7 Big Takeaways Roadtrippin’ a 2015 Corvette
There’s a lot you can learn about a car when driving it 800-plus miles in two days.
So, despite the fact that I’d already been behind the wheel of the new Corvette Stingray and the 2015 Z06, I figured I’d have a few more opinions on the car after taking one from Detroit to Kentucky, and back, to visit the National Corvette Museum and Bowling Green Assembly Plant, as detailed in my earlier post here.
There’s the obvious question, like whether or not, at 6’1 and 230 or so pounds, I’d be comfortable spending six straight hours in a 2015 Corvette with another passenger — even with a few stops planned along the way. At my size, there’s this immediate sense of being overcome with some sweat-induced anxiousness from being crammed into the cockpit of any two-seat sports car on a road trip.
But after about 150 miles, I realized the new Corvette was more than spacious enough for two my size. And I also learned a few more things about the car. Here’s seven of my other biggest takeaways from the drive, listed below.
Bigger Than You Think– Your first thought when considering the idea of taking a road trip in the new Corvette is how much can I actually pack for the trip? Well, actually second, after dealing with the fear that the cockpit could be too small, as mentioned earlier. Still, I made it a point to tell my friend, who’d be making the journey with me, to be sure to pack light. My thought, “keep everything to bare necessities for the trip.” But much like the cockpit, the C7’s trunk space is surprisingly more spacious than you think, even without using the area that houses the retractable soft top when it’s down.
Still Hot – Nearly two years after its debut, one of the things that impressed me most about the Corvette during my trip is how it still draws the same kind of looks on the road that it did when it first hit the street, which I discussed here following my first review of the C7. There are certainly some C7 models that have more appeal than others, depending on the trim. But the silver convertible I drove (equipped with the Z51 2LT package) got more than a few thumbs up during the road trip.
460 HP Is More Than Enough – The funny thing about a sports car is that regardless of how much horsepower it has, there will always be some who want a whole lot more. I get it, I really do. But the reality is that while the new Z06 is a pure blast behind the wheel, as I noted here in an earlier report, the output in the standard C7 is far more than enough for most. Let’s be honest, anything more than 460 horses and 465 lb-ft. of torque really should be reserved for those who spend a whole lot of time on the track. Or those who can really afford to blow the extra cash for a Z06 just so they can say what the car is capable of on a track.
MyLink Needs Some Work – There’s certainly no shortage on in-car tech features in the C7, which you find yourself depending on a lot more on a road trip. But some of the MyLink connectivity features don’t always work the way they should. One of my biggest issues was with the car’s voice command system, which can be quite cumbersome when trying to give instructions. There were some issues as well with the Pandora connection in the car and the digital clock didn’t automatically change when I entered a different time zone, which seems odd for a car as high-tech as the C7. It would also be nice if the car would automatically display the changes in the legal speed limit driving through different areas, as does some other in-car vehicle systems.
Split Personality – While a car with great cornering capabilities certainly helps to enhance the drive, you quickly realize the importance of the C7’s overall ride about 150 or so miles in. It’s then that it becomes clear why the Stingray’s optional magnetic ride control is one of those must-have options, as highlighted by Jonathon Klein in an earlier post here. It’s these kind of things (coupled with all the quality checks I observed at the assembly plant) that makes the C7 just as fun touring the breathtaking highways of the U.S. as it is winding through some of the country’s deserted back roads.
Road Ready – When Chevy first started bragging about the C7’s fuel economy, when the car first debuted, I thought, “who buys a Corvette concerned about gas mileage?” And while I still think the general consensus would be not many, I definitely have a better appreciation for the numbers after having to fill up the car on an 800-plus mile journey. That out-of-pocket expense alone can often kill the mood on a road trip. But my real-world 21.6 mile mpg average in the manual model I drove, which also included a decent amount of city driving, was much better than I expected.
Convertible vs. Coupe – It’s the ongoing debate with the new Corvette – coupe or convertible? And after being asked my preference prior to the trip, I was definitely glad I chose the convertible, even after hearing my passenger’s reason for opting for the coupe after seeing both models on the assembly line at the Corvette plant. The idea of having to deal with weather like the heavy rain we ran into during our trip certainly is cause for rethinking that extra $4,000 for the convertible. But the thrill you get driving the C7 through some of the hills of Kentucky with the top down, hearing that engine rev, it’s well worth the wait for a little sun.