Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray is shown from the rear on a racetrack.

The 2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray: A Buyer’s Guide

The 2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray is the ideal new sports car for most drivers. Available in three different trims, plus both Coupe and Convertible options, the 2022 Corvette allows room for several different budget ranges. That being said, even the base-level models bring more to the table than your average sedan. You already know you want the ‘Vette, so the real question here is, which one? This guide will detail the most important differences between each trim option, along with package and spec details to help you make a final decision.

Z51 Performance Package (Available on The 1LT Trim)

The most important thing to keep in mind here is that with the new ‘Vette, it’s all about the Z51 Performance Package and much less about the trim. Contrary to popular belief, the current Corvette trim lineup is not based on performance upgrades (although that will change with the introduction of the Z06 variant next year). Actually, you can get as much power with the 1LT trim as you can in the two higher trim options. Rather than upgrading your trim, you need to simply add the Z51 Performance package for all the go-fast parts you desire.

The Z51 Performance package includes the following upgrades:

  • Performance Braking an upgraded braking system is essential for sports cars, especially when you plan on using them to their fullest potential. The Z51 brakes include Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers and larger rotors on all four corners
  • Performance Suspension Less play, more cornering. The standard Z51 Package comes with stiffer springs and dampers, making it easier to take tight turns and maintain control at higher speeds. However, you can also pair the Z51 Package with Magnetic Ride control for a smoother ride when you aren’t pushing the limits.
  • Performance Exhaust Provides 5 more horsepower and 5 more lb-ft of torque while adding a louder exhaust sound.
  • Performance Rear Axle Ratio Switches out the rear axle from a 4.89 to a 5.17 ratio, helping you put more torque to the ground and improve acceleration.
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential The eLSD provides computer-controlled axle lockup for enhanced traction in corners and on slick roads.
  • Heavy-Duty Cooling System A third radiator keeps engine temperatures down when hot lapping, while the additional brake cooling ducts will help prevent brake fade during long track sessions.

The Z51 Package also includes a unique front splitter and rear spoiler, as well as Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires instead of the standard Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires. For reference, front splitters are included on race cars to provide added downforce on the front axle, keeping the car planted and responsive at high speeds. No matter which trim you choose, the Z51 Package is your key to power, and it is available on all three trims. But just because it is available on all trims doesn’t mean you should write off the 2LT and 3LT trims. Let’s dive into the main spec differences between the three trims.

A blue 2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray 1LT is shown from the side in an empty lot.

The 1LT Trim

Standard features are abundant on the base-level ‘Vette. First off, the Corvette’s Coupe version comes with a removable hardtop, while the Convertible comes with a power-retractable hardtop. The 1LT trim includes a 10-speaker Bose Audio system at no additional cost, plus 8-way power seats, a power-adjusting steering wheel, and an HD Rearview Camera.

Additional features include the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System, which includes voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity, all housed on a single touchscreen. Teen Driver Mode is also standard on the 1LT model, so if you reluctantly decide to let someone else drive your brand-new sports car, you can rely on restrictions and a report card to keep your worries at bay.

More standard features include Rear Park Assist and an HD Rearview Camera, ensuring a wide view. Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control is also standard, meaning that you and your passenger no longer have to fight over the thermostat. Thanks to these features, it’s safe to say that Chevy makes for a well-packed base-level trim. The 1LT is more than enough for most drivers, and adding the Z51 Performance Package still keeps the 1LT more affordable than the 2LT without the Z51 Package.

The 2LT Trim

What’s so special about the 2LT trim, then? Firstly, it’s the implementation of advanced technology. The 2LT trim includes everything that the 1LT does, plus much more. You’ll get a Performance Data Recorder and Video Recorder that acts as a dashcam and saves footage onto an SD card for future editing or posting. You can customize what performance data you want to see and what you don’t, and you can even remove it from the video recording altogether.

  • The 2LT also adds four additional speakers to the Bose Audio System, wireless charging, and several safety advantages. These safety additions include the following:
  • Head-Up Display Projects important stats directly onto the windshield for safer viewing.
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring Determines whether it’s safe to switch lanes by notifying you when a vehicle is approaching from the side.
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Ideal for low-setting vehicles, this feature can detect when a vehicle is approaching from the “rear cross” area. Common examples of its use include when you’re backing out of a parking space or a driveway.
  • Built-In Navigation While your smartphone map works decently, Built-in Navigation is a GPS system that’s there for you even when cell phone service isn’t.

When you upgrade to the 2LT, you gain access to more fun, convenience, and better safety. While the upgrade isn’t necessary, it’s certainly appealing.

The tan interior of a 2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray 3LT shows the front seats.

The 3LT Trim

The highest trim includes all the aforementioned perks. While this trim doesn’t include additional performance or tech features, it does include the highest-quality available interior options. When you choose the 3LT, you gain GT2 Napa leather bucket seats and a leather interior. The best part? These interior options come in eight different colors!

It’s not all about aesthetics, either, as the 3LT’s seats include power and lumbar adjustment options. Essentially, this trim is available for those who want the full-spectrum Corvette experience. While you can get everything you need with the other two trims, you access everything you could ever want with the 3LT trim.

Which ‘Vette is For Me?

The 2022 Corvette Stingray appeals to all crowds. When you want the look of the ‘Vette, but you don’t plan on hitting the racetrack or spending additional money on luxuries, then the base 1LT is perfect. And if you want to go cruising in style, then the 2LT and 3LT are available. It’s completely unnecessary to purchase the Z71 Package unless you want that true feeling of sports car power.

However, when it’s speed you want, you need to add the Z71 Performance Package no matter which trim you choose. As far as which one’s the best “bang for your buck,” though, we recommend the 2LT with the Z71 Performance Package. You’ll have access to the Performance Data and Video Recording, the best available safety features, and wireless device charging. When paired with the Z71 Performance Package, the 2LT is the most well-rounded ‘Vette option.

That said, if you’re solely looking for performance and you’re not as keen on technology features, the 1LT and Z71 Performance Package combo is your best bet. Of course, if you’re on the Corvette Enthusiast side of things, you’re ready to go all out, so the 3LT and Z71 Performance Package is for you. Just keep in mind that unless you’re solely into the ‘Vette’s good looks, adding that Z71 Package is well worth the additional cost. Trim isn’t what affects power, in this case. This Package is the key to how you reach the 2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray’s optimal performance.