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Toyota Supra 2020 review: GTS

The Toyota Supra GTS is the top of the range model, but - amazingly - it's due for an update soon.
EXPERT RATING
7.9
The Toyota Supra is perhaps one of the most important joint-venture offerings since the 86 and BRZ. This model is based on the BMW Z4, but it takes a different tack to that car, as it's a hard-top coupe not a convertible. But it shares plenty of other stuff, like the engine, transmission, body, chassis, interior and more. So is the Supra a standout? Or a bit of a cookie-cutter product?

Do you buy one now? Or do you wait for the MY21 Supra, which is going to get more power, some chassis tweaks and possibly a potential price hike?

That’s what I’m trying to help you figure out in this review. I’ve just driven the top-spec 2020 Toyota GR Supra GTS for a week, where I threw a bunch of different driving scenarios at the car - including plenty of open road, some twists and turns, and a bit of the good old urban grind. 

So let’s go over the 2020 Supra GTS in a bit more detail, shall we? And then I’ll give you the tip as to whether I’d wait for the update, or jump in now and grab one before it comes...

Toyota Supra 2020: GTS
Safety rating
Engine Type3.0L turbo
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency7.7L/100km
Seating2 seats
Price from$94,900

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

You can read James Cleary’s detailed design deep dive from the launch, but I’m going to keep my review of the design simple.

It has two doors. It is a coupe. It is rear-wheel drive. That is one hell of a formula. 

However, the more I see of the "A90" Supra, the more I question the strakes, the fins, the bumps, the soft curves, the sharp edges, the numerous blanked-off fake vents and tryhardery that, in my opinion, overwhelms the proportions of this car. Quite honestly, I think it’s a bit of a mess. 

I like that the tail-lights and rear end hark back to the A80 Supra of yesteryear. I like that the tail-lights and rear end hark back to the A80 Supra of yesteryear.

Weirdly though, and in a very Toyota sort of way, it also kind of works.

I like that the tail-lights and rear end hark back to the A80 Supra of yesteryear, and that it looks, at least if you don’t get too close to it, like a modern-day take on a very 1990s design.

But I can’t really come to terms with the double-bubble roof, the tiny side windows (I guess inspired by a fighter jet cockpit or something), and the holes. There are so many holes. So many gaps. So much insinuated added potential, which the bosses of Toyota’s go fast team insist will become usable if you modify the car (or if there are more hardcore versions of the Supra to come… which there are). 

Maybe the MY21 version will include some updates and cosmetic changes to fill those gaps. We’ll have to wait and see. Either way, I’m not sure this design has aged, or will age, very well.

And then there’s the actual physical dimensions of the thing. It’s 4379mm long (on a teeny 2470mm wheelbase), 1854mm wide and just 1292mm tall. That means it’s low to the ground, and I’ve whacked my head almost every single time getting in and out of the thing. And if you’ve watched any of my videos, you’ll know I’m quite partial to a flat-brim cap: and in the Supra, I’ve repeatedly bashed the bill of my baseball cap against the side window pillar when I’m trying to peer out. 

How practical is the space inside?   6/10

If you want a practical Toyota, there are so many other options. 

The Supra - or any sports car, for that matter - isn’t designed to be practical, but in today’s world there are some expectations that any new car needs to meet. And even then, the Supra falls a bit short.

For instance, there are cup holders between the seats but they're integrated into the centre armrest, so they eat into that space if you actually plan to stay hydrated on the road, and there is no covered centre storage bin, either. There’s a small box rear of the cup holders which is good for a wallet or purse, and that’s all you’ll fit in the door pockets, too, as they’re objectively tiny.

It feels like a mishmash of BMW and Toyota, one that doesn’t gel for me. It feels like a mishmash of BMW and Toyota, one that doesn’t gel for me.

In front of the gear selector is a Qi wireless phone charging station with a small partly-cutaway shelf above it, which is not very useful at all. There is a very small mesh pocket on the passenger side footwell area of the transmission tunnel, and the glovebox is also on the small side.

You don’t get sunglass storage, and the sunvisors cannot be twisted so they cover the side windows - although this is probably an ergonomic decision, because they wouldn’t reach down to block any sun, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not annoying when you’re driving and the sun is either rising or setting on the side of the car, because you will be blinded.

Because it’s really a BMW product, it has European indicator stalks and all the switchgear is definitely BMW. However, over the top of the dashboard is a fake leather-look stitched section, that - and this might be controversial - reminded me of a HiLux

The leather-accented seats are heated and power adjustable. The leather-accented seats are heated and power adjustable.

It feels like a mishmash of BMW and Toyota, one that doesn’t gel for me.

Because I drive a lot of cars I have a broader view of what works and what doesn't, and yes, I’ve heard the argument that you’re getting BMW interior stuff without the price tag, but to me this isn’t a very convincing execution (maybe the no-cost optional red leather trim also made it feel a bit jarring, despite its quality and the comfortable and supportive contoured seats), and some of the practicality shortcomings are surprising. 

