2022 Chevrolet Corvette Review | Still shining bright

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You may not be able to get your hands on a 2022 Chevrolet Corvette for anywhere close to sticker price in today’s markup-heavy car economy, but taken for its amiable MSRP, the C8 Corvette is still the performance bargain of the century. There’s no other car at the Corvette’s price point that can match its performance and usability. The next closest all-round package that legitimately goes toe-to-toe with the Corvette is the Porsche 911. And to get one with similar performance capabilities and features, the starting price could easily be double the Corvette’s.

Finding bad things to say about the C8 is difficult work. Critiquing the design is a subjective practice. And while there might be some legitimate gripes about the strange climate control array or lack of manual transmission, those gripes largely fall flat after you drive the car. It’s brilliant in just about every way imaginable, and Chevy finally gives you a respectable interior to complete the package. Our only wish is for a supercar-like engine to fit this car’s supercar-like character. The Chevy small block does the job with brutal effectiveness, but it’s the upcoming Z06 that may fully capture both our minds and souls.

Interior & Technology | Passenger & Cargo Space | Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive | Pricing & Features | Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2022?

There are only small changes for 2022. The engine is updated with a new fuel injection system and calibration that allow it to produce fewer emissions and provide more stability at idle. Its cylinder deactivation system is also tweaked to function over a broader range of rpms. On the color front, you’ll be allowed to spec three new colors: Hypersonic Gray, Caffeine and Amplify Orange Tintcoat (it's a little brighter than the previous Sebring Orange pictured above). Chevy also added a new low-profile rear spoiler and front splitter to the list of options available on the non-Z51 cars. Lastly, an IMSA GTLM Championship Edition model is being made to celebrate the C8.R’s success in its inaugural racing season. It will be limited to 1,000 cars.

2021 Chevy Corvette
2021 Chevy Corvette

What’s the Corvette interior and in-car technology like?

This C8 Corvette’s interior is the best to ever grace the nameplate. Panel gaps are super tight; edges are crisp, but most of all, it’s a unique design that suits the car. The Corvette looks and drives like a supercar – why not have an interior that's just as outlandish? Everything wraps around the driver, including the infotainment screen and cascade of buttons mounted on the prominent partition. Add in their relatively high position and the vibrant all-digital instrument panel, and everything is easy to see and reach; at least for the driver. Being the passenger can feel like you're in a sidecar as you can barely see the controls let alone reach them. That goes for the otherwise user-friendly, feature-packed infotainment system.

The steering wheel/square may be the interior's most striking piece … and the most controversial. All our editors agree it looks strange, but the opinions diverge from there. Some liked that the bottom of your hands rest on the spokes, resulting in a position akin to a flight yoke (such low spokes have appeared in previous Corvettes, too). Others found this atypically low spoke position awkward and uncomfortable, with the flat top and bottom also being a challenge in certain situations.

The last item we’ll touch on are the seat options. Chevy offers three different seats with varying levels of bolstering. You’ll get the GT1 seats standard, and the GT2 seats (pictured below) will likely be the most popular upgrade, as these unlock heating/cooling and adjustable bolsters. The Competition seats are the most aggressive and should only be optioned if you plan on spending time at the track. Even in their least aggressive bolster settings, the seats are narrow and confining. That said, they’re stupendous at keeping you locked in under heavy cornering.

How big is the Corvette?

Even with the switch to a mid-engine layout for the C8, Chevy tried its best to make the Corvette a practical sports car. We luggage-tested it twice with different sets of luggage to see how successful Chevy was, and both times we came away pleasantly surprised. Combine the trunk and frunk together, and you get a total of 12.6 cubic-feet of space. That translates into plenty of luggage space for a two-person road trip. Having two small spaces still isn't as useful as one big one, as with the old C7 hatch, but GM went to far more trouble than most companies do with mid-engine vehicles to make the Corvette a plausible choice for road trips.

As for the interior, it will seat two in comfort. There are a few stowage pockets sprinkled around the cabin, but it’s no minivan inside. Those of average height will be A-OK, but if you're over 6 feet tall, you may have headroom issues in the Coupe, especially when wearing a helmet at a track. Tilting the seat back a bit can make it work, but you probably don't want to be so reclined while driving on a track.

The headroom situation is even worse in the Convertible — our 6-foot-3 editor may have struggled to wear a helmet in the coupe, but he couldn't even wear a baseball hat in the convertible without the pin on top poking into the roof. Ouch. In his experience, the convertible has far less headroom than is normal for any car. The Convertible does have its advantages, though. Pushing a button to restore the roof is a much better solution than how you go about operating the Coupe's removable roof panel: get out of the car, open the trunk, pull out the roof panel, awkwardly put roof panel on car … you get the idea. The Convertible's roof itself is a hardtop piece that lifts up and disappears below a solid clamshell panel. The rear window is a separate roll-down element that doubles as a wind deflector with the roof down. It does a competent job on that front, significantly reducing cabin airflow while driving in the 50- to 60-mph range. However, there's still quite a lot of noise created by the prominent buttresses aft of each seat; things that weren't present in the C8's more roadster-like predecessors.

What are the Corvette fuel economy and performance specs?

