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2021 Chevrolet Corvette Review

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette ranks at the top of the competitive luxury sports car class. It offers searing engine performance, expertly balanced handling, a sumptuous interior, and a good predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Breakneck acceleration
  • Agile yet comfortable to drive
  • Spacious, high-end interior
  • Ample cargo space
  • Limited rear visibility

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette's #1 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Sports Cars category. Currently the Chevrolet Corvette has a score of 9.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 10 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

9.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.7
Performance: 9.5
Interior: 7.9
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Chevrolet Corvette a Good Car?

Yes, the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is an excellent sports car. The 'Vette is a joy to drive, whether you’re winding through the hills or just commuting across town. It feels agile and glued to the pavement, yet it still rides comfortably over uneven road surfaces. The steering is quick and nicely weighted, and its midmounted V8 engine puts power down with authority. The Corvette’s interior is well-trimmed, spacious, and packed with high-tech features. There’s ample cargo room for a weekend road trip or a day out at the links.

Factor in the Corvette’s good predicted reliability rating and sub-$60,000 starting price, and it’s easy to see why the new C8 lands high in the luxury sports car pecking order.

Why You Can Trust Us: 10 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 10 Chevrolet Corvette reviews, as well as data points like reliability ratings and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

This 2021 Corvette review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Corvette?

You should absolutely consider the 2021 Corvette if you’re shopping for a luxury sports car. It delivers a great driving experience and an even greater value proposition next to pricy rivals like the Porsche 911, Mercedes-AMG GT, and Acura NSX. Sure, rear visibility isn’t great, and you can’t get the C8 Corvette with a manual transmission, but these are nitpicks.

Find a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Chevrolet Corvette: What's the Difference?

There aren’t any major differences between the 2020 and 2021 Corvette models. Chevrolet fully redesigned the Corvette for 2020, kicking off the sports car’s eighth generation. It carried over into 2021 with no notable changes.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Corvette »

Here are the key changes for the Chevrolet Corvette over the last few years:

  • 2017: Grand Sport trim joined lineup
  • 2018: Carbon 65 Edition introduced
  • 2019: 755-horsepower ZR1 trim debuted
  • 2020: fully redesigned as a midengine sports car
  • 2021: no major changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Corvette, 2019 Corvette, and 2020 Corvette reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Corvette Cost?

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe has a $58,900 starting price, which is about average for a luxury sports car. The starting price rises to $66,400 for convertible models. Less expensive options in this class include the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Corvette Versus the Competition

Chevrolet Corvette vs. Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Cayman is the Chevy Corvette’s closest rival, at least in terms of price, layout, and design. Both of these two-seat midengine sports cars start at just under $60,000. Both also offer sharp handling, brisk acceleration, and an engaging driving experience that doesn’t punish occupants over bumps and dips in the road.

There are a few important differences though. The Corvette comes standard with a brawny V8 engine, whereas the Cayman is offered with a lineup of exciting, albeit less powerful, four- and six-cylinder engines. On the other hand, the Cayman does feel a bit more tactile and rewarding to weave through turns, and it’s available with a manual transmission – one thing the C8 lacks. All in all, both are great options. The right choice for you may boil down to personal preference.

Compare the Corvette and Cayman »

Chevrolet Corvette vs. Porsche 911

The Corvette’s recent redesign has brought it closer in line with its longtime Porsche 911 rival than ever before. Both of these luxury sports cars are agile, blindingly fast, and a hoot to drive. The 911 is a bit more practical thanks to its child-sized rear seats, more advanced safety features, and available all-wheel-drive system. The Corvette’s big trade-off, however, is that it is $40,000 less expensive than the entry-level 911. Stick with the Corvette if the 911’s $100,000-and-up price tag gives you sticker shock. Ultimately though, both are excellent sports cars.

