2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Review - Mission Focused

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
Fast Facts

2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Fast Facts

3.0-liter inline-six (335 horsepower @ 5,000-6,500 rpm; 365 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,500 rpm)
Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
24 city / 31 highway / 26 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
9.9 city, 7.7 highway, 8.9 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$53,990 (U.S) / $67,690 (Canada)
As Tested
$56,195 (U.S.) / $69,560 (Canada)
Prices include $930 destination charge in the United States and $1,880 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can't be directly compared.

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the 2020 Toyota Supra is that it borrows too much of its bones from BMW.

I didn’t care about that during our first drive, and after a longer loan with the car, I still don’t. Except for one aspect of the use of the BMW parts, which I’ll get to.

As I wrote before, if you can get past the melding of Toyota and BMW, the Supra is a wonderfully balanced two-seat sports car.

It does exactly what it’s supposed to, without sacrificing too much when it comes to around-town trundling.

The twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six makes 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, so it’s no surprise that the Supra is quick machine. If it has enough power for the track – and based on our first drive, I’d say it does – it has plenty for passing and merging on regular highways and byways.

I didn’t get the chance to track this loaner, which is a bummer, but you can still induce giggles by hitting an on-ramp just right. As a reminder, the adaptive suspension is a double-wishbone type with MacPherson strut, while the rear is multilink with a five-arm construction.

You get direct steering with good heft, quick reflexes, and a car that feels completely well balanced.

The ride, of course, is less than stellar, but you expect to pay a bit of a penance in a car like this. The good news is that it’s acceptable on decently maintained pavement, but it’s not so pleasant on the types of tarmac that dominate the landscape of the Upper Midwest.

You might know about the wind-buffeting issues that testers have experienced in the Supra, but I didn’t put the windows down at higher speeds, so I can’t speak to that.

What I can speak to is what a letdown the cabin is. Not because it’s basically a BMW interior, but because it just doesn’t look or feel special. Even if you argue that the Supra is a relative bargain at $56K, it’s still not a run-of-the-mill vehicle. Sports cars should have special interiors regardless of price point, and this one just doesn’t cut the mustard.

At least the controls are easy enough to use.

I liked the styling on the car before, and I stand by that – it’s pretty attractive up close, even accounting for the slightly funky nose.

One thing that I do wish the Supra offered is a manual transmission. Toyota probably has plenty of good reasons for not providing a stick and three pedals, but a car like this just feels like it should offer the choice to row your own. That said, the eight-speed automatic is inoffensive in its operation.

Features-wise, the car comes with launch control, active rear differential, 19-inch wheels, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, Brembo brakes, LED lights, rain-sensing wipers, automatic high beams, pre-collision assist with pedestrian braking, lane-departure warning with steering assist, keyless entry, head-up display, heated seats, leather seats, JBL audio, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and wireless cell-phone charging.

Options included a driver-assist package (radar cruise control, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors) and a carpeted cargo mat.

All told, a car that started at just a tick under 54 grand rang the register at a bit over 56 large.

The Supra does the sports-car things well – it handles excellently and it’s quick. It’s also good-looking. It even manages to avoid too much sacrifice in ride quality, though pot-holed and pock-marked roads won’t be pleasant.

The interior is comfortable enough for a two-seat, track-focused sportster, but the BMW bones are a letdown here. There’s no pizzazz, just boring black borrowed from another automaker. It’s functional, but praise ends there.

If a two-seat track missile is on your mind, the Supra is just fine. Ignore the blah cabin and be thankful that even if Toyota had to lean heavily on another OEM to create this car, it exists. Two-seat sports cars priced under $60K that are delightful to drive are in short supply, and while the Supra is flawed, it’s still more than good enough.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC. Toyota]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Blppt Blppt on Mar 23, 2021

    "You might know about the wind-buffeting issues that testers have experienced in the Supra, but I didn’t put the windows down at higher speeds, so I can’t speak to that." Unless somebody has come up with an aftermarket fix for this issue, it would be a complete dealbreaker for me. Gotta have the windows down in the summertime when cruising.

  • EX35 EX35 on Mar 23, 2021

    Why does this car even need to exist? It offers nothing. Not style. Not reliability. Not a manual trans or at least DCT. Not extreme power.

  • 285exp I have been assured that EVs don’t require maintenance, so this seems pointless.
  • Slavuta "The fuel-economy numbers are solid, especially the 32 mpg on the highway"My v6 Highlander did 31 over 10 hour highway trip
  • Aja8888 As I type this, my 4 months old Equinox's Onstar module that controls the phone is broken. Yep, 4 months (never worked right from day one). Replacement will be a REFURBISHED unit since no new ones can be obtained (from China?). I really don't miss the phone via Bluetooth. And I have a great Garmin that I have used for years for trips which has free lifetime maps and traffic.
  • Bd2 There's a reason why talented American execs have been leaving Stellantis in droves.Tavares seems intent in following "Le Cost Cutter" Ghosn into driving his company into the dirt, whilst "justifying" his ever expanding compensation.
  • Bd2 Too bad gm didn't make the C8 better looking to begin with...
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