Though it received largely positive reviews by the media, the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette can only muster a mid-pack Total Car Score in the High Performance vehicle segment.
Topping the Corvette's list of strong points is its winning combination of sex appeal and bang-for-the-buck. With a 430-horsepower V8 engine under their hoods the regular coupe and convertible are strong performers, though they pale by comparison with the fire-breathing Z06 and Corvette ZR1 models (the latter gets its own review separately). The hatchback model's large cargo area also makes it fairly practical.
If the Corvette has a weakness, it's likely the fact that its interior is beginning to look a bit dated and lacks the refinement found in competing models. The car's relatively substantial dimensions also keep it from feeling as nimble as some of its rivals on a winding stretch of road.
With an all-new generation due out within the next year or so, the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette makes do with a handful of minor upgrades including a new seat design, an improved Bose audio system and a new Centennial Special Edition.
The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette is a two-seat sports car offered in hatchback and convertible body styles and two trim levels, base and Grand Sport. There are also two special hatchback-only models, including the high-performance Z06 and the ultra-high-performance Corvette ZR1 (reviewed separately).
Base and Grand Sport models are powered by a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 430 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque. Under the Z06's hood is a 7.0-liter V8 that produces 505 hp and 470 lb-ft. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the lineup, while a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is available on base and Grand Sport versions.
Both the entry-level and Grand Sport models are offered in 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim levels. Standard equipment on the entry-level 1LT includes alloy wheels (18-inch front/19-inch rear), automatic xenon headlights, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with driver's-side auto dimming, a removable targa-type roof panel or manual-folding soft top, keyless entry/starting, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power driver's seat, OnStar and a CD stereo with satellite radio and seven speakers. The 2LT adds a head-up display, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, a touch screen navigation system and a premium Bose audio system with an iPod interface and nine speakers.
Stepping up to the 3LT gets you a power-folding soft top (convertible models only), heated power sport seats, a power adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat memory. The top-of-the-line 4LT gets leather upholstery with suede-like inserts seat inserts and upgraded interior trim.
Grand Sport models also get a number of performance-oriented features including distinctive wheels and styling details, a firmer suspension and cross-drilled brake rotors.
The Z06's three trim levels (1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ) get more powerful engines and a handful of additional performance and styling upgrades.
Major options include an adaptive suspension, carbon ceramic brake discs, larger alloy wheels (19-inch front/20-inch rear), and custom styling details like contrasting stitching and personalized color combinations.
EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette range from 16 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined with the base engine, while the Z06's 7.0-liter V8 comes in at 15/24/18.
Total Car Score is not affiliated with, associated, authorized, or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected to any of the Expert Resources, nor does Total Car Score endorse any of the Expert Resources, or its affiliates.
Click here to see more.