There’s no boot button on the exterior of the car, which is annoying. Say you have your hands full, you mightn’t be able to reach into your pocket or bag to get your key to hit the button on it, or open the driver’s door to press the button there, either. 

When you do get into the boot, it’s a bit of a weird space. The cargo capacity is 296 litres (VDA), which is definitely decent for a two-door sports car, but the metalwork of the rear haunches of the car cut into the shape of the opening of the boot, and the load space itself is long and shallow, though it still fits a weekend-away size suitcase. 

  • Boot space is rated at 296 litres (VDA). Boot space is rated at 296 litres (VDA).
  • There are four tiedown hooks for cargo such as a weekend-away suitcase.  There are four tiedown hooks for cargo such as a weekend-away suitcase. 

You can reach through to the boot area from the cabin if you need to, as there’s no protective bulkhead (there is a short hump section between boot and seat backs, where the rear speakers are housed). But that could also pose a potential risk if things go flying. Thankfully there are four tiedown hooks for your cargo (a cargo net would be handy!), and there’s also a 12-volt outlet.

And there is a parcel shelf - an actual parcel shelf, not a soft tonneau cargo cover - which is sturdy and would be suitable for putting backpacks or something else like that… however if there is an instance of heavy braking, you again might find things flying forward. 

The moral of the story, then, is don’t take stuff with you when you drive the Supra…?

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

The price tag for the current Supra GTS is $94,900 plus on-road costs. That’s not cheap for a two-seat Toyota, and makes the by-comparison-power-challenged 86 coupe look like a steal at well under half the price.

In fact, I consider the 86 to be one of the Supra’s biggest competitors. It’s a two-door Toyota with the RWD formula, and with less than $50,000 of fettling it’d likely outdo the out-of-the-box Supra for speed, too.

It has two doors. It is a coupe. It is rear-wheel drive. That is one hell of a formula.  It has two doors. It is a coupe. It is rear-wheel drive. That is one hell of a formula. 

Other rivals you might compare it to include, of course, the BMW Z4 (in particular the M40i - $124,900), and maybe even the BMW M2 Competition ($99,900). The latter would be my pick, straight off the bat. 

That said, you might want the Supra and only the Supra, and that’s completely understandable. And less than a hundred grand for a car that drives like this is a good deal. What will you get for the cost, though? 

Here’s a rundown of the standard equipment for the GTS variant: auto LED headlights and daytime running lights, LED tail-lights, auto wipers, 19-inch forged alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber (255/35 front; 275/35 rear), a limited slip differential, sports brakes with four-piston front calipers (and they’re red, oooh), a head-up display, auto dimming rear-view mirror, keyless entry and push-button start, leather-accented seats with heating and power adjustment, a leather-accented steering wheel, plus dual-zone climate control.

The Supra GTS wears 19-inch forged alloy wheels. The Supra GTS wears 19-inch forged alloy wheels.

There’s also an 8.8-inch BMW-sourced touchscreen media system and rotary dial media controller, which includes sat nav, digital radio, a reversing camera, a 12-speaker JBL sound system (which, honestly, shocked me with its lacklustre sound quality), but in keeping with Toyota traditions past, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto available in Australia. Other markets get it, but not us.

Unlike in other parts of the world, the 8.8-inch touchscreen misses out on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Unlike in other parts of the world, the 8.8-inch touchscreen misses out on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The Supra also comes well sorted with safety equipment. We’ll cover all the details in the safety section below.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The engine isn’t a Toyota job, despite the engine cover bearing the brand’s logo. Nope, it’s a BMW-designed and built unit, which is no bad thing.

It’s a 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, producing more than a dollop of power and torque. I’m talking about 250kW of power (from 5000-6500rpm) and 500Nm (from 1600-4500rpm). 

That is a lot of horsepower for a car that weighs 1495kg - enough to spring it from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds, on to a top speed of 250km/h. 

The BMW in-line six-cylinder engine punches out 250kW/500Nm. The BMW in-line six-cylinder engine punches out 250kW/500Nm.

The thing is, the new MY21 version due late in 2020 will have 285kW (with altered engine rev management, with peak power at 5800-6500rpm) and a carryover 500Nm. But honestly, with speed limits and policing like ours, unless you actually plan to do track days regularly, you potentially don’t ‘need’ an extra 35kW. It’s the torque that you feel most, anyway.

The transmission is an eight-speed automatic with paddleshifters, sourced from ZF, and of course, it’s rear-wheel drive. There is no manual gearbox option. And it doesn’t seem like a manual transmission will be offered as part of the MY21 update, either. 

How much fuel does it consume?   8/10

Fuel consumption for the Toyota Supra is rated at a claimed 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle. That’s what the manufacturer claims it’ll use in a mix of (ahem, sedate) driving.

But my drive - from Sydney to Cowra in the state’s central west and back - showed the claim is pretty much achievable. I saw 8.6L/100km displayed fuel use, and that included a couple of spurts of spirited driving. Those short sprints were seemingly not enough to offset the 600km of mostly highway driving, however. 

