Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2004 Chevrolet CORVETTE VS 2004 Ford Mustang Near Phoenix, AZ

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2004 Chevrolet CORVETTE

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2004 Ford Mustang

Safety Comparison

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The Corvette has a standard Active Handling System, which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The Active Handling System then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer skid prevention.

The Chevrolet Corvette has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Daytime Running Lights decrease the chances of collisions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Corvette and the Mustang SVT Cobra have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes and traction control.

Warranty Comparison

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The Corvette’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Mustang SVT Cobra’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

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The Corvette has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corvette first among premium sports cars in initial quality. The Mustang SVT Cobra isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of new car owners provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 17th in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

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The Corvette Z06’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 15 more horsepower (405 vs. 390) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 390) than the Mustang SVT Cobra’s 4.6 supercharged DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Corvette is faster than the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra (manual transmissions tested):

Corvette LS1

Corvette Z06

Mustang SVT Cobra

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

4.1 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13 sec

12.5 sec

13.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109.6 MPH

114.9 MPH

109.6 MPH

In a Motor Trend race course test, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was clocked 1.5 seconds faster than the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe (24.8 sec. vs. 26.3 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The Chevrolet Corvette manual gets better fuel mileage than the Mustang SVT Cobra (19 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).

The Corvette has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mustang SVT Cobra (18 vs. 15.7 gallons), for longer range between fill ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Corvette stops much shorter than the Mustang SVT Cobra:

Corvette

Mustang SVT Cobra

80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

222 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

124 feet

AutoWeek

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Corvette Z06’s 295/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang SVT Cobra’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 18 inch rear wheels. Only 17 inch wheels are available on the Mustang SVT Cobra.

The Corvette (except Z06) has a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which will alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Corvette can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Corvette offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Mustang SVT Cobra’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Corvette has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Mustang SVT Cobra (104.5 vs. 101.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Mustang SVT Cobra.

The Corvette’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the Mustang SVT Cobra’s (56.6% to 43.4%). This gives the Corvette more stable handling and braking.

The Corvette Z06 handles at .98 G’s, while the Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Corvette Convertible handles at .93 G’s, while the Mustang SVT Cobra Convertible pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Corvette Z06 goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 6.1 MPH faster than the Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe (70.4 vs. 64.3 MPH).

The Corvette Convertible goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 2.6 MPH faster than the Mustang SVT Cobra Convertible (66.7 vs. 64.1 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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The Chevrolet Corvette may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 pounds less than the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra.

As tested by Road & Track while under full throttle, the interior of the Corvette Convertible is quieter than the Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe (80 vs. 84 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Corvette Coupe has .9 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room and 1.7 inches more front shoulder room than the Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe.

The Corvette Convertible has .9 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room and 1.7 inches more front shoulder room than the Mustang SVT Cobra Convertible.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Corvette Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Mustang SVT Cobra Coupe (24.8 vs. 10.9 cubic feet).

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Mustang SVT Cobra Convertible (13.9 vs. 7.7 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, remote release lock-out switch and remote trunk release lockout, the Corvette offers cargo security. The Mustang SVT Cobra’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The engine computer on the Corvette disables the starter while the engine is running. The Mustang SVT Cobra’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Corvette (except Z06) offers a power telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When three different drivers share the Corvette (except Hardtop), the optional memory systems make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror positions and radio stations. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Corvette’s front power windows lower automatically with one touch, especially convenient at tollbooths or drive-up windows. Only the driver’s window of the Mustang SVT Cobra works automatically with one touch.

The Corvette’s standard power locks have lockout prevention to prevent locking the keys in the car: they won’t lock when the key is in the ignition and the driver’s door is open. The Mustang SVT Cobra’s power door locks will readily lock the keys in the ignition.

The Mustang SVT Cobra’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Corvette’s standard doors lock when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Corvette has standard lighted power door lock, power window and power mirror switches so that they are easily found at night. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t have lighted switches.

The Corvette has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Corvette offers an optional automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Corvette’s outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Corvette’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The Corvette’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Corvette (except Z06)’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Mustang SVT Cobra doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Corvette owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Corvette will cost $2010 to $2765 less than the Mustang SVT Cobra over a five year period.

The Corvette will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that the Corvette will retain 60.97% to 62.3% of its original price after five years, while the Mustang SVT Cobra only retains 48.3% to 48.53%.

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