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4.  2022 C8 Corvette Visualizer is now live
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10.  Pre-owned Corvette pricing up 34% in the last year
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Picks, Pans, Nits and "What were they thinking?" at 600 miles

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  • Picks, Pans, Nits and "What were they thinking?" at 600 miles

    In no particular order, stream of consciousness thoughts on my C8 HTC:


    For most of the break-in period I ended up driving in Automatic mode, and much of that in Tour for several reasons. My initial impression? It’s a nice car, but so far it doesn’t do much to excite me. A real nice cruiser, but…. But now I’ve hit the magic 500, and I’ve been driving with all the adjustable settings in Sport mode, and exhaust in Track much of the time. And the transmission in “M.” The car is transformed! Even without breaking the 4000 rpm redline (by much), the car is so much more fun with things stiffened and speeded up it’s hard to believe. The DCT is fantastic in Sport / Manual. Manual mode just makes the driver a part of the car, rather than someone along for the ride. The suspension is improved without adding any harshness. Steering is very direct and accurate (if still not providing a lot of feedback on what the tires are doing).


    I’ll miss the manual on my C7, but probably not as much as I thought I would. The DCT is just so good. In tour mode, it’s very smooth, not jerky at all, but a little boring. In Sport it’s a little bit more abrupt coming to a stop, but shifts are cracked off instantly. Handling, given the little I’ve been able to push it, is stellar, as is the ride / handling balance. (More about that later, too).


    Now that I’m at ~550 miles, I took a couple of opportunities to punch it. Still no Launch mode, but even so man, this thing takes off. There seems to be a slight weakness for a split second, then it just goes. Even pre-breakin it was fun: I took my cousin for a ride on Saturday, and gunned it briefly. Her first words were “Oh my, please take this old woman home.” Followed almost immediately by “Can we do that again?”
    *****

    On a different topic, I’m thinking I should rename my car “Thomas,” because this car has more nooks and crannies than an English Muffin. This is the hardest car to clean and dry I’ve ever owned. There are so many corners and creases that just love to collect dirt. The 90 degree corner at the inside edge of the rocker panel is the worst example. It seems to get dirty just sitting in the garage. Drying is as bad as washing it. If you don’t believe me, wash it, then dry it really, really thoroughly with towels. Then turn an air dryer or leaf blower on it and see how many places water comes out of!
    *****

    I need to learn to drive all over again! After 50 years of driving stick shifts, my brain doesn’t know what to do with these flappy paddles. Without the shifter sticking up on the console, my primitive hindbrain tells my arms I’m driving an automatic. More than once, in manual mode, I’ve taken off from a stop and forgotten I have to shift! (That’s why I ended up staying in D a lot of the time during break-in. I also stomped on the brake pedal trying to use the clutch, but only once, and a couple of times reached for the non-existent shifter. But I”m getting used to it, and driving in Manual is SO. MUCH. MORE. FUN. and involving than D.


    Speaking of M vs. D, why do I need to shift from Park to Drive first, before I can shift to M? Seems silly, since I can hit the M button as soon as it goes into D. If I know I’m going forward, let me pick the mode I want.
    *****

    I love the rear view mirror / camera, although it’s not without issue. I have mono-vision correction (primary eye corrected for distance, other eye for near) and have no problem using it. The first time I look up after only looking forward for a while there’s a brief moment of visual disorientation, but it’s over in a split second. The view is clear, sharp and wide.


    The downside, though, is that cars behind you look a lot further away than they really are, even on the narrowest setting. On wider settings a car that’s tailgating you looks far away. Like the outside mirror says “Objects are closer than they appear,” maybe this should also.


    The biggest advantage for me, though, isn’t the elimination of blind spots. With my outside mirrors adjusted correctly I can see fine using the normal rear view. But I’m pretty short, and seeing over the hump in the rear deck is a challenge - the hump really restricts my view of things close to the car. With the camera, that issue disappears! My only regret about the HTC is that I can’t use the camera when the top is down. I’d love to see the camera mounted in a nacelle, but having it off center would probably confuse people.
    *****

    This is my first car with MSRC. I’m impressed. For those who have asked “Is it worth it?”, my answer is yes. When just easy cruising, Tour mode gives a nice ride without being too soft and with little body roll and no wallowing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Lincoln Continental soft. It’s still a sports car, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’d say it’s about as soft as the base C7 with the 18/19” wheels, but with less body roll. And the instant adjustability means that it settles down from big bumps or holes very rapidly. Everyone who’s ridden in it has been really impressed with how well it rides in Tour.


