• The C6 Chevrolet Corvette is a highly acclaimed performance car known for its blend of power and handling. It is important to understand the different model years and their quality and features variations before purchasing.
  • The C6 Corvette was offered in various trim levels, including the base model, Z06, and Grand Sport. Each trim offers a unique driving experience and level of comfort, so it is essential to consider individual preferences when choosing.
  • The C6 Corvette had three transmission options: 6-speed manual, 4-speed auto, and 6-speed auto. The manual offers better performance and fuel efficiency but may be challenging for beginners. The automatic provides convenience and comfort for daily driving but reduces engagement and performance. It is crucial to choose the transmission based on personal preferences and needs.

So you've decided you want a C6 Corvette, have you? A truly smart move, we approve! A gearhead's car, and one of the best daily drivers around, the C6 Chevrolet Corvette offered the nameplate's unique blend of performance and affordability when it was first released back in 2005, and that has remained true on the second-hand market.

One of the best performance cars around, blending the ultimate power of a muscle car with the nimble and agile handling of a sports car, the C6 has gone down in history as one of the best Corvettes of all time, but it's important to know what to look out for when you hit the market and start searching for your car. Okay, so you don't necessarily need to know the rarest color of the C6 Corvette (though incidentally, it is LeMans Blue, a true one-off), but we have collected all of the most important info that you should be across before you make your purchase.

Model Years

The C6 Chevrolet Corvette was produced for quite a number of years, spanning 2005 to 2013, so ensuring you pick the correct model year for you will give you the best chance of getting your dream 'Vette. Of course, there are fluctuations in quality, and the features on offer in the C6 Corvette depend on what model year you go for alongside your trim choice (more on that in a bit) so it's vital to know exactly what model years you are looking for.

Firstly, there are some model years to avoid in general depending on what is important to you. For example, if interior quality is your thing, it is widely accepted that the early cars, built between 2005-2007, are the worst on offer. This is down to the amount of technology in the cabin, but also the quality of the fit and finish. Additionally, the 2005 model has been known to be the one with the most quirks and foibles as it was the first model year for the car. Finally, it has been noted in C6 circles, that the 2008–2010 cars are susceptible to rear differential issues, though being aware of the problem and taking precautionary action should be enough to keep that in check.

When it comes to the best model years on offer, it is of course dependent on individual preference. For those looking for a Z06 car, the 2006–2007 models are particularly lauded for their fantastic LS7 engines due to their impressive power and performance. Alternatively, those seeking a more exclusive C6 experience should look no further than the 2013 427 Convertible Collector's Edition, which has the added benefit, of course, of being a drop-top. Finally, those seeking ultimate power and performance should look to get a 2012 or 2013 ZR1, the fastest production C6 around.

RELATED: Here's How Much A C6 Corvette ZR1 Costs Today

Trim Options



Base Level


0-60 mph (seconds)



Top Speed (mph)



Horsepower (hp)



Torque (lb-ft)



Over its long lifespan, the Corvette C6 was offered in a number of greatly varying trim options, so simply finding a 2008 Corvette for sale — should that be your choice of model year — is probably not enough to ensure it's the car for you. You're going to need the best spec.

The Corvette range kicked off with the base model, and this was offered throughout the model's run. The base level C6 offered consumers a no-frills, low-expense Corvette experience with impressive performance — including 400 hp — and sufficient comfort for daily driving. Unfortunately, this is not as powerful as other models and the level of luxury is far lower than other trims too.

Other stand-out models include the Z06, a famous trim level for the Corvette focusing on high performance and a thrilling driving experience. This was offered with the famous LS7 engine which packed the most horsepower, at 505 hp, but beware, this C6 will also be one of the least comfortable of the bunch when it comes to everyday driving due to its track-ready setup.

Finally, if you're looking for the ultimate blend, the Grand Sport is probably your best bet. This trim level combined the everyday usability of the base level C6 with some of the speed and performance of the Z06. This is perhaps the best all-rounder of the bunch, but may also be the hardest to come by on the second-hand market.

RELATED: Why Matt Farah Thinks The C6 Chevrolet Corvette Offers Insane Value

Transmission Choice

The C6 Chevrolet Corvette was offered with three transmission options overall; a 6-speed manual, a 4-speed auto, and a 6-speed auto. Each option has its own pros and cons, and picking the best for you depends entirely on your personal preferences.

If you're looking for the ultimate driving experience — which is likely given that you're on the hunt for an old Corvette — the manual box is probably the one you're after. The 6-speed was a strong and engaging box, and in the hands of a skilled and attentive driver, it offers the best performance from the car, regardless of the trim you're choosing. The manual box can also offer better fuel efficiency as the driver has more precise control of the engine's power, and in a gas-guzzling car like the C6, this is a useful feature. There are some drawbacks, though. In the hands of an amateur, or someone more used to an automatic, the manual box offers a far more challenging driving experience and a steeper learning curve. Additionally, when in traffic, the extra work of the manual's clutch and gear changer can become quite tiresome, so while it's a gem on the open road, it may not be the best choice for congested city life.

Continuing in this vein, the automatic transmission — be that the 4-speed or 6-speed option — may be the best option for driving convenience. Traffic is a part of everyday driving and congestion is commonplace on the roads today. The automatic transmission offers much of the joy of the C6 Corvette, but, perhaps, optimizes it for daily use. It also has the propensity to be the smoothest and most comfortable option and those looking for the best of both worlds could opt for the automatic box with the paddle shifters. This allows the convenience of an auto in traffic, and most of the fun of a manual when on the open road. There are, of course, some downsides to the auto box. As mentioned, it does slightly diminish driver engagement and performance, as well as lowering fuel efficiency, and maintenance costs are likely to be higher too.



  • Engaging driving experience
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Lower maintenance costs


  • More difficult to drive
  • Frustrating in traffic
  • Lower resale value



  • More convenient
  • Easier to drive in traffic
  • Smooth and comfortable


  • Reduced driving engagement
  • Lower performance
  • More expensive to maintain

RELATED: Everyday Driver Takes On The C5, C6, AND C7 Z06 Corvettes

Faults To Look Out For

As with any vehicle, and especially with one that is now at least 10 years old, it is very important to know the common faults to look out for when purchasing on the second-hand market. Every car has its own list of foibles, and while each and every vehicle will be slightly different, overall trends are usually quite accurate in the 21st century with cars made on strict production lines.

When it comes to the C6 Corvette, there are a number of things to look out for when you go to view a car. In terms of the engine and other mechanical parts, the biggest common fault exists within the Z06 model, equipped with the famous LS7 engine. While it remains a spectacular power plant to this day, the LS7 has had a number of reports of valve drop issues. As such, it's well worth looking at a car's history and checking whether this is something that has affected the example you're inspecting. Other things to look out for are fluid leaks, and the health of your transmission, as well as your rear differential, as previously mentioned.

Additionally, it's always worth checking the quality of the interior of the car you're viewing. The C6 has a reputation for offering incredible performance at a low price, but this did come with some drawbacks, and one of the most noted is the quality and longevity of the vehicle's interior.

Finally, as with any vehicle you purchase, it is good to be aware of the car's history and maintenance records. The C6, in any guise, is a high-performance vehicle with a powerful engine. As such, it is important that the vehicle you are inspecting has been regularly serviced and well-maintained so that it offers you the longest life possible.

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