I finally took the plunge and test-drove a C7 Corvette last weekend.
My brief five minutes behind the wheel of a seven-speed Torch Red Z51 Coupe made me an instant believer in all the hoopla about Chevrolet’s latest generation of America’s Sports Car.
Going from the first year of the fifth generation (I have a 1997 Torch Red Coupe) to the first year of the seventh generation in one day showed me just how much the car has been improved, not that the C5 is a bad car by any means, though.
But now I can easily see why the Corvette beat last year’s winner, the Porsche 911, as the most satisfying car in the “Midsize Premium Sports Car” category in a survey of new car owners released Wednesday by J.D. Power.
It was the first time Corvette had topped the category in 10 years.
Interestingly, Porsche emerged as the highest rated brand for the 11th straight year, though Chevy did manage a total of three segment award recipients, including the Sonic and the Colorado.
Nearly 85,000 people who bought a new car within the past 90 days took part in the survey, answering dozens of questions about their vehicles in J.D. Power’s 2015 APEAL study.
The Corvette earned praise from its owners for fuel economy (nearly 30 mpg on the highway), acceleration (I can attest to that one during my brief drive on Highway 78 in Georgia), and audio system quality (the only music I heard was the sound of that sweet LT1 motor!).
“Interestingly, storage was also an advantage vs. the competition in this segment — with owners citing more trunk space,” J.D. Power said.
Owners of Corvettes aren’t surprised about that one. Just remember the story I wrote in 2012 about being able to get $295 worth of groceries in a C6 convertible, including 50 pounds of dog food and 25 pounds of cat food?
The APEAL Study is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and develop more appealing vehicles and by consumers to help them in their purchase decisions. It complements the J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership. The 2015 U.S. APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between February and May 2015 from more than 84,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2015 model-year cars and light trucks who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
AutoPacific Names 2015 Corvette Best Sports Car in Vehicle Satisfaction Survey
2015 Corvette Z06 Voted Sexiest Vehicle at NAIAS By Detroit News Readers
Corvette Makes Edmunds Most Popular List for Second Consecutive Year