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2019 Chevrolet Corvette Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 9.4

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette gives you little to complain about in terms of performance. The engine lineup is brimming with powerful options, all of which deliver potent, pulse-pounding acceleration. They also all get poor fuel economy, at least when you compare them against the entire class, which includes turbo-four and six-cylinder engines. The Corvette is more than a straight-line racer, however. It handles incredibly well even by sports car standards, and it provides a comfortable ride.

  • "With the Grand Sport package or higher, the Corvette is an almost telepathic performer. The engine and brakes are both very strong and easy to modulate, and the manual transmission operates smoothly. Steering feel is lacking at the limit, but those limits are far beyond what most roads allow." -- Edmunds
  • "The latest Corvette is absolutely the best yet, with steering, cornering, braking and accelerating that leave former iterations and many rivals in the dust. The Corvette's comfort and practicality also set it apart. This is an everyday supercar." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "I put 'sports car' in quotation marks because – especially with the optional Z07 package with carbon-ceramic brakes, a downforce-inducing, carbon-fiber aero package, and barely road-legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires – the Grand Sport is pushing up near 'supercar' territory." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Corvette Stingray comes with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that puts out 455 horsepower (460 with the performance exhaust, which comes standard in Grand Sport models). A seven-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available.

Though it's only the base engine, this V8 delivers more than enough power, and the acceleration is breathtaking. It makes the Corvette feel dynamic in any driving situation, and it's fun for the driver even if they're not putting the pedal to the floor.

The high-performance trims, the Corvette Z06 and Corvette ZR1, have the same 6.2-liter V8 engine. However, these models feature superchargers and really ramp up the horsepower ratings. Z06 models produce 650 horsepower, and ZR1 models make 755 horses.

These more-powerful Corvettes will throw you back in your seat if you put the hammer down. In fact, they're so powerful, it's doubtful you'll see their full potential unless you hit the racetrack. The ZR1 especially moves like greased lightning.

With the base engine, the Corvette gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Among all cars in the class, many of which have smaller engines, those are some of the lowest ratings. Compared to other V8-powered rivals, however, the Stingray's numbers are typical. The higher-performance trims get worse numbers. The Z06 gets 14 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, and the new ZR1 gets 12/20 mpg city/highway.

  • "Mat the gas and the Stingray's 6.2-liter V8 unleashes a breathtaking wave of force. The Corvette has power everywhere in the rev range, and it's hugely fun at partial or full throttle. The Z06 and new ZR1 come with more powerful engines, but this one is more than enough." -- Edmunds
  • "Sixty-three years later, Chevy's legendary sports car is still packing a big V8, now displacing 6.2 liters, and its rock-and-roll soundtrack and tire-shredding thrust will put a smile on your face and endorphins in your bloodstream." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "Getting after it in the canyons with the Grand Sport is a little easier than in the Z06, from which it takes many performance parts. In large part, this is due to the significant difference in power. … This particular car came with the eight-speed automatic, satisfactory on up- and downshifts, yet, I longed to row the gears myself." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Handling and Braking

In a class full of cars that rank performance as a top priority, this rear-wheel-drive sportster stands out for its athleticism. The Corvette feels planted around turns, and it's incredibly agile. The steering doesn't provide a ton of feedback, but it's amazingly sharp.

This Chevrolet provides a cushioned ride; bumps and potholes in the road don't easily disturb it. For an extra-smooth ride (or for added performance at high speeds), look for the available Magnetic Selective Ride Control. This suspension system rapidly adapts to changing road conditions, and you can tune it for either comfort or competition using the drive mode selector.

  • "The Corvette just sticks to the ground and isn't bothered by mid-corner corrections or bumps. It changes directions unbelievably quick, with negligible body roll and drama. Unfortunately, it's a challenge to recover the back end if you push past the car's limits." -- Edmunds
  • "For a sports machine with extreme handling talents, the Corvette also rides well, even more so when the adaptive suspension is installed. For greater speeds and excitement, the supercharged Z06 and new ZR1 are both breathtaking." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Still, the turn-in is very sharp indeed. The Magnetic Ride Control adjusts the suspension 10 times faster than the blink of an eye, keeping everything flat through the turns. The Cup 2 tires offer massive grip, and with the extra aero package, the car never got out of sorts. The brakes felt solid through all of my sessions, never fading or getting spongey. Essentially I just pointed the 'Vette and jammed on the gas, the Grand Sport obeying my commands with no trace of understeer, just good old American fun." -- CNET (2017)
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