Performance at 30 MPG

July 11th, 2013

2000 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

The 2000 Chevrolet Corvette is not a spectacular supercar. The base model uses a 5.7-liter V8 to deliver 345 hp, which the EPA rates at 15 mpg city/25 highway.

Fun, yes. Super, no.

The Corvette has always been the value-priced sports car playing in the land of supercars. For buyers looking for cheap horsepower, the ‘Vette fits the bill. It’s never been the most refined or comfortable or elegant, but that’s not what Corvette buyers of the past ever expected. Just raw, straight-line power.

The used market has lots of Corvettes from the last 6 generations for sale. The 2000 model I referenced generally is listed at around $10,000, which makes for an incredibly cheap sports-car experience.

General Motors is busy building hype for the release of its C7 2014 Corvette and recently let the world know that its fuel economy is better than the Porsche 911 Carrera S’s, Jaguar F-Type S’s and Audi R8 V10′s. That’s some pretty prestigious company!

The 2014 Corvette Stingray will deliver an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/29 highway, and come with a base 455-hp V8 engine. Chevrolet says,

The estimate reflects an average of fuel economy in both the default “Tour” mode, which delivers 28 mpg highway, and driver-selectable “Eco” mode, which delivers 30 mpg highway. For Stingrays equipped with the seven-speed manual transmission, Eco mode enables Active Fuel Management, which disables four of the cylinders for improved fuel economy during light engine loads.

I admit, the technology and the power are pretty dang impressive. I’ve yet to drive a Stingray, but I hear the interior and the overall build quality are leaps and bounds better than previous generations. Still… compared with that 2000 ‘Vette, the fuel economy improvement isn’t that incredible. If buying used can save upwards of $40,000 while still delivering fuel economy in the mid-20s, those old Corvettes look like a pretty good value for budget-conscious sports car buyers who want brawn while saving at least a few dollars at the pump.

Is the Corvette the best value in used sports cars?

-tgriffith

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Used Chevrolet Corvette
Used Porsche 911
Used Jaguar F-Type
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  1. Randy
    | #1

    Well, GM is well known for really dumb marketing ploys, like shoehorning Shaq into a Buick, showing us a young model type who can afford a Caddy but can’t afford an umbrela, or touting the highway gas mileage of a high performance Corvette. Honest, does anyone think a Corvette buyer is concerned with gas mileage?
    On the Corvette itself, it’s a blunt instrument with too much horsepower and huge sticky and super expensive tires to move the overweight blob around the corners. For ten grand, even the Mazda Miata will provide real sportscar thrills without having to listen to your girfriend or wife screaming in terror in the seat beside you.

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