A Chevrolet Corvette is an iconic car that has been around since the 1950s.
When you’re looking for a great used sports car, this is an easy choice!
Who doesn’t want their own Corvette?
Of course, you can’t get a car just because it’s iconic; you have to consider certain factors, especially when it comes to buying a used car.
Things like the price, the mileage, the maintenance costs and the reliability rating all come into play – you don’t want to part with money for a car you can’t rely on.
While Corvettes generally have a good reliability rating, it varies by the vehicle models.
There are Chevy Corvettes you’ll want to avoid, and there are ones that you’ll want to seek out if you’re looking for the best used Corvette.
The Most Reliable Corvettes
With so many reported issues, especially in the earlier models, are Corvettes reliable?
The answer is yes: while the Chevrolet Corvette has had its fair share of issues, there are some good model years.
The car has improved every year and earned a well-deserved good reliability score.
Most of the years on this list are much newer and will probably come at a higher cost initially, but there will be fewer maintenance costs in the future.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8
This eighth-generation Corvette is considered one of the best ever made and won a 2020 10Best award from Car and Driver.
It boasts a 6.2L V8 490 horsepower engine behind the passenger cabin.
This model can be purchased as a coupe or a convertible and has an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
2019 ZR1 Corvette
This is one of the most well-loved Chevrolet Corvettes because it’s considered to be undeniable proof of over 65 years of Corvettes being refined.
This Chevrolet Corvette has a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine and can go from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, reaching a top speed of 210 miles per hour.
2009 ZR1 Corvette
This is considered to be one of the most powerful Corvettes ever made.
With this Corvette, the manufacturers introduced a 6.2L LS9 V8 engine that could go from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds.
It could also reach a top speed of 205 miles per hour, which is a record for a Chevy Corvette.
Some of the car’s speed could also be attributed to its lightweight, carbon fiber build, particularly in the front splitter, engine hood, rocker moldings, roof and fenders.
This Chevrolet Corvette also had the largest wheels on a production Chevy Corvette at that time, as well as carbon-ceramic brakes.
1990 ZR1 Corvette
This Chevrolet Corvette model was considered to be competition for the Ferrari Testarossa and Porsche 911 Turbo because of its twin-cam engine.
The 1990 ZRI Corvette could go from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph.
This earlier model tried to address all the problems of previous models and introduced a small block V8 engine with a 3-speed manual transmission.
The 1956 Corvette also had an improved clutch and put the vehicle on the road to being viewed as one of the most reliable cars on the market.
Common Issues For Corvettes
Now, if none of the cars on the list really appeal to you, that’s totally okay!
There are other great Chevrolet Corvette model years, but make sure that you do your research, because some of the years to avoid have issues that might be difficult to deal with.
You want to be sure that the used Corvette you buy won’t give you too much trouble.
A lot of the issues have relatively cheap repair costs, but some others don’t.
One of the most common issues with this sports car is a faulty “check engine” light.
The check engine light is easily triggered, most often by a loose or worn gas cap, and owners report that their gas cap starts to have issues around 53 000 miles.
Of course, one can’t just ignore the check engine light, because you must be sure it’s nothing serious and that a small problem doesn’t become a large one.
In certain Corvette models, there is a steering wheel problem where the power steering can fail, the steering wheel can seize, or the driver starts to lose traction and can’t steer at all.
Another common problem with these cars is that the water pump leaks coolant, leading to the risk of the car overheating.
A leaky water pump needs to be replaced as soon as possible, which can be costly.
This problem usually starts around 66 000 miles.
This car is also known to stall or have a low engine idle due to a dirty throttle body.
This issue will typically happen around 21 000 miles, and it’s recommended that you get throttle body service, which can cost nearly $800.
Some Corvette owners have reported that their removable roof panel comes off while they’re driving, and once this happens, the roof panel will have to be replaced, which can cost up to $1100.
Corvette model years between 1990 and 1996 can sometimes have problems with the transmission leaking due to leaks in the extension housing seals.
The recommended repair for this is to replace the transmission fluid and the housing seals, which can cost more than $250.
Common engine problems include worm timing chains, cracked cylinders, cracked heads and leaking or failed head gaskets.
Exhaust systems and catalytic converters may also cause problems and need to be replaced.
These cars are also known to have transmission issues that cause the car to jerk or stall; this is typically due to clutch slippage, and the repair is normally replacing parts – or the whole transmission, if necessary.
More Facts About Corvettes
Which is the least reliable Chevrolet Corvette?
While there are a few that should be avoided, one more recent one to mention is the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette because it received a lot of complaints.
How long will a Chevrolet Corvette last?
The lifespan of a new Chevrolet Corvette is between 150,000 miles and 200,000 miles, which is typically about 10 to 13 years.
If your used Chevrolet Corvette has been well-maintained by the previous owner, you should still be able to get a good lifespan out of it.
When you’re looking for your perfect Chevrolet Corvette, make sure to do your research (and consult our list) before you make a decision – we’ve shown there’s no definite answer to the question, “are Corvettes reliable?”
The model years from the early generations can come with major issues that require major repairs but the newer models prove that Corvettes are reliable vehicles!