Hardly any other American sports car has been as popular as the Chevrolet Corvette.
Noted for its mind-blowing performance, the Corvette is one of the best race machines to come out of the US. We previously looked at some of the most-common problems with the Corvettes.
The Vette, as it’s popularly called, has a lower price point than many rival sports cars. Thus, we recommend it if you want a capable race machine for the cheap.
This article provides you information to guide your Corvette-buying journey.
Read on for annual sales figures, safety ratings, carbon emissions, recall campaigns, and many more.
Table of Contents
How Many Chevrolet Corvettes Have Been Sold Per Year in the US?
Since its debut in 1969, the Corvette has remained one of the most popular American sports cars ever produced.
That the Corvette offers performance similar to many high-end sports cars, but has a lower price point, only adds to its appeal among buyers.
As with other sports cars, the Corvette is a low-volume model. The highest number of Corvettes sold since the start of the millennium is 36,518 units—a far cry from the sales figures of cheaper-priced Chevrolets.
At some points in its history, demand for the Corvette has dropped, leading to lower-than-average annual sales. For example, the 2009-2013 era was particularly bad, with annual sales averaging below 15,000 units per year.
However, yearly sales of the Corvette have regularly averaged close to 20,000 models per year. This may seem low, but you must remember that automakers tend to make huge profits from such low-volume cars.
Here is a table showing annual sales figures for the Chevrolet Corvette since 1996:
|Year||No. of Models Sold|
What Year Did Chevrolet Start the Corvette Models?
The Chevrolet Corvette has a longer history than most cars.
Originally conceived as a concept car, the Corvette entered production at General Motors’ factory in 1953 at Flint, Michigan.
From 1953 to 2019, the Corvette retained its front-engine layout.
However, Chevrolet announced in 2020 that the beloved Vette would be switching over to a mid-engine design.
According to Chevrolet, this was a move to enhance ride balance on the Corvette models.
Production of the Chevrolet Corvette has moved to different locations over the years.
First, Chevrolet made Corvette models in Flint, Michigan, then it moved production to St. Louis, Missouri in 1954.
This lasted until 1981, when fabrication moved again to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Since then, Chevrolet has continued to produce Corvettes in Kentucky.
The Corvette has undergone plenty of changes since it made its debut in 1953.
In some cases, these changes have led to the start of new model generations. Here are all generations of the Chevrolet Corvette:
- First generation (1953–1962)
- 2nd generation (1963–1967)
- 3rd generation (1968–1982)
- 4th generation (1984–1996)
- 5th generation (1997–2004)
- 6th generation (2005–2013)
- 7th generation (2014–2019)
- 8th generation (2020-present)
How Is the Fuel Economy on Chevrolet Corvettes?
The Chevrolet Corvette has decent gas mileage to ensure you don’t have to spend a fortune on fuel costs.
In fact, it is more efficient when compared to rivals that offer similar performance.
According to the EPA, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is good enough for 15 mpg (city) and 27 mpg (highway).
Only a few models like the Porsche 911 have better gas mileage than the Corvette. Per EPA estimates, the Porsche 911 gets 20 mpg (city) and 26 mpg (highway).
That the Corvette manages to sip fuel is impressive, given its performance. The V8 engine can propel the Corvette Stingray to speeds up to 184 mph.
According to Car and Driver, the Corvette’s impressive fuel economy is due to the cylinder deactivation technology used on the models.
The feature turns the V8 into a V4 by shutting down valve operation in two banks when it detects that you need low performance.
How Quickly Do Chevrolet Corvette Depreciate?
Being a high-demand model, the Chevrolet Corvette is able to command strong prices on the used vehicle market.
The result is that Corvette owners don’t need to worry about depreciation wrecking the value of their sports cars.
According to a recent iSeeCars study, a new Corvette will depreciate by 44% after a five-year period.
For context, the average depreciation rate for sports cars 41.6%, which shows the Vette isn’t that bad in terms of holding its value.
Per our research, only a few models boast better resale values than the Corvette. The list includes the Porsche 911 (36.0%), Subaru WRX (39.8%), Dodge Challenger (40.6%), and Ford Mustang (44.1%).
Sure, it’s often best to buy a car for the use you’ll get out of it, and not think of making money off selling it.
Still, it’s good to know that you won’t take a huge loss when the time comes to resell your Vette.
Did Chevrolet Recall Any of the Corvette Models?
According to NHTSA records, the Corvette has been recalled 37 times.
With around 7 recalls to its name, the 1997 Corvette ranks the model year with most recalls.
