2021 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 as a Daily Driver?

Can a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Serve as a Daily Driver? Motor Trend’s Scott Evans Says YES!

In an August 6, 2022 article written by Motor Trend’s Scott Evans, the question is finally answered – and quite decisively by all accounts – as to whether or not the new mid-engine Corvette Stingray is “all the car you need” for all of the day-to-day stuff…More simply put, is it a good daily driver?  His answer is a highly qualified YES!

This 2021 Corvette Stingray served as a daily driver for Motor Trend writer Scott Evans.
This 2021 Corvette Stingray served as a daily driver for Motor Trend writer Scott Evans.

The article was written after Evan’s fourteen-month evaluation of a new, mid-engined Corvette – in this instance, a 2021 Z51 coupe.  He used the car for a variety of day-to-day activities, including grocery shopping, vacations (sans children of course), trips to the hardware store, and even transporting the family Christmas tree!  In each instance, the car rose to the occasion.  It also performed mightily on the race track when pitted against a Porsche Cayman GT4.

The eighth-generation Stingray, at least from Evan’s perspective, provides reliable transportation and is adaptable enough to make it practical for most any situation.  True, driving it to the aforementioned vacation required the use of multiple carry-on bags (given solely to the fact that the car’s trunk (and frunk) are both too small to accommodate anything larger than that.  Also, on those rare occasions when a large item(s) needed to be delivered to the home, a courier service may have been called into action, but neither of these scenarios posed any real issue, and each had acceptable workarounds that sounded practical (how many of us have an Amazon truck at our front doorstep at least once (if not several times) per week?)

2021 Corvette Stingray "Natural" interior color.
2021 Corvette Stingray “Natural” interior color.

Part of what makes the new Corvette a viable daily driver is the level of comfort experienced by its occupants.  The car proves to be equally comfortable for both local and long-distance commutes, thanks in large part to its “class-leading ride quality, unusually comfortable sport seats, and high-speed stability.”  Evans also commented that the use of “My Mode” settings, which (for him) included softer suspension, better brake feel, a louder exhaust note, and lighter steering, all afforded him a driving experience that was at once comfortable and exhilarating.  The fact that he could also cruise at 100mph without any trouble didn’t hurt matters either.  Using the car’s built-in nose lift with GPS tagging feature was also a huge contributor, as it allowed the car to navigate curbs, steep driveways, and other obstacles with ease.

Affordability was another consideration given to the mid-engine Stingray’s overall “daily drivability.”  Tires weren’t cheap, especially since Evans had the car’s alignment setup for track use, but even then, maintenance was less expensive than many comparable luxury vehicles.  He commented that his 2015 Corvette Z51 came with complimentary maintenance, a benefit his C8 apparently lacked, but the overall consensus was that the new mid-engine Corvette required minimal maintenance and proved to be more reliable than his “trouble-prone C7.”  (As a sidebar, I know several people (myself included) who own C7 Corvettes and drive them with a high amount of confidence.)

The dashboard of the eighth-generation Corvette Stingray provides its driver with the most comprehensive feedback of any Corvette ever.
The dashboard of the eighth-generation Corvette Stingray provides its driver with the most comprehensive feedback of any Corvette ever.

There were a couple of noted (though minor) criticisms of the Mid-Engine Corvette’s interior.  First, the massive center console with its long row of buttons caused some consternation, especially when trying to hold hands with the passenger.  Similarly, the location of the phone charger (which is currently behind the driver’s right elbow) was difficult to reach.  Thirdly, given the limited visibility out the rear glass, a convenience hook or even a set of coat hooks would provide a little more functionality behind the driver and passenger seats.  Finally, better insulation in the rear trunk was considered a must-have, especially when attempting to transport cold groceries.  As Evans states, “cold groceries go in the front trunk, always.”

Outwardly, the biggest issues Evans experienced during his 14-month test drive related to pooled rainwater on the hood and decklid, neither of which presented a problem until he attempted to open the front or rear trunk assemblies.  There was also some consternation were the “side blades” (the upper section of the side air intakes that protrude from the upper portion of the driver and passenger doors.  These “blades” stick out significantly from the rest of the door and caused some challenges when attempting to enter or exit the vehicle in limited parking situations.

Of course, this handful of criticisms was more than offset by some of the many features that Chevrolet got right when building the car, including the car’s front hood release which has been carefully concealed beneath the headlight.  Additionally, the car came equipped with downward-facing cameras, which afforded Evans greater visibility when attempting to park the car, especially in a confined space.   It was also equipped with automatic proximity locking and automatic comfort entry/exit features.

2021 Corvette Stingray coupe.
2021 Corvette Stingray coupe.

Arguably the greatest feature of the mid-engine Corvette was the car itself.  While it isn’t for everyone, the car turns heads everywhere it goes.  It is the kind of car that promises thrills and chills on the open road, even when the open road is a quick trip to the local post office or grocery store.

While we have yet to experience an extended test drive of the eighth-generation Corvette Stingray for ourselves (hey Chevrolet, we’d welcome the chance to drive one – even if was just for a few days!!) we have to agree that, based on everything that was expressed in the original Motor Trend article, that the C8 Corvette IS the ultimate one-car-garage solution!!

 

  1. Say Scott I like your breakdown on the C8 I can see just what you have experienced My Wife and I went on a short vacation as you stated we had the soft bag packing and for only 6 days it was very comfy and I loved the fact that if you want to GO you could do so and I can attest to the fact that the car will do what Chevrolet says it will do I Love it back to the packing We stopped in the Smokey for the night and my wife found a lodge cast iron outlet we did shop and she loves Lodge so my C8 is full to the Brim and we bought cast iron when we left there were folks watching us leave the store and she wanted another piece back in the store and came out with a storage rack well to make this short I packed 2 deep skillets 1 lid 1 13×24 griddle and 1 $ tear skillet display rack with the bags all empty and cloths all packed around the cast iron if the back will hold 2 golf bags it will hold 50 pounds of cast iron we laughed all the way home and Prayed that we didn’t have to stop for another night. Ps The C8 Is definitely A Dailey Driver we us ours for everything we just don’t shop much but we can if we want to. Thank You for this opportunity to tell our story.

  2. I’ve been driving my 2019 Corvette Grand Sport 7-speed with Z07 package as a daily driver since I purchased it new from the museum/factory in Sept 2019. It’s a head turner and I get a lot of compliments. There may be faster 1/4 mile cars out there but with a 1.2G skid pad number and the huge Brembo’s, I’ve yet to be out handled or out braked. I love it it every time I get into the Vette!

    If I need to transport something “large” or dirty, I use my van or truck. I do all the maintenance myself (I’m a licensed aircraft mechanic).

    Daily Driver?… √

    P.S. It’s never needed a repair and is three years old.

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