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Chevrolet Corvette C5 vs. C6

jkstew1jkstew1 Member Posts: 12
edited June 2014 in Chevrolet
I had a 78 stingray which I sold to purchase my house 5 years ago. I am now in the process of purchasing another vette, but can't decide on a C5 or C6. Any comments from owners of both generations would be greatly appreciated, but anyone can chime in with there comments to help me make the decision. I want the most bang for my buck.


  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    2006 (there are still some available) and 2007 base Corvette.

    400hp. 29mpg.

    What else needs to be said?
  • wilcoxwilcox Member Posts: 582
    The C5's tires cost less. Aaahaha
  • brianapalbrianapal Member Posts: 18
    I have not owned both but I have read threads on another forum where this issue was presented, C5 vs C6. Those who had owned both raved about the C6 being superior in almost every respect.
    I cannot refer you to other forums here. (Against the "rules.") But do a google search (advanced) and put in Corvette Forums. You will also find dealer sponsors who are giving some GREAT deals on 07 Vettes. Les Stanford is one, Kerbecks is another.
    I have an 07 Vette and love it!!!!
    Good luck in your decision!
  • ultraman19ultraman19 Member Posts: 24
    I have owned eighteen Corvettes. Of these eighteen, six were new, Four C4's(one was a ZR-1 and one LT4), One C5(Z06) and a new C6 Vert.

    My experiences and opinions:

    1) In the "old days", quality was car to car. If your build team did a good job on you car, you were lucky--the next car on the line might not be built as well.

    2) Corvette's seem to have their own unique quirks.
    a. Excessive oil consumption
    b. Overheating
    c. Equippment/parts malfunction that don't seem to
    be a problem in much lesser Chevy cars.
    1) Gas gauges that don't work or just
    work when they want to.
    2) Really strange noises that come and
    3) Convertible tops that rub the color
    off with repeated use.(to date,3)
    4) Replacing part after part to fix a specific
    problem, only to find that when all parts
    have been replaced, the problem still
    5) New issues with every model. I'm sure you
    have heard the standard Corvette lover's
    motto: "Never buy the first year, give GM
    a year to work out the problems".
    6) The interior will probably never be up to
    pare with a Lexus or Acura, but do you want
    all the money on the interior vs.

    Now let me make a point on the above experiences.

    IF GM FIXED the above issues, or ADMITTED that problems existed, or were more flexible after the warranty period, then these issues would be just information and mild annoyances. But I think GM's stand is plausible deniability.
    If we deny the problem, the car and owner will go away.
    (I HAVE NOT had this problem with GM - so far, all my issues have been resolved, but I have repeatedly witnessed this attitude in a least two dozen friends and /or Corvette club members).I also buy long term extended warranties. I have an 84/70 on my 07 Vert, and if I keep it, will probably extend it again.

    The good news is my C5 Z06 was perfect. I had ZERO
    problems with it.(I lied!--Excessive oil consumption). However, it was light years better than any other Vette I had owned.

    My 07 Vert is an absolute blast. The power difference in the C5 Z06 and the C6-400hp is virtually non-discernible. The interior is about even. I truely liked the dash handle on the passanger side of the C5, and the C6 interior is Ok.
    To my eye the cheapest part of the C6 interior is the shift knob. I would change it, however, I have been around too many horror stories of linkage problem with new shifter alignment. Also,I really like to keep the car "original".I went through my "modification period" with the C4's. I spent a small fortune on items that either didn't perform as advertised or were no real improvement.

    In my 07 vert, two issues have developed. A strange flow of very hot air screaming out of the dash, when the heater is NOT on, and the black pigment is being rubbed off my top on the ribs on the drivers' side. We had 38 days of over 100 degrees this summer and the top was never down. So, a new car, with 700 mile and a top that has barely been used, with a white "bald spot" the entire length of the passanger side top is a concern. I have documented it with the dealer, and taken pictures. I know that this is cosmetic, but, if you saw this 20 inch white discoloration, you would be on my side.
    The first comments from the dealer was, "Well, I don't know what we can do. I haven't seen anything like this before". This was a local metro plex dealer, that I didn't buy from. My selling dealer is 80 miles away, and has said they would take care of it. I'm believing them.

