Toyota Supra coupe review
"The Toyota Supra is a fast, fun and dramatic sports car you can use every day"
- Fun to drive
- Great performance
- No back seats
- Styling not for everyone
- Limited storage space
The Toyota Supra is a famous name in the car world, thanks to it featuring in numerous films and video games over the years. The Supra disappeared from sale in 2002 but has now returned as this swoopy, bold-looking new version that’s probably the best yet.
There were countless rumours of a replacement after the Mk4 Supra went out of production, and after years of hype and camouflaged spy shots, we finally got to drive this, the fifth-generation model. To help bring down the huge cost of creating a new sports car from scratch, Toyota partnered with BMW; the Z4 and Supra were the results.
Although the two models that are now on sale have some similarities on the inside, such as the sat-nav system and some of the buttons, they feel totally different from behind the wheel. This is because even though the Supra uses some BMW parts, including the 2.0 and 3.0 engines, the rest of the car was developed separately. Toyota cites the Porsche 718 Cayman as the Supra's closest rival, and in terms of driving thrills it's right up there with the Porsche and the Alpine A110. It also faces competition from the Audi TT RS, Ford Mustang and ballistic BMW M2 Competition.
The Toyota and BMW have very different styling traits, with the Supra bearing a noticeably similar look to the original concept car. Like the Honda Civic Type R and Lexus LC, it looks like it’s landed straight out of a comic book; the Z4 is rather more restrained in comparison, and is only available as a convertible.
BMW's smooth 3.0-litre engine certainly works well in the Supra and sounds better than the flat-four in the Cayman S, even if it’s still not as exciting as the highly tuned engine in the M2 Competition. Acceleration is accompanied by a smooth growl and happens almost instantly thanks to a responsive turbocharger.
This version of the Supra is great for enthusiasts, because the 3.0-litre engine is really powerful and it’s also the only version available with a manual gearbox. This is a new addition to the range and is fantastic, making the Supra more involving to drive.
The automatic gearbox is excellent for daily driving, though, and it’s available on the 3.0-litre models or the 2.0-litre version. The latter is a rival for the entry-level versions of the Cayman and Jaguar F-Type; with 254bhp, it may not be as fast, but the more affordable Supra is lighter and feels more agile as a result.
The interior feels as luxurious as you'd expect a £50,000 sports car to and features a mix of Toyota and BMW parts. Switchgear and the infotainment system will be familiar to BMW owners, and that's no bad thing, especially as the re-skinned iDrive setup is better than Toyota's own and introduced Apple CarPlay for the first time.
There are no rear seats, but the sports seats in the front are comfortable and supportive, and the lack of a rear bench means the boot is a decent 290 litres - plenty for a weekend away. And you shouldn't have a headache or sore back on arrival, because the Supra's suspension is actually quite good at smothering bumps, while the eight-speed automatic blurs shifts in its most relaxed mode.
So, was the Supra worth the wait? Absolutely. The new model is a comfortable daily driver when you want it to be, but also a proper sports car with great performance, sharp handling and dramatic looks. With the option of a smaller, 2.0-litre engine, or a manual gearbox on the more powerful car, there’s a great choice of models, too.