2023 Toyota Supra Review: The New Manual Transmission Awakens the Beast
2023 Toyota Supra Review highlights:
- 2023 Toyota Supra: $44,640 – $58,445
- Pro: The Toyota Supra is now available with a manual transmission that pairs well with its turbocharged engine.
- Con: The Supra’s outward visibility is poor, and getting in and out of some drivers can be tough.
The Toyota Supra sits in a unique category of near-luxury sports cars. As Toyota’s halo car, the Supra is pricier, faster, and nicer than the brand’s GR86 and other sporty cars like the Mazda Mx-5 Miata. But it’s also cheaper and not as nice as higher-end sports cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman. Nonetheless, the Toyota Supra is still a show-stopper with its head-turning looks and is quite the performer with its potent engine choices.
I had the privilege of driving the 2023 Supra and came away just as satisfied and impressed as when I first drove it a couple of years ago. But this time, I could shift the car with its new manual transmission, which uncorked its sporty driving potential.
What’s new for the 2023 Supra?
Huzzah! Toyota listened to the public’s feedback and gave the Supra an option for a manual transmission for the 2023 model year. It’s a pretty slick-shifting stick, and the best part is that adding this option doesn’t add more dollars to the Toyota car’s price tag. The only downside is that the stick is only available on the 3.0 models, not the entry-level 2.0.
Additionally, Toyota added a new A91-MT model that only comes with the manual transmission. This exclusive Supra trim will carry the 3.0-liter engine, come in matte white or grey paint, and have a brown and black two-toned interior. It’s also very exclusive as Toyota only plans to sell 500 copies of the A91-MT Supra in the U.S.
Which model of Supra is best?
Picking the right Toyota Supra trim level is easy since there are only four to choose from:
- Supra 2.0: $44,640
- Supra 3.0: $53,600
- Supra 3.0 Premium: $56,730
- Supra A91-MT: $59,445
I recommend picking the Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium model because it comes with a 14-way power driver’s seat with memory, heated seats, a JBL sound system, and a leather interior. If you want to save a few grand, the Supra 3.0 will suffice, but the Premium trim adds a little more luxury.
How does the Toyota Supra drive?
After spending a week with the 2023 Toyota Supra, I can say that it’s the ultimate sports car to have if you want to drive one daily. The only caveat is that its low roofline makes it tough to get in and out of – especially for tall drivers – but once you’re in, it’s a nice place to be. The leather seats are well-bolstered and hold you in place when going around tight corners. Also, the interior trim pieces feel high quality – despite the fact that the carbon fiber inlays are probably fake.
That said, the Supra’s interior feels comfortable for a sports car, but the real fun starts when you push the clutch pedal in and fire up the engine. The 3.0-liter inline-six roars to life and the exhaust note sounds great. When setting off to drive, the car’s low-end torque picks up quickly, and the engine revs happily to the redline. There’s plenty of mid-range power when the turbocharger spools up and the gears are well-spaced to keep the fun on tap no matter how fast (or slow) you’re going. Just downshift and mash the throttle for a good time.
When going into the corners, it’s a point-and-shoot affair as the Supra maintains its composure through every turn at speed despite its heavy 3,343-pound curb weight. Let’s face it, the Supra isn’t as petite and light-footed as its GR86 little brother, but it can still dance well with its super sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport shoes. Furthermore, the car’s adaptive suspension can firm or soften at the touch of a button, which adds to its drivability and sporty feel.
Now, about the manual shifter, it has short throws and feels notchy when going into every gear, but it’s not perfect. When shifting into every gate, the shifter has a rubbery and vague feel to it, so missing a shift is possible if you’re slamming gears in a hurry. It happened to me once – but only once.
Otherwise, the clutch pedal has a good feel to it and isn’t too heavy, so if you’re new to driving a manual car, the Supra is a good one to learn on.
Is the Supra’s interior comfortable?
The Supra’s interior is comfortable. There’s enough head and leg room for tall drivers and passengers; overall, the cabin doesn’t feel too cramped. That said, I have three main gripes to air out:
- The steering wheel is too thin, and it’s ugly: Toyota and BMW definitely collaborated on the steering wheel, which means that it’s a Z4 steering wheel with a large circular Toyota badge on it. It looks weird, and I wish the grips were thicker for a sportier feel.
- The rearward visibility is lacking: There’s not much window space to see out of when backing the car out of a parking spot. Fortunately, the rear parking sensors and camera help.
- The sun visor is stationary: Want to move the visor to the side window to block the sun? Too bad, you can’t. The Supra’s visors only move up or down to block the sun at the top of the windshield.
How powerful is the Toyota Supra?
Nothing has changed under the hood of the Toyota Supra over the past couple of years. Every trim level has a powerplant sourced from BMW, but that’s not a bad thing.
If you’re looking for a decent amount of power, the base Supra 2.0 is the one to get. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The EPA says that it can achieve up to 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which isn’t far off because I managed to average 30 mpg during the time I had it.
If more power is desired, the Supra 3.0 (Premium and A91-MT) is a better choice. It’s motivated by a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine that pushes out 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. It gets decent fuel economy as well as it’s rated at 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg with the automatic (19/27 with a manual) transmission.
After my week of testing, I averaged 21 mpg with the Supra 3.0 with the manual transmission. It’s not bad, but not extremely good, either.
How much cargo can you put in a Toyota Supra?
Although the Toyota Supra is a sports car, which means that it’s not meant to be practical, it can hold a surprising amount of stuff in its cargo area. The trunk measures 10.2 cubic feet, which is enough to store a carry-on suitcase, a duffel bag, and a large backpack neatly. If you have more cargo, you can store it on the passenger seat. If a person is sitting there, have them hold it.
How safe is the Toyota Supra?
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) have tested the 2023 Supra. However, it’s still a safe car. The Supra comes standard with advanced safety features like a lane-departure warning, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera.
A separate Safety and Technology package can be added to the automatic models. This package features equipment like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, a JBL sound system, and wireless Apple CarPlay.
The editors at MotorBiscuit award the 2023 Toyota Supra an overall score of 9 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit give the 2023 Toyota Supra an overall score of 9 out of 10. Is it really a surprise? The Toyota Supra is a genuine sports car that is worth every penny, no matter which trim level you choose.
The car’s amazing power and head-turning looks make it a standout in the crowd, and it’s hard to think of any other car that can give you the same thrills per dollar when driven daily. Overall, if you’re looking for a sports car that puts a smile on your face and carries more stuff than you think it would – the Supra is worthy of your consideration. Just make sure to try out the new manual transmission.