Compare the Corvette and 911 »

Compare the Corvette, Cayman, and 911 »

Corvette Performance: Power and Poise

Corvette Engine

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is equipped with a 490- or 495-horsepower V8 engine, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. As you might expect, this powertrain can shuttle the Corvette up to speed like a rocket. Squeeze the throttle, and the Corvette simply bolts. Going from zero to 60 mph takes just three seconds, and that acceleration doesn’t taper off until well beyond legal speed limits. Gear changes from the dual-clutch transmission are lightning quick, and the engine, mounted just inches behind the driver’s seat, emits a thunderous roar at full throttle.

What you might not expect is how civilized the Corvette feels in everyday driving. The Stingray zips briskly around town and up to highway speeds with a light throttle application. The exhaust note is quiet and subdued at lower revs, and the transmission shifts smoothly and promptly in stop-and-go driving, which isn’t always the case with this type of gearbox.

  • Engine: 6.2-liter V8 with 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque (495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque with the performance exhaust); starts at $58,900
  • Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed dual-clutch automatic
Chevrolet Corvette Performance Packages and Options:
  • Z51 Performance package (prices start at $5,000): an upgraded cooling system, a performance exhaust, a restyled front splitter and rear spoiler, a stiffer suspension, a higher rear axle ratio, 13.6-inch front brake rotors, 13.8-inch rear brake rotors, and Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires
  • Magnetic Ride Control (prices start at $1,895): an adaptive suspension
  • Performance exhaust (prices start at $1,195)
  • Front-axle lift system (prices start at $1,495): raises the front bumper by 1.6 inches to clear speed bumps
Chevrolet Corvette Appearance Packages and Options:
  • Full Length Dual Racing Stripe package (prices start at $995): racing stripe decals available in red, orange, yellow, blue, silver, gray, and black
  • Fender hash mark decals (prices start at $245): available in red, silver, and black
  • Engine Appearance package (prices start at $995): carbon fiber engine compartment panels with LED lighting
  • Engine cover (prices start at $495): available in red and silver
  • Carbon fiber side mirrors (prices start at $1,145)
  • Carbon fiber grille insert (prices start at $2,095)
  • Transparent roof panel (prices start at $995)
  • Body-color exterior accents (prices start at $995)
  • Rocker panel extensions (prices start at $550): available in black
  • Painted brake calipers (prices start at $595): available in red, yellow, and black
  • Splash guards (prices start at $250)
Corvette Gas Mileage

The 2021 Corvette Stingray gets an EPA-rated 15 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Those fuel economy estimates are among the worst in the luxury sports car class as a whole, but keep in mind there are many four-cylinder entrants with much less power in this category. The 'Vette's ratings are comparable to V8-powered rivals like the Mercedes-AMG GT.

Corvette Ride and Handling

The Chevrolet Corvette pulls off what many sports cars can’t. It provides a thrilling driving experience when you want it and a laid-back demeanor when you don’t.

The Corvette slices gracefully along switchback roads, and it feels stable and surefooted around tight turns. The steering is quick and snappy when in the Sport or Track modes, and the large brakes slow down the 'Vette assertively.

Venture back onto city streets, and the Corvette manages to comfortably soak up bumps and dips in the pavement. This is especially true of models with the optional Magnetic Ride Control system, which can rapidly stiffen or soften the car’s shock absorbers. When equipped, the ride can be downright supple in the comfort-oriented Tour mode.

How Fast Is the Chevrolet Corvette?

The 2021 Corvette Stingray can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just three seconds, run the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds, and – on a long enough track – hit a top speed of 194 mph. The optional Z51 package adds a higher rear axle ratio, which enables a slightly quicker 2.9-second run from zero to 60 mph but a lower top speed of 184 mph.

That’s faster than other American performance cars like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which can go from zero to 60 mph in around 3.5 seconds.

Does the Chevrolet Corvette Have All-Wheel Drive?

No, the 2021 Corvette is not available with all-wheel drive. Current rivals that come standard with all-wheel drive include the Acura NSX, Audi R8, and Nissan GT-R. The BMW 8 Series, Jaguar F-Type, and Porsche 911 each offer all-wheel drive as an option.

Read more about performance »

Corvette Interior: First-Class Cockpit

Corvette Cargo Space

The Chevrolet Corvette has 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is split unevenly between a front and rear trunk. The rear trunk is large enough to fit a set of golf clubs or a pair of carry-on bags. The front trunk has enough space for a few grocery bags, a duffle bag, or two backpacks. That’s a decent amount of cargo room for a luxury sports car.

