It’s safe to say a lot of people were looking forward to the mid-engine 2020 Corvette. And, so far as speed goes, Chevy’s redesigned sports car seems to satisfy. But Corvettes aren’t only about straight-line speed. They’re also meant to be comfortable enough to live with on a daily basis. And it seems like that’s a goal the 2020 Corvette managed to hit.
The 2020 Corvette as a daily-driver
First, in addition to a wide array of standard features, Chevy also vastly improved the Corvette’s interior for 2020. Motor1, Car and Driver, and Motor Trend all report the 2020 model has the best interior of any Corvette yet.
There’s lots of suede, carbon fiber, and aluminum, and a modern electronic shifter. And the squared-off steering wheel means you have an unobstructed view of the digital gauge cluster. Although AutoGuide found the pre-production seats a little too well-bolstered, they were very comfortable and supportive. Car and Driver claims that the GT2 seats (included in the 3LT package, which adds leather trim) were comfortable and supportive enough for a cross-country drive. This interior glow-up is partially why the 2020 Corvette was named a Car and Driver 10Best winner.
That being said, the interior can feel somewhat cramped, especially for taller and larger individuals. The arrangement of the climate controls and various buttons looks high-end and is easier to use than some would think, but Motor1 reports it “creates a harsh barrier between driver and passenger.” And getting the rear-view camera, standard on 2LT and 3LT trims, is practically a necessity. However, due to the car’s updated looks, forward visibility has improved.
Infotainment and cargo capacity
Road & Track reports the positioning of the infotainment screen and climate controls makes it essentially impossible for the passenger to change any settings. However, the infotainment screen is responsive and well laid-out. There’s also a ‘Stealth Mode’, which turns of all the displays apart from the digital speed readout and the fuel and temperature gauges. Helpful for driving at night.
Outside the cabin, the 2020 Corvette is a great daily in other ways. It has front and rear trunks, with enough combined room to carry two golf club bags and a full-size roller bag. And putting the Corvette into Tour Mode truly does make it into a great grand-tourer. Even the optional dual-mode performance exhaust, in Tour Mode, is civilized enough for late-night neighborhood cruises.
And then there’s the car’s suspension and handling.
How the 2020 Corvette handles
One of the 2020 Corvette’s options is magnetorheological dampers. Specifically, GM’s 4th-gen version of the technology; their FE4 option package also includes a more-controllable version of the car’s standard traction control. And because of those dampers, the mid-engine Corvette can quickly switch from being a boulevard cruiser to a back-road carver. In Tour Mode, R&T reports it rivals the best from companies like McLaren. And MT reports that, even in the stiffer Sport and Track Modes, “the ride is never punishing.”
However, even though the 2020 Corvette managed to beat the Porsche 911 around the track in R&T’s Performance Car of the Year tests, the Chevy still needs some work. Although the 2020 C8 Corvette is over a second quicker to 60 mph than the C7, the outgoing model actually brakes slightly better.
Also, MT and R&T both found the mid-engine Corvette has a tendency to understeer at higher speeds. It’s possible this was intentional, to prevent owners accustomed to front-engine cars stepping over the new Corvette’s limits. It seems that Chevy is already working on higher-performance Corvette trims, which might correct this.
However, if you’re driving the 2020 Corvette mostly on the street, it’s unlikely to ever be an issue. And it’s on the street where the C8 shows the biggest improvements over the outgoing model. MT ranked the 2020 Corvette over the Porsche 911 for that reason: on a day-to-day basis, the new Corvette is a great place to be in.
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