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Old 02-14-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
Sin City
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Default The good and the not-so-good report

Drove it cross country for 2400 miles over 4 days. Z51 manual convertible with 3LT trim, performance exhaust, and magnetic ride shocks.

Here's an assessment (and my opinion only. Others may disagree.)

The good:

Looks much better in person than photos. People truly love the new look and it gets a lot of positive comments. The CRM color is pretty amazing and gets a lot of good comments.

The exhaust sounds wonderful. Between 3 grand and the redline, it's terrific.

The mag ride works really well. Touring mode very comfortable, Track mode will shake your teeth loose. That's what you want.

The motor is excellent. It has plenty of torque. I could go up hills in 7th at about 1800 and it would just pull like nothing else. Impressive. (My one issue though is that it's not a smooth idler.)

Completely reliable. I lost the Sat radio and vocal nav one time but it reset after restarting the car. I don't view it as a fault. Everything else worked beautifully with no problems. This car gave me complete confidence to do almost anything with it.

The Electronic diff saved my bottom side. Hit some black ice in Little Rock and the rear went out big time. I corrected and it came back nicely. I'm sure it was the ediff at work here.

Fuel mileage is very good. Averaged 23.2 on a cross country trip at high speeds, most of which were over 70 mph the entire time.

Top works great. The car really comes to life with the top off. It's like a completely different vehicle. Drove 1200 miles topless. Used the heater when necessary. Tremendous fun.

Standard seats are very comfortable. I sat in them for 8 hours at a time and I was very surprised at how I felt during and after. These are very well done. Seat warmers work great but even in the low setting, can get pretty hot of you don't turn them off.

Rev matching: I was shocked how well I ended up liking this feature.

Radio and entertainment: Easy to figure out and use. Sat radio worked great, blue tooth easy to sync, phone worked well even with top down but obviously noisy from the wind noise.

Performance exhaust. Love you can switch it from quiet to noisy. Quiet is quiet and noisy is noisy.

HUD: Originally I thought this was a gimmick but I really liked it. It's great it's in color now as it's easy to read.

Museum delivery: Worth every penny. I can't say enough for the staff there and the help given to me to get on the road.


The not so good.

Ok, I know it's popular to rag on the paint but... there's more orangepeel on this car then I've ever seen on an expensive car before. Some areas are just .... poor. I am not a picky person on this issue but it really surprised me how some areas came out. This needs to be addressed.

There's sections of leather on the dash that look like wrinkled elephant skin. I'm shocked that it was not picked up and rejected. Should have been better given the price.

The Nav isn't as good as some other cars I've used. Its gives information in a confusing way some times and isn't easy to stop.

The touch screen is annoyingly slow to react to touch, particularly when you are trying to input addresses. Some of the arrows on the bottom are really difficult to use. There should be a "favorite" area where you can quickly shut off the nav or enable or disable the loud exhaust instead of going through several screens.

The radio switches between inputs for reasons unknown to me when you do different things.

The car has some terrible blind spots. Even looking out the back is a problem. It needed the side lane changing radar which should have been standard. With the roof up, visibility to the rear is worse than I expected.

Climate control a bit disappointing so far. The car gets really stuffy with the heat on. It's difficult to get the blower to blow full and stay that way for topless driving.

It has more road noise in Touring mode than I would have guessed. The exhaust is quiet but maybe it's the tire noise that's pretty loud. Talking on the phone at speeds of 70 mph with the top up was difficult for the other person on the other side to hear because of all the background noise.

Eco mode cylinder deactivation: I'm not sure how effective this is in the real world. I used it quite a bit but as soon as you get into a slight headwind or go up the smallest incline, it goes back to V8 mode. If you have the exhaust on loud, the sound level change is dramatic. And, when it goes from V8 to V4 it makes a shutter like the engine misfired. It takes some getting used to because your first reaction is "what's wrong with the motor". It works... I just wonder how much V4 mode is really usable given the added weight and complexity.

The manual box and clutch.... hmmm. Where to start. Now, I've driven manuals all my life so I'm no stranger to them but this one is really hard to get used to. The clutch is too light and the friction distance too small. The gearshift lever centering spring is too strong and requires you to "think" about each shift or the gears almost always end up differently than what you want. 1st gear is very hard to engage and move out smoothly without carefully and slowly slipping the clutch or releasing it and jerking your head off. The 1-4 lockout is bloody annoying when it happens! It makes zero sense to me.


Summation

Overall, the car is excellent. Perhaps with time I will get used to the gearbox and clutch. My feeling is, if this car had a DCT and some better paintwork, it would be near perfect. It's darn good as it is now though. But, everything can be improved no matter how good.