How Many People Does the Corvette Seat?

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is offered in coupe and convertible body styles. Both models have two seats. These seats are supportive and nicely cushioned, and they remain comfortable even after a few hours on the road. There’s also a surprising amount of headroom and legroom inside the 'Vette, so taller occupants should find ample space to stretch out.

That said, the center console is large, and it effectively walls off the driver and passenger from one another. This isn’t likely to be an issue for drivers, but as a passenger it can feel isolating. Outward visibility is great to the front and sides of the Corvette, but rear visibility is slim due to the thick roof pillars.

Leather upholstery and eight-way power-adjustable seats are standard. Heated and ventilated seats are available, as are racing-inspired seats with larger side bolsters. Coupe models have a removable roof panel that can be lifted off the car and stowed in the trunk. Convertible models have a power-operated hard top.

Corvette and Child Car Seats

Like many two-seat sports cars, the Corvette does not have LATCH car-seat connectors. We do not recommend installing a child car seat in the front seat of any vehicle.

Corvette Interior Quality

The Corvette boasts a futuristic and stylish interior that wouldn’t look out of place in a car that costs two to three times as much. The driver-oriented dashboard and center console give the cabin a cockpitlike apperance, which is accentuated by the unusual yet intuitive transmission toggle switches. Most surfaces are trimmed with high-end materials like leather, aluminum, soft-touch plastic, and – in well-equipped models – carbon fiber. Better still, the interior remains quiet at higher speeds, and it muffles most road and wind noise.

Corvette Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Corvette’s infotainment system is pretty intuitive. The 8-inch touch screen is within easy reach and responds promptly to inputs. The graphics are crisp, and the menu structure is simple to understand. The digital gauge cluster has a vivid display too, and it can be configured to show as little or as much information as you want.

The downside of this driver-centric layout is that passengers have little to no access to any of it. This means every volume adjustment, radio station change, and navigation input is up to the driver.

The climate controls also earn some criticism. These buttons cascade down from the dashboard in a slender line. The top buttons adjust the driver-side settings, while the lower buttons adjust the passenger-side settings. It’s an unorthodox setup that takes time to get accustomed to.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, 10 speakers, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, 14 speakers, wireless device charging, and a performance data and video recorder
  • Additional standard features: proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, and dual-zone automatic climate control

Read more about interior »

Corvette Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Corvette Reliable?

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Chevrolet Corvette Warranty

Chevrolet covers the 2021 Corvette with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Corvette Safety

Corvette Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Corvette. This is fairly common for high-end luxury sports cars.

Corvette Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers)
  • Buckle to Drive (prevents the vehicle from shifting out of park if the driver’s seat belt is not buckled)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Forward-facing camera
  • Rearview mirror with an integrated camera view
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Head-up display

Read more about safety »

Corvette Dimensions and Weight

The Corvette is 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,366 to 3,467 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Built?

General Motors builds the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette in Kentucky.

When Did the Chevrolet Corvette First Come Out?

Chevrolet launched the first-generation Corvette for the 1953 model year. This C1 Corvette was more of a grand tourer than a sports car. It was offered only as a convertible, and it featured curvaceous styling, a straight-six engine, a two-speed automatic transmission, drum brakes, and a solid rear axle. An array of V8 engines and a pair of manual transmissions arrived a few years later, giving this early 'Vette more pedigree on the road and at the racetrack.

Seven more generations have followed. The second-generation C2 Corvette debuted in 1963, and it introduced the iconic Sting Ray design, a coupe body style, and powerful big block engines. The third-generation C3 Corvette arrived in 1968 with pumped-up wheel arches and new T-top removable roof panels. The fourth-generation C4 Corvette debuted in 1984 with a substantially redesigned chassis, more angular styling, and pop-up headlights.

