- Strong performance
- Handsome exterior styling
- Handling capability
- Lack of CarPlay and connected services
- Sub-par interior storage
- Lower-spec GT is better value
Supra has been a name associated with the Japanese car scene ever since the Toyota introduced the model in 1978, this was helped further by the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise who featured quite a few fourth generation Supra models in their movies. Toyota unfortunately dropped the Supra from its lineup in 2002 without offering a replacement – until now, that is. For the 2019 model year, the brand (with the help of BMW) brought the Supra back. We tested the 2021 Toyota Supra GTS to see if this new car is worthy of its legendary name or whether it should have been left dead.
The 2021 Toyota Supra shares its underpinnings with the new BMW Z4 – the pair were developed together and share a lot of crucial components such as the chassis, engine, gearbox and a lot of the interior. They’re even built at the same Magna Steyr factory in Austria.
Price & Specs: 8/10
There are currently two models in Australia for the 2021 Toyota Supra: the base model GT and the top spec GTS tested here.
The GT starts off the range at $87,003 plus on road costs and comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, a ten-speaker sound system, an 8.8-inch driver’s display, dual-zone climate control, heated electric seats with power lumbar adjustment, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated and auto-folding exterior mirrors, auto lights and wipers, LED exterior lighting and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Stepping up to the Supra GTS costs a further $10,000, bringing the price to $97,003 plus on-roads costs. The GTS adds a heads-up display, larger 19-inch alloy wheels, red brake callipers, larger rear brakes, a JBL 12-speaker sound system and alloy pedals. While we like the look of the larger wheels and the JBL sound system is definitely better than the standard system offered on the GT, are these inclusions really worth the extra $10,000? We don’t think so.
Rivals to the Toyota Supra include the Ford Mustang GT, BMW M2, BMW Z4, Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 718 Cayman.
Comparing the top spec Supra GTS to a top-spec Ford Mustang GT is interesting as the Mustang is significantly cheaper at $64,390 plus on roads (a $32,613 difference). The Mustang also comes with a larger and more configurable 12-inch driver’s display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear seats, an alarm and puddle lamps. But on the flip side, it’s also worth noting that the BMW Z4 M40i costs $129,900 plus on road costs, which is a difference of $32,897.
The one thing the 2021 Toyota Supra lacks – compared with competitors and even European-spec Supras – is smartphone connectivity as there is no form of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto seen here. It is especially strange as both BMW and Toyota offer smartphone connectivity in quite a lot of their other passenger cars – same with satellite navigation with inbuilt traffic reports.
Standard safety features across the Supra range include high- and low-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, rear AEB, blind-sport monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and front and rear parking sensors with a reversing view camera.
There are a few options for the 2021 Toyota Supra GTS such as Alcantara seats in either black or red for $2,500 and Alcantara seats paired with matte paint for $5,000. The matte colour option is called ‘Nurburg Matte Grey’. The only standard colour is ‘Monza Red’ with every other colour attracting a $575 charge – metallic paint options include ‘Bathurst Black’, ‘Goodwood Grey’, ‘Suzuka Silver’, ‘Fuji White’ and ‘Silverstone Yellow’. As you may have noticed, each colour is named after a famous racetrack around the globe.
Performance & Economy: 9/10
For the 2021 Toyota Supra to be a proper performance coupe, it needs to have a good engine with a decent amount of power and luckily the Supra delivers in this department. The sole engine available in Australia is a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine that is also borrowed from BMW, known as the ‘B58’, this engine has powered performance BMWs for a few years now. It produces 285kW of power at 6,500rpm and 500Nm of torque from 1,800-5,000rpm. The sole transmission is an eight-speed torque converter automatic that sends power to the rear wheels through a limited-slip differential.
The engine produces a nice throaty note when accelerating and it is very fast. There is a little loss of traction when accelerating from a standstill but the sprint from 0-100km/h is over in just 4.1-seconds. The gearbox also shifts quite quickly and when when in sport mode holds gears for longer than usual. Also in sports mode are the exhaust burbles on the overrun from the stainless steel exhaust which can also be addictive.
Overseas, there is also a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine available that produces 190kW of power and 400Nm of torque but unfortunately, this engine is not offered locally. This engine in the Supra could make it more affordable in our market, which could open it up to more potential sales.
