If you had the money, would you buy a C5 or C6, any input? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-04-2015, 10:41 PM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 377
Total Cats: 0
Post If you had the money, would you buy a C5 or C6, any input?

So I have been thinking of a reliable DD that is fun to drive, will fit a bike in the trunk/hatch and is relatively comfortable. I am also buying cash so cheaper is better but not the most important part.

This has made me think long and hard about a C5 or C6 Corvette. Seems like they are remarkably reliable, parts are cheap, and they are plentiful with low miles.

Unfortunately, I can't find much reliable subjective information. It is so odd that a car that has higher production numbers than the Miata has so many pristine examples that owners love to gush over how rare/low mile/clean/ etc. Nothing is a problem, etc. The forums are all a bit too surface level, so they aren't much help (sweet wheel posts and which cold air intake adds the most HP). Auto journalists either love them or hate them, but I'm not paying 50-75k and don't really care about the squeaky interior.

So to the point. Opinions on the C5 or C6? Which would you buy and what options? C5 Z06? C5 Z51? C6 with LS3? Is the longitudinal leaf spring a big deal?
3rdCarMX5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015, 10:51 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,010
Total Cats: 8
Default

Loved my c5z, sold it and bought another miata. Prices are in a weird place right now with the c7's introduction and the c6's not really hitting the depreciation hard quite yet. My opinion, buy a c5z with headers and exhaust in the 50k mile range for sub $20k and never look back. Resist the temptation to spend money on mods and you'll be ok. IMHO the c5z is better than a standard c6, and until the c6z and/or grand sport come down in price it's not even worth a look at that generation
airbrush1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015, 11:42 PM   #3
I'm Miserable!
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 245
Total Cats: 0
Default

C5s are a bargain IMO, they are fast in a straight line and in the corners and yes relatively inexpensive to maintain. If you got the coin for a Z06 then definitely go that route. I think about selling my miata and getting a c5 almost everytime I see a clean one on the street.
Greasemonkey2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015, 11:47 PM   #4
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 6,009
Total Cats: 583
Default

I think Emilio DDs a C5 if that tells you anything.
hornetball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015, 11:51 PM   #5
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 737
Total Cats: 30
Default

Interiors suck.... so much, that being said the c5z is a fabulous car for the money, good tires, alignment, bolt ons and it's a riot
greddygalant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2015, 11:57 PM   #6
Slowest Progress Ever
iTrader: (26)
 
thirdgen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: The coal ridden hills of Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,808
Total Cats: 183
Default

No Vlad yet? What a Slacker...
I drove my buddies C5 after he did intake/ catless x pipe/ tune. Dyno'd 358/362 @ the wheels.
Obviously it had a lot more top end than my 5 speed turbo Miata with 4.30 gears, but my car still felt like it would've smashed it to almost 100mph. I also didn't like the way if felt sitting in the drivers seat. Felt like it sat too low and all you saw was dashboard.
The C6 is a different story. I love the C6 over the C5, but have never driven one. There's also a big price difference.
thirdgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 12:17 AM   #7
I take big bites
iTrader: (1)
 
turbofan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hurricane, UT
Posts: 6,924
Total Cats: 526
Default

Dad owns a '98 C5 auto. They do have little issues. I would go for a C6 over a C5. Performance of a base C6 LS3 is pretty close to a C5z and it's a far superior care -- stiffer, lighter, better interior, solid solid motor.
turbofan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
Supporting Vendor
iTrader: (1)
 
OGRacing's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,764
Total Cats: 46
Default

back in the day i used to work in a corvette shop. with the ls, power is so easily obtainable. You can easily over-work the rest of the drive line components. that's when things start braking and gets expensive. Keep it under 500 wheel hp and it will stay happy for a long time. If your going to take it on the track: trans, oil, and diff coolers are a wise investment.

every year chevy does some kind of improvement on the chassis. so don't buy a ls2 car thinking your going to throw a ls3 into it later. the wiring and the computers are different. this makes the swap a nightmare. a ls1 car can get a ls2 fairly easy, if you do your homework ahead of time.

if you want to hit the 500 wheel hp mark NA, get a Ls3 c6. if you want to go drag racing avoid the 2005 c6, the diff is not the strongest. everything else is personal prefrence. the c6 interior is better then the c5. The c5 is my choice because i love flip up headlights.

