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Used Chevrolet Corvette – Cincinnati, OH

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  • Overview

    A dark blue 2019 Chevy Corvette is facing left.

    The Chevy Corvette is America’s most iconic sports car. But not only does it provide performance equal to many far more expensive imported cars, its long history means that you can always find great deals on a used Chevy Corvette of any generation. First introduced back in 1953, the Chevy Corvette took the automotive world by storm with its powerful V8 engine and lightweight fiberglass construction. This proved to be a winning combination that has now taken the Corvette through eight generations. While the first three Corvette generations are now mainly collector’s cars rather than serious transportation, the fourth generation, and later Corvettes, can all make for extremely fun weekend cruisers or even daily drivers.

    The fourth-generation Chevy Corvette was first introduced for the 1984 model year, which means the early cars are now fast approaching forty years of age and will require some attention to keep in running order. However, production continued until 1996, and good condition late fourth-generation Corvettes are still widely available for drivers looking for a classic ride. However, this long production run means that there were many changes over the life of the fourth-generation Corvette, so you will have to do your research on any model year that you are considering. One quick tip is to focus on the 1992 model year and later cars. Not only will newer vehicles generally be more reliable, but 1992 marked the replacement of the 245 horsepower L98 engine with the 300 horsepower LT1 engine.

    However, a used fifth-generation Corvette will offer an even more powerful 345 horsepower LS1 engine as well as a spruced-up interior for around the same money as a late fourth-generation Corvette. First introduced for 1997 and produced until 2004, the fifth-generation cars are also significantly newer and usually more reliable than the older models, making them a better all-around choice if you are looking for something more than a weekend car. For drivers interested in higher performance, the fourth generation also introduced the Z06 Corvette variant with a tuned engine, weight reduction, a modified suspension, and other performance upgrades. So if you are shopping for an affordable track car, a used fourth-generation Z06 makes for a great option. But most importantly, the fifth generation was the last Corvette that Chevy built with classic pop-up headlights.

    Produced from 2005 to 2013, the sixth-generation Corvette brought the normal generational power upgrade and performance improvements. Originally powered with a 400 horsepower LS2 engine, this already impressive engine was upgraded to a larger 430 horsepower LS3 for the 2008 model year. And rather than simply having a tuned version of the base engine like on the fifth-generation Corvette, the sixth generation Z06 received a huge 7.0-liter engine generating 505 horsepower on top of its unique aluminum frame and other weight-saving measures. However, despite these large performance improvements of the sixth-generation Corvette, perhaps its largest advantage over the earlier generations is a much more modern and liveable interior. Not only did Chevy finally bring the Corvette’s interior styling into the 21st century, but the sixth-generation Corvette was the first to offer an actual infotainment system with a 6.5” screen, navigation, and steering wheel controls rather than just a basic radio. Altogether, the numerous quality of life improvements makes a used sixth-generation Corvette a surprisingly comfortable and practical daily driver.

    The best value in a used Chevy Corvette will be had from a seventh-generation car, also known as the Corvette Stingray. Introduced for 2014 and still in production today, the seventh generation took the basic front mid-engine layout that had first been introduced with the fourth-generation Corvette to its limit. With a 450 horsepower LT1 engine standard and a 650 horsepower supercharged LT4 engine in the Corvette Z06, a used Stingray is hard to beat in the performance department. The new engines are also accompanied by completely redesigned aerodynamics, suspension, and chassis to make the most of the available power. But like the sixth generation, even these tremendous improvements in performance are dwarfed by the interior upgrade. 

    Step inside a Stingray, and you will find a thoroughly modern upscale interior filled with premium materials. The infotainment system is now built around an 8” touch screen and the driver’s instrument cluster has even been replaced by a second reconfigurable 8” digital display to make sure you have all the information that you need when pushing your Corvette to its limits. The Stingray has now been on the market long enough that good deals can be had on used models, and it is young enough that maintenance will be light. Finally, if you want the ultimate peace of mind, many of the used sixth-generation Corvettes will even still have some of their Chevy factory warranty left.

