I have a convertible and do not notice the jealousy. It's a very common car, and most all is thumbs up. I am in a lot of shows and charities that we benefit in a club. I do not see the necessity for any improved handling comment either. I had an earlier C3, and did upgrade the suspension and added rack and pinion steering. That alone was $2500. But the newest Corvettes are already great and tight.
I also do not see the rattles as well. In fact I have zero. I saw a rattle in a friend's upgraded stainless exhaust that touched the frame. It was corrected. I added Magnaflow stainless and a new intake. I cannot compare new Vettes to Volkswagens. If that's what does it for you, fine. I have driven a Viper, a Porsche 930 Turbo, NSX new at the time, which is more what I think of as personal comparisons. And each of them quite different.
The Viper was raw and uncivilized, a true beast to drive, but great handling with its frame.
The NSX had great balance and handling.
The Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera was a handful, incredible Gs, very fast, also a true handful to drive.
The Vette handles great, doesn't break, great on long trips and is comfortable, yet great throttle response. There are too many strong points for the Vette in my opinion. I have a friend with a VW Jetta; maybe I can drive his car and see what all the fuss is about.
Whenever I read a survey and it's about a muscle car, I get excited. But when I read it's about an automatic muscle car, I lose interest. Seriously, why buy it? There are some cars that are auto right from factory, that I can deal with, but a Vette comes standard with a manual.
I agree with you on a manual vs a automatic trans car... whether it be a sports car or regular car... once you drive a manual car.. it's hard going over to an automatic. But I would say in defense of a automatic, that the resale of an automatic is a lot higher than a manual one.
Also I live in southern California... where the fastest growing items are people and congested traffic... driving a stick shift in bad traffic is no fun.
Also if you tend to keep your cars a long time... then a manual would be perfect... but if you sell in 3-5 years... an automatic just has better retail value...
Corvettes are not muscle cars. You can choose a manual or automatic trans. The current manual trans costs extra. My convertible cost 5k more than the coupe. I also own a 70 Chevelle SS with a 4 speed. It is a muscle car. The Corvette is a sports car.
So you get the same exact powertrain the Camaro, which is considered a muscle car, has, but it isn't a muscle car?
That's correct, it's not a muscle car, it's a sports car. I saw an older Rolls Royce with a high performance GM drivetrain installed; also not a muscle car.
In my garage I have a 1970 Chevelle SS and a LS1 Corvette Convertible. One is a muscle car. If I had a 4 door 1970 Chevelle that had an LS6 dropped in it, the muscle car terminology would be lost going to a 4 door. If it were a 307 2 door, it's not a muscle car either. A lot of nameplates mid 70s up retained the name, but also not muscle cars anymore. Sometimes new Vettes are called super cars as well. They are more compared to exotics or an American car like a Viper. Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers are compared to one another, vs with Corvettes.
I'm the original writer of the survey.
The automatic transmission on the Corvette comes with paddle shifter. They work as good or better than a manual. You should real try a paddle shift car out. You might be surprise. I used to feel the same way until I tried one.
A lot of my friends and neighbors are having financial difficulties and are forced to downsize. They were having a hard time dealing with me owning a Corvette and they're losing their premium vehicle and homes. And the handling is good on a Corvette but can be a handful (difficult). I owned a 350z before the Corvette and it was easier to handle. Yes the Corvettes handling is better, but not as easy.
Few of my neighbors are owners of Corvettes; it's more of a mixture of cars. I worked hard, bought one, and to me it's not my neighbors approval I sought out. I joined a club, and there's another club with nearly 1000 members. There's a lot of good company and nice friendships that you can develop.