What's it like to drive?   9/10

Yep, the Supra is exceedingly quick.

Its acceleration is more than brisk - it’s verging on eye-widening - and I believe Toyota’s 0-100 claim of 4.4 seconds. It’s really fast.

Part of its pace is down to its extremely well behaved transmission, which more often than not chooses the right gear, and cleverly funnels the power to the rear wheels. I like how abrupt and unapologetically the gearbox will shunt up and down between ratios when left to its own devices in Sport mode, but I also played around with the manual mode - it won’t upshift to overrule you, which is great, and the paddles offer snappy response. 

The engine does really, really good work between 4000-5000rpm, and while the update will bring more power (an additional 35kW) and a different peak power band, I’m not really necessarily sure that you need more power because there is so much torque. And its what shoves you in the back hardest

The playfulness of the chassis is evident, however to get the best out of a car like this you are always going to be better off taking it to a race track where you can really explore the parameters of physics and the performance on offer. Traction control is lenient, but still reigns things in before they get too far out of hand. 

Having said that, over a section of twisty roads with Aussie-spec country-road surfacing, it was evident to me that the Supra is a weapon. 

The steering is extremely pointy and has great feel to it, there’s something really enjoyable about a sports car with a short wheelbase, the way it seems to squirm, and how the car feels like it is pivoting around you. 

In the sportiest mode, the suspension is too firm for bumpy back roads, making for a bouncy, at times unsettling ride. I configured the Individual drive mode it so that I had the Normal steering and Normal suspension but still with the Sport engine and Sport transmission calibration, and that was my ideal. More compliant, more comfortable, more fun.

While it goes very hard, I really wish it would stop a little bit better. The brake pedal is a little soft underfoot, and that can mean that you aren’t as confident in its reactions as you might wish. The braking performance of this GTS model is actually pretty good, I just wish that there was a little bit more response at the top of the pedal.

I also wish there was a little bit more in the way of exhaust noise. There is pop and crackle, but it’s not nearly as outlandish or extroverted as I would like it to be. I’m sure there will be a sports exhaust option at some point. Pleeeeeease, Akio? 

Further, there’s quite a lot of road noise - especially booming from the rear, as the open storage zone again shows its downside. Nothing a bulkhead wouldn’t fix!

The few criticisms I have are things I could live with, though. And while the fun bit was driving this car on roads deserving of it, around town and in normal driving situations the Supra is also surprisingly pleasant. Again, the rear suspension’s firmness might annoy you if the surface isn’t great, but for me, this is the sort of sports car I could happily commute in daily. 

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

No safety authority on the planet has crash tested the Toyota Supra yet, as far as I can tell. That means there’s no ANCAP, Euro NCAP or NHTSA safety rating available.

But the sporty two-door comes with a strong safety equipment list included as standard, including: auto emergency braking (AEB) that works at speeds up to 210km/h, pedestrian and cyclist detection (up to 65km/h), lane departure warning with steering vibration alert and assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control with speed limit assist (if you have the active cruise set at a certain speed and the camera detects a different signposted speed, you simply hit “Set” and the car’s speed will be adjusted accordingly).

The Supra also has a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display (GTS only), and seven airbags (dual front, front side, curtain and driver’s knee).

There are no child seat anchor points in the Supra, be it ISOFIX or top tether. 

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

The Toyota range is backed by a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty plan, but that extends to seven years/unlimited kays for the powertrain of the car if you maintain logbook service history. So, keep that owners manual stamped and up to date! 

Service intervals for the Supra are set every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. There’s a capped price service plan for the Supra, with the first five years/75,000km pegged at $385 per visit. Not cheap for a Toyota, but affordable for a car of this pedigree.

There’s no included roadside assistance from Toyota. You can purchase it through the company for up to six years of coverage.

While we know there’s a good chance you won’t be cross-shopping the Supra against its drop-top German sibling, on the ownership front there’s a slight Toyota advantage. BMW offers a short three-year/unlimited km warranty with roadside assist included, but it's five-year/80,000km servicing plan is $1850 and works out $75 cheaper than Toyota’s over the same period. 

Verdict

This review set out to establish whether you should go for the current Supra, or wait for the refreshed MY21 Supra, due late in 2020. 

Well, if you’re after a fun driving experience, you could happily purchase the current version, and you’ll be getting an excellent sports car. But personally I’d be tempted to hold out and see what the update brings. Maybe I’d even wait until then, and test the two back to back to see if the upgrades have been worth whatever incremental asking price increase they may attract…

Who knows, there could even be some other minor improvements that could make the Supra even more likeable, too.

Pricing guides

$89,900
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$84,900
Highest Price
$94,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GT 3.0L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $84,900 2020 Toyota Supra 2020 GT Pricing and Specs
GTS 3.0L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $94,900 2020 Toyota Supra 2020 GTS Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.9
Design7
Practicality6
Price and features8
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption8
Driving9
Safety9
Ownership8
Matt Campbell
Senior Editor

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Pricing Guide

$94,900

Lowest price, based on new car retail price

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