    Sport mode still rides quite well for a sports car. It’s noticeably firmer, and you definitely feel more than in Tour, but it’s never harsh. The ability of these shocks to soak up imperfections is pretty amazing. I’d say I think there’s less body roll than in Tour, but haven’t really compared the two enough to say for sure. It feels much more responsive in Sport, too. For daily driving I’ll leave it in sport mode, unless the roads are really crappy. On a poor road, Tour deals with the bumps and holes more comfortably than Sport, without making you feel like you’re driving a yacht. For long drives on the highway Tour mode just soaks up all the tar strips, patches, and other imperfections.


    With track mode, you feel every bump and frost heave, but it’s still not rattle-your-teeth stiff. I wouldn’t recommend it for normal street use unless your roads are really smooth, though. I suspect the better compliance of sport will keep the tires planted on a bumpy road better than Track.
    *****

    Comparing the built-in Nav to Google Maps was interesting. In some ways the built in nav is superior. It shows much more detail (more roads, more road and place names) than did Google in the same locations. I wonder if that’s because Google Maps is still showing a level of detail appropriate for little phone screens, rather than the larger car screen. The lane guidance split screen feature is really well done. And it warned me about police ahead once. It was wrong, but at least it tried. I really like the integration with the other car systems. (I think when I got to my destination and slowed way down it automatically turned on the the front parking camera, but I’ll have to test that again. Maybe I imagined it.) On balance, though, I think Google Maps route guidance is a little better, and Google’s integration with other data (places, businesses, your contacts and travel history) is definitely superior (at the cost of giving up large amounts of privacy).


    OTOH, voice recognition is laughably bad. Unimaginably bad. Not once has it gotten it right. I asked for “Mount Weather,” (which is a local, albeit small, mountain) and it gave me a barber shop in a city a couple of hours away that had neither weather nor mount in its name. I asked for my neighborhood name, and it gave me another city in Virginia that I’ve never heard of (at least the first syllable was the same). Google identified the elementary school a couple of blocks away. I asked for “Criswell Chevrolet in Gaithersburg, MD,” and it said it didn’t understand that. So I tried just plain “Criswell Chevrolet” and it came back with “Royal Chevrolet” which is also a couple of hours away, but in a different direction. Many of my requests it just punted on, saying it couldn’t find that or didn’t understand that. So far, 100% failure rate. And I don’t have some weird foreign accent, either. Google understands me just fine. The remote on my TV understands me (the 2 or 3 times I used it). When I type in a location, NAV does a good job, so if they could fix voice recognition, it would be a worthy tool.
    *****

    The audio system? I guess my summation would be “It’s quite good, for a Bose system, and if you set it up properly.” But based on all the rave reviews, I expected better. With all of Bose’s infamous phase shifting, frequency shaping, volume adjusting settings turned off, it’s probably the best Bose car system I’ve heard. But that may be d***ing with faint praise. It still has the exaggerated bass Bose has been known for since the original 901 series speakers back in the late 60s. But turning the bass down 3 to 5 notches, and treble up a few notches makes it pretty decent for a car environment….


    ….UNTIL you turn on the audio processing. Centerpoint makes the bass even more artificially boomy (sounds like maybe they’re doubling low frequencies (e.g., converting 30 Hz bass to 60 Hz) to make up for the fact that the micron thin paper cones Bose loves to use can’t actually produce deep bass), makes the mid-range muddy, and the high frequencies weak by comparison. “Driver” also messes with the sound, but the effects aren’t as bad as Centerpoint. “Normal” is by far the cleanest, least distorted sound. If you want the sound biased towards the driver a bit, just adjust the balance instead of relying on the Centerpoint options. Audiopilot is, if nothing else, improved over that in the C7. It still doesn’t do a very good job of dealing with variable noise levels in the car, but it’s improved, and it doesn’t add a ton of distortion like the C7 system did.


    Sirius/XM? In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, “Just Say No.” The last time I listened to Sirius was the first year of ownership of my 2015 C7, when I also had a free trial. Sound quality was mediocre then, but it’s far, far worse now. They’ve crammed so many channels into the same fixed bandwidth that the massive compression and low bit rate just crush the music. It sounds like a 1980’s era boombox that sold for $29.95 at K-Mart and played only cassette tapes. I guess it’s fine for voice channels.


    With decent source material though, like high bitrate MP3s or even HD Radio, the sound is quite pleasant. Not audiophile quality, but I don’t really look for that in a car. I haven’t tried it with lossless music files yet.