    The future of the Chevy Corvette continues to look even more promising as we move forward. The Stingray was succeeded by the all-new eighth-generation Corvette for the 2020 model year. In a sharp break from the previous Corvette generations, Chevy turned to a mid-engine layout for the new car. This radical change was because the ever more powerful engines in each Corvette generation were hitting the limits of what a front-engine platform could handle. By moving the engine behind the driver, the balance of the car was changed to put more weight on the rear wheels and make better use of the extra power. And with close to 500 horsepower in the base model, the eighth generation Corvette is in legitimate supercar territory. While Chevy also upgraded the interior with a new extremely driver-focused cockpit and square racing-style steering wheel to match the exotic exterior, it does not represent the same massive leap forward found in the previous Corvette generations. However, given how new this generation is, used eighth-generation Corvettes are still extremely rare and command similar prices to brand new cars. So if you do find a good deal on a used Corvette, you had better not hesitate.

  • 2005-2007

    A deep red 2005 used Chevy Corvette is parked on a hazy mountain top.

    The first year of the C6 generation, 2005 Corvettes are often noted for the reintroduction of the external headlamps, rather than raising models that would conceal themselves. When looking at used Chevrolet Corvettes from 2005, it is important to remember that this year was not a complete reinvention of the Corvette, rather an evolution of what came before. There may not be a massive shock when going from C5 to C6 Corvettes, but the differences are noteworthy and came as a welcome change to many drivers. The standard engine for 2005 models was a 6.0L V8 that offered 400hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. Other features include remote keyless entry, leather trim, dual-zone climate control, and the aforementioned external headlamps. 2005 models started off as removable roof coupes, but a convertible option became available later in the year.

    Several things are noteworthy about the 2006 model year when looking at a used Chevrolet Corvette. First and foremost was the introduction of the first C6 Corvette Z06. This was a highly-anticipated sports car with both reviewers and drivers were quick to point out that it did not disappoint. It came with a 7.0L engine that offered 505hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque for very impressive overall performance. The 2006 Corvettes also introduced an option for a 6-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission as an alternative to a traditional manual transmission. Other new features in the 2006 models included XM Satellite Radio and a Bose stereo system, along with two new exterior paint colors: Velocity Yellow and Monterey Red Metallic.

    For the most part, 2007 was a carryover year during the C6 generation, which should be kept in mind when looking at a used Chevrolet Corvette from this time. A few new options in 2007 included steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a two-tone seat for the Z06. While there were not any new models or trim levels introduced in 2007, it was still a very popular year for the Corvette. One thing to watch for: in 2007 Chevrolet built an Arctic White Ron Fellows Z06 and an Atomic Orange Indy Pace Car replica - both in limited editions that can still be found on the used market from time to time.

  • 2008-2010

    A yellow 2008 used Chevy Corvette is shown in a grey showroom from the rear.

    There were several changes introduced in 2008 to watch out for when looking at a used Chevrolet Corvette from C6. In particular was the introduction of the LS3 6.2L V8 engine, which improved performance up to 430hp and 424 lb.-ft. of torque, for better overall power. The wheels on 2008 models were also updated with a five-spoke design that visually separates them from previous years. Otherwise, there were not many major introductions to the Corvette, nor any new trim levels of particular note. An Indy Pace Car replica edition was also made available in 2008, but this time as either a coupe or a convertible.

    For the most part, only minor changes were noted for most 2009 Corvettes such as "Spyder" style wheels and Bluetooth connectivity for phones. The major introduction of note for 2009 was the release of the first ZR1 trim level, made available only two years after it was first revealed. The ZR1 pushed the envelope for both power and price tag, but is a high-water mark of performance among used Chevrolet Corvettes. It had an ultra-powerful LS9 6.2L V8 engine that blew away all expectations by offering 638hp and 604 lb.-ft. of torque, giving the ZR1 a top speed of more than 200mph.

    There were not a lot of major upgrades for the 2010 models, with one very noteworthy exception. While not an upgrade, 2010 marked the return of the Grand Sport model, in both a coupe and a convertible design. The Grand Sport offered a luxury version of the Z06 and effectively replaced the Z51 by offering the LS3 V8 engine with the suspension set up of the Z51. The Grand Sport had a wide fender and unique wheels with a style all its own, creating a superb overall design that was immediately popular with a lot of Corvette fans; it remains a coveted item when looking for a used Chevrolet Corvette.

  • 2011-2013

    A red 2013 used Chevy Corvette is in front of 6 white classic Corvette generations.

