2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium

Shutting down the naysayers with authority


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Stunning from any angle, seriously fast and tractable, interior is driver-focused and well-made, best Toyota performance car in forever.
Negatives: Fake vents are dumb, no manual transmission available, interior loses Japanese flavor with obvious BMW parts.
Bottom Line: Instead of seeming overpriced, the new Supra is a performance bargain given the level of performance and driving fun it provides. This is easily the best sports car for the money right now... until the new Corvette shows up, that is.
The world has waited nineteen years for the return of the legendary Supra sports car, and now it's here. Sure, there's been some criticism about the fact that it's built in Germany, alongside the new BMW Z4 with whom it shares quite a bit, but the Supra is a different flavor. The Supra is meant to be driven and driven hard. Some have said it's also too pricey for a Toyota Sports car at over $50K. But the real question is how much of a sports car experience it delivers. We got our hands on the 3.0 Premium edition, and we drove it for a week to see if it will shush the naysayers and keep the Supra faithful happy. Read ahead for the full review of this brand new and very exciting model.
 

Driving Experience

9.6

 

We weren't quite prepared to be blown away by how thrilling and rewarding the Supra is to drive. It has just about all the right components for an excellent sports car, except for the fact there's no manual transmission available. It is, quite literally, the best driver's car we've helmed all year.

Ride Quality: The Supra has a sporty ride, meaning you feel just about everything, but the Adaptive Variable Sports Suspension is excellent and still manages to keep the ride composed and firm at the same time.

Acceleration: The Supra will rocket to 60 mph in less than four seconds, making it faster than the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, which costs $120,000. The transmission fires of shifts quickly, and the Supra pulls hard. That exhaust crackle is a beautiful thing.

Braking: Brembo brakes are strong, and the pedal is progressive. The four piston front brakes are authoritative when stopping, and they should prove to be great on the track.

Steering: The steering is sharp and increases with effort. It's pretty much a a point-and-shoot setup that feels great, too. Precision and centeredness are spot on. We also love the thickness of the steering wheel. Not too much, and not too thin, either.

Handling: Body roll is imperceptible, and the car feels very balanced. Nailing turns in this is second nature and totally thrilling.

Technology

8.7

 

Pretty much everything inside the Supra is BMW equipment, and that's not a bad thing. Though you can't tell from any sort of branding, the vast majority of it is pulled from the German brand, and the result is an excellent experience that's better than what Toyota offers now.

Infotainment System: Just like BMW's iDrive system, the Supra's works really well and looks good, too. The 6.8" touchscreen isn't huge, but it's enough for a focused sports car. The graphics are crisp, and the screen is vivid. Responsiveness to touch inputs is also very good.

Controls: The controls are excellent, ranging from the steering wheel to HVAC and the infotainment control knob between the seats. The presence of physical controls in a sports car is preferable to all touchscreen-based versions, and the Supra does this very well.

Styling

9.6

 

The Supra nicely carries a lot of styling elements over from the FT-1 concept car on which it's based. It's not something you'd see a 50 year old guy driving since it's definitely youthful and dramatic in its appearance (think kevlar jumpsuit versus wool dinner jacket). The Supra is a head-turner, for sure, and in red it actually looks like a poor man's Ferrari. It's certainly one of the most original vehicles for sale today. We just don't like all the fake vents on the car.

Front: The long hood tapers into a flat and sharp nose punctuated by bold and tapered headlights. The huge air intakes are nicely shaped, and the twin bubble canopy looks great from the front.

Rear: The back end is one of the best in the business with its ducktail-like spoiler, unique taillight signature, racing brakelight, and the twin round pipes.

Profile: The Supra has a notoriously short wheelbase, but Toyota/BMW was able to pull of good proportions. The overhangs are a bit long, but the body sculpting, fastback style, and the bulging roof even things out nicely. The abscence of chrome keeps things sporty.

Cabin: The cabin is very business-like but still a nice place to be. The coloring is a bit dark, but everything is well-shaped and handsome. Materials quality is also very good. We especially love the real carbon fiber on the center console.

Comfort

8.3

 

Listen, no one is going to look to the Supra for space. It's a racy sports car that's meant to be driven hard, and it only has room for two. But we're over 6' tall, and we had no trouble getting in and out, despite a thick door sill and low roofline.

Front Seats: Supportive and on the firm side, they're still quite comfortable. Good adjustability and enough cushion to be good for commutes. We love the thigh bolster.

Rear Seats: Not applicable. The Supra is a two-seater only.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The build quality is excellent, and you can properly hear the Active exhaust crackle when opening up the engine. It sounds great. Highway speeds don't create intrusive noise, which is good.

Visibility: The long good drops nicely, so you can see where the front end is. Rear and rear side views are seriously compromised by small glass.

Climate: The climate system si fine for a car like this. It doesn't have to get heat or cooling to the rear since no one's sitting there.

Safety

6

 

The Supra has not been tested by either the IIHS or the NHTSA, probably because it's not a high-volume vehicle, or because it's too new (or both). It does have some good safety features, both standard and optional, but the jury's still out on its overall crash test safety.

IIHS Rating: Not tested.

NHTSA Rating: Not tested.

Standard Tech: The Supra 3.0 Premium comes with a Pre-Collision System w/ Pedestrian Detection and Lane Departure Warning w/ Steering Assist along with the standard airbags, traction control, and stability control.

Optional Tech: Our tester came with the Driver Assist Package that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, a Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Parking Sensors with Emergency Braking.

Storage/Cargo

6

 

The Supra isn't big inside, nor should expect to go road tripping in it unless you pack really light.

Storage Space: The cupholders are not so surprisingly your best option for small item storage in the front. There's a small cubby in front of the shifter, and the shallow door pockets are also on the tiny side.

Cargo Room: There's just shy of 10 cubic feet in the back, which is reachable between the seats (helpful). The opening in the hatch is narrower than the actual storage area, making it tough to load wider bags.

Fuel Economy

7.3

 

Our numbers missed the EPA ratings because we drove the car pretty aggressively during our time with it. We imagine most owners won't buy this for fuel economy, so they won't be terribly disappointed. We're sure if you drive it like you borrowed it from someone who wants it back, you'll be able to get the rather impressive 31 mpg highway.

Observed: 16.1 mpg.

Distance Driven: 183 miles.

Audio

8.6

 

The 3.0 Premium is the top spec version aside from the more expensive Launch Edition, and it comes standard with the excellent 12-speaker JBL system. The tiny cabin immediately fills with rich, full sound, but we'd rather listen to the sublimed turbocharged V6 engine and that brraapp from the exhaust pipes.



Final Thoughts

We were skeptical about the Supra, but boy were we wrong. It's a truly incredible sports car that actually seems like a bargain after you drive it. It can out accelerate and outhandle cars costing twice as much and look great while doing it. It's well-built and has the kind of styling sports car owners covet. The interior is both sporty and mature, while the tech and features are solid for the money. Right now, the Supra stands as one of the best sports cars on the market. It's just that good.
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