In 1997, Chevrolet released the fifth-generation C5 Corvette, which featured the brand’s new LS series of engines. Iterations of the LS engine are still in use today. The C6 Corvette of 2005 and C7 Corvette of 2014 represent the modern era of the nameplate, bringing back exposed headlights and boosting engine output in excess of 600 and 700 horsepower in the most powerful models.

Which Chevrolet Corvette Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is available in two body styles – coupe and convertible – as well as three trim levels: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. The entry-level Corvette 1LT is a great choice for most shoppers. It offers the same engine and overall performance as the higher trims but at a lower price. Upgrading to the 2LT or 3LT adds convenience features like blind spot monitoring, a navigation system, and heated and ventilated seats.

It’s worth noting that both body styles enable open-air driving, so you don’t need to pay up for the convertible if you want the wind-in-your-hair driving experience. The Corvette convertible has a power-retractable hard top. The Corvette coupe has a manually removable roof panel, or targa top, that can be lifted off the car and stowed in the trunk.

Chevrolet Corvette 1LT

The base Corvette 1LT starts at $58,900 for coupe models and $66,400 for convertible models. Standard features include a 12-inch digital gauge cluster, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a 10-speaker Bose stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Proximity keyless entry, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable GT1 seats, rear parking sensors, LED headlights, four-piston Brembo brake calipers with 12.6-inch front rotors and 13.3-inch rear rotors, a limited-slip differential, and staggered 19- and 20-inch wheels are also standard.

Numerous options are available, including a $5,000 Z51 Performance package that adds a Z51-specific front splitter and rear spoiler, a higher rear axle ratio, 13.6-inch front brake rotors and 13.8-inch rear rotors, a stiffer suspension, Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires, an upgraded cooling system, and a performance exhaust that yields a five-point increase in engine horsepower and torque. The performance exhaust is also available as a standalone option.

Additional options include a navigation system, racing-inspired Competition Sport seats with larger side bolstering, an adaptive suspension (Magnetic Ride Control), engine compartment LED lighting, rocker panel extensions, splash guards, transparent and exposed carbon fiber roof panels, a carbon fiber grille insert, carbon fiber outside mirrors, racing stripe decals, and fender decals. These upgrades can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Chevrolet Corvette 2LT

The midrange Corvette 2LT trim starts at $66,200 for coupes and $73,200 for convertibles. This trim adds navigation, a 14-speaker Bose stereo, wireless device charging, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a performance data recorder with a forward-facing camera. Most options carry over, in addition to a $1,495 front-axle lift system that can raise the front bumper of the car by an inch and a half to clear speed bumps.

Chevrolet Corvette 3LT

The luxe Corvette 3LT trim starts at $70,850 for coupes and $77,850 for convertibles. This trim replaces some of the synthetic upholstery and interior plastics with genuine leather upholstery, and it also adds sportier GT2 seats with extra padding. Most options carry over unchanged.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevy dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

See 2021 Chevrolet Corvette specs and trims »

The Final Call

The midengine 2021 Chevrolet Corvette is a big departure from its predecessors, but its purpose has arguably never been clearer. The Corvette delivers supercar-rivaling performance, everyday drivability and practicality, a jaw-dropping interior, and the very latest in tech features, all at a fraction of the price that some luxury sports car rivals demand. Whether you prefer smiles per hour or horsepower per dollar, it’s hard to beat the new C8 Corvette.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "As the C8-generation car enters its second model year, we are happy to report that its status is preserved—in fact, it's elevated. The Corvette earned a 10Best award for 2020, and the 2021 model offers the same impressive performance, the same 490-hp V-8 engine, and the same affordable base price." -- Car and Driver
  • "… we found our time behind the wheel to be a real revelation. Checking all the supercar boxes of performance, active suspension, midengine design and stunning exterior styling, the reimagined 2020 Chevrolet Corvette should win the hearts and minds of new generations of Corvette owners. As for the traditionalists, we think what the 8th-gen Corvette brings to the party will win over most of them, as well." -- Autotrader (2020)
  • "The C8 is just as thrilling as it is civilized. The new midengine design moves America’s Sportscar into the modern performance age and does so at a bargain price. It will completely upend the supercar market, and I can’t wait to find more time behind the wheel." -- Autoweek (2020)
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