    So in summary, Corvettes are not perfect. Unless you are trading every year, you are likely to experience the joy of the unique and never boring experience of the Corvette family. I'm addicted to and love Vettes, I keep buying them expected a different outcome-or does that mean I'm insane??

    Enjoy the ride and keep waving!!

    Ultraman 19
  • motorhead1motorhead1 Member Posts: 110
    My first car was a 1991 C4 and it was a good car. Now I have a 2002 C5 and there is a world of difference in the two cars. I`ve driven a C6 and plan to buy one next year but I really couldn`t tell that much difference in the C5 to C6. Maybe I didn`t drive the C6 enough to tell a big difference but I really do like my C5. Good luck.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,189
    I may be biased here.
    OK, I am biased.

    Full disclosure:

    I have been aware of Corvettes since GM stuck the first big block ( 396 ) into it in 1965, I believe.

    I rode in a couple of C5s when they were new or nearly new – one belonging to business associate & one bought by the owner of an on-line auto & truck parts business I’ve known for quite a while.

    I bought a 2007 C6 Coupe this week.

    I expect that your choice will clearly by driven mostly by your priorities & your needs. With otherwise similar equipment & options, a C5 would be cheaper initially, for example.

    My requirements included suitability as a Daily Driver. I have no interest in a second vehicle – my C6 is the only car I have. Your requirements will be different.

    Although I was quite impressed with the transformation from C4 to C5, I never really “warmed up to” the exterior styling, from the rear. . . But styling is purely subjective.

    The C6 styling is much more to my taste.

    More important ( to me ) is that, although the C6 does not appear in many ways to be as dramatic a change \ improvement over the C5 as the C5 was over the C4, to me the changes were exactly the right ones.

    Besides the styling, the interior upgrades mean that for me the C6 is now a viable Daily Driver. It offers such touches as heated seats, that mean a lot ** TO ME **. But would likely be irrelevant if you want the Corvette as a nice weekend only ‘toy’.

    What finally sealed the deal for me was the availability ( starting with the 2006 MY ) of the six speed automatic with manual shift. I had 4 sport sedans with this feature, dating back to 1999 & would not seriously consider the Corvette until this was available. Again, this would be of no interest to those who only want a 6 speed manual trans. Once there was over a year with no significant reported issues with the new auto. trans. on various forums, I ordered my 2007.


    - Ray
    Carpe Vette
    2022 X3 M40i
  • jkstew1jkstew1 Member Posts: 12
    Thanks rayain and everyone else that have responded so far. I am definitrely looking for a daily driver as well. I love corvettes and want to drive it as much as possible.

    I like the styling on both the c5 and c6, although I hate the headlights on the c6. It is an American sports car, not European. I think the new headlights don't make the front of the vette look like a bad [non-permissible content removed] muscle car like other vettes.

    I guess it boils down to money. Is the c6 worth the money I would save on a low milaeage c5?
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,189
    “I hate the headlights on the c6.”

    It actually took me about a year to “warm up to” the C6 headlights. They now look fine to me. They are clearly the most controversial styling element of the new body style.

    Only you can decide the monetary issues – and I suspect that you’d have to drive representative example of each to assign monetary “worth” to the price difference between a C5 and C6. With some new 2006 C6 Coupes advertised at $8K off, I’d be hard pressed to justify a used C6 vs a new 2006.

    Good luck!
    - Ray
    Ready for a weekend of much driving . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Can't still believe that anyone who has seen the C5 lights
    up can say the C6 is worse ... just goes to show, can't
    make everyone happy.