The 1984 Corvette comes in second place, having been involved in 6 recall campaigns.
Recalls vary in their severity; some involve minor issues while others concern worse issues that can affect performance and safety.
Thus, you should do your research on a model before you buy it. If it faced a recall, ensure the issues therein have been fixed.
Use the table below to find recall information for the Corvette models. You’ll get recall information for models released from 1979 and later:
|Model Year||No. of Recalls|
How Much Do the Corvette Models Pollute?
Reducing carbon emissions isn’t really a consideration of automakers when making race machines like the Corvette.
As such, it only makes sense that the Corvette has a large carbon footprint.
Testing by the Environmental Protection Agency showed the 2020 Corvette, powered by a sole 6.2-liter V8, produces some 467 grams of CO2 per mile.
The EPA also gave the Corvette a smog rating of 3/10, which is below average for all models.
So, the Corvette isn’t the vehicle you want if you’re Team Save the Earth.
However, Corvette buyers can take solace in knowing that other sports cars have worse pollution scores.
Take, for instance, the Lamborghini Aventador coupe.
This model produces a whopping 852 grams of CO2 per mile and gets an EPA smog rating of 1/10.
Similarly, the Bugatti Chiron emits 893 grams of CO2 per mile, earning a smog rating of 1/10 from the EPA.
Make sure to also read our article about how long the Chevrolet Corvette lasts.
How Much Do the Corvette Models Tow?
Left to Chevrolet, users wouldn’t use the Corvette for towing.
The idea is that the dirty work of towing should be left to bigger SUVs and trucks that have stronger power output.
However, you can tow small cargo with the Corvette—if reports from Vette owners are anything to go by.
But it’s advisable to be careful when doing this.
Sports cars aren’t exactly made for towing; one mistake, and you could damage the engine or transmission.
For starters, you’ll need to install a trailer hitch and a wiring harness (for trailer brake lights) on your Corvette.
We can’t estimate how much you can tow with the Corvette, since Chevy never released official towing capacities.
Nonetheless, you should try to keep your cargo as lightweight as possible.
You can also get a professional mechanic to help you install the trailer hitch to avoid problems associated with incorrect installation.
Please also read our article about the Chevrolet Corvette in snow and winter driving.
How Reliable Is a Chevrolet Corvette?
The Corvette has mixed reliability ratings, which may or not reflect its actual reliability performance.
Nonetheless, the Corvette appears to be decently reliable for a performance-focused sports car.
In its testing, J.D. Power gave the Corvette good scores for reliability. It also gave the 2021 model a reliability rating of four out of five, which puts it ahead of most rivals.
RepairPal, however, doesn’t share the same sentiments with J.D. Power when it comes to Corvette reliability.
It gives the Corvette a 3/5 reliability rating, while ranking it 23rd out of 24 midsize cars for reliability.
Annual maintenance costs for the Corvette are higher than average, but that’s pretty normal for a sports car.
RepairPal estimates that you’ll spend $737 on servicing a Corvette in a year.
Also check out our article about where Chevrolet Corvettes are made.
How Safe Is a Chevrolet Corvette?
Safety is paramount when it comes to sports cars; thanks to their speed, the risk of road mishaps is more than doubled.
Fortunately, the Corvette has enough active and passive safety features to promote better ride safety.
The passive safety features on the Corvette either protect passengers in a crash or decrease consequences of a crash.
Such safety features include airbags, seatbelts, antilock brakes, traction control, etc.
Active safety features help prevent a crash from happening.
Such safety features include rear parking assist, rearview camera, and tire pressure monitor.
There are other optional safety equipment like side blindspot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and front curb-view camera.
Note: The IIHS and the NHTSA haven’t released safety ratings for the Chevrolet Corvette.
What Is the Typical Buyer Demographic For this Model?
Per J.D. Power data, a large number of sports car buyers are male (82%).
The median age of this buyer demographic is 61 years, which is lower than the average for all car buyers (61 buyers).
Corvette buyers, like other sports car buyers, have performance and good design up their list of considerations when buying vehicles.
They are also less concerned about environmental factors and fuel economy.
Chevrolet Corvette Theft Numbers
We have compiled theft figures for the Chevrolet Corvette using data from the NHTSA Theft Rate Database.
Based on our analysis, thefts for the Corvette have dropped in recent years, thanks to better anti-theft technology.
Nevertheless, you should make efforts to secure your vehicle against thieves.
You can buy Chevrolet’s advanced anti-theft technology, which is optional.
