Corvette Grand Sport vs. Stingray: Which Should You Buy?

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2017 Corvette Grand Sport

Choosing the right Corvette might actually be harder than picking the right dinner spot. But Corvette Forum members are here to help.

Ah, decisions. They’re, uh, hard. Especially when you’re choosing between two different models of America’s Sports Car. With so many drool-worthy options available, the decision typically comes down to the depth of your bank account. But our members here at Corvette Forum are a little more complex than your average car shopper. And they know that many, many factors go into making this critical choice.

That’s why forum newbie stevenschwartz decided to seek out some sage advice by posting this inquisitive thread. His mission? To determine which Corvette he should bring home: The basic-but-excellent Stingray, or the hotter Grand Sport.

Corvette Stingray

“Hi Folks,

Newby here – just starting to think about buying my first Corvette. So like many I will be deciding between a Stingray and a Grand Sport. I am not at all sure the difference in performance will matter that much to me – this will be a daily driver and a road trip car, not taking it on the track.

Here is my financial thinking. If I get the Stingray, I would definitely add the magnetic ride option. That still leaves the car about 8k less than the Grand Sport.

On the other hand, if I add both magnetic ride and the Z51 package, then I’m pretty close to the Grand Sport, and I may as well go for that. So for me it’s Stingray, with just the suspension option, or the Grand Sport. Is this thinking valid? If so, what do you think I should do?

Thanks,

Steve”

Now, this is obviously a more complex issue than many might think. And it boils down to more than just performance and cost, as GS1960 correctly notes. “Assuming money is not an issue, do you prefer the look of the Stingray or the Grand Sport?” “The difference between the wide body and narrow body Corvettes is very visible,” adds pkincy. “You will regret not getting the GS.”
 

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And despite the fact that the GS/Z51 packages are designed for the track, that doesn’t mean you have to track them to enjoy them. “Your dealer will tell you that you won’t need the Z51 package if you’re not tracking your car,” notes Steven Bell. “I’ve got it. I don’t track. I’m glad I have it!”

Corvette Grand Sport

Still, it’s not like the standard Stingray is some kind of slouch around corners. “IMO the stock suspension is great as-is,” notes WGGS. “I drive my 2LT around to work and for fun. Don’t go to the track either. I would rather spend a little extra on the 2LT package on a Stingray and not worry about the Z51 package. Not saying it’s not an awesome suspension upgrade, but if you’re daily driving, you probably will want more of the modern creature comforts. The Grand Sport will probably cost a little more to maintain (gas, tires) over time. I’m assuming at this price though, consumables are less of a consideration.”

But consumables are an important consideration, however. Especially if you plan on tracking one of these cars, as weekend warriors like grandsport2017 already know. “Another important consideration is the tire cost and availability of all-season tires. The cost to replace the Grand Sport MPSS is about $2k installed. There are currently no “good” all-season options which may limit daily driver status during the fall/winter months depending on where you live. There are currently only three tire options for the GS – MPSS, Cup 2s, and a set of Continental front tires. The Stingray OTOH has numerous, more affordable tire options.”

Corvette Stingray

Of course, there really is no wrong answer here. As many users, including PeteC7 point out. “For a DD and road trip car you’d be better with the Stingray. I personally have a GS but I track the car heavily. On the street I like the narrower body of the Stingray better, along with the more abundant and cheaper tire choices. The GS is a bad *** car, but on the street you can’t utilize most of the extra capability it brings. On the bright side, you can’t really make a bad decision for a street car, as the entire model line up is really good.”

Deciding between a Grand Sport and a Stingray is obviously a more difficult choice than it seems on the surface. But one thing’s for sure:  The folks in the forum are more than willing to share their invaluable opinions when called upon. This thread is chock full of first-hand accounts and considerations you might not think of until you actually own and drive a car. By then, it might be too late! So if you’re trying to decide which Corvette is right for you, we highly suggest you check out this thread.

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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