    As to the differences you are right down to the basic issue,
    money. Since only a handful of Corvette drivers ever get
    really into performance you can find almost new, garage
    queens in the C5 world if you look around and possibly get
    to a local Corvette Club meeting. They will start with
    asking for a good premium but it boils down to their desire
    for a new C6 which many others are now driving, most just
    want to move up. After two new C5s in the household I think
    the way to buy any Corvette is used until the last model
    year and every one is waiting for the new model and then
    take the GM deals on a new order of the prior version. That
    way we ended up with an '04 at $12k off. It was $2k higher
    sticker than my '02, $2k more in options and $6k lower out
    the door than 2 1/2 years earlier. And, the wife loves it
  • pony_piratepony_pirate Member Posts: 317
    Agree with starrow about the lights. Those pop-up lights look awful in the up position, totally ruin the lines of the front. In fact, imo, the C/Z06 looks better in every way than any Vette since the classic Vettes of the '60's and '50's; and, from what I've read, is not only better performing than any previous Vette, but is the most sports car for the money under $180k (e.g., is in the same class as the Porsche 911, which costs twice as much). :shades:
  • jkstew1jkstew1 Member Posts: 12
    Keep the posts coming. I still havent made up my mind. Dolllar for dollar which vette is better and why?
  • jackalopejackalope Member Posts: 4
    Using that criteria, there's really no question; the C5 is substantially better dollar for dollar.

    The real differences between the C5 and C6 are really miniscule. Same engine (albiet a bit more horsepower in the C6), same suspension, pretty much the same interior. Yet you can buy low mileage C5's at around $20-22K vs. $50K for the C6. For the almost $30K difference, you can certainly bump up a C5 another 50 hp and install a nice navigation system, the only two real advantages I see with the C6.

    There have also been a number of quality issues with the C6 that have not been resolved. Tops delaminating, convertible tops giving problems along with the same issues such as column lock that have plagued C5's.

    This is not to say a C6 isn't a fine car. It certainly is and if you simply must have a new car, it's an excellent choice, but you asked "dollar for dollar" and with that as a criteria, the issue is really closed.
  • jscatenajscatena Member Posts: 61
    With GM Supplier Pricing available to virtually anyone, you can buy a new C6 for about $41,000
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,189
    “the only two real advantages I see with the C6.”

    Update - after approx. a month with my 2007 C6. . .

    While I do certainly respect your opinion that those are the only advantages you see, here is an “off the top of my head” list of the other advantages I see:
    ( C6 ‘06 or ‘07 vs C5 )

    1 – Based on the rides I have had in C5s, and feedback from many others, including the media, the base \ FE3 C6 rides significantly better.

    2 – The C6 is also quieter inside – particularly from a road noise prespective – largely a result of suspension re-tuning, specifically for the current generation EMTs.

    3 – 5 year \ 100,000 miles powertrain warrantee ( new 2007 only, of course ) is of interest to me.

    4 – The HUD with greater flexibility & crisper display, with MPH, Current Gear ( automatic ) and a couple of different Tachometer displays is very, very cool. And useful!

    5 – The LS2 has much improved bottom end Torque.

    6 – I find the improvement in overall refinement – and availability of such items as heated seats mean a lot, to me, as my C6 is a Daily Driver \ Commuter.

    Last – The six speed automatic ( if you care, you may have already decided on a MN6 ) with manumatic function paddle shift is worlds better for my driving than the 4 speed unit.

    With current inventory of 2006 & 2007 C6s now higher than ever, and discounts much more easily obtainable ( I negotiated $5K off an ordered 2007 Coupe in September – you could likely do even better now ) and some 2006 deals I’ve seen are now in the area of twice that discount.

    Still - Is any of this C6 ‘stuff’ actually worth $ XX K more? Only YOU can decide . . .

    There were also a number of styling changes, both inside & out. The overall result is much more pleasing to MY eyes.

