2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Review - Mission Focused
2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Fast Facts
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]
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"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.
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.