2021 Toyota GR Supra Review: Sometimes Less is More

New for 2021, the GR Supra 2.0 is less powerful, but in many ways, more pleasing.

Capital One

Originally published on August 24, 2021

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2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

Every Toyota Supra ever made includes an inline six-cylinder engine until now. For the 2021 model year, the Supra 2.0 arrives not only with a software update, but a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and lower price tag. But before we get ahead of ourselves...some history is in order.

Toyota first used the Supra nameplate to denote a more powerful and upscale version of the popular Celica model having a four-cylinder engine. Then in the mid-1980s, the Supra moved to a larger and more sophisticated platform. It still retained its penchant for performance. Thus the ultimate Supra was affectionately known as the A80, a wide-eyed wild-child of a sports car with available twin-turbocharged six-cylinder power.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

The Toyota Supra made its triumphant return to a great deal of fanfare for the 2020 model year. It was reintroduced as a genuine sports car equipped with a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. Dubbed the GR Supra 3.0, the "GR" stood for Toyota's Gazoo Racing motorsport arm, while the "3.0" referenced the engine's displacement in liters.

Toyota collaborated with BMW to base the car on the redesigned BMW Z4 roadster platform. Although a Toyota, the car is more Bavarian than Japanese. The ‘21 GR Supra is built in Austria and equipped with a BMW-sourced drivetrain and electronics.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

This year, Toyota made changes to improve the GR Supra's appeal. In addition to adding the more affordable GR Supra 2.0 model to the lineup, the 2021 GR Supra 3.0 is more powerful and a limited-production Supra A91 Edition debuts. The new lineup ranges in price from the mid-$40,000s to mid-$50,000s.

The GR Supra 2.0 employs BMW's excellent turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 255 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. The GR Supra 3.0 boasts 382 hp, a 14 percent increase over the 2020 model's 335 hp, while torque increases slightly to 368 lb.-ft. from 365. According to Toyota, acceleration to 60 mph with the 3.0 model drops to 3.9 seconds from 4.1 seconds. All 2021 GR Supra models also benefit from revised chassis, suspension, steering, and drivetrain tuning to improve overall driving satisfaction.

A new Safety and Technology option package is also available for the 2.0 and 3.0 models, installing:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Parking sensors with automatic braking
  • A navigation system
  • A 12-speaker premium sound system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Four years of free connected services

For this review, Toyota lent us a new GR Supra 2.0 equipped with its only factory option: the Safety and Technology package. Including destination charges, the test car cost less than $48,000.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw


Controversially styled, the GR Supra represents a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. However, regardless of which camp you find yourself in, you cannot deny that this sports car's appearance is daringly voluptuous.

Getting into and out of a Toyota GR Supra is easy if you're limber. This low-slung sports car has dramatically cut door openings, a low roofline, and substantially bolstered seats. Once you're behind the steering wheel, you'll find an interior explicitly designed for the GR Supra but heavily dependent on the BMW parts bin.

The materials are high in quality; the controls, switchgear, and even the nighttime lighting are yanked straight out of the BMW Z4. The GR Supra's unusual asymmetrical lower dashboard and center console design leaves the area open to the passenger and not the driver. A padded panel that doubles as a leg brace produces a cockpit-style look and feel on the driver's side. Gauges are specific to the GR Supra but use BMW technology. Carbon fiber interior trim is standard.

As is true of the Z4, and unless you're already a BMW owner, it takes time to acclimate to the 2021 GR Supra's controls. From the way the shifter operates to the infotainment system's Supra Command dial on the center console, you'll need to learn how to interact with the vehicle.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

Though the GR Supra 2.0 uses 8-way manually adjustable front seats, finding a proper driving position is easy and they prove comfortable over an extended period. The Alcantara suede inserts help to keep you rooted in place while driving enthusiastically, too. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard.

Compromised outward visibility means the inclusion of the new Safety and Technology option package is all the more important. You’ll appreciate the blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warnings that are included with parking sensors in this package.

