2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Episode 3303
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve seen the pictures, read all of the specs and claims, and even heard a few gripes as well. But now it’s time for our take on what the all-new Chevrolet Corvette is all about. And it really comes down to only one question. Does this 7th generation of America’s original sports car, and the reincarnation of the classic Stingray, have what it takes to go head to head with the world’s best?

No slew of photos or videos, or thoughtful first impressions, and certainly not knee-jerk blogs, can prepare you for the experience of getting behind the wheel for seat time in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Simply put, driving the new Corvette Stingray delivers far more excitement and satisfaction than even we were expecting. But before we get too far ahead ourselves, let’s take a look at the numbers that make this 7th generation ‘Vette such an incredible piece of work.

High tech has certainly arrived under the hood, but don’t think overhead cams; think Digital Direct Fuel Injection, Continuously Variable Valve Timing, and Cylinder Deactivation. All helping this new 6.2-liter small block LT1 V8 crank out 455-horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque. Making this the most powerful standard ‘Vette ever. But, smart buyers are spending the few extra bucks for the Performance Exhaust to boost those numbers 5 more to 460 and 465.  

Yes we know there are plenty of cars with higher ratings, but few deliver their power this nastily, and we mean that in the best possible way. Launch control is on hand, but most drivers will be able to get better times without it, just 3.8-seconds to 60 if you nail it just right. 

After that full-on brutal launch, it feels like this Corvette is not going to be that gentle everyman’s, easy to drive sports car of yore, but it still is. The steering is perfect in every way, quick and direct with great feel. On top of that, the wheel itself has gotten smaller and fits our hands perfectly. 

Now let’s take a breath and look at this beautiful beast. There are no rough edges to its looks. Evolutionary? Sure! But, also very much world class with an intoxicating supercar-like blend of exotic stance, beautiful curves, sharp lines, and sheer aggression. There are vents galore, and they all work!

Much ballyhoo has been made over the Camaro-like taillights. Well, they are not nearly as objectionable in person as in photos. They’re here; they’re not round, so deal with it! We’d rather admire the artful center grouped quad-exhaust. Or the beefy rolling stock that comes with the Z51 performance package; 245/35/19’s up front, 285/30/20’s in the rear, with rubber by Michelin. 

The Stingray has gotten wider and longer, but thankfully it feels much smaller behind the wheel. Engineering magic that other carmakers would love to duplicate. And even with more size, weight is held down with lots of aluminum and big panels of carbon fiber; for the hood, and the removable roof panel. The chassis is so stiff that you really feel one with the car.

We mentioned the wheels and tires of the Z51 Performance Package. Along with numerous upgrades, from dry sump oiling to bigger brakes, it ratchets up the Stingray’s feel and fun factor exponentially. No wonder 75% of early buyers are going for it.

But to us, Z51’s biggest benefit is the electronic rear differential. It’s seamless; constantly shifting power where it can be used most effectively, helping the Stingray as if it has earned a doctorate in grip.

The interior is vastly better in layout and material quality. It’s still tight, but we’ll take it. There’s nicely done aluminum trim and, if you like, still more carbon fiber. Overall it’s top notch to see and touch.

Even we’ve gotten tired of hearing ourselves complain about Corvette seats, and GM has finally put an end to that grievance. The standard buckets provide good fit and even better comfort. Thumb the start button, and there’s a nice bark, with an almost Italian flair, as everything comes to life. 

Ratios for both the 7-speed manual and 6-speed automatic are just about spot-on. The manual is an absolute joy to work. And providing rev matching through steering wheel paddles is a welcome new twist. Magnetic Ride Control is available as before, but the range of firmness is broader, with the ride going from bone jarringly harsh to almost plush, while a standard drive mode system controls up to 12 vehicle attributes to further personalize your ride. All Stingrays also come equipped with Brembo brakes that work splendidly. 

Despite all of the additional performance, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are up to 17-City, 29-Highway, and 21-Combined for manual equipped cars. 

Corvette has long delivered the biggest high performance bang for the buck. But, you often got what you paid for. The C7 charts new territory and takes a backseat to no one in finesse. Still, $51,995 for this much performance should be pure fantasy land. And, that highly recommended Z51 Performance Package? Only $2,800 more.

To say that Chevrolet has got a real hit on their hands with the 2014 Corvette Stingray might just be the understatement of the year. And as much as we love the new look and giant leap forward in interior refinement, the best thing of all to us, is that it drives even better. Thoroughly modern, thoroughly bad-to-the-bone. The new Stingray! Consider us stung!

Specifications

  • Engine: 6.2-liter
  • Horsepower: 455
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds
  • EPA: 17 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.