I just drove my dad's C6 from key west to Miami and back. the thing is so flipping nice to drive. i got out of the car ready to do another 1000 miles.
OGRacing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 10:14 AM   #9
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,192
Total Cats: 2,583
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdgen View Post
No Vlad yet? What a Slacker...
okay fine:

I loved my c5. But wouldn't own another autotragic corvette for the life of me, the 4a was that bad. Otherwise loved the car. Torque and power everywhere, very comfy, parts a plenty, and yes they have little issues here and there, even though mine was the last year of the c5's so it had less issues since lots of stuff was already addressed by chevy by 2004. Stuff like the serpentine belt stretching for no reason, idler pulleys squeaking, air pump system valves clogging, steering column lock breaking, center console light bulbs/resistors wearing out, none of it seemed major to me or anything crazy.

For the price, they are hard to beat.

The C6 is a completely better animal, it's not even a decision between the two if it wasn't for price, they are still way WAY more expensive.

If you don't mind 17mpg, very expensive tires, and a mediocre interior, I'd def recommend the c5. I would bet the Z06 is even better, and the C6 is even better than that, and the C6Z..........etc

I daily drove my 04 c5 for I think close to a year before I sold it, so if you need any more details just ask. There are quite a few others here that owned/own them, some with baller c6's and ultra-baller c6 z06's like Emilio, which will be able to shed more lite on the newer models.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 12:41 PM   #10
Newb
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 12
Total Cats: 4
Default

I have an 02 Z06 that I've used as a DD/autox car for a little over 2.5 years. It really is quite incredible how it can be so capable on track and yet so easy to drive and reliable. I wanted a car that would perform very well, and that I could beat on but not have to spend all my time/money on maintaining or repairing. I bought the car with 35k and it has 65k now. Through 2 seasons of autox, and about 3 track days (last minute fill in for when my Miata acted up) I've had to replace the oil pressure sensor, valve springs (precautionary), and AC DelCrap hvac display, all known issues. Oh and the driver's sunvisor mirror recently broke . Other than those things it's been gas, tires, and oil. (knock on wood)
These cars are very reliable and it can be like owning any other boring appliance car, until you want to go fast.

The car has a surprising amount of room, the Z06s don't have a hatch so the space is more limited than the regular coupes but I can still fit a surprising amount of stuff inside. More than a lot of other cars that people would assume are more "practical". I can(and have) fit a set of 275/40/17s inside with room for a few gym/computer bags. A coupe would be even better.

I've driven a base C5 coupe and C6. I'd definitely take the C6 over the C5 coupe, but not over my Z06. The interior is much better in the C6s but they don't have the same hard edged feel as my car. It's more GT. That's all subjective though, and depends on what you're looking to do with the car. Also now knowing the huge difference there was between my car stock, and the way it is now with a larger front bar and more aggressive alignment, I'd like to drive a C6 setup more like mine.

My two real complaints; the steering wheel is too large, and the seats are an embarrassment. As you mention the forums unfortunately do suck and are nothing but echo chambers filled with hearsay. Even the "performance" sections are lacking any kind of real technical discussions. It's a shame.

I'd recommend looking for a well kept drivers car, something that hasn't sat around for year getting only 2-3k miles on it. Don't shy away from "high" mileage cars. There are deals out there because a lot of guys seem to want to dump their cars and move on at around 60k. People are still in the mindset that cars are used up at 100k.
Boost_creep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 02:48 PM   #11
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 6,009
Total Cats: 583
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boost_creep View Post
As you mention the forums unfortunately do suck and are nothing but echo chambers filled with hearsay.
That's a great quote. So true.
hornetball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 07:48 PM   #12
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 377
Total Cats: 0
Default

I didn't realize the z06 c5 didn't have a hatch. That crosses that off the list.

Now I'm looking at the 2008/2009 base model manual. Is over 100k miles too many for one of these cars if it has a good service history? I hear the ls3 is engineered to be a 250k mile engine. What about the rest? What about the transmission, diff or suspension?

There are low mile examples but higher mileage doesn't necessarily scare me away and they are a lot cheaper.
3rdCarMX5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 09:05 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 433
Total Cats: 28
Default

Guess I'll be teh devil's advocate...

We bought an '05 C6 in early '13 for my wife's DD (I have a company car) and as a weekend GT car.

It was a manual trans Z51 coupe, and had ~50k miles when we bought it. It was the worst car we've ever owned.

In ~ 9 months and 10k miles I spend around $2k in parts and special tools on repairs. Not mods, repairs. And it would have cost almost double that with labor if I hadn't done the work myself.