    One little bit I really do like: press the mute button, and the system also pauses playback. The C7 keeps on playing music no one can hear. The hands-free phone sound quality seems much improved over the C7, too. I could easily hear people who called me, and they seemed to have no problem understanding me even with the top down (windows up). The C7 picked up a lot more wind noise. GM found a better spot for the microphone.
    *****

    Someone on one of the sites complained about the lumbar adjustment not being in the right place. I have to agree. For us short people (or at least for me) it hits too high on my back. If I were taller it would probably be better. I tried sitting on the 2 inch (before being compressed by sitting on it) seat cushion I used in the C7. With that, the lumbar is in a perfect spot. Fortunately, I don’t like a lot of lumbar pressure or adjustment anyway.
    *****

    The trunk gets hot. No two ways around it. I didn’t put a thermometer in there, but after driving around with ambient temps in the upper 80s the items I had in the trunk were significantly hotter than they would have been in the C7. It’s not so hot it’s going to ruin your clothes or luggage, but as Tadge said: “Pizza in the trunk, beer in the frunk.” Don’t put your wife’s (or your) makeup and perfume, or candy supply, in the back.
    *****

    Lots of customization options with Z mode and My Mode, but the C7 did some things better. The C8 doesn’t let us set the exhaust mode completely independent of driving mode. In the C7 I could put the exhaust in Track (or Stealth, or any other mode) and leave it there in any drive mode. Can’t do that in the C8. And why is My Mode so limiting? You can’t adjust powertrain (shifting) settings at all. They’re stuck in lazy shifting Granny mode (Tour), but you can put the suspension in Track and leave it there. Why would you want the suspension super firm but shifting in granny mode? What were they thinking? It simply makes no sense. “You can do that in Z-mode, you say? Yes, I can, but Z-mode doesn’t stick when you shut the car off, and every time I switch to Z-mode the car changes the HUD display to a setting I don’t want. That’s another place the C7 is better: In the C7 you can put the HUD in whatever mode you want and it stays there, not changing unless I tell it to change. Why can I select a single DIC display style to appear regardless of driving mode, but not the HUD?


    Why are there arbitrary limitations anyway? Let me adjust the powertrain in My Mode to match the suspension choice I’ve made (and if they want to lock out track powertrain for whatever reason, fine, but then why allow track mode suspension in My Mode?) Let me adjust the exhaust in any mode, like I could before (and if they want to lock out Stealth to avoid overheating the exhaust, that’s cool.) My preference for daily driving would be Sport mode with Track exhaust, and to STAY THAT WAY between startups. The only way to get the car to start up that way will be to install a mild 2 wild switch. In Sport, I can’t set the exhaust. In MyMode, I can’t set drivetrain. In Z mode, I have to select it every time I start the car. No logic to any of it.


    Guess I’ll have to figure out how to get the speaker grill off and modify my homemade C7 M2W to work in the C8.
    *****

    I’m also somewhat disappointed in the customization options in the DIC. On the C7, I could have one small tile that digitally showed coolant temp, oil pressure and temp, voltage and TP status (not actual pressure). On the C8, those take up 5 separate spaces, and in every mode but Track you can only view 3. That’s a step backwards. I’ve ended up making the track mode display my default so I can see all of them, but track mode has some compromises that are less than ideal for the street. (No odometer display, no V4 or V8 display, no speed limit display.) And I’m not a huge fan of the bar graph tach.
    *****

    There are other, relatively minor, inconsistencies in the user interface design that most people will probably never notice. For example, in some places when you get to the end of a scrollable list you can’t scroll any further (such as scrolling the displays on the right side of the DIC left and right.). Hit the end, and you have to start pushing a different button to go back the way you came. But in other places, when you hit the end of the list it cycles back to the first item (such as scrolling through the various trip computer options. Either approach has pros and cons, but good UI design should be consistent. Oh, and why did they remove the instantaneous fuel economy display from the trip computer screens?
    *****

    Overall I really love the car, but some of the electronics details seem to be unfinished, or just poorly designed and implemented. And almost all of them could be fixed with software updates, if GM cares enough.
    Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

    Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

    Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

    Never grow up - It's a trap.

  • #2
    i love your renaming it Thomas. Can we all do the same for ours, for as you so aptly noted this thing is a collection of nooks and crannies. I felt our C7 had more enough of them, but more here by far as we all know. And why I went with a massively powerful and heated blower to dry it without touching it.

    As to your not liking the bar tach graph, me neither, even though I am always in track mode display, that is why I changed my HUD to always be a circular tach.

    Thanks for your insights.
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

    Comment


    • #3
      Quote:
      Someone on one of the sites complained about the lumbar adjustment not being in the right place. I have to agree. For us short people (or at least for me) it hits too high on my back. If I were taller it would probably be better. I tried sitting on the 2 inch (before being compressed by sitting on it) seat cushion I used in the C7. With that, the lumbar is in a perfect spot. Fortunately, I don’t like a lot of lumbar pressure or adjustment anyway.