    2011 was a strange year for the Corvette since there were not many revisions or updates made that year, and yet there were more overall trim levels and options available than ever before. The minor revisions that did happen included updated wheel choices, a larger cross-drilled brake rotor, and Magnetic Ride Control suspension. 2011 also saw the introduction of USB integration in Chevy Corvettes. The Z06 Carbon limited edition and Z07 performance package were both quite popular options and part of the biggest lineup of Corvettes in recent history. There was no Indy Pace Car that year, and sales improved over the previous year, with the Grand Sport coupe proving particularly popular. This has remained a very popular and powerful sports car to keep in mind when looking for a used Chevrolet Corvette.

    2012 Corvette

    As Chevrolet knew the C6 generation was nearing its end, the 2012 models did not receive a major overhaul or particularly impressive new packages. With that in mind, there are a few highlights to consider and watch for when looking for a used Chevrolet Corvette. The interior of baseline models received some minor upgrades and the Z06 gained a full-length rear spoiler and carbon fiber hood as trim options. The ZR1 also got some upgrades, including adjusted gear ratios for better fuel economy and a performance package. The Centennial Edition became available for 2012 on all Corvettes, which featured Carbon Flash Metallic paint, satin-black graphics, satin-black wheels with a red stripe, and other special interior options. This was introduced to celebrate Chevrolet's 100th anniversary, and the Corvette once again returned as the Indy Pace Car in 2012. Only a little over 11,000 units were sold for that year, however, which marked the lowest production number for the C6 generation.

    2013 Corvette

    The final year of the C6 generation, 2013 saw little in the way of major additions or improvements to most of the models, since a new generation was right around the corner. There are a few exceptions to this, however, primarily the 427 Convertible Collector edition that was available only in 2013. It is the closest Chevy has ever come to making a Z06 ragtop, which made it immediately popular and has left it a favorite among Corvette aficionados. A 60th Anniversary package was introduced for 2013 models, but it is typically overshadowed by love for the 427 Convertible. Only a little more than 13,000 models were produced in 2013, the majority of which were Grand Sport coupes, which continued to be quite popular.

  • 2014

    Two blue 2014 used Chevy Corvette C7s are side by side on a road. One facing forward, the other away

    Although originally planned for release starting in 2011, Chevy delayed the release to work on further development, which means 2014 marks the first year for the seventh generation of Corvettes, also referred to as C7. The C7 brought back the term “Stingray,” and all sorts of improvements were made to it over the previous generation. When looking for a used Chevy Corvette C7, it is hard to go wrong with this first year.

    The external redesign for C7 was notable though not as huge as some other improvements and changes, particularly the much-improved interior. Starting with the 2014 release, the C7 adopted the LT1 engine, which is a 6.2L V8 that offers up to 455 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque for better overall performance than C6 models. An optional dual-mode exhaust system further boosted performance up to 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque.

    Two different trim levels were available for the 2014 models, and you can find a used Chevy Corvette C7 in any of them, so consider your options carefully. There were also sub-trims available, which means you can find the Base model as a 1LT, 2LT, or 3LT, while the Z51 trim was also available as a 1LT, 2LT, or 3LT. Overall, each upgrade in sub-trim introduced various features, particularly on the inside, while the Z51 added larger wheel options and additional performance features.

    The 1LT featured dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system. The 2LT trim, on the other hand, featured auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, a 10-speaker sound system, and a head-up display. The 3LT trim level upgraded the leather interior and Navigation system beyond the previous two.

  • 2015

    A yellow 2015 used Chevy Corvette C7 is on a racetrack near Cincinnati, OH.

    In many ways, a used Chevy Corvette C7 from 2015 can be quite comparable to a 2014 model, but there are some important differences. Just like in 2014, 2015 models include standard and Z51 trims, which are divided further into 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT trim levels. Many of the features in these trim levels are similar to the previous year, and just like in 2014, the Z51 focuses on higher performance features.

    New in 2015, however, is a superior automatic transmission to the previous year. Just like in 2014, the standard transmission in 2015 was a seven-speed manual. In 2014 there was an available six-speed automatic transmission; with a used Chevy Corvette C7 from 2015, however, you will find an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    Also of note are some improved features like upgraded OnStar functionality and a 4G LTE connection that allows the 2015 model to operate as a Wi-Fi hotspot. A Performance Data Recorder became available in 2015, which features an in-car video and information system so you can monitor how you are doing on the open road or while at the track. Some appearance packages and options also became available in 2015 that were not offered in 2014.

