By KBB.com Editors
Once hailed as America's only true two-seat sports car, the Corvette continues to offer driving enthusiasts the most bang for the buck, running neck-and-neck (and in some cases surpassing) exotic cars costing up to four times as much---or even more. No where else but in America can you find a sub-$50,000 sports car delivering 430 horsepower while returning an EPA highway fuel economy figure of 26 miles per gallon. Although not as light or nimble as the Porsche 911, the Corvette's optional Z51 Performance Package renders it track-ready, while the car's luxurious interior and comfortable ride make it perfect for daily commutes or long weekend getaways. Available as a coupe or convertible, the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette remains in a class by itself.
If you love your cars American and iconic, the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car purist's dream come true. Drivers experience awesome V8 power, amazing handling and an interior filled with more creature comforts than some luxury cars.
Though its handling is admirable, fans of lighter, more nimble sports cars may find the Corvette's size ponderous in tight turns.
The Corvette receives an all-new 6.2-liter LS3 small-block V8 engine cranking out 430 horsepower and 424 foot-pounds of torque. Chevy engineers have refined the Corvette's shifter for easy operation and also improved the steering feel. Other improvements include keyless entry and start, standard OnStar and XM Satellite Radio, auto-dimming mirror with compass and new split-spoke cast-aluminum wheels.
Driving Impressions With all the high-tech performance enhancements given the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette, significant improvements, especially in the areas of steering and acceleration, are readily noticeable. The new 6.2-liter V8 suffers no...shortage of power, a fact the driver is reminded of with even the slightest touch of the accelerator. There is no need to work hard to "handle" this muscle machine. Instead, it steers with ease and precision, dealing with twists and turns as effortlessly as imaginable. All three of the suspension packages---a base system, Magnetic Ride Control and the Z51 package---are notably enhanced from the previous model. In the sport mode the Corvette grabs the pavement with tenacity, and in touring mode it soaks up road harshness like a large luxury sedan.
Chevrolet's latest short-throw six-speed manual transmission makes the shifter in past Corvette models feel like something pulled out of a 1966 Chevy pickup.
Keyless Access with Push Button Start
Keep your keys in your purse or pocket---when you approach the car, you simply reach for a touch-panel in the door handle and the vehicle starts up with the press of a button.
The Corvette's clean, uncluttered interior is executed using the highest quality parts and trim, bringing it into world-class contention. A handsome new Custom Leather-Wrapped Interior Package adds two-tone leather inserts to the dash and console area, a nice touch for those who prefer to customize their rides. The Corvette's seats are surprisingly supportive yet not so snug as to cinch the driver in place. Interior sound levels are about average for this class, which means the Corvette's cabin can still be noisy at highway speeds.Exterior
The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette is still easily identifiable as a Corvette, although the changes to the exterior make the sixth-generation car a different animal than its predecessors. Overhangs both front and rear are noticeably shorter and the overall look is less boy-racer and more sophisticated sports car. A flush-fitted set of headlamps molded to fit the curving hood line set off the front of the car, a radical departure from the pop-up headlamps gracing the Corvette's design language since 1963. A large removable body-colored roof panel comes standard and can be ordered with tinted glass or in a package that includes one of each.
The Corvette features a 6.2-liter V8 engine, six-speed manual transmission, traction control, limited-slip rear axle, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), xenon headlamps, AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 capability, auxiliary input jack, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, color-keyed removable roof panel, dual-zone air conditioning, Driver Information Center (DIC), keyless access with push-button starter, leather seats, six-way power driver's seat, cruise control, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and 18- and 19-inch front and rear alloy wheels, respectively.
Options include a paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission, front side-impact airbags, Head-Up Display (HUD), Bose audio with six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Turn-by-Turn and DVD navigation, the Z51 Performance Package, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, dual-mode exhaust system, transparent roof panel and polished alloy wheels. Also available is the Custom Leather-Wrapped Interior Package, which adds padded door armrests, custom embroidery on the dash and headrests and two-tone leather-wrapped pieces to the upper and lower instrument panel, door pads and seats.
Although there is no denying the pleasure a 430-horsepower (436 horsepower with the optional dual-mode exhaust) V8 delivers, with the Corvette you also get a certain lack of refinement. The 6.2-liter LS3 small-block V8 feels gruff at idle and roars loudly when pressed into action. It's a purely American feel that instantly takes one back to the late 1960's muscle car era. Porsche and Jaguar lovers will probably never love this engine, but they can't easily overlook its tremendous performance potential, either.
6.2-liter V8 LS3
430 horsepower @ 5900 rpm
424 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 (manual), 15/25 (automatic)
By smoothie on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "FUN-FUN and more FUN"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Never been on a track But, This vette will do close to 100mph in the 1/8. SCARY for an ole man! lol. I would love to have a newer version with AWD."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Stevie Ray on Thursday, September 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A real blast to drive,"
Cons: "Too loud inside, and it truly rides like a sports"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"At 56 I have no business owning a Corvette, after 15 months of ownership I am done... Too loud inside, cannot carry on a conversation. Road noise is extremely loud and after owning this can I will take a hosing when I sell it but I realize now that I should have bought a Lexus or Infinity Sedan... More my speed! I am a workaholic and the Vette was too much effort to own. Think long and hard before buying!"
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By DDDDana on Saturday, September 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "21 MPG targa top like convertible but feels safer."
Cons: "I cannot think of one thing I'm missing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"So much fun. Dream car. Drives well. Zero to 60 in 4.3. 400Hp. Run flat titles, no place for a spare. Ride in one. Drive one. Become obsessed as only corvette owners are."
12 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Jabo on Saturday, August 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great stereo,head turner"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Third vette I have owned,by far my favorite.Plenty of power,world class handling and good gas mileage for a car with 450 HP.I have about 12,000 miles on it with no issues at all.Definetly the most bang for your buck!"
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Kingtigermp on Saturday, August 30, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Traded for 2014 Corvette Z51 convertible
Pros: "Fun to drive, a great looker and intimidating."
Cons: "Horrendous depreciation, cramped cabin."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this car for sticker price in December of 2006 at the dealer. The depreciation was horrendous. The car performed flawlessly every time I used it and it got 27 MPG on a highway trip to Florida from Nashville. I traded it only because of the reviews of the new C7 Corvette. I did not like the charge to refresh the navigation system with a new CD. For this much money, GM should have given it to me. A seriously quick car off the line and just a bit uncomfortable on a long trip. It never gave me any problem and I got less than half of what I paid though, when I traded it with only 3,800 miles on it, but it was seven model years old. I should have bought mine used and had a lot of cash left over."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Blue Demon on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,890overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "power, agility,comfort, handling appearance"
Cons: "interior could be more refined"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"This is a very fast vehicle. It handles very well & is fully equipped. I previously drove a SLK class Mercedes. The vette is much more roomier cabin and it more aggressive. This is with the exception of my 1967 Buick Riviera the finest vehicle I have ever driven."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful