2023 Toyota GR Supra Review

2023 Toyota GR Supra - The manual is back for an even more engaging drive.


The Supra name made its triumphant return in 2019, but something was missing, and enthusiasts let their feelings known. Missing was the manual transmission, but all is right in the world for 2023 as the manual Supra is back. The new stick shift option is available on the 3.0 and 3.0 Premium models. This newly developed 6-speed manual transmission has been engineered and tuned specifically for use with the coupe's straight-six engine and features an intelligent Manual Transmission programmed with new software that prioritizes sporty performance. The GR Supra's traction and braking have been optimized for operation with a manual transmission.

The GR (Gazoo Racing) Supra is available with three primary variations, the 2.0, 3.0, or 3.0 Premium.  And new for 2024 will be a 45th Anniversary Edition.  The GR Supra 2.0 was launched in 2021 as the first ever 4-cylinder to offer something in between the Toyota GR86 and GR Supra 3.0. The GR Supra 2.0 delivers 255 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque and Toyota estimates a 0-60 time of 5.0 seconds.  The 3.0 comes standard with a twin-scroll turbo, inline 6-cylinder that generates 382 horsepower and 368-pound feet of torque.

For the 2024 model year, prices for the GR Supra 2.0 start at $45,540 while the GR Supra 3.0 starts at $54,500. The 3.0 Premium model starts at $57,650 and a GR Supra 45th Anniversary Edition at $64,375. Prices are up around $2,000 from 2023 models. Competition includes models such as the Ford Mustang, Honda Civic Type R, Nissan Z, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Volkswagen Golf R. I recently spent a week in a GR Supra 3.0 Premium with a manual transmission and here's what stood out...

Performance (+)
The GR Supra 3.0 Premium comes with the 3.0L twin-scroll turbo, inline 6-cylinder. It generates 382 horsepower with 368-pound feet of torque paired with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission, rear wheel drive and launch control. Both engines are smooth, but the inline 6 is next level buttery smooth. Combine that with the sweet pops from the exhaust and it's a perfect pairing for a sports coupe like this. An available sport mode will alter the dynamics for an even more engaging and race-inspired driving style. It delivers a balanced ride that is easily controlled around corners or on a straight road.

It's capable of a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds as it rapidly shifts through the gears. It's not hard to get this one up to speeds of 100 MPH as it glides into the 7,000 RPM redline. While the Supra's size might not be realistic for a daily driver, it is still a vehicle one could drive regularly and comfortably. Steering is well-weighted, the Brembo brakes are strong, and its overall balance keeps the driver in a comfortable position. The suspension is stiffer; thus, you'll feel all the road imperfections, but that's the fun of a car like this. Despite being a bit 'bouncier' it grips the road well with its sport tires and hugs the corner on quick turns with ease.

Manual Transmission (+)
After driving both automatic versions of the GR Supra 2.0 and 3.0, I was happy to experience the thrill of the new 6-speed manual... and it was worth the wait. The gear shifter features a small GR badged shift ball and precisely pops into gears. Unlike the Nissan Z which shifts feel smoother, the Supra's seem to "click" into gear with more force. The action of the shifter is precise as the gears engage with just enough resistance. All of this brings to the Supra's driving experience to the next level-timing shifts, managing wheelspin, and better manipulating the car's balance are all key factors. To avoid a sluggish take-off and a low in-gear acceleration feel, the final drive ratio has been shortened, from 3.15 (in the GR Supra automatic) to 3.46 (in the GR Supra MT). The result is response and gearing appropriate for sports car performance.

It also features an intelligent Manual Transmission programmed with new software that prioritizes sporty performance. When upshifting, the parameters are tuned to optimize engine torque at the moment of clutch engagement and release; on downshifts, the software has been fine-tuned for consistent performance. The iMT is set as the default but, if the driver prefers, it can be switched off for full control. Shifting through your own gears is a blast as you're well aware of the the Supra's low-end torque and its pull at 7,000 RPM redline.

Close attention was also paid to how a manual shifter could be accommodated in the driver's cockpit. The lever ratio was specifically set to minimize the effort required to make shifts and engage reverse gear. Ergonomics were also top-of-mind, as the console unit and position of the drive mode selector were adjusted to provide a 1.7-inch clearance between the shift knob and the control panel. Unfortunately, with the manual, placing a mobile device in the wireless tray in front of the shifter is trickly and limits room (depending on the phone size).

Exterior (+)
The GR Supra is captivating and evokes head turns everywhere. Its shape is reminiscent of past generations with a short wheelbase, arched fenders, an elongated nose, and wide rear bumper. Proportions are perfect from every angle. The front comes to a prominent point with a large central grille flanked by large air intakes on either side. The front lighting signature includes six-lens LED headlights behind an L-shaped LED daytime running light/turn signal. The hood wraps around into the fenders to accentuate the curves and create a smooth look. The A-pillars are black to separate the glass from the body of the car and the roof design features a double-bubble shape.

The side profile has a clean roofline and a prominent character line that comes up from the bottom of the doors to define the rear wheel arches and stretches all the way up to the rear decklid in one fluid motion.  Around back is an integrated rear spoiler with a high arch. LED taillights outline the shape of the lights and at the center of the rear bumper is a SUPRA badge in its iconic scripture. The lower portion of the rear fascia has a trapezoidal design that gives it the race-car look. The reverse lights are integrated at the center in the form of a cluster of 15 circular LED lights for a unique look. Whether you opt for the 3.0 or the 2.0, both models are nearly indistinguishable from each other outside of the wheels.

Wheels (+)
18" cast aluminum 10-spoke wheels come standard on the GR Supra 2.0 while the GR Supra 3.0 comes with 19" forged aluminum twin-spoke wheels and a dual tone finish. Both sets of wheels are wrapped in high-performance Michelin summer tires. 2023 models come with new 19" frozen gunmetal gray forged-aluminum wheels. The wheel designs compliment the body of the car, fill the wheel arches, and are positioned well with minimal overhangs.

Fuel Economy (+/-)
The Supra comes with a 13.7-gallon fuel tank that offered up a range of around 320 miles. EPA fuel economy for the 3.0 model estimate 22/30/25 MPG city/highway/combined. 2.0 model estimates a combined rating of 27 MPG or 24 City / 32 Highway. After a week of suburban driving, I averaged 23 MPG. Premium fuel is recommended for the Supra models.

Interior (+/-)
Climbing behind the wheel of the GR Supra 3.0, drivers will first need to watch their head, and then can get comfortable in the sport seats that swallow the driver. Compared to the Nissan Z, the GR Supra is harder to get in and out of.  It is a two-seat vehicle so the cabin is tighter, but all of the controls are very driver-centric and within reach. While Toyotas typically have decent interiors, the BMW influence can be felt in the Supra. Materials are all very high quality and controls such as the shift knob and buttons are more reminiscent of BMW models. Drivers are surrounded by touches of carbon fiber trim and face a standard 8.8-inch high-resolution digital display instrument cluster. At the center is a digital tachometer with the engine speed and gear selector. The side displays can both be customized to show current speed, entertainment selection, fuel economy, navigation, and more. A sport leather wrapped steering wheel includes column mounted paddle shifters, controls for entertainment, and cruise control.

Technology (+)
Sitting atop the center of the dashboard is an 8.8-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled via a jog dial adjacent to the gear selector. The jog dial was very easy to use with twist or press controls and is appropriately placed. 2.0 models come standard with a 4-speaker sound system while the 3.0 comes standard with a 10-speaker HiFi sound system and Premium models get a 12-speaker JBL Hi-FI Surround Sound system that easily fills the cabin. Other standard features include a head-up display, USB/Bluetooth Connectivity, heated seats, dual zone climate control, and Supra Command. Supra Command is a feature pulled direct from BMW that is touch sensitive and lets you use your fingers to write in addresses for the navigation system and zoom in and out of the map.

An optional Safety & Technology Package ($2,815) adds wireless Apple CarPlay which is good because there's not really much room for added cords. Also included in that package is the upgraded 12-speaker 500W JBL Audio, touchpad rotary control, speed limit information and more. A Qi-compatible wireless charging is available on 3.0 models, but not the 2.0.

Seats (+)
Standard black Alcantara leather seats are well bolstered to provide driver and passenger comfort. Premium models get upgraded heated leather-trimmed sport seats available in black or red. On the 2.0 model, the seats require manual adjustment while the 3.0 models offer 14-way power adjustable heated seats.  The seating position is low and very comfortable despite being in a relatively small space. Standard are large knee-support cushions to soften the blow when climbing in and out. Headroom is surprisingly sufficient which is also thanks to the aforementioned double bubble roof design. Visibility is ok, but somewhat limited by the small windows and low seating position.

Cargo (+/-)
While clearly not a vehicle to haul a lot of cargo, the rear cargo area's 10.2 cu.ft. is larger than many competing sports cars such as the Nissan Z's 6.9 cu.ft,  MX-5 Miata's 4.59 cu.ft, or the Camaro's 7.3-9.1 cu.ft. There is access to the rear cargo area between the two seats via a small opening.

All GR Supras comes equipped with several intelligent safety features such as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, rearview camera with parking aid, directional parking lights, traction control, and vehicle stability control. Additional options available in the Safety & Technology package include full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and parking sensors with emergency braking.

Final Statement
Regardless of which GR Supra you opt for, it is going to turn a lot of heads. Opting for the more expensive 3.0 will deliver more thrills in the long run if you plan to do a lot of driving. And now that a manual transmission is available, you can take back even more control of your driving experience. If you're going to keep it local and drive in a primarily urban area, the 2.0 will likely be sufficient. This continues to be one of my favorite cars to drive as it looks amazing, drives smooth, and sounds like a sports car should sound.

First Impression Summary:
Test Vehicle: 2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium
Exterior Color: Stratosphere Blue
Interior Color: Black Leather
Transmission: Manual
Notable Options: Driver Assist Package ($1,195), Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps ($925), Premium Color ($495)
MSRP as tested (including delivery & processing fees): $59,400

Jim OBrill

Jim is Director of Marketing for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and Chicago Auto Show and a co-host of Drive Chicago Radio on WLS 890 AM Chicago. His passion for cars started young and he’s often referred to as the ‘car-guy’ among family and friends. As a former auto detailer, he has an eye for identifying solid used cars and tags along on many car buying adventures. Early in his career he worked at several car dealerships in various areas of the business. As a co-host on Drive Chicago and member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, Jim has had opportunities to attend track school and drive vehicles on multiple circuits such as Road America and Gingerman Raceway. With a background in photography, taking pictures of vehicles has always been a hobby.

Jim also enjoys the trails and taking trucks like his 4Runner off road. He has a special appreciation for older cars and can often be found spending free time at cruise nights or home washing one his four vehicles. Jim resides in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three kids. Follow Jim on Instagram at @jpcars22 for new vehicle content or @forgotten_survivors.312 for shots of older cars still on the streets of Chicagoland.