The C7 is a terrific GT to travel long distances in. Driving cross country in it was fun and thrilling. I never suffered in any way as you would expect from driving a sports car long distances.

Am I glad I bought it? Do you really need to ask?
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:44 AM   #2
VETJAZZ
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Congrats on your new ride and thanks for the write-up. You only forgot one thing ----- PICS!
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:46 AM   #3
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Great summary--I was wondering how the trip ended up.

REALLY disappointed about orange peel. I would have hoped by now they would have resolved the paint issues--it's NOT rocket science. That to me is the biggest deal out of all of the down sides you listed. Hopefully you can find a detailer that can help (which you shouldn't have to do).

Glad you have it home and enjoy that awesome machine...
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:50 AM   #4
MikeC4C5C6...C7
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Great review. Mine is automatic do I can't comment on manual trans but rest of your comments are spot on. Overall a great car.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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Great write up Sin...you're issues withthe touch screen are felt by many of us. Definite room for improvement there.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #6
Eagle Ray 7
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Love this car!
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VETJAZZ View Post
Congrats on your new ride and thanks for the write-up. You only forgot one thing ----- PICS!
Here's some.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin City View Post
The touch screen is annoyingly slow to react to touch, particularly when you are trying to input addresses. Some of the arrows on the bottom are really difficult to use. There should be a "favorite" area where you can quickly shut off the nav or enable or disable the loud exhaust instead of going through several screens.

That is a really good suggestion. Favorites area to perform commonly used tasks.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
That is a really good suggestion. Favorites area to perform commonly used tasks.
Maybe someone will make an "app" for that.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:19 AM   #10
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Nice write-up, congratulations!

Awesome picture

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:21 AM   #11
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Nice write up.
Hopefully GM addresses some of these common issues.
Love the top down pics.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Great review, thanks.

Does the clutch require a lot of effort to depress as my knees are getting old??
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corgidog1 View Post
Great review, thanks.

Does the clutch require a lot of effort to depress as my knees are getting old??
Clutch pressure is very light. My issue is that it grabs quickly in a very small travel distance so it's difficult to modulate -- at least for me.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:02 PM   #14
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Good write-up. I agree with most of your points, and experienced many of the same things.

I had a bit of difficulty getting used to the clutch, and it took awhile for my shifter to break in. I reported that it felt very notchy and I had difficulty getting the right gear. I stalled the car several times before I got used to the clutch. After awhile, though, everything smoothed out and I no longer have any problems.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #15
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Congratulation and thanks for the great write up.

You've inspired me to take mine cross country.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:42 PM   #16
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I thought in ECO mode the exhaust does not open
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:46 PM   #17
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I thought in ECO mode the exhaust does not open
If you put the performance exhaust in loud mode, it does.

If you leave it in quiet mode, there's not much change to the exhaust sound from V4 to V8. In loud mode, there is a lot of change.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:51 PM   #18
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We followed your adventure from the museum pickup and have enjoyed your posts. Thanks. We have never been red fans, but the crystal red is beautiful! We have the auto tranny and it is nice as we are cruisers and in traffic it is much easier. Eco is made to switch back and forth as need to maintain speed. The automatic will hold at 90 in eco and not switch back and forth a lot on cylinder activation/deactivation and it is seamless. We love the tuned exhaust as well, particularly in open mode when you get down on it. Our heated seats are basically useless, the sound system is top drawer and we love the bass. Our paint, cyber gray metallic, is terrific with no noticeable orange peel. Definitely a keeper, now if the weather would just cooperate we would be on the road to somewhere!
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:58 PM   #19
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nice to read your writeup. I'm not sure how much prior experience you have w. 1-4 lockout (I gather none), but my having had it on three corvettes, I can say the last gen is the least intrusive. I also know you've read of the reasons for its existence---gas guzzler tax.

One thing you might want to try is, instead of putting temp control on automatic, try it on manual mode (I'm assuming there IS a manual mode, altho that could be wrong on my part). In manual mode, you should have full control of both fan and temp settings. In my car (pror gen), I never use auto, just manual for the fan setting so I can change it to whatever I want.

I hope you get used to the trans, exh. sound screen scrolling, paint and 1-4 shift (or get the shift lockout gizmo---aka CAGS eliminator).

Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #20
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Great review.

The CG car I saw earlier this week had a bit of orange peel too. It was not horrible but not great either. That was the only issue I could see with the car... the interior was perfect from what I could see.
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