Problems:

Cam gear bolts came loose (!)
Water pump (3rd one at 58k)
Broken radiator support/front skidplate (poorly welded and made of glass)
Fan control module failed
Seat memory got alzheimers, then the power seat motors died completely
Intermittent injector harness connections
Intermittent airbag harness connections
Numerous oddball electrical problems

Virtually every piece of plastic in the interior would break if you looked at it sideways.

Everything is so tightly packed in the engine compartment, they are an utter PITA to work on. Removing the balancer requires removing the steering rack. Removing the radiator requires discharging the A/C. And so forth.... Build quality was ****. Quality of components (electrical connectors for example) was ****.

Some of the things I didn't get around to fixing were the dodgy 2nd/3rd gear sychros, and noisy torque tube bearings.

Our car may have been a lemon (1st year C6...), but virtually every problem I had was well reported on the 'Vette forums (when you got past all the garage queen "I love my 'Vette posts).

All that said, it was fast and fun when it ran. It was a great GT car. It was almost too fast to be fun on the street. It looked fantastic.

Even if it hadn't been a POS, parts and consumables are $$$$. I understand the whole pay to play thing, but we're talking order of magnitude over Miata stuff.

After the 2nd breakdown over 100 miles from home, my wife refused to drive it. As soon as it was repaired we traded it on our '13 Miata Club and haven't looked back.
Roda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 09:53 PM   #14
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,192
Total Cats: 2,583
Default

Sounds like you got a lemon. 1st year of a major redesign it makes sense too.

My boss and a few coworkers have 08 c6's, never a single issue, and these are guys that can't change a tire so you better believe they'd cry about it if something did break.

Reading all the issues/tsb's/recalls it seems like the norm for chevy too. 1st year - you don't ever want to buy the 1st year.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 10:19 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 433
Total Cats: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Sounds like you got a lemon. 1st year of a major redesign it makes sense too.
While I would normally agree, every problem I experienced was well documented on the forums, and they weren't limited to '05s.

I also know of a couple guys who track C6s and haven't had issues, but they're both fairly low mile cars.
Roda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2015, 11:56 PM   #16
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 6,009
Total Cats: 583
Default

You know, you might think about a 4-door 'vette. My G8 is a great DD with gobs of room for just about anything. It did need a camshaft (under warranty thank God), but no further issues since I stopped filling the crankcase with water and started putting Rotella in it (I did lose 2mpg, but I'll take the trade). Seriously, I'm having a really tough time thinking of anything else that's broken. Nothing like Chris's nightmare.
hornetball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015, 01:30 AM   #17
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 377
Total Cats: 0
Default

The problems with the g8 are plentiful. None of which pertain to the car.

The first is that it is a Pontiac. I see a Pontiac and I can't help but think that person made bad life choices and now they are being punished by the universe. There were so many bad years for Pontiac.

Secondly they are relatively rare unlike corvettes, most around here go for a lot in very rough shape.

Thirdly, the survivors that come up for sale are usually salvage titles. Every crappy mechanic in California thinks he can make a side business doing half assed make overs on salvage title cool cars.

What I really want is a cts v wagon. But those are rare and haven't hit their depreciation curve sweet spot.
3rdCarMX5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015, 03:02 AM   #18
Elite Member
iTrader: (2)
 
triple88a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,131
Total Cats: 598
Default

Subbed, i'm in the same boat.
triple88a is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015, 04:43 PM   #19
Junior Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 377
Total Cats: 0
Default

So back to the question of mileage. Is 100k too many miles for a 2009? I was hoping for around 70k. Just enough to depreciate but also to find any obvious weaknesses.

A car with 25k miles can be a gamble. Which I think is why so few problems are reported. The sample size goes down exponentially with mileage.
3rdCarMX5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015, 04:53 PM   #20
Murderator
iTrader: (76)
 
18psi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 36,192
Total Cats: 2,583
Default

it depends on the price.
18psi is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My solution for Oiltemp and Oilpressure input into Megasuirt (MS3) Zaphod MEGAsquirt 41 01-24-2016 01:25 PM
MS PNP requires reading and following directions??? satisfied MEGAsquirt 141 10-06-2015 11:44 AM
Ms2e 99-00 ac control Dobzeh MEGAsquirt 23 09-15-2015 05:49 PM
2009 Subaru WRX Hatchback - Pearl White - 83k miles - $16999 Braineack Cars for sale/trade 3 09-04-2015 03:12 PM
trying to turbo 92' Auto MiataBurner DIY Turbo Discussion 11 09-16-2008 09:54 PM


Tags
corvette, daily, fat bald old men, gas < $2/gal, lsx, midlife crisis

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:36 AM.