We averaged 28.9 miles per gallon on the highway in a new 2005 Corvette convertible. That might seem like an odd thing to brag about when you’re driving a supercar such as the 400 horsepower Corvette, but it shows how amazing modern technology is.
That you can drive a car that is blindingly fast and still get econo-box fuel efficiency speaks volumes about how sophisticated the new Corvette is. The usually optimistic EPA rates the Corvette with 6-speed manual transmission at 18-mpg city and 28-mpg highway. We found that to be accurate as long as we didn’t get too aggressive at stoplights.
A couple things help make the Corvette so efficient. The six-speed manual transmission allows the car to loaf along at approximately 1300 to 1400 rpm at above posted highway speeds. The fantastic 6-liter 400 horsepower V-8 has an equally amazing 400 lb-ft. of torque. That tremendous torque means the engine is barely working at highway cruising speeds. That same torque plasters you to the seats when the accelerator is mashed.
Countless technical stories have already appeared in the major monthly magazines so we were more interested in what it was like to have a 2005 Corvette convertible as a daily driver. Our conclusion is that the Corvette convertible is a great everyday car as long as its two-person capacity fits your needs. It’s not a good car for hauling supplies from the home improvement warehouse, but it’s perfectly good for other errands such as grocery shopping.
We had the pleasure of driving the Corvette over an extended Memorial Day weekend and the days surrounding the weekend. We encountered all kinds of driving conditions including stop-and-go traffic, open highways, twisty country back roads, short around-town errand trips, dry sunny roads, and pouring down rainy roads. The Corvette handled all situations with ease.
Going away for a long weekend means packing a substantial amount of clothing, gear, and foodstuffs. A little discretion was required, but we fit everything we needed in the shallow trunk. Soft luggage helps and we needed two mini ice chests instead of our usual larger one. The shallow trunk limits the height of something rigid such as an ice chest.
While the trunk space is quite good, interior storage areas are limited. Door bins are small and the center console bin works well for holding regular packs of gum, but not the plenty packs. There is some space behind the seats, but access isn’t easy when you’re moving.
Comfort-wise the interior is excellent. The multi-adjustable leather seats are very supportive and comfortable even for extended periods of driving. The thick steering wheel is very comfortable. Instrumentation is excellent and the heads up display is a wonderful feature. A car as fast as the Corvette needs the HUD speedometer so you can keep track of your speed without diverting your attention from the road.
Soft top quality was very good. The fit and seal were tight. The power top functioned fine, although it seemed a little unnecessary for such a small top. Wind noise and buffeting were minimal with the top down. It was easy to hold a conversation and your hair doesn’t get all windblown.
A new technology feature was the keyless entry and keyless ignition. You carry a small fob in your pocket and when you approach the car the door unlocks. The outside handle isn’t a traditional style lever. A recess touch pad operates the door latch.
Inside, the door handles have been replaced by small push buttons. I found this a little disconcerting. I prefer a good old-fashioned door lever. There are small emergency door levers on the floor, though.
There isn’t a place for an ignition key. A push button on the dashboard starts the car. The same multi-position switch turns the car off and there is an accessory position. The keyless ignition was a nice feature and easy to accept, unlike the electric door releases.
The six-speed manual transmission and clutch were very easy to use. The Corvette is easy to drive around town. It fits easily in parking spaces. Even the blind spot caused by the soft top is minimal.
The 2005 Chevy Corvette convertible is an amazing car. It’s an absolute road-racing rocket, but it’s also a mild-mannered everyday driver. It gets great gas mileage, hauls a reasonable amount of stuff, it’s very comfortable, it looks fantastic, and it’s just an all-around fun car to drive. The 2005 Corvette is loaded with both style and substance.
The new generation 2005 Corvette convertible features styling that is more evolutionary than revolutionary. The exposed headlights seem to be one of the more controversial styling features since Corvette headlamps were hidden for so many years.
The rear 3/4 view accentuates the Corvette’s aggressive wedge shape. Overall length is 5-inches less than the 2004 C5 model, but wheelbase is now 1.2-inches longer.
There is only one engine available for the 2005 Corvette, but it’s a great one. Horsepower is up to 400, which is 50 more than the previous base Corvette. Displacement was increased to 6.0 liters.
Corvette interiors have always been more cockpits than traditional interiors. Nothing has changed in that department. Everything about the interior is very driver-oriented.
Our test car had the optional power top. It worked fine, but the extra $1995 seemed a bit high for such a small, basic top.
Trunk space looks reasonable when empty. The opening is big and wide, but the trunk is shallow. It won’t accommodate tall items.
Going away for a four-day weekend required a little creative packing, but we fit everything we needed. Soft luggage helps. We had to use two small coolers, because our standard size one was too tall.
There are two under-floor storage bins in each corner of the trunk. The extra space is welcome, but don’t carry chocolates there, because the bins get hot.
Wind buffeting was very minimal with the top down. The high rear quarters place passengers down out of the wind. The new Corvette convertible is very enjoyable to drive long distances with the top down.
Our test car had the optional polished aluminum wheels, which are very handsome. The run-flat 245/40ZR-18 (fronts) and 285/35ZR-19 (rears) tires weren’t at all objectionable or overly harsh. Braking power is outstanding.
One of the things we liked least was the new electronic, push-button door releases. We like a good old-fashioned lever. The release button is located in the armrest/door pull.
There is a backup lever release for each door, just in case of battery failure. The small levers are located on the floor next to the doorsills just in front of the seats.
Outside door handles are unique, too. The keyless doors unlock via a small fob you carry in your pocket. The hidden “handles” are actually an electronic touch pad.
The convertible top is well constructed with excellent sealing and good noise insulation. The Corvette looks great with the top up.
There is limited storage space on the small shelf that runs behind the seats. The way the hard tonneau cover extends between the seats makes the car look extra sharp when the top is down.
A key isn’t required to start the Corvette. Pushing this small button on the dash (to the right of the steering wheel) starts and stops the car. It also has an accessory position.