      Being someone who needs lower back support this is not what I wanted to hear. I am about the same size as you so if the support is not in the right place for you it may not be in the right place for me. I can handle short drives up to about an hour but after that things start to stiffen up. I really hope these seats are comfortable for the long drive.

      Comment


      • #4
        Very comprehensive writeup meyerweb. I was actually looking forward to your impressions. I could comment on several of them but I'll only say like John changing your name is probably a good idea. The connotation of your current one is not totally positive.
        Last edited by Boomer; 06-10-2021, 06:41 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Funny about the "Mount Weather" response from voice recognition...not surprising since that's a government installation & FEMA site (and long ago a semi-secret location).

          Great write-up of your impressions, BTW!
          Last edited by My1stVette; 06-10-2021, 06:26 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great Write Up and thanks for the review, now Enjoy Top Down Summer Driving. 👍
            [Current Corvette 1999 C5 Z51 Magnetic Red Coupe]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cobia384 View Post
              Quote:
              Someone on one of the sites complained about the lumbar adjustment not being in the right place. I have to agree. For us short people (or at least for me) it hits too high on my back. If I were taller it would probably be better. I tried sitting on the 2 inch (before being compressed by sitting on it) seat cushion I used in the C7. With that, the lumbar is in a perfect spot. Fortunately, I don’t like a lot of lumbar pressure or adjustment anyway.


              Being someone who needs lower back support this is not what I wanted to hear. I am about the same size as you so if the support is not in the right place for you it may not be in the right place for me. I can handle short drives up to about an hour but after that things start to stiffen up. I really hope these seats are comfortable for the long drive.
              Agreed, but I think it makes sense that it's a little high for us shorter guys as we're, well, shorter than the average Corvette driver. I'm 5' 7" and suffer the same thing on long drives as I have some herniated discs. If it gets bad on a long drive I like Meyerweb's idea of a 2" cushion, might be worth it to have one stashed behind the driver's seat in case it's needed.

              That is, of course, if it winds up being too high to hit where you need it to. I haven't spent a lot of seat time, but the little I did I found the seats to be very comfortable and was pleased with the lumbar support.
              On Order: 2LT Coupe, Z51, Elkhart Lake Blue, GT2 seats, Edge Red Calipers, Mag Ride, Front Lift, High Wing spoiler, R8C museum delivery.

              2000 status 5/1, 3000 on 5/4

              Comment


              • #8
                One surprising disappointment with the audio system is the XM radio, and it's lack of features. Even my little Civic has a more capable XM radio, including the "skip" feature which allows you to skip back and forward through songs on a given channel. So, if you want to listen to a favorite song a 2nd time, you can skip back to the song's beginning. For news channels, this allows you to skip back to the beginning of a broadcast so you can listen to it in its entirety.

                I'm really surprised that GM omitted this XM capability in their flagship vehicle.

                For road warriors, using the XM app on your smartphone as the C8 audio source provides a work-around to this issue.
                My C8:
                '20 Elkhart Lake Blue 2LT Coupe, Natural Interior, GT2 Two-Tone Seats, Performance Exhaust, Front Lift, Carbon Flash Wheels, Engine Appearance Package 2000 Status December 27, 2019; 3000 Status January 2, 2020; 3400 Status March 10, 2020;TPW March 16, 2020; Built June 4th, 2020 (COVID-19); Delivery July 1, 2020

                Current Vettes:
                '68 Lemans Blue 327/350 Convertible
                '91 Turquoise Convertible with Hardtop
                '14 Lime Rock Green 2LT Convertible, Black Top, Kalahari, 7-Speed, Performance Exhaust

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John View Post
                  As to your not liking the bar tach graph, me neither, even though I am always in track mode display, that is why I changed my HUD to always be a circular tach.
                  How did you get the HUD to stick? Every time I start my car mine switches to the bar graph tach on the HUD.

                  Originally posted by Cobia384 View Post
                  Quote:

                  Being someone who needs lower back support this is not what I wanted to hear. I am about the same size as you so if the support is not in the right place for you it may not be in the right place for me. I can handle short drives up to about an hour but after that things start to stiffen up. I really hope these seats are comfortable for the long drive.
                  If, when you get your car, you come to the same conclusion, I would try a seat cushion. It also makes it easier to see over the hump behind you.

