2009 Chevrolet Corvette Performance

$16,119 - $20,035

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette was new.


Performance: 9.0

With performance capabilities matching those of more expensive exotics, reviewers find that the Corvette is a bargain-priced Ferrari -- and performs every bit as wonderful as that sounds.

  • "Thanks to a snarling V8 and an engaging view of the raised front fenders through the windshield, the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette is a sports car that never ceases to put a smile on your face. On a deserted twisty road, the driver will likely run out of talent before the Corvette runs out of capability." -- Edmunds
  • "Performance is outstanding, with excellent acceleration from the big engine, nicely tuned handling, the high-tech magnetic-ride system, and better gas mileage than any of its competitors." -- CNET
  • "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 luxurious interior and comfortable ride make it perfect for daily commutes or long weekend getaways." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "What really astounds me is that a car priced at 'only' $56,000 (our test model) is recognized globally, just like the Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. And having driven all of those cars in recent months, I can say that if speed and performance are your goals -- but at least some monetary restraint is in order -- this new Corvette is the car for you." -- Boston Globe.
  • "The Verdict: One of the best performance values is now even more enticing." -- Car and Driver

Power and Acceleration

Standard on the 2009 Corvette is a 430-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed paddle shift transmission with automatic mode is optional. According to the EPA, the manual Corvette has a city/highway fuel economy of 16/26 mpg, while the automatic earns 15/25 mpg.

  • "The 6.2-liter V8 delivers abundant power throughout its speed range, a fact the driver is reminded of with even the slightest touch of the accelerator." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This engine is a work of art, and uses big displacement to generate plenty of torque and horsepower." -- CNET
  • "The manual transmission is generally smooth, but it sometimes has a heavy, notchy feel.  ... The automatic shifts smoothly, but downshifts often require a deep stab of the throttle. Manual shifting via the steering-wheel paddles helps." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Sure, Vettes always have been fast, but the new one is a real stormer." -- AutoWeek
  • "[T]he best six-speed manual transmission I've driven in a Corvette. ... I'm also a little surprised at how much I liked the manual transmission. In previous years, Chevrolet offered a manual or an automatic for the same price, and the Corvette is one of a handful of sports cars that I preferred with the automatic." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • " If you're looking for a Corvette experience without the demands of a manual tranny, check out the easier, though by no means wimpy, automatic version " -- BusinessWeek
  • " Hell, Vette owners probably run down chipmunks for sport and do burnouts over their shallow graves while opening canisters of Freon, such is their disdain for the environment and hatred of better citizens who drive hybrid vehicles. Surely, right?" One problem: The Corvette gets better highway mileage than many hybrids, including the Chevy Tahoe hybrid, Lexus GS450h, Lexus LS600hL, Lexus RX400h, and Toyota Highlander hybrid." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Test drivers find the Corvette handles marvelously. What's more, its sporty dynamics don't make every day driving a chore. This is particularly noteworthy considering that other vehicles with similar capabilities are often too stiff and harsh to drive anywhere but the track.

  • "Quick steering, tenacious smooth-road grip, and little cornering lean make Corvette, and particularly the ZR1, among the world's best-handling cars." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The steering has the right amount of quickness, and the ride is good over most roads. ... Handling and braking are superb. A short trip to the local 7-Eleven even can be fun because it's enjoyable to drive any car that is so responsive to driver commands." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Sports cars that can squirt to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds and have a top track speed of 190 mph are often hard-edged, rough-riding and demanding. Not so this one. The ride, while not as soft as a luxury sedan's, is pleasantly smooth, easily comfortable for everyday commuting or running errands." -- Kansas City Star
  • "The Vette requires 161 feet to stop from 70 mph and grips the pavement to the tune of 0.95 g, both stellar results." -- Car and Driver

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