The 2014 Yahoo Autos Car of the Year: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
For the 2014 Yahoo Autos Car of the Year, the editors corralled 16 models from an unprecedented surge of new cars, trucks and SUVs hitting our roads this model year. While this distinguished group from the United States, Europe and Asia all had their merits, and a few really grabbed our reviewers by the collar, one stood out: the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, a laudable and unignorable revival of a classic American sports car.
Before we begin to wax lyrical about this year’s victor — which inherits the Yahoo Autos crown from 2013's winner, the Tesla Model S — we must note that unlike last year's runaway verdict, several models nipped at the Vette’s preposterously wide heels.
Had it not been for the Corvette's rebirth, Mazda’s elegant Mazda3 would have taken top spot, impressing our team with its Miata-inspired “Zoom Zoom” zest — and with an as-tested price of $24,335, offering a value-for-money proposition impossible to ignore. Close behind was Jaguar’s nimble, elegant and heart-revving F-Type rag top, which had its considerable podium chances weakened by a $104,620 window sticker. All of which telegraphs why the Corvette shot between those two standouts to grab our checkered flag: at a price of $71,720 with the 3LT Preferred Equipment Package — off a base of $53,800 — it possesses the wonderfully crazy flair of a supercar for, comparatively speaking, sane money.
A few words about our methodology: You'll have to look elsewhere for physics-class style analytics and G-force inducing skid pad tests. In contrast, our testers used the computers between their ears (not to mention the one that connects to the seat) to rate each car’s interior design, exterior styling, power delivery, ride and handling. Using window stickers we assigned a value to value, and with information about fuel efficiency and carbon emissions gave points for each car’s friendliness to the atmosphere. (Our plans for some higher-speed runs were cut short due to the U.S. government shutdown, which arrived during our scheduled visit to NASA's Moffett Field airstrip.)
Throughout, we kept one thought in mind: How would our readers approach these cars with their hard-earned money at stake?
By no means perfect, the new Corvette won on a number of fronts and was never far from the top in any given category. The plaudits were loudest over its looks; no other car had so many people stopping and gawking on the street. Our testers were not immune, often jostling for the iconic Chevy’s keys.