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2022 Toyota Supra 2.0 – No Respect


The Toyota Supra, in four-cylinder form, is a bit of an odd duck. Supra is maligned for being a rebadged BMW to start. Having only an automatic is second, third, being stuck with a four-cylinder engine. Now let’s add to that the $50,000 as-tested price. Nissan now offers the Z with more interior space, more power, and a manual transmission option. Toyota offers the 86, which does the same thing or better for 20 grand fewer amounts to piling on.

The slot for the Supra might just be you want a nice car that looks good that’s enjoyable to drive, and that’s it. You don’t require a lot of speed, the best handling, or even the best badge. What the Supra does offer are a few good things.

Styling is completely subjective, but in general, I quite enjoyed the styling of the Supra. In this mustard yellow color, it is quite striking. In the week that I had the car, multiple people asked me about it because, at least in the Detroit area, it’s not a common site. 

The driving dynamics of the Supra are fine. Calibration of the throttle in sport, and the brakes overall, especially at low speed, leave something to be desired. The automatic transmission is fine and is worlds better than the automatic offered in the Nissan Z. I only had about half an hour and around 25 or 30 miles of driving in the Nissan Z to draw that conclusion.

Inside

If you’re claustrophobic, the interior of the Toyota Supra is not for you. It’s small to begin with, borderline cramped. And, in all black, it’s very cocoon-like. Circling back to the Toyota 86, the interior of that is significantly larger and far more inviting. That said, the materials of the Supra are good except for one or two spots where there is some unacceptable quality hard plastic. The lower part of the center consul is a hard plastic material that you would expect to find in a $15-$20,000 economy car, not a $50,000 sports car. The infotainment screen is oddly sized. It’s quite short and not as wide as modern infotainment screens. In this aspect ratio, it works fine, it just doesn’t look proportionally correct in this car. If it was significantly wider, I think it would work better visually.

On The Road

Performance-wise, the Supra is not what you call fast. In today’s world of electric cars and cheap horsepower, it’s really quite average. That’s not to say it’s slow. It is entertaining. But it’s not a shove you in the back or give you the fizz kind of acceleration. But it’s fine. It’s not boring.

The general ride and comfort are actually quite good for something designed as a sports car. It’s firm in its ride but going over potholes. However, it’s not jarring, and you don’t feel that energy transferred through the driver seat or the steering wheel. I wouldn’t want it much firmer than it rides, so I think it struck a nice balance. Those looking for hard-core sports cars aren’t going like it because they’ll want something far more firm and stable, but they’re not shopping for this anyways, so that opinion is irrelevant.

2022 Toyota Supra side view
2022 Toyota Supra hatch area

Storage in the Supra is OK. You can put two, maybe three, weekend bags in the hatch area, but not much else. There’s no room behind the seats other than the hatch area, which is somewhat obstructed by the stereo speakers. 

Circling back to the tight cockpit, there’s not a lot of elbow room here, and some of the layout of the interior is a bit compromised as far as ergonomics. If you’re buying this, you’ll learn to live with it and make it work for you.

For me, one major issue was that of buffeting in the cockpit. If you have the windows down, between 45 and 60 mph, there is a tremendous amount of low-frequency wind buffeting that is quite painful to your ears. Anything above a slow boulevard cruising speed, and the windows will need to go up.

This Was Unexpected

One of the most remarkable things about the Supra was on a 45-mile highway run. At an average of 81 miles an hour, it averaged 40 mpg! In a world of $5.25/gallon gas, that’s pretty outstanding.

Before we tracked the fuel economy, we noticed that the Supra did not turn a lot of rpm at a higher speed. On multiple occasions, I was nearly touching triple-digit speeds before I realized just how fast I was going. I had the opportunity to check, and you have to get to 2500 RPMs in eighth gear i.e. the top gear, and then you’ll touch triple digits. At 80 miles an hour, you’re barely turning over 2000 RPM. If you’re not careful, you can get into a lot of trouble with us because the car is quiet at that speed. There’s no wind noise, the ride is very comfortable, and you have just enough isolation that you’re not noticing the speed and kind of thinking, why is everyone else going so slow around you?

Final Thoughts

The Toyota Supra is in a tough spot. Price and performance-wise, there are better options. Styling is, of course, subjective. It has the stigma of being a re-badged BMW. It just doesn’t get a lot of respect. Insert your Rodney Dangerfield jokes here. But, for the right person, this could be the perfect car. If style and comfort are more important than outright performance or some badge snobbery, the Supra could do very well for you. Would it be my first choice? No, not my first, second, or third, but I can see the appeal for the right person. Before you sign off and say and just flat out dismiss this vehicle, take it for a drive. Maybe your confirmation bias will be confirmed. Or, perhaps, rather than having your mind made up by others without experiencing it for yourself, you can come to your own conclusions.

2022 Toyota Supra side view



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