Toyota claim an average fuel economy of 7.7L/100km, which in the grand scheme of things, is quite good. It is certainly a lot better than the Mustang GT’s claimed average of 12.7L/100km for the automatic. With our testing on a range of urban and freeway settings we achieved an average fuel consumption figure in the Supra of 9.8L/100km.
Ride & Handling: 9.5/10
Here is where the 2021 Toyota Supra really proves itself as a part of the Supra name. It handles like cars that cost twice as much. The Supra corners flat at all times and is surprisingly nimble for such a large car. When engaging Sport mode the steering sharpens up, the suspension gets a little firmer and the throttle response becomes quicker meaning what is already a dynamically engaging car becomes even more so. The chassis is natural, balanced and you can really feel the 50:50 weight distribution.
The active safety tech while always there to save the day if something were to happen is surprisingly subtle and seems to just run in the background without you noticing. The lane departure warning will nudge you back into lane if you drift out of it and the blind spot monitoring doesn’t make a noise but will vibrate the steering wheel if it senses you turning into someone. The adaptive cruise control is also fantastic and maintains a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
The steering has a fantastic amount of feel to it and has a great weighted feel. The ride is also not what you would expect from such a hardcore sports car. The Supra when it was first introduced was supposed to be more of a Grand Tourer than a hard core racer and this new model does hark back to that. The suspension when in normal mode is actually not too harsh, it is still a little on the firmer side but it isn’t uncomfortable at all. Living with the Supra on a daily basis would be no problem.
Interior & Practicality: 7.5/10
The interior of the 2021 Toyota Supra, like other parts of the car, has taken a lot from the BMW parts bin. The major controls – such as the climate controls, light controls, even the steering wheel buttons – are all from BMW, and even the infotainment system is BMW’s previous generation iDrive user interface. The Supra’s quality is pretty good though, with a decidedly premium feel – soft touch plastics cover the dashboard and the leather quality is excellent.
There is not too much to say practicality wise for the interior in the 2021 Toyota Supra as there is no storage in the centre console, the door bins are tiny and awkwardly shaped and the awkwardly placed wireless charging tray is pretty difficult to use – it has a strange hump to keep the phone in place but means it is hugely impractical to put anything else there. There is also just two cup holders in the entire cabin where the centre console would be and the actual space on offer isn’t plentiful either, as space for even six-footers is tight.
The 8.0-inch touchscreen is quite easy to navigate, the quality of the screen is fantastic and the system can be used either via touch or the rotary dial in the centre console. The navigation is easy to set and the map is clear and crisp, though its lack of live traffic updates and integrated apps like Spotify is annoying – same with the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are features that a base model Yaris has.
The boot is mostly taken up by the dual rear subwoofers for the JBL sound system, but there is still room for 296-litres of space – more than the 217L in the base model Corolla.
Service & Warranty: 9/10
The 2021 Toyota Supra GTS comes with the brand’s five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, this is on par with other manufactures in this segment although it is better than its BMW counterpart (Z4 M40i) which only offers a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Although the Supra does not come with any form of roadside assistance whereas the BMW comes with three years’ worth.
The Supra comes with five-years of capped price servicing as standard. It needs servicing every 12 months or 15,000km, which is on par with competitors service intervals. The price of servicing a Toyota Supra over the span of five-years/75,000km is $1,925 ($385 per year). BMW do not quote service costs for the Z4 although they do offer ‘service inclusive’ packages which costs $1,750 for the five year/80,000km package.
2021 Toyota Supra GTS DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.6/10
The 2021 Toyota Supra GTS is a car that does what it says on the box. It’s fast, stylish and dynamically engaging – even if it is on the pricier side for a Toyota. In saying this, there is very little on the market currently that offers this level of performance and drama for the cost.
Although the interior isn’t the most practical and the lack of smartphone mirroring is annoying, it is still a very nice place to be – sitting in the Supra makes you feel special and not a lot of cars today offer that. It also has a soul, which ignites every time you take it for a drive, even if it is just to the shops. Add in the addictive engine, excellent ride and handling balance and overall fun level and the Supra’s reputation remains intact.