$23,956 - $53,900

2012 Chevrolet Corvette Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette was new.


Performance: 8.8

With capabilities that match more expensive sports cars, reviewers remain impressed with the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette’s combination of power and performance. However, some comment that while it performs marvelously, the Corvette isn’t as refined as luxury sports cars like the Porsche Boxster.

  • "No question here: The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette can bring the heat." -- Edmunds 
  • "From the jerky, tired-feeling manual tranny to the rough ride quality to the overly light steering, our logbooks filled up with dings against the red Chevy." -- Motor Trend 
  • "The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette is a genuine driver's car. Thanks to a host of high-tech electronic performance enhancements, the C6 Corvette rounds corners and responds quicker than any previous Corvette." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Power and Acceleration

Equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission, the base 2012 Chevy Corvette and Corvette Grand Sport make 430 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 424 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. Chevrolet says that combination gives the Corvette a 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds. An optional dual-mode exhaust system is available on Grand Sport models, which adds 6 horsepower and delivers a more aggressive exhaust note. A six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is optional.

In general, reviewers love the Corvette’s V8 power. However, some say that while the engine has a nostalgic, muscle car feel, it lacks the refinement of the engines in sports cars from Porsche and BMW. Additionally, some criticize the Corvette’s transmission, saying that the manual has a notchy feel. The EPA reports that the 2012 Corvette averages 16/26 mpg city/highway with the manual and 15/25 mpg with the automatic.

  • "The manual transmission is generally smooth, but on the Base and Z06, 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 
  • "The base car is extremely fast. ... Top to bottom, the Corvette stable has enough broad-shouldered eight-cylinder force to satisfy even the most depraved speed fiend." -- Edmunds 
  • "Love me that pushrod motor! It's truly impressive how smooth Chevy has made that engine and how ample and seamless the power is all the way up the tach. It's the best part of this car." -- Motor Trend 
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book 

Handling and Braking

While some reviewers say that the 2012 Corvette’s steering lacks the communicative feel of the steering in cars like the BMW M3, others rave about the Corvette's handling balance, specifically when equipped with the optional adaptive suspension system, which features touring and sport modes. What's more, its sporty dynamics don't make everyday driving a chore. This is particularly noteworthy considering that other vehicles with similar capabilities are too stiff and harsh to drive anywhere but the track.

  • "Base models with the standard suspension ride surprisingly well, with a solid blend of comfort and firm control. Convertibles have impressively little structural shake and body quiver. Grand Sport is never smooth, but it's never punishing either." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Compared to a car like the M3, the Corvette's steering can indeed seem a bit deficient in terms of communication. ... The Vette's brakes are strong and fade-free, especially the available carbon-ceramic binders, and grip from the enormous tires is, well, enormous. However, the Chevy Corvette still feels less nimble than it should when driven on tight, curvy roads." -- Edmunds 
  • "The new Porsche's helm is worlds better than the Corvette's way too light and too vague steering." -- Motor Trend 
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book 

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