                  Originally posted by Mobius View Post
                  One surprising disappointment with the audio system is the XM radio, and it's lack of features. Even my little Civic has a more capable XM radio, including the "skip" feature which allows you to skip back and forward through songs on a given channel. So, if you want to listen to a favorite song a 2nd time, you can skip back to the song's beginning. For news channels, this allows you to skip back to the beginning of a broadcast so you can listen to it in its entirety.

                  I'm really surprised that GM omitted this XM capability in their flagship vehicle.

                  For road warriors, using the XM app on your smartphone as the C8 audio source provides a work-around to this issue.
                  I think I did see a skip / repeat option for XM. I wonder if that's new for 2021, or if I'm thinking of something else. I'll have to look again and see. For road tunes, I've got hundreds of songs ripped from CDs and burned to a thumb drive, and I mostly listen to that.

                  Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

                  Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

                  Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                  Never grow up - It's a trap.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    meyerweb Thanks for sharing your keen perspective thus far with this marvelous work of wonder from GM. In your opinion piece above, you had mentioned and I quote “With all of Bose’s infamous phase shifting, frequency shaping, volume adjusting settings turned off, it’s probably the best Bose car system I’ve heard“. As such, after attempting to search for this information in the owners manual first, then this forum second, I could find no guidance on how to turn off those settings you referenced. Now I am Polish, but I’m a polished Polack if I can say so about myself. 🤔😁 Anyways, if possible, could you please enlighten me on how to turn those settings off or on as the case may be.

                    Personally speaking, I Love this car. It’s responsive, and it’s hella fun 🤓
                    07/01/20 Deposit @ VanBortels on 2021 C8 Coupe; 08/01/20 Prelim Order Status 1100; 01/21/21 Final Order Status 2000; 01/27/21 Status 3000; 03/06/21 Status 3300 (TPW 03/22/21); 03/16/21 Status 3400; 03/22/21 Status 3800; 03/23/21 Status 4B00; 03/26/21 Status 4D00: Status 4200; 04/02/21; 04/06/21 Status 5000; 2LT Coupe; GMO; DSZ; Q8Q; HTA; AQ9; E60; FE2; NPP; ERI

                    ”I’m not the best in town, but I’m the best, until the best comes around“

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by meyerweb View Post
                      In no particular order, stream of consciousness thoughts on my C8 HTC:


                      For most of the break-in period I ended up driving in Automatic mode, and much of that in Tour for several reasons. My initial impression? It’s a nice car, but so far it doesn’t do much to excite me. A real nice cruiser, but…. But now I’ve hit the magic 500, and I’ve been driving with all the adjustable settings in Sport mode, and exhaust in Track much of the time. And the transmission in “M.” The car is transformed! Even without breaking the 4000 rpm redline (by much), the car is so much more fun with things stiffened and speeded up it’s hard to believe. The DCT is fantastic in Sport / Manual. Manual mode just makes the driver a part of the car, rather than someone along for the ride. The suspension is improved without adding any harshness. Steering is very direct and accurate (if still not providing a lot of feedback on what the tires are doing).


                      I’ll miss the manual on my C7, but probably not as much as I thought I would. The DCT is just so good. In tour mode, it’s very smooth, not jerky at all, but a little boring. In Sport it’s a little bit more abrupt coming to a stop, but shifts are cracked off instantly. Handling, given the little I’ve been able to push it, is stellar, as is the ride / handling balance. (More about that later, too).


                      Now that I’m at ~550 miles, I took a couple of opportunities to punch it. Still no Launch mode, but even so man, this thing takes off. There seems to be a slight weakness for a split second, then it just goes. Even pre-breakin it was fun: I took my cousin for a ride on Saturday, and gunned it briefly. Her first words were “Oh my, please take this old woman home.” Followed almost immediately by “Can we do that again?”
                      *****

                      On a different topic, I’m thinking I should rename my car “Thomas,” because this car has more nooks and crannies than an English Muffin. This is the hardest car to clean and dry I’ve ever owned. There are so many corners and creases that just love to collect dirt. The 90 degree corner at the inside edge of the rocker panel is the worst example. It seems to get dirty just sitting in the garage. Drying is as bad as washing it. If you don’t believe me, wash it, then dry it really, really thoroughly with towels. Then turn an air dryer or leaf blower on it and see how many places water comes out of!
                      *****

                      I need to learn to drive all over again! After 50 years of driving stick shifts, my brain doesn’t know what to do with these flappy paddles. Without the shifter sticking up on the console, my primitive hindbrain tells my arms I’m driving an automatic. More than once, in manual mode, I’ve taken off from a stop and forgotten I have to shift! (That’s why I ended up staying in D a lot of the time during break-in. I also stomped on the brake pedal trying to use the clutch, but only once, and a couple of times reached for the non-existent shifter. But I”m getting used to it, and driving in Manual is SO. MUCH. MORE. FUN. and involving than D.