The 2022 Chevy Corvette only comes with a 6.2-liter V8 mated up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Two output options are available, but they’re very similar. The standard Corvette makes 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, while Z51 pack cars produce 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque with its performance exhaust system. All of the above applies to both the standard coupe and Convertible.

Fuel economy for 2022 is worse on the highway, but better in the city. Chevy says it’s worse because it’s now reporting figures for the Z51 package cars only, not the standard model as before. However, the fuel injection and cylinder deactivation changes allowed it to gain in the city, even with the Z51 package. Highway fuel economy is down 3 mpg versus last year, and city fuel economy is up 1 mpg. That puts the 2022 Corvette at 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. If you end up buying a non-Z51 Corvette, though, we imagine you might get closer to the 27 mpg on the highway it was rated for in 2021.

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What’s the Corvette like to drive?

The Corvette is the best bang-for-your-buck driving experience on the market, bar none. It’s brilliant on a racetrack, and is laidback and comfortable on poorly paved roads. It’s far more sedate and normal to cruise around in than you might imagine. The steering wheel flies left or right with ease at low speeds, the brakes are not touchy, and those magnetic dampers do superb work at damping out the bumps. The big engine and eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox never fully fade into the background when casually driving around, but there’s no drama at low speeds.

Driving the Corvette hard is where it truly starts to shine. Power is always on tap. The speed at which the V8 revs is one pivotal aspect that stands out. Whether you’re banging through first and second or free revving for a demanding onlooker, it goes from idle to 6,500 rpm (redline) in a flash. The steady increase in shove keeps coming all the way to the top despite peak torque hitting at 5,150 rpm. Its sound is pure NASCAR from the outside, but we wish some more of that emotive ear-flattening would make it to the car’s interior.

And then there’s the brilliant chassis. It’s well-tuned and strikes a wonderful ride and handling balance, the likes of which Porsche has been perfecting for years with the 911. The optional magnetic dampers (FE4 suspension) deserve many thank-you notes. Turn-in is crisp and quick. The nose is happy to be pointed in a different direction at a moment’s notice, and there’s zero uneasiness coming from the rear end. As the Gs build, the Corvette remains a wonderfully balanced rock. The steering weight is just about perfect in Sport mode, but turns a smidge too heavy in Track mode. Bumps and bigger undulations in corners are shrugged off. Chevy’s eight-speed dual-clutch won’t disappoint either, as it swaps through cogs with speed and responds to paddle inputs with great quickness.

What other Chevy Corvette reviews can I read?

2020 Chevrolet Corvette First Drive

Our first drive of the Corvette featured time on a track, therefore making this our most complete take on the C8's sensational performance. We also had plenty of time driving it in and around Las Vegas, as the accompanying video shows.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Road Test

We drive the C8 Coupe back home on familiar roads in Michigan

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Road Test

We get our first taste of the Corvette Convertible on a killer road south of Mount St. Helens in southern Washington. Unfortunately it was February. What could go wrong?

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible (Michigan) Road Test

Worse roads, better weather.

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Interior Review

An in-depth look at the Corvette interior, including its quality, design, technology and that controversial steering wheel/square.

2021 Chevy Corvette
2021 Chevy Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette Luggage Test

The new C8 Corvette has a much smaller trunk than the old C7. Fortunately, it also now has a frunk. What does that mean for the amount of stuff it can carry on a road trip? We find out. Actually, we found out twice.

How much is the 2022 Corvette’s price and what features are available?

The base price for the 2022 Chevy Corvette went up this year to $62,195, including the $1,295 destination charge. Same goes for the Convertible, as that variant’s base price is now $69,695.

Chevy makes it simple with the Corvette’s trims. You can select between 1LT, 2LT and 3LT, with the higher number corresponding to more standard equipment. You get a lot of desirables at the 1LT, with highlights including LED headlights, staggered wheels (19/20-inch) wrapped in high-performance Michelin all-season tires, power leather "GT1" seats, a Bose 10-speaker sound system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and rear parking sensors (you need those).

Step up to the 2LT, and you start to add luxury features like the rear camera mirror, power folding mirrors, a head-up display, wireless phone charging, heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, 14-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, GM’s Performance Data Recorder, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and satellite radio. Spend the big bucks for the 3LT, and you get the GT2 seats with Nappa Leather and carbon fiber trim, full leather-wrapped interior (dash, doors etc.) and a suede headliner and upper trim.

Performance and convenience options you might want include the Z51 Performance Package, Performance exhaust and nose lift. The Z51 is your starter pack for maximum performance, and it adds the performance suspension, performance exhaust, better Brembo brakes, electronic limited-slip differential, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, a performance rear axle ratio and heavy-duty cooling. You also might want to spec the excellent magnetic ride control, no matter if you want maximum performance or just a comfortable ride.

Coupe Prices:
1LT = $62,195
2LT = $69,495
3LT = $74,145

Convertible Prices:
1LT = $69,695
2LT = $76,495
3LT = $81,145

What are the Corvette’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?

As of this story’s publication, the Corvette has not been crash tested by a third party.

Besides standard parking sensors, there are no driving aids on the base Corvette. Stepping up to the 2LT adds blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Both of those are super helpful features, as the Corvette has sizable blind spots, and it’s difficult to see out the rear window. The rear camera mirror that also comes on the 2LT is similarly helpful to see out the back.

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