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.
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.
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|