2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible Review

Tuesday June 29th, 2010 at 10:66 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
By Gary Chan

Pros:

  • Engine flexibility
  • Seat comfort
  • Exhaust sound
  • Handling and ease of driving

Cons:

  • Noise (wind, road, and tire)
  • Ergonomics and amenities (for a $75k vehicle)
  • Chassis jumpy on uneven surfaces
  • Rather cheap looking interior

When the C4 came out in the 80’s I thought it was THE car to have when you were limited in your budget providing much of the performance of the exotics for a fraction of the cost. Fast forward almost 30-years, and with the C6-based Grand Sport, I was excited to drive this beast with the “base” 6.2L V-8 engine.


2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

Driving Impressions
This Jetstream Blue Grand Sport convertible with dark titanium interior started at $58,600. Added to the base price is the 4LT Premium package ($9700k – leather, Bose speakers, satellite radio, heads up display, heated power sport seats), Grand Sport Heritage Package ($1200 – 2-tone leather seats, seat embroidery, fender stripe), navigation ($1750), 6-speed paddle shift automatic ($1250), dual-mode performance exhaust ($1200), Jetstream blue metallic tintcoat ($850), pedal covers ($250) for a grand total of just over $16k in options bumping the price with destination charge to $75,740.

Lower yourself into the low slung seats, press the start button and you are greeted with an initial throaty rumble from the V-8 before it settles into a smooth idle. Rev the engine and you notice it revs smoothly and rises quickly. The gas pedal is heavily weighted (compared to every other car I’ve driven), and requires some effort to depress. Regardless, I loved the flexibility of the engine whether cruising around town or passing at 80 mph – the 6.2 liter engine never disappointed and remained extremely smooth. It’s not only fast and furious, but easy to drive as well.

Steering is a bit numb and heavy at lower speeds until you drop the throttle and pick up the pace, then the steering comes alive and feels perfect. I tried the shifting with the paddles a few times, but found the transmission in auto mode to be more than adequate for performance driving — seamlessly dropping into lower gears when necessary, followed by smooth up-shifts.

Be careful driving in parking structures or over speed bumps as the very low lip spoiler will scrape if you’re not careful. Road and wind noise permeate the cabin with wind turbulence from behind the closed top resulting in a load roar. With the top down (and no wind screen), the wind continually buffets the passengers and it’s difficult to carry on a conversation.

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible - quad-pipe exhaust system w/dual-stage butterfly valves

Build
Doors close easily and solidly, and have a neat push-button opening feature. I did notice some random creaks from the convertible top while driving around town. Nothing too annoying and I eventually didn’t notice them anymore due to the greater wind and road noise.

Closing the trunk was a bit of a hassle because if you didn’t close it with enough force the first time, you’ll have to place your palm on the trunk surface and give it a solid push for the latch to engage. I’m sure this can’t be good for the paint long term.The engine compartment is spacious and all fluid caps are well labeled.

Overall, the construction is good, but the quality of the materials (and design) for a $75k car is lacking. An example is the steering wheel that was leather covered and hard – a slightly thicker and more padded wheel would have been a nicer touch for a performance coupe. I’ve driven cars costing half as much with interiors that felt “richer”.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible interior

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics
To understand how to use some of the simple features (like customizing some of the parameters like locking and lighting), I had to consult the manual. Buttons are not intuitively labeled, and the user interactivity needs considerable development. For example, cruise control is located on turn signal stalk (on left); push the button at end of stalk to engage the cruise control and slide a switch on the same stalk to increase speed with finger tip push (which can be done with your hands remaining on the wheel). However to disengage cruise control, you have to remove your hand from steering wheel to push the same switch to left (and it stays in “off” position) – if you don’t switch it back to the neutral position, you can’t re-engage cruise control – a lot of work for a simple feature that most manufacturers integrate within the steering wheel. In addition, there’s no indicator on instrument panel that indicates cruise control mode (except for momentary display on information screen that says “Cruise control speed set at 70 mph”, and sometimes even the set speed didn’t match the heads up display vehicle speed. One said 70, and the other said 69.

Some other ergonomic features that need work:

  • Closing the window – has one-touch switch to open, but not to close.
  • Steering column adjustments: manual tilt adjustment on the left and electric telescope switch on the right. Why not combine them into the electric switch?
  • I wanted to cancel navigational guidance, and it took a minute of hunting through the menu system to find the button on the LCD display.
  • Audio touch controls (i.e., satellite radio) on the same screen are not intuitive and confusing

Speaking of the navigation system, it’s a relic. With the current availability of high resolution detailed maps on portable units and intuitive user interfaces, the nav system in the Corvette seems like something from a few years ago with its antiquated graphics.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible interior

With the low-slung seating position and narrow rear window, there’s limited rearward visibility with the top up. With the top down, visibility is far better. Lowering the top is a quick and easy process involving releasing an interior latch and pressing a button. The whole process is completed within 30-seconds, and the top is nicely covered by a sculpted cover.

Even though the seats are thinly padded with limited fore-and-aft adjustments, my wife and I found them to be comfortable and supportive for a day-long, 500-mile trip. With the tilt and telescoping steering column in combination with the seat adjustments, I found a comfortable driving position that I saved as a memory setting. The head up display (HUD) can be configured for height as well as the information displayed. The HUD was clear and bright displaying relevant information without the need to remove my eyes from the road. Dual-zone HVAC controls are clearly labeled and easy to set.

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