2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe new car reviews

Better than: the 2007 Corvette Coupe (you wouldn't believe the difference that 30 horsepower can make!)
But not as good as: the C6 Z06 (you wouldn't believe the difference that 70 horsepower can make!)
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 88.92

Looking at the 2008 Corvette lineup, it can be easy to get awestruck by the 505 horsepower Z06 model. Although the bowtie-wearing supercar represents a bargain, truly frugal new car shoppers can find most of the Z06's performance at a $20,000 dollar discount in the C6 coupe, especially with the new LS3 engine.

The new LS3 is about one whole LS better than the LS2 that it replaces, mostly due to a bump in displacement from 6.0 to 6.2 liters. The increased displacement was achieved the old-fashioned way--by simply making bigger holes for the pistons to fill. As it turns out, this trick is as effective today as it has always been. The new Corvette's output is rated at a pavement-chunking 430 horsepower. You might want to stash some of the money saved for buying tires. Thanks to a supertall sixth gear, the Corvette manages to deliver all of this performance and still earn a less-than-horrible mpg rating of 26 miles on the highway.

While the engine in the Corvette is much improved, the same cannot be said for the touch surfaces. More S-10 than S-class, the whole of the cabin is a dead giveaway to the lowest-bidder roots of the interior components. Still, you would be hard pressed to find more performance for the money, even compared to the bigger-brother Z06.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Wow. Awesome performance, comfy seats, lots of storage and really good fuel economy. About my only nits to pick surround the doors: They're big, which is hard to get around, and having the electronic latches plus mechanical backup is a little redundant.

Scott Lear Scott Lear

It's as though Chevy got together one day and decided to really make up for the 1970s with some truly amazing V8 engines. Now the base Corvette has more grunt than the first Z06, and it gets great mileage loafing around in sixth gear. I hope they sell a ton of 'em, this might be a worthy used almost-supercar someday.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
6/14/08 1:58 p.m.

4 out of 5 seems to be a sweet spot for stock-level performance on the cars that we've been seeing lately. If there were no such thing as a Z06, this Corvette might have been a 5; there's nothing shabby about the way this new model performs. When we were rating the Corvette, we considered the car's performance focus more than outright measurements like quarter mile acceleration or slalom speed. As far as making improvements, there isn't one simple thing that I would change to suit me. Better tires wouldn't hurt, but won't even come close to closing the gap. HPDE or Autocross folks might tweak the shocks or anti-roll bars to suit their tastes, but there isn't anything on the car that screams for replacement. For a street car, I can't imagine many instances where I'd regret owning the base 'vette versus the Z06. On the other hand, if I wanted more performance from my base Corvette, you simply can't beat the mind-blowing Z06 without ruining the street manners (and warranty) of the base car.

confuZion3
confuZion3 UltraDork
6/29/08 10:32 a.m.

I like your "Better than" / "But not as good as" comments for this car.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
8/20/08 8:47 p.m.

I just noticed that with the current GM Employee pricing, a base Coupe is now only $40k and that's with no haggle pricing. Wow, unbelievable bang for the buck!

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Looking at the 2008 Corvette lineup, it can be easy to get awestruck by the 505 horsepower Z06 model. Although the bowtie-wearing supercar represents a bargain, truly frugal new car shoppers can find most of the Z06's performance at a $20,000 dollar discount in the C6 coupe, especially with the new LS3 engine.

The new LS3 is about one whole LS better than the LS2 that it replaces, mostly due to a bump in displacement from 6.0 to 6.2 liters. The increased displacement was achieved the old-fashioned way--by simply making bigger holes for the pistons to fill. As it turns out, this trick is as effective today as it has always been. The new Corvette's output is rated at a pavement-chunking 430 horsepower. You might want to stash some of the money saved for buying tires. Thanks to a supertall sixth gear, the Corvette manages to deliver all of this performance and still earn a less-than-horrible mpg rating of 26 miles on the highway.

While the engine in the Corvette is much improved, the same cannot be said for the touch surfaces. More S-10 than S-class, the whole of the cabin is a dead giveaway to the lowest-bidder roots of the interior components. Still, you would be hard pressed to find more performance for the money, even compared to the bigger-brother Z06.

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