When we crowned the new C8 Corvette our 2020 Car of the Year, it was after we’d tested a fully loaded car with all the goodies. Would our impressions have changed had a base Corvette been part of the evaluations? After all, the C8’s base price of $59,995 is pretty amazing, so Chevy had to have cut corners somewhere, right?
We finally got our hands on a base Corvette, officially known as the 1LT trim. The midlevel trim is the 2LT, and the fancy 3LT, which is the most ordered trim level for the 2020 Corvette thus far (followed by 2LT and 1LT) tops out the range.
We covered the performance numbers in our First Test, so the focus here will be on the interior. One thing that stood out during our figure-eight testing were the standard seats. Despite the lack of side bolster adjustments, the standard seats provide a good amount of lateral leg and torso support. The leather feels good, as well, and appears to be fairly durable. The steering wheel is also leather wrapped and power adjustable. Perhaps the only downside here is the lack of memory settings.
When it comes to interior color choices, the base 1LT is limited to three combinations—all black, black and gray, or the black and red combo that our test car had. Red is found primarily on the seats, but the red contrast stitching on the door panels and dashboard do a great job of tying everything together for a premium look. Interior brightwork consists of brushed aluminum that’s tastefully done and helps break up the black dashboard.
Like the more expensive 2LT and 3LT trims, the 1LT also gets two digital screens for the instrument panel and infotainment system. We’ve usually had good experiences with General Motors’ touchscreens, and our experience with the C8 Corvette is no different. Its touchscreen fairly intuitive and sharp looking. The instrument panel has multiple configurations and menus that take some time to get used to, but overall, both screens befit a premium sports car.
Other standard tech items include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (now wireless for the 2021 model year), an available Wi-Fi hotspot, and dual-zone climate control. The Corvette 1LT is fitted with a 10-speaker Bose sound system that sounds fantastic; it’s hard to imagine how much better the premium 14-speaker Bose setup in the 2LT and 3LT is.
After our extended time with the 1LT Corvette, we’re having a difficult time calling it a “base car” because it looks and feels like a premium product worth far more than its sticker price.