    Clearly: Much of what I quote here has to do with improvements that relate to utilizing the C6 as a Daily Driver. If this Corvette is to be primarily or exclusively a Weekend only, nice day Toy – much of the C6 ‘advantages’ would likely be judged irrelevant.

    Good luck!

    - Ray
    Very happy C6 driver . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • jkstew1jkstew1 Member Posts: 12
    Tx, Ray. That is one of the better insites I have heard from anyone. It is greatly appreciated. Please keep the opinions coming and hopefully I will be able to make up my mind in the next few months.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Ray, from the C6's I get to ride in at the track I'd have
    to agree that the C6 is all around nicer than my 5 1/2 year
    old C5. The interior is much nicer and I expect it will as
    advertised, wear better, time will tell. Also the paddle
    shift is a great option for those that want an auto and with
    a tall 6th gear it gets the better mileage as well. It all
    gets back to how much you want to tie up in fun transportation.
  • silverback4silverback4 Member Posts: 3
    I had a C4, and now a C5. The difference is huge. I imagine the C6, in it's own ways is the same .I am on the same forum as brianapal. Alot of us go on cruises together, and the C6's are definitley cool cars. However, there have been some reliability issues with them.It's a vette, and like any car, there will be quirks and issues.Drive them both, and see which one you like better, and get the best you can afford. Aside from that, don't forget to wave.
  • iskchiskch Member Posts: 4
    I'm researching about this issue which is better: The regular C6 vs. C6 Z06. I read a lot about technical issues about the regular Vette but hardly none on the Z06. This means the Z06 is a better car in regard to quality issues? Any suggestions will be welcome since I'm in the future market for a sport car.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Too bad it's not that simple. The tech issues with the C6 seem to be heavily in the
    electrical support systems, doors, locks, etc., and all those are the same between
    the two cars. The C6Z under the hood is another issue all together and depends
    if you plan to do any race tracks, it is good, very good, but like any street car, if
    pushed too hard it has limits. I'd suggest you get to used lots and drive as many
    as you can find and get a feel for both cars, Z's might be hard to find but that is the
    only way you are going to get a real feel. Invest time and you will probably invest
    less $ in the long run.
  • swt_86swt_86 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2004 C5 last month. I have always wanted a Corvette and had convinced myself that I really wanted the C6. Considerable research indicated it is more refined, better riding, quieter, more HP etc. When a great deal on the C5 came up, I just could not justify the $7,000 more for the C6. Opinions will vary between the two plus and minus but you really cannot go wrong with either.
  • eeeoeeeo Member Posts: 9
    I own a C5 and although I have considered a C6, since it's not my only car or daily driver, a lot of the "practical" aspects don't apply. I bought my Corvette (red '03 convertible because from the side it reminded me of a McLaren M6-M8 CanAm racing car circa late '60's-early '70's which I thought were the baddest race cars around at that time. Since I don't have mega mega bucks I can't modify one of those to drive on the street, so I think the C5 is the closest to that in appearance!
  • gesshooo1gesshooo1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 C6 that I bought new in October 2004. I have had the car for 5 years and it is probably the most expensive piece of junk that I have ever owned.
    Typical of General Motors, small, annoying things always break. The Bose stereo is tinny and the bass is really non-bass. The heads up display is totally inaccurate. The mirror mounted compass reads NW when heading due south. The console doesn't align and close properly. If I had it all to do again, I would hhave opted for a Mercedes Coupe, or even something less expensive like a Mitsubishi Eclipse, a Nissan Z, or nearly anything else. I had a C4, it rattlled, was uncomfortable, but that was expected. The reviews on the C6 are great, but I don't see it. Hope this helps.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Interesting take on the first out of the box C6's. I have a 2002 C5 Coupe that I got
