Anyone who’s been in a BMW in the past few years will recognise a lot of the switches and technology in the Toyota Supra, from the buttons on the steering wheel and the gearstick to the infotainment system and the dial that operates it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it slightly less Toyota-like than perhaps the brand would want you to believe. The infotainment touchscreen is small by modern standards, and we found it hard to see the details at times, especially in bright sunshine. It has Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto
, which is a shame for those without iPhones.
There’s an enclosed, cockpit-like feel from the driver’s seat, with padded panels either side of your legs to keep you in place during spirited cornering. The roof is low and while the seats are low, too, taller drivers might find themselves at eye-level with the top of the side window, hampering visibility. Rear visibility is pretty terrible, too, but luckily there are plenty of sensors and a rear-view camera to help see what’s going on. Build quality is okay when compared with rivals, if not quite up to the quality of Porsche, with a few too many cheap-feeling plastics spoiling the overall classy vibe.
One doesn’t expect practicality to be a major focus in a two-seat sports car, but the Supra does a reasonable job of factoring everyday life into the fun. There are two good-sized cupholders between the occupants and a small tray behind for odds and ends. There are small door pockets, too, but we’ve found that any kind of spirited driving sends the contents spilling onto the floor. There's no physical partition between the front seats and the boot, meaning you can reach through and access the luggage area without getting out and opening the bootlid. But on the other hand, it means you can hear stuff rattling around if it’s not secured. Size-wise, it’ll hold a couple of cabin-sized bags without too much trouble, and there's a removable panel under the hatchback bootlid so that you can load slightly larger things if need be.
With a wide track, low centre of gravity and short wheelbase, Toyota (and BMW) has worked hard to make the Supra an engaging, agile machine for the driving enthusiast. And it’s succeeded. We tried the Supra in town, on motorways and on twisting country roads, and it excelled on all of them. The steering is quick, with only small inputs needed between bends, and there’s plenty of weight to make up for a slight lack of feel. Throw the car into bends, and there’s a touch more body roll than you might first expect, but that adds a bit of drama to proceedings and it never feels like it’s lacking confidence or capability. A short blast on a racetrack suggested that it’s even more composed and confident at high speeds and on the limit of grip, although we don’t advise that you test that on the road.
Toyota is vocal about the Supra being a car that prioritises feelings over stats and numbers, and it’s made an engaging and fun car to drive. In addition, the standard adaptive suspension makes for impressively comfortable progress. It might be a sports car, but it won’t shake your fillings out, even on slightly ropey asphalt.
This type of car has two very strong benchmarks to compete against, being the Porsche 718 Cayman (in S spec, at Supra price), and the Alpine A110. Based on our first taste of the Supra, we don’t reckon it’s quite as pin sharp as these rivals, but it’s still very impressive and enjoyable.