                      Speaking of M vs. D, why do I need to shift from Park to Drive first, before I can shift to M? Seems silly, since I can hit the M button as soon as it goes into D. If I know I’m going forward, let me pick the mode I want.
                      *****

                      I love the rear view mirror / camera, although it’s not without issue. I have mono-vision correction (primary eye corrected for distance, other eye for near) and have no problem using it. The first time I look up after only looking forward for a while there’s a brief moment of visual disorientation, but it’s over in a split second. The view is clear, sharp and wide.


                      The downside, though, is that cars behind you look a lot further away than they really are, even on the narrowest setting. On wider settings a car that’s tailgating you looks far away. Like the outside mirror says “Objects are closer than they appear,” maybe this should also.


                      The biggest advantage for me, though, isn’t the elimination of blind spots. With my outside mirrors adjusted correctly I can see fine using the normal rear view. But I’m pretty short, and seeing over the hump in the rear deck is a challenge - the hump really restricts my view of things close to the car. With the camera, that issue disappears! My only regret about the HTC is that I can’t use the camera when the top is down. I’d love to see the camera mounted in a nacelle, but having it off center would probably confuse people.
                      *****

                      This is my first car with MSRC. I’m impressed. For those who have asked “Is it worth it?”, my answer is yes. When just easy cruising, Tour mode gives a nice ride without being too soft and with little body roll and no wallowing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Lincoln Continental soft. It’s still a sports car, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’d say it’s about as soft as the base C7 with the 18/19” wheels, but with less body roll. And the instant adjustability means that it settles down from big bumps or holes very rapidly. Everyone who’s ridden in it has been really impressed with how well it rides in Tour.


                      Sport mode still rides quite well for a sports car. It’s noticeably firmer, and you definitely feel more than in Tour, but it’s never harsh. The ability of these shocks to soak up imperfections is pretty amazing. I’d say I think there’s less body roll than in Tour, but haven’t really compared the two enough to say for sure. It feels much more responsive in Sport, too. For daily driving I’ll leave it in sport mode, unless the roads are really crappy. On a poor road, Tour deals with the bumps and holes more comfortably than Sport, without making you feel like you’re driving a yacht. For long drives on the highway Tour mode just soaks up all the tar strips, patches, and other imperfections.


                      With track mode, you feel every bump and frost heave, but it’s still not rattle-your-teeth stiff. I wouldn’t recommend it for normal street use unless your roads are really smooth, though. I suspect the better compliance of sport will keep the tires planted on a bumpy road better than Track.
                      *****

                      Comparing the built-in Nav to Google Maps was interesting. In some ways the built in nav is superior. It shows much more detail (more roads, more road and place names) than did Google in the same locations. I wonder if that’s because Google Maps is still showing a level of detail appropriate for little phone screens, rather than the larger car screen. The lane guidance split screen feature is really well done. And it warned me about police ahead once. It was wrong, but at least it tried. I really like the integration with the other car systems. (I think when I got to my destination and slowed way down it automatically turned on the the front parking camera, but I’ll have to test that again. Maybe I imagined it.) On balance, though, I think Google Maps route guidance is a little better, and Google’s integration with other data (places, businesses, your contacts and travel history) is definitely superior (at the cost of giving up large amounts of privacy).


                      OTOH, voice recognition is laughably bad. Unimaginably bad. Not once has it gotten it right. I asked for “Mount Weather,” (which is a local, albeit small, mountain) and it gave me a barber shop in a city a couple of hours away that had neither weather nor mount in its name. I asked for my neighborhood name, and it gave me another city in Virginia that I’ve never heard of (at least the first syllable was the same). Google identified the elementary school a couple of blocks away. I asked for “Criswell Chevrolet in Gaithersburg, MD,” and it said it didn’t understand that. So I tried just plain “Criswell Chevrolet” and it came back with “Royal Chevrolet” which is also a couple of hours away, but in a different direction. Many of my requests it just punted on, saying it couldn’t find that or didn’t understand that. So far, 100% failure rate. And I don’t have some weird foreign accent, either. Google understands me just fine. The remote on my TV understands me (the 2 or 3 times I used it). When I type in a location, NAV does a good job, so if they could fix voice recognition, it would be a worthy tool.
                      *****

                      The audio system? I guess my summation would be “It’s quite good, for a Bose system, and if you set it up properly.” But based on all the rave reviews, I expected better. With all of Bose’s infamous phase shifting, frequency shaping, volume adjusting settings turned off, it’s probably the best Bose car system I’ve heard. But that may be d***ing with faint praise. It still has the exaggerated bass Bose has been known for since the original 901 series speakers back in the late 60s. But turning the bass down 3 to 5 notches, and treble up a few notches makes it pretty decent for a car environment….


