Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Bill asks: I am thinking of buying a new Corvette. Not looking for top of the line, and not looking to spend more than $60k. What do you think of the car in general, and is the 7-speed manual still workable?
My answer: Much as I’ve butted heads with GM over the company’s weird obsession with “diversity,” I have nothing but superlative things to say about the Corvette. For $55,495 (well under your $60k threshold) you will get a car that is superior as a performance car to almost any car on the road – at any price. Whether the measure is 0-60 times, quarter-mile or lap times around a road course such as the Nurburgring – the Corvette is all but unbeatable. Even by high-performance sport bikes and that is no small thing.
But unlike six-figure exotics, the Corvette’s exotic performance comes not only without the exotic car price, it comes with practicality. It doesn’t look it – which makes it even more impressive – but the Corvette has twice the cargo room of a Camaro and almost as much as a Camry sedan. The 6.2 V8 is as easygoing as it is ferocious – when called upon. When not called upon, all those cubic inches (and all that gorgeous torque) make the Corvette a very easy car to drive, even in stop-and-go traffic.
And even with the manual transmission.
The seven speed is an upgrade over the previous six-speed. You get tighter gear spacing and taller overdrive gearing. Believe it or not, this car is capable of delivering close to 30 MPG on the highway… if you can keep your foot out of it!
Your biggest challenge will be finding a base trim Stingray on the lot – a car without multiple option packages and a price tag well above $60k. Here’s my recommendation: Send an email to all the Chevy stores within 100 miles or so (or as far as you’re willing to drive) and tell them you are ready to buy a Corvette but only want (then list the trim – e.g., base Stingray coupe with the manual, color and any other options you want) and then ask them for their best price. Let them bid for your business.
A reasonable out-the-door-price for a Corvette would be within 3 percent (either way) of the car’s MSRP of $55,495.
With most cars, you can usually haggle under MSRP – sticker price – because (a) the dealer is dealing with more pressure to sell and (b) there is still profit built into an under-MSRP price. But Corvette is a “halo” car and so tougher to pay less than sticker for. But you shouldn’t pay much more than sticker for a Stingray – which isn’t a limited-run model like the GS or ZR1.
Good luck – and let us know how this turns out!
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