At a Glance
The new C7 generation Corvette has landed at Chevrolet dealer lots across the country, and a new convertible and extreme-performance Z06 variant are following soon, too. This all means that the previous generation Corvette, called the C6, has officially moved into used-car territory and will wind up all over the used marketplace as owners trade up for the latest and greatest Corvette.
Inside Corvette, look for leather seating surfaces, climate control, remote keyless entry, power accessories and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Options include a voice-commanded navigation system, head-up display, Bluetooth, OnStar, xenon lights and more. Further, the Magnetic Selective Control suspension allowed drivers to actively select a more comfortable ride for touring, or a stiffer ride for sporty driving. This remarkable technology is largely key in what owners typically call a fantastic blend of everyday comfort and accessible performance.
All C6 generation Corvettes are V8-powered two-seaters with rear-wheel drive. Most models in the used market will be the mainstream Corvette, with 400 horsepower in early years and 430 from 2008 and on. Add five ponies to that figure if the model you’re considering has the snarly factory ‘sports’ exhaust kit. The Corvette line offered numerous enhanced models, including the Gran Sport, which added numerous handling and cosmetics to the otherwise-standard Corvette. Hardcore performance buffs tend to lean towards the racing-inspired Corvette Z06, which is equipped with a 505 hp LS7 V8 engine.
Everyday comfort, decent fuel mileage, looks, history, respect from fellow motorists and of course performance were all highly rated by owners of the C6 generation Corvette. Apparently, this was an easygoing and laid-back performance car that was well suited for daily use.
Common gripes include cheap cabin trimmings, limited rearward visibility, a rough ride on some surfaces, awkward placement of some cabin controls, and a less-than-adequate factory stereo system.
Check 1: The Consumables
As a high-performance car, approach your used Corvette candidate assuming the tires and brakes will need replacing soon, until you or a mechanic confirms otherwise. Particularly with up-sized wheels, replacement rubber will be pricey. If the tires are excessively worn, call it into pricing negotiations. A check of the clutch should be considered mandatory too. Drivers should be on the lookout for any slippage, chattering or difficulty executing smooth shifts, any of which could be signs that the clutch is worn.
Check 2: The Seats
Since numerous owners have complained of durability issues from the driver’s seat of their Corvette, be sure to take a close look for signs of missing trim pieces, ripped, torn, discoloured or patched leather panels, or signs that the stitching is pulling away from the panels attached to it. Confirm proper operation of all motorized seat controls and the seat heater, if equipped, once you determine that the seat is in good shape. Note that regular treatment with a quality leather conditioner will keep the leather soft, pliable and slippery – which reduces wear.
Check 3: Electrical Grounds
Be sure all electrical system components are working properly. Try the windows, the stereo, the remote, the lights and anything else that runs on electricity. Non-functionality of any of these systems, possibly accompanied by one or more warning messages in the driver computer readout, can be the result of poor electrical grounds, which can wear and corrode and prevent proper electrical operation of affected components. Applying a moisture-inhibiting lubricant to electrical ground points is a good bit of preventative maintenance, here.
Check 4: The Rear End
The Corvette owners community reports that early models from this generation may have a weak rear-end. Though this problem shouldn’t prove an issue unless you’re a fan of burnouts or drag racing, a mechanical inspection and good listen to the rear end for sign of unwelcomed noise is ideal. If you plan to use your C6 extensively in motorsports, most owners suggest going with a 2006 or newer model, which had a beefed-up rear end. Note that on-time fluid changes to the differential are key to the durability and long life of this component.
Check 5: Modifications
Beyond simple and common upgrades to the exhaust system and engine air intake, be sure to scrutinize any modifications that former owner(s) have made to the Corvette you’re considering, noting that some modifications to suspension, lighting, engine management and other systems can adversely affect durability, reliability and may even be illegal.
By and large, it looks like the C6 Corvette’s everyday comfort, performance, fuel efficiency and reliability were enjoyed by most owners. A thumbs up from a Corvette mechanic after a pre-purchase inspection can be taken as a sign to move ahead with your purchase confidently. Budget for a full fluid change and tune-up if you’re unfamiliar with the service history of the model in question.
Autos.ca review quotes & links
2005 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe: “There is a sensation of being on the back of a wild stallion that needs to be tamed – the problem is remaining calm and level-headed while being catapulted forwards in an alarming manner..”
– Greg Wilson, Autos.ca
2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible: “The Corvette 427 is one of those cars that you either get… or haven’t driven yet. It is as refined as Larry the Cable Guy, and just as entertaining. Hammer the gas in gears one through four and hold on as the foot-wide rear tires fight hard to remain in contact with the road. Redline blasts in second or third gear produce so much noise and vibration that I suddenly think I am blasting down the Andretti straight racing for the win in the ALMS GT class.
- Jonathan Yarkony, Autos.ca
AutoTRADER.ca Owner Review
2006 Chevrolet Corvette
My Z06 eats Ferrari's & I don't have to cringe at the thought of putting some miles on it. This is the car your mother won't let you drive & I love it. The only problem with this car is finding some open road. GM did a great job!
When I pulled into my bank in this car for the first time I heard some guy say "someone just pulled up in my dream car..." I'll never forget it.
The reason I gave it 5 out of 5 is because for the sticker price you will not get this much car anywhere else.”
– Eddy6881 on autoTRADER.ca 08/11/2014