Here are theft figures for the Corvette between 2000 and 2014:
|Year||No. of Models Stolen|
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The worst years for Corvette—including 1953, 1975, and 1979—had a variety of performance issues. Chevrolet has manufactured dozens of quality Corvettes for nearly seven decades.What is considered the poor man's Corvette? ›
The Poor Man's Corvette: 1970 Opel GT.What year Corvette has the least problems? ›
- 1956 Corvette. Although it may not match the reliability of today's Corvettes, the 1956 model was an impressive addition to the lineup, as it smoothed over many of the issues of the previous design. ...
- 2009 ZR1. ...
- 1990 ZR1. ...
- 2019 ZR1. ...
- 2020 Corvette. ...
- 1963 Corvette.
Here's the average age of each car owner: Corvette owners: 61 years old. 911 owners: 52 years old. Prius owners: 54 years old.What is the least liked Corvette? ›
- 1975 Corvette Base Model.
- 1987 Corvette Callaway Twin Turbo.
- 1979 Corvette L48.
- 1954 Corvette C1.
- 1998 Corvette Pace Car. In this listicle, we've explored the 5 worst Corvettes ever produced, and it's clear that even an icon like the Corvette isn't immune to missteps.
Pay Attention to Cost
The cost of owning a Corvette can be steep, so be prepared to pay for the luxury of owning this classic car. However, they are a good investment if you like to fix and resell cars. Unless you plan on purchasing a Corvette that needs repair, be ready to pay a hefty price.
The only 1969 Corvette ZL1 convertible in existence surpassed pre-auction estimates to fetch $3.14 million.Which Corvette to avoid? ›
We recommend staying away from the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2013 models. These may require pricey fixes, especially since the car is one of the rarer choices. The biggest fault in these models of the C6 Corvette is in the transmission. Unfortunately, this part is expensive to handle, along with the engine.What is the most loved Corvette? ›
The ZR-1 is one of the most impactful Corvettes ever, with maybe only the first model ever able to counter its mark on Corvette history. Today, it remains vastly popular among collectors for its legacy, performance and style.What is better than a Corvette? ›
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Specs
Even in stock form, the Challenger Hellcat has a higher top speed than a C8 Corvette (199 vs 191 mph).
According to Motor and Wheels, owners can expect their new Corvette to last for 150,000 to 200,000 miles. For most drivers, that's probably about 10 to 13 years minimum. In the past, sports cars were usually known for being unreliable and expensive to maintain.What year Corvette had the least horsepower? ›
Unfortunately, the 1975 L-48 Corvette is the lowest horsepower C-3 generation ever built, producing just 165 horsepower from its overly muffled and smog controlled engine. This was the year when all of the smog controls were fully mandated, resulting in devastating results for performance enthusiasts.What is the most popular color for a Corvette? ›
Both Torch Red and Arctic White racked up the most sales in 2022, which shows that people still love the flashy red look of the Corvette but also cherish the luxurious, crisp feel of classic white. Interestingly, Hypersonic Gray has also risen up in the rankings.What state sells the most Corvettes? ›
According to their data, the largest number of Corvettes can be found in the states of Texas, Florida, California, and New York. In fact, Florida ranked number one where Corvettes can be found on a total volume basis as well as a per capita basis.What does the name Corvette mean? ›
The word "corvette" is first found in Middle French, a diminutive of the Dutch word corf, meaning a "basket", from the Latin corbis. The rank "corvette captain", equivalent in many navies to "lieutenant commander", derives from the name of this type of ship.What year Corvette is easiest to work on? ›
Performance Car: Chevrolet Corvette (1997-2004)
The Chevrolet C5 Corvette is similar to the Silverado in that it contains many traditional components (e.g., a pushrod engine) that have been modernized for today's world. That makes the C5 relatively easy to work on compared to most performance cars.
If you're in the market for a C5 Chevy Corvette, it will be a safer bet to avoid the earlier editions, especially the 1998 model year. Numerous owner complaints and poor recall management from Chevrolet make the '98 model the least reliable C5 Corvette. Chevrolet made a lot of improvements with the 2001 Corvette.When did Corvette skip a year? ›
1984 to 1996 (C4)
Due to delays in production, GM did not make a 1983 Corvette for the market. However, because of upgrades to the assembly line, GM made several test Corvettes in that year. Those are typically destroyed, but one escaped destruction and is now on display at the National Corvette Museum.
After GM missed the 1983 model year, to this day, the only year without a Corvette, things were tough and emotions were high among the company, people had other things to worry about other than this car that missed the crusher.