More than two dozen cars debuted in 1979. They varied from long-gone oddities like the Datsun Bluebird and Ford Durango to icons with legions of followers, the Volkswagen Jetta and Toyota Supra.
As a compact two-seater, four-seater and wagon, the Jetta is an all-time top seller as a durable, reliable and affordable family car.
The Supra was a near-instant hit as a high-performing, handsome sports car eventually gaining starring movie roles. It had nearly a 20-year hiatus beginning in 1998, but it’s been back for a few years. And it’s much to the joy of long-time enthusiasts who thrive on the coupe’s adept turning, quick acceleration and overall fun.
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Toyota Supra: Fast & Furious
For 2022, not much is different from the returning model in 2020. The Supra’s popularity is also connected to deceased actor Paul Walker. He drove one of the previous Supra renditions in the first film in The Fast and the Furious movie series in 2001.
Debut tenure or current reincarnation, the Supra remains a two-seat, short-wheelbase coupe with two engine options. Many of the underpinnings, including its engines, are shared with the BMW Z4 Roadster.
As Toyota’s top sports car, the Supra is grouped with less expensive options, the Mazda MX-5 and Subaru BRZ, and pricier choices, the Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 718 Cayman. The Supra can’t boast the same acceleration status as its top rivals, but it has a tighter turning radius and more passenger room.
In the third year of its reincarnation, the Supra is offered with two turbocharged engine options. Introduced for the 2021 model year, the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder produces 255 horsepower and the 3.0-liter, six-cylinder has 382 horsepower. Both models have eight-speed transmissions; a manual transmission is not available.
The 2.0-liter Toyota Supra accelerates from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. Its fuel economy is 25 miles per gallon in city driving, 32 mpg on the freeway.
Toyota Supra: Two trims for 2022
The reviewed 3.0-liter achieves the zero-to-60 mph standard achieve in 4.0 seconds. Fuel mileage is reduced to 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway.
Sports car design attractiveness is subjective, but the Supra turned its share of heads and received lots of smiles of appreciation.
Toyota’s hotshot has a long, curvy hood, bulbous fenders, a double-bubble roof, an extremely slanted hatchback roofline and a pushed-up decklid spoiler. The latter isn’t the Supra’s best attribute.
The front grille has an angry look, another odd attribute. Combined, however, the sports car is as handsome as any of its rivals. The upscale Supra powers down the road on 19-inch forged alloy wheels, the smaller-engine choice has 18-inch cast aluminum wheels.
Toyota Supra: Good Safety Features
Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, and auto high beams. The Safety and Technology package, available on four-cylinder and six-cylinder models, adds full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors.
An 8.8-inch infotainment screen is standard. Wireless Apple CarPlay, a 12-speaker JBL sound system and a color head-up display are standard on the Premium trim; they’re options on the 2.0-liter trim. Buyers of the 3.0 can opt for the Driver’s Assist Package ($1,195). It’s radar cruise control, blind-spot detection, rear-cross-traffic alert, parking sensors and emergency braking.
By design, sports cars have snug headroom and legroom. The Toyota Supra defines the concept. Its occupants are required to squeeze into seats via problematic, tight door openings. It’s automotive pretzel logic to enter and exit.
The hatchback lift is heavy, but it opens to a 10.2-square-foot cargo area, enough for a few grocery bags or small carry-on luggage for two.
As driven, the 2022 Toyota Supra 3.0 costs $56,390. Daily driver sports car enthusiasts rejoice. But it’s not for the rest of us.
Article Last Updated: May 19, 2022.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.