2020 Toyota Supra Review

2020 Toyota Supra - The new 2020 Toyota Supra 3.0 is a well-engineered mix of Toyota and BMW.


Prices: $49,990-$55,250

Pros -
Rakish. Fast. Docile. Sharp handling. Supple ride. Well-equipped.

Cons -
Low entry. Rather tight interior. Slightly touchy brakes. No spare tire.   

Bottom Line - Generally outstanding and reasonably priced.

The long-awaited fifth generation _Toyota Supra has arrived after many years. It comes as a clever mix of-surprise!-Toyota and BMW Z4 components.

What initially grabs most is the swoopy styling with the very low (50.0-inch high) car's long hood, short overhang, sweeping rear end, double bubble roof for extra headroom, cocktail spoiler and oversized dual exhaust outlets. My GR Supra 3.0 Premium model test car's Renaissance Red paint dramatically brought out its lines. Most body vents are phony but look good.

Rear visibility of this rear-drive two-door hatchback initially may seem poor, but a fairly large window in the rear hatch and large outside mirrors provide pretty good visibility. The nicely shaped 10.2 cubic foot storage area under the heavy hatch, opened via smooth struts, is decent for a 97.2-inch wheelbase car that's 172.5 inches long. The Supra's fairly wide width of 73 inches helps cargo room. So does the absence of a spare tire; you get just a tire inflation kit.

The cabin is snug, although headroom is good, thanks partly to the "double bubble" roof feature found on tiny early racing Fiats. There are supportive power bucket seats, an 8.8-inch color LCD gauge cluster, 10-speaker sound system and easily used controls, with lots of secondary small manual controls if you don't want to use the large touchscreen display mounted halfway atop the dashboard.

The digital speedometer is handy but a large blank space next to the large tachometer makes it seem like Toyota left out a gauge that should have occupied that space.

There's little cabin storage capacity, and sliding in calls for extra-good agility because the car is about as low as the super-low classic 1953 Austin-Healey sports car. At least, unlike that ground-scraping Healey, the Supra has good ground clearance, despite a low front end.

Powering the Supra is a 3-liter BMW twin-scroll turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with 335 horsepower and 356 lb./ft. of torque. That may not seem like much because some high-performance street cars have 500 or more horsepower. But the Supra is hundreds of pounds lighter at 3,997 pounds and thus more than fast enough to pretty much keep up with the competition.

Other BMW Z4 (some modified) features include an efficient 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control, front strut and rear multi-link suspension, dampers and steering rack. Sorry, no manual transmission.

A console switch lets a driver select "Normal" or "Sport" modes. Sport stiffens the steering, holds engine revs longer and is fine for, say, very aggressive driving. Use Sport mode and the exhaust snaps, crackles and pops, and one might suspect this mode will cause the ride to be overly firm. Not at all. The Supra has a supple ride in either Normal or Sport modes, although Normal mode is naturally the best suited for regular driving.

Cornering is flat in either mode, although I encountered a bit more sway than I expected while storming through curves, although the car quickly took a firm set and held on fine. However, it took some time to get used to the brakes because they were little touchy and bit early-although they were very effective.

Safety features include forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Options include adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert.

The new Supra is very fast off the line. The 0-60 time officially is 4.1 seconds, but the car feels much faster. I punched it at 65 m.p.h. and was dong 100 in almost no time, and the engine urged me to just keep going. Power delivery is impressively linear and strong, but, after all, BMW's reputation with six-cylinder engines is legendary. The Supra is said to top out at approximately 150 m.p.h.

Why a BMW engine? Because it would cost Toyota a small fortune to develop its own six-cylinder. So what bother? Welcome to the new age of auto component sharing.

Premium fuel is needed to fill the 13.7-gallon tank, but fuel economy is pretty good at an estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on highways.

There are three trim levels: $49.90 3.0, $53,990 3.0 Premium and $55,250 Launch Edition, which has drag-race feature I suppose is good for a try or two without feeling like a 16-year-old tire squealer. I never tried it. The bottom line price of my test GR Supra 3.0 Premium was $56,195. The car didn't come with a Monroney label that listed all the charges.

The new Supra, especially the Premium model, is actually a bargain, costing less than rivals but delivering lots of pizzaz and performance.


Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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