                      ….UNTIL you turn on the audio processing. Centerpoint makes the bass even more artificially boomy (sounds like maybe they’re doubling low frequencies (e.g., converting 30 Hz bass to 60 Hz) to make up for the fact that the micron thin paper cones Bose loves to use can’t actually produce deep bass), makes the mid-range muddy, and the high frequencies weak by comparison. “Driver” also messes with the sound, but the effects aren’t as bad as Centerpoint. “Normal” is by far the cleanest, least distorted sound. If you want the sound biased towards the driver a bit, just adjust the balance instead of relying on the Centerpoint options. Audiopilot is, if nothing else, improved over that in the C7. It still doesn’t do a very good job of dealing with variable noise levels in the car, but it’s improved, and it doesn’t add a ton of distortion like the C7 system did.


                      Sirius/XM? In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, “Just Say No.” The last time I listened to Sirius was the first year of ownership of my 2015 C7, when I also had a free trial. Sound quality was mediocre then, but it’s far, far worse now. They’ve crammed so many channels into the same fixed bandwidth that the massive compression and low bit rate just crush the music. It sounds like a 1980’s era boombox that sold for $29.95 at K-Mart and played only cassette tapes. I guess it’s fine for voice channels.


                      With decent source material though, like high bitrate MP3s or even HD Radio, the sound is quite pleasant. Not audiophile quality, but I don’t really look for that in a car. I haven’t tried it with lossless music files yet.


                      One little bit I really do like: press the mute button, and the system also pauses playback. The C7 keeps on playing music no one can hear. The hands-free phone sound quality seems much improved over the C7, too. I could easily hear people who called me, and they seemed to have no problem understanding me even with the top down (windows up). The C7 picked up a lot more wind noise. GM found a better spot for the microphone.
                      *****

                      Someone on one of the sites complained about the lumbar adjustment not being in the right place. I have to agree. For us short people (or at least for me) it hits too high on my back. If I were taller it would probably be better. I tried sitting on the 2 inch (before being compressed by sitting on it) seat cushion I used in the C7. With that, the lumbar is in a perfect spot. Fortunately, I don’t like a lot of lumbar pressure or adjustment anyway.
                      *****

                      The trunk gets hot. No two ways around it. I didn’t put a thermometer in there, but after driving around with ambient temps in the upper 80s the items I had in the trunk were significantly hotter than they would have been in the C7. It’s not so hot it’s going to ruin your clothes or luggage, but as Tadge said: “Pizza in the trunk, beer in the frunk.” Don’t put your wife’s (or your) makeup and perfume, or candy supply, in the back.
                      *****

                      Lots of customization options with Z mode and My Mode, but the C7 did some things better. The C8 doesn’t let us set the exhaust mode completely independent of driving mode. In the C7 I could put the exhaust in Track (or Stealth, or any other mode) and leave it there in any drive mode. Can’t do that in the C8. And why is My Mode so limiting? You can’t adjust powertrain (shifting) settings at all. They’re stuck in lazy shifting Granny mode (Tour), but you can put the suspension in Track and leave it there. Why would you want the suspension super firm but shifting in granny mode? What were they thinking? It simply makes no sense. “You can do that in Z-mode, you say? Yes, I can, but Z-mode doesn’t stick when you shut the car off, and every time I switch to Z-mode the car changes the HUD display to a setting I don’t want. That’s another place the C7 is better: In the C7 you can put the HUD in whatever mode you want and it stays there, not changing unless I tell it to change. Why can I select a single DIC display style to appear regardless of driving mode, but not the HUD?


                      Why are there arbitrary limitations anyway? Let me adjust the powertrain in My Mode to match the suspension choice I’ve made (and if they want to lock out track powertrain for whatever reason, fine, but then why allow track mode suspension in My Mode?) Let me adjust the exhaust in any mode, like I could before (and if they want to lock out Stealth to avoid overheating the exhaust, that’s cool.) My preference for daily driving would be Sport mode with Track exhaust, and to STAY THAT WAY between startups. The only way to get the car to start up that way will be to install a mild 2 wild switch. In Sport, I can’t set the exhaust. In MyMode, I can’t set drivetrain. In Z mode, I have to select it every time I start the car. No logic to any of it.


