It's also incredibly intelligent on the track -- you can just leave it in Drive, and you'll hardly ever catch it sleeping when you need to downshift. Plus, Chevy says 2015 Corvette prototypes with the automatic have routinely achieved highway fuel economy in the low 30s.

Me? I'd rather have the manual. It's a great bolt-action shifter, and there's a thrill in harnessing 460 horses through a lever, and an automatic could never match it. On the other hand, I will no longer sneer at parked Corvettes when I peer through the window and see an automatic -- this is one slushbox that deserves respect.

The Car That's Good at Everything

What really draws me to the 2015 Corvette is how Chevy seems to have taken every criticism of the C6 'Vette to heart. For example, the cheesy interior I previously mentioned has been completely reinvented for the C7. I just built a bone-stock 2015 Corvette 1LT coupe on Chevy's "build your own" configurator, and the base black-on-black interior is all I'd ever need. It's stylish, the materials are legitimately up to snuff, and there's even a standard big colorful touchscreen. Oh, and the passenger seat doesn't flop around anymore, either.

It's not just the interior, the engine, or the new automatic -- as a whole, the 2015 Corvette feels polished in every respect, and that's a word that hasn't been associated with Corvettes for a long time. Whether you're on a long trip and getting 29 miles per gallon, blasting up a mountain road, or even heading to the golf course with a couple of bags in back, the C7 offers a world-class driving experience. Unless you absolutely need a back seat, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette is quite simply the ultimate car to buy for under $60,000.

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Used 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe
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Certified 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe
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Used 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe
Used 2015 Chevrolet Corvette
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Used 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Used 2015 Chevrolet Corvette
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Chevrolet Corvette: Real World Review - Autotrader