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Used Chevrolet Corvette – Cincinnati, OH

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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.

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