There's something funny about the Chevrolet Corvette. Over the years, the flagship Chevrolet model has taken its fair share of ribbing, but remained — arguably — one of the most desired cars in the U.S. Say what you will about the Corvette, but it always has been an object of affection for many petrolheads.

I don't think I've known of any other car that's been such a target of criticism but loved at the end of the day. Talk about an abusive relationship.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The debut of an all-new Chevrolet is pretty ho-hum. The debut of an all-new Corvette is always highly anticipated and controversial. Remember how angry the purists got when the C6 Corvette adopted fixed headlights as opposed to the flip up jobbies? Yeah, these folks aren't welcoming of change.

The good news is this though: the all-new C7 Corvette's changes are so critical and important it has now become one of the top sports cars in the market. The purists may not like it in theory, but my, oh my, do we have a specimen here.

Having seen the all-new Corvette on many auto show floors, I sort of got the impression that the car was a bit gimmicky. It's not that I hated its deisgn, it just seemed a bit too cartoon-y, like the Camaro. When I took delivery of the yellow Z51 packaged convertible though I was staggered.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

While the front end is a mixture of Jaguar F-Type headlights and a dash of the SRT Viper's front valence, its hind quarters are decidedly unique. Sure, it features a squared off set of taillights that critics have likened to the Camaro, but I dig it.

Its side profile is much more clean as everything is neatly integrated. Check out the side venting behind the front wheels and the electronic door handles that you barely even know are there. My tester featured glossy black painted wheels — $495 option — with yellow calipers — $595 option — that made it look especially badass.

All of this adds up to a car that elicited comments from those young and old, as well as male and female. Whether stopping to get a splash of a fuel or traveling at speed, people were eager to let me know "Nice car!" accompanied by a thumbs up or friendly smile.

I remember the days when driving around in a Corvette meant you were a douchebag. Now it's like being the Fonz.

Easily the most impressive changes with the C7 are found on the inside. Although it seems like it would never happen, Chevrolet has finally produced an interior that is fitting of a car in this price bracket.

Now, its seats actually provide support and are bolstered to hold you in place. Extra bonus points for the Alcantara inserts, which were a $395 option. Though my test vehicle had the stock set, I'd love to try out the carbon-fiber backed pair that feature much more aggressive support.

Trim bits are not excruciatingly cheap and I now like the center stack and its respective controls that seems to take some creative license from the likes of European automakers. Finally, the Corvette has a unique steering wheel and real carbon fiber — $995 option. I mean, seriously, who was Chevrolet trying to kid with that garbage trim in the C6? It looked like a laminate that you can get from the likes of Pep Boys.

I never thought I'd say this, but the all-new Corvette's interior is probably 9/10ths of the way there. The only bit that will need more attention is the vehicle's infotainment display that features a graphical user interface I found counterintuitive during my time with the car. Mind you this isn't my first time driving an all-new GM product featuring the new software. Aside from that, I was pleasantly surprised — and borderline shocked — with the cabin.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

So, now that all of the problems of the past have been addressed, all Chevrolet had to do was bring it on home. The Corvette always was a fun car to drive and had a character that begged you to take charge and grab it by the scruff of the neck.

Fitted with a 6.2-liter V8 motor good for 460 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque — when fitted with the performance exhaust — the C7 still produces that lumbering, Corvette sound. I love it at idle. The cool thing about the performance exhaust is you now don't have to rip up the floorboard to pull the fuse for the ramped up sound. Now you just tap a button in the settings menu and off you go.

My test vehicle was fitted with the seven-speed manual, which I feel is the only way you should order a Corvette. Though I am sure a good percentage of buyers will opt for the all-new eight-speed automatic for the 2015 model year as it is a tenth of a second faster to 60 and results in the same highway mpg.

During my weekend with the Corvette Convertible, I chalked up an average of 16 mpg, though I would prefer to have the car longer to give you a better idea of real world mpg traveling on local roads and the highway. 

Back to the transmission. The clutch pedal is lighter than Corvettes I've driven in the past but the engagement point can be felt out, unlike some of today's other modern performance cars. Paired up with this easy-to-use clutch is a shifter that's far easier to put into gear than the C6, which sometimes required a bit of force. They don't call them muscle cars for any reason.

This results in a car that's easy to launch and doesn't create a fuss. In other words, it's easier to drive faster.

Working the C7 in the twisties, it's pretty clear that the steering has essentially stayed the same — this is a good thing. It's not weighted too heavy nor too light, it feels just about right. When you push the 'Vette into a corner its body is controlled and the taut suspension keeps the car planted so your confidence is boosted. This is further aided by the magnetic suspension — $1,795 option. When you switch that on It's like the car is asking you to go faster.

One thing that I've always liked about the 'Vette is that it feels light and tossable — this hasn't changed. In a day and age where we see all sports cars becoming porkers, this is a big deal.

Around town motoring is surprisingly a cinch. I say surprisingly because my experiences in the past were not always positive as the older Corvettes didn't like stop and go traffic. And with its light clutch and easy-to-throw shifter, sitting in traffic isn't a problem. No longer is the Corvette a car that needs to be driven fast to be enjoyed.

By this point you may have noticed that I've done something not previously seen with my other reviews. I've pointed a lot of this car's options. Maybe it's just me but I think the base Corvette is a car that NEEDS all the accoutrements my test car had. All of the additions just made it so choice.

Although some of you may balk, my test vehicle rings the cash register at just under $74,500. Even with over $14,500 in options, it's a relative bargain in the world of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type and soon-to-release Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, which I am sure will cost around $100,000 just to get started.

Mind you, those products are going to cost you much more as you'll outfit them with their respective options and packages.

While the Corvette used to be a fun but unrefined product, it's now everything critics have been asking for. The only thing that can be considered a problem is the car's image. Everyone thinks of the stereotypical 'Vette owner that pulls up with a mullet and gold chains.

Personally, I think the C7 is too good to pass up, even if you have image concerns. And with the Z06 on the way, which will be available as a convertible for the first time, I think it's a no brainer provided you can fit comfortably in the cockpit.

The Good:

- Fantastic motor with power all over and a V8 sound that's hard to get tired of
- The C7 is equipped with an easy-to-use clutch and a shifter that requires much less effort than Corvettes of yore — this makes it easier to drive and enjoy
- I never thought I'd say this but its interior is finally befitting of a car in this price bracket

The Bad:

- The infotainment system's GUI could use some work — not intuitive 
- A bit too much wheel gap that would need to be addressed if I bought one
- I honestly cannot think of an other bad thing

The Lowdown:

- The all-new Chevrolet Corvette is one for the history books. It takes care of MANY problems of the past and now it is a completely competent daily driver sports car. Even better, most people can afford to put on in their driveway, unlike many of Europe's offerings. Just think, this isn't even the Z06.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

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