    Perhaps the biggest difference to note with 2015 models, however, was the introduction of a Z06 high-performance model. This was offered with three trim levels like the other models, indicated as 1LZ, 2LZ, and 3LZ. For the first time, in 2015 the Z06 variant was offered as either a coupe or convertible and included a supercharged engine that offered up to 650 hp. The Z06 was designed for incredible performance, and even the 1LZ has numerous features that are only offered at higher sub-trims for the other 2015 models. In other words, if you want a car that can beat just about anything else on the road from 2015, then a used Chevy Corvette C7 Z06 is the way to go.

  • 2016-2017

    A red 2017 used Chevy Corvette C7 Grand Sport is on a track with a sunset.

    2016

    Overall, in terms of major improvements when looking at a used Chevy Corvette C7 model, one from 2016 will be quite similar to a 2015. There were some changes made in 2016, but nothing on the same level as the introduction of the eight-speed automatic transmission or powerhouse Z06 trim in 2015. That is good news when shopping used models as it means you can pretty freely choose between 2015 and 2016 without feeling like you are missing out on anything.

    A leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel was offered starting in 2016, which is one of the surest ways to tell these models apart from the previous year when considering a used Chevy Corvette C7. A power-closing trunk and greater smartphone integration were also included in 2016, which can be helpful when considering your options. Higher trim levels gained access to a new front-view parking camera, and various aesthetic differences were introduced in the form of different appearance packages.

    From a mechanical perspective, 2016 models are pretty similar to those from 2015. The adaptive suspension dampers became available on the baseline model, while it was only offered on the Z51 the previous two years. A Z06 C7 R Edition was also released with a focus on features and style based on racing.

    2017

    A lot of drivers already found the initial offerings of the seventh-generation Corvettes pretty much perfect, so not much was added onto them after the fact. With that in mind, there is still one big offering that you can find if you choose a used Chevy Corvette C7 from 2017 that is not available on earlier model years. If this one new trim is not important to you, however, then previous years should prove just as good as a 2017.

    This big difference in 2017 was the addition of the Grand Sport, or GS, trim level available for the first time on C7 models. Basically, the Grand Sport trim combined the performance and functionality of the Z51 with some features from the Z06. For example, the GS has the dual-mode exhaust version of the V8 engine found on the Z51, offering higher horsepower and torque than the baseline model, paired with the upgraded cooling system and wider tires of the Z06.

    With the Grand Sport, you get an option between the Z51 and Z06, creating another fantastic sports car at a new price point. Keep this in mind when shopping for a used Chevy Corvette C7.

  • 2018-2019

    A black 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is driving past the ocean.

    2018

    For the most part, not much changed in the 2018 model Corvette, so if you are looking for a used Chevy Corvette C7, then this or a 2017 model will be pretty similar. Most of the changes were aesthetic differences, with new options available that could not be found on previous models. For example, Sterling Blue was replaced by Ceramic Matrix Gray as an available exterior color option for buyers.

    Other differences in 2018 include some improvements to the Cosworth Toolbox, which is part of the Performance Data Recorder included in C7 Corvettes. An HD digital radio also became standard on all models, rather than only being available at higher trim levels. The rearview camera was also improved on 2018 models, with a higher resolution image and a wider angle to give you a clearer view of the area behind your vehicle.

    2019

    This marks the end of an era in more ways than one. Although the idea of a mid-engine model Corvette was teased as a possibility for the C7, it ended up being a standard front-engine sports car instead. With the C8 generation, however, a mid-engine Corvette has become a reality; which leaves 2019 as the last year for a front-engine model (for now, at least).

    In most ways, a 2019 model is much like other used Chevy Corvette C7 models, with similar trims remaining quite comparable. Perhaps the biggest news for 2019 was the introduction of an ultra-performance ZR1 trim level, which pushed the boundaries of what Chevy’s engineers could do with a front-engine design. The ZR1 comes with a Supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that provides up to 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque, offering you the ability to go from 0 to 60 in just 2.85 seconds. If you want the most powerful front-engine Corvette ever designed, then look for a 2019 ZR1.

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