                      Guess I’ll have to figure out how to get the speaker grill off and modify my homemade C7 M2W to work in the C8.
                      *****

                      I’m also somewhat disappointed in the customization options in the DIC. On the C7, I could have one small tile that digitally showed coolant temp, oil pressure and temp, voltage and TP status (not actual pressure). On the C8, those take up 5 separate spaces, and in every mode but Track you can only view 3. That’s a step backwards. I’ve ended up making the track mode display my default so I can see all of them, but track mode has some compromises that are less than ideal for the street. (No odometer display, no V4 or V8 display, no speed limit display.) And I’m not a huge fan of the bar graph tach.
                      *****

                      There are other, relatively minor, inconsistencies in the user interface design that most people will probably never notice. For example, in some places when you get to the end of a scrollable list you can’t scroll any further (such as scrolling the displays on the right side of the DIC left and right.). Hit the end, and you have to start pushing a different button to go back the way you came. But in other places, when you hit the end of the list it cycles back to the first item (such as scrolling through the various trip computer options. Either approach has pros and cons, but good UI design should be consistent. Oh, and why did they remove the instantaneous fuel economy display from the trip computer screens?
                      *****

                      Overall I really love the car, but some of the electronics details seem to be unfinished, or just poorly designed and implemented. And almost all of them could be fixed with software updates, if GM cares enough.
                      I’ve been waiting for this update Meyerweb! And you certainly didn’t disappoint! Of course I have no based line being a newbie to VetteWorld. In any case I’m saving your review because there are so many details that will save me hours in the garage and driveway fiddling to adjust all the various options to achieve the ultimate configurations. So thanks a Million for taking the time to put these details together… 😎
                      202(1 or 2) Arctic White HTC Z51 with all the Goodies 😎

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hogyld View Post
                        meyerweb Thanks for sharing your keen perspective thus far with this marvelous work of wonder from GM. In your opinion piece above, you had mentioned and I quote “With all of Bose’s infamous phase shifting, frequency shaping, volume adjusting settings turned off, it’s probably the best Bose car system I’ve heard“. As such, after attempting to search for this information in the owners manual first, then this forum second, I could find no guidance on how to turn off those settings you referenced. Now I am Polish, but I’m a polished Polack if I can say so about myself. 🤔😁 Anyways, if possible, could you please enlighten me on how to turn those settings off or on as the case may be.

                        Personally speaking, I Love this car. It’s responsive, and it’s hella fun 🤓
                        I love it too. But it's not perfect. (Nothing is.)

                        I'll be happy to tell you how to get to those settings, but I'll have to sit down in the car to do it. Will get back to you.
                        Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

                        Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

                        Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                        Never grow up - It's a trap.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          06-06-2021, 02:45 PM
                          I love this CAR!!! I do have two small suggestions for improvements on the next model year. One: I would like to see the seat belt strap retainer, attached to the upper outside of the seats, be adjustable ( up and down). I'm a short person and the belt digs into my neck. If I could lower it an inch, which you can do in most cars, it would be great. Presently if I drive for more than 20 minutes I remove the strap from the retainer. Second: I need bifocals for reading (1.5 to read papers and up to 2.0 for micrometer reading), because I am short (5'5") with the seat back as far as I can put it and still operate the pedals I am to close to the rear view mirror (camera) and it is blurry unless I rest my head all the way back to the head rest. It looks to me that the mirror assemble could be moved closer to the windshield a couple of inches but is also is not adjustable. So those are my two suggestions I hope you don't think I'm a whinner because I'm not and I can certainly live very happily with it just the way it is. Paul C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mobius View Post
                            One surprising disappointment with the audio system is the XM radio, and it's lack of features. Even my little Civic has a more capable XM radio, including the "skip" feature which allows you to skip back and forward through songs on a given channel. So, if you want to listen to a favorite song a 2nd time, you can skip back to the song's beginning. For news channels, this allows you to skip back to the beginning of a broadcast so you can listen to it in its entirety.

                            I'm really surprised that GM omitted this XM capability in their flagship vehicle.

                            For road warriors, using the XM app on your smartphone as the C8 audio source provides a work-around to this issue.
                            I haven't taken delivery of my C8 yet, but I've had XM in our cars for years and I know for a fact you can play a song 17 times in a row if you wish, by pushing the double arrow button to go back. My 2012 CTS coupe has it and my wife's XT5 had it and her XT4 has it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by My1stVette View Post
                              Funny about the "Mount Weather" response from voice recognition...not surprising since that's a government installation & FEMA site (and long ago a semi-secret location).

                              Great write-up of your impressions, BTW!
                              Now they've got a huge sign out front: "FEMA Emergency Operations Center"

                              I was out there when CBP had a major presence there. Assume they still do, but no longer have the "in" to know for sure.
                              Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

                              Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

                              Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                              Never grow up - It's a trap.

                              Comment

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