Interior storage space is in short supply. The 10.2 cu.-ft. trunk isn't generous, either. The liftover height is also quite high, so pack light.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw


Based on BMW iDrive 6.0, the GR Supra's infotainment system features an entirely different user interface than other Toyotas and comes with a relatively steep learning curve. However, the latest iDrive systems are much more intuitive than they've been in the past. Once you get everything set up to your personal preferences and learn to use the center console controls by touch, it is relatively simple to use.

This year, the larger 8.8-inch touchscreen is now standard, replacing the previous 6.5-inch display. However, the GR Supra 2.0 offers little beyond a Bluetooth connection and a four-speaker stereo as standard equipment.

Expanding the infotainment system’s features is the Safety and Technology option package. It installs:

  • A 12-speaker surround-sound system
  • Navigation, wireless smartphone integration for Apple devices
  • Satellite radio
  • Supra Connect: a connected services plan supplying a free four-year subscription to emergency calling, concierge services, remote access to some vehicle functions, and more

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

On the other hand, choose the GR Supra 3.0 Premium and you'll benefit from both wireless smartphone charging and a head-up display. Unfortunately, Android-based smartphone integration is unavailable. Because the GR Supra's infotainment system is based on BMW iDrive 6.0 instead of iDrive 7.0, it does not offer natural voice recognition technology.

BMW also supplies the GR Supra's advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), but similar to the infotainment technology, they are somewhat limited in scope.

Standard equipment includes:

  • Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection

  • Automatic emergency braking

  • Lane-departure warning

  • Lane-keeping assistance

  • Automatic high-beam headlights

You need to upgrade to the Safety and Technology package for adaptive cruise control, a speed limit information system, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and parking sensors with automatic braking.

Visibility aids in the Safety and Technology package are also highly useful, making this option for the GR Supra even more appealing. Note that the lane-keeping assistance system is incredibly effective, decisively steering the car back into the intended lane of travel when you inadvertently wander too close or across a painted road marking.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw


While the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0's power increase and sub-four-second acceleration time are appealing, the new GR Supra 2.0 version of the car acquits itself well in the real world.

BMW's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine is a gem, supplying plenty of adrenaline-inducing acceleration while promising 28 mpg in combined driving. Our test car came close to matching that expectation, at 26.8 mpg on the evaluation loop. Toyota quotes an acceleration time to 60 mph of five seconds flat for the 3,181-pound sports car.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

An 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters powers the rear wheels, and the driver can choose between Normal and Sport driving modes. Launch control as well as an active exhaust system is also standard, to add an enthusiastic soundtrack to the journey.

Compared to the GR Supra 3.0, the new GR Supra 2.0 does without adaptive dampers, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, and performance-oriented front brakes. The GR Supra 2.0 also sits on 18-inch wheels instead of 19-inch wheels. The staggered-width 225/40 front and 275/40 rear are sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires that offer prodigious grip.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw

Given its BMW bones, the GR Supra is rewarding to drive. That's especially true for 2021, thanks to Toyota's hardware tuning revisions. The near perfectly balanced GR Supra 2.0 proved nothing short of delightful on the mountain roads near Malibu, California. It supplied more refined and sophisticated dynamics on the freeways, city streets, and suburban boulevards where you may spend most of your time.

Overall, the GR Supra 2.0 didn't seem as loud, stiff, and scrappy as the 2020 model. Though not as quick, it also didn't strike us as any less fun to drive. So, unless you require bragging rights, the GR Supra 2.0 is the version most people are likely to prefer.

2021 Toyota SupraChristian Wardlaw


Just one year after its celebrated return, the 2021 Toyota GR Supra is a better car. The turbo-four, retuned dynamics, and lower price combined with its baked-in BMW goodness make the GR Supra a truly rewarding choice. Discerning driving enthusiasts who love how it looks can experience great satisfaction through this buy.

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Christian Wardlaw
My first word was “car.” That’s what I’m told, anyway. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with them. The design. The engineering. The performance. And the purpose. I’m a car enthusiast who loves to drive, but I’m also most interested in the cars, trucks, and SUVs that people actually buy. Anybody can tell you that a sports car is fast. What you need to know is whether or not you should buy that new SUV, and why. My life purpose is to help you make that decision.