    in Sept '01 and have not had many issues with, which in my mind was surprising
    since it got to spend close to 120 days at full road courses, Sears Point, Laguna
    Seca, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow, Reno-Fernley and Spring Mountain. That is from
    1.5 hrs to 2+ hours on track getting close to redline repeatedly for 15 to 25 minutes
    at at time. That resulted in adding an oil cooler and both front and rear brake ducts
    but after those, only safety additions.
    During a track session, for example at Sears Point (Infineon), it was into 4th gear
    and over 100 miles per hour four time per lap, which is 5500 RPM in 2nd, and then
    into 3rd and shifting again. That would build up 255 to 275 degree oil temps after
    the cooler was installed. That cooks most of the stuff in the engine compartment.
    Had one power steering issue with a leaky line due to vibration/friction that was
    easy to fix. Also had a active handling / ABS system failure that was covered
    under warranty.
    As for other things in the car, the Heads up Display is wonderful and I miss it when
    I drive anything else. Ok the interior isn't top notch but then again it wasn't what
    I got the car for, I like the upgraded sound system. I think on the C5 they worked
    out most of the bugs after 97 and 98 and by 00 it was a pretty nice and dependable
    package. Since I've known at least half a dozen former C5 drivers that have moved
    up to the C6 and are happy, I'd guess that most of the early gremlins in that car
    were addressed as well. Hope you find what you like in the future.
  • lazanlazan Member Posts: 1
    I have 27 k on my electron blue z51, 2003 beauty. Had an 81, 87 4 plus 3 and now the 6 spd c5. Would love to have the c6 if only for the headlights. So I put depo projetors in to solve that issue. Lets face it. there is nothing like a vette. Period. I love my ride. I get 21.5 average going to work, and when I want to just blow off the world, I can do that too. The vette is a tribute to GM and we should never forget all the history with that. The C5 I have is flawless. Is it noisy, yes. Mine of course is a z51 so I have some stiffness....but when I enter I95 or leave it, who is on that ramp with me? NO one! NO one can keep up with htis car on ramps at 65 mph! the Z51 gets me out of the high first gear nonsense as it has a lower 1st gear. So I can keep the orig rear. I put a black wing intake on it and thats all it needs. The C6 is quieter, and perhaps somewhat more refined inside, but all my stuff works flawlessly. don't like the short rear on the C6 Love my bose and after I pay this off, I will be too old for another!!!!haha.
  • jonleonbassjonleonbass Member Posts: 1
    I think the C5 coupe is the best looking vette since the early C3 (late 60's)
    I do not like the C6 styling, and I am surprised so many do.
    The C5 coupes lines are rounded and it is just sexy in Black or Red. Amazing. The C6 is boxy sharp/ looks like alot of these new cars with mass produced panels. It is not nearly as sexy in my opinion. The front looks like a wanna be ferrari. It is not as good at all. The lights look euro.
    And these guys that say the lights look bad on the C5 when up...I do not agree anyway but WHO CARES! It's at night!!!
    I do think the coupe in C5 is key though, I think the versions with trunks are not as sexy,because the [non-permissible content removed] is too big and it just looks slightly off.
    But C5 coupe is a winner. I also LOVE the interior in all black with sport seats on C5. The new interior is again... too Euro. The C5 with sport seats in black is awesome, and the analog dash rules.
    I am sure there are some refinements but to me the C5 is amazing. a 99 or 2k is a steal for what you get. 345 hp is fine. 0-60 in 4.7 is plenty. The engine is rock solid and it is a proven reliable workhorse. Buy 2 1 owner cars with 60 or 70k miles for 15k each in Red and Black and save an additional 20k and buy a Harley for what 1 C6 will run you.
    Just my 2 cents.
  • toydrivertoydriver Member Posts: 227
    Recently read about the recall planned for Jan. 2010. I own a '07 coupe and haven't noticed anything wrong.

    Curious if owners who have experienced the reported seperation problem, if there are symptoms that would warn the owner prior to a disaster while driving.

    In other words, do they show signs of "partial" seperation, noises, leaks, etc. ????

    Also, anyone have problems with the "see through" panels ????

    Will GM notify owners ????
This discussion has been closed.