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The EPA Says the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 Is Barely More Efficient Than the Six-Cylinder Model

Whether you prefer the six-cylinder or the four-cylinder Supra, Toyota’s sports car is a worthy performance contender. However, the 2021 model’s power bump comes with an efficiency penalty. Until now, the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0’s official EPA fuel economy figures were unknown. But they’ve finally been released, and they’re not quite as good as you might think they are.

The 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0’s EPA fuel economy estimates

The 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 differs in a few areas from the 3.0 model, Automobile reports. It doesn’t have the more-expensive car’s active suspension or electronically-active limited-slip differential. It also has smaller front brake rotors as well as smaller wheels, Car and Driver reports. Its tires are the same width, though.

Also, the 2021 Supra 2.0 lacks some of the 3.0’s other standard features, such as the HUD, heated seats, and adaptive cruise control, The Drive reports.

A yellow 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 parked on a racetrack
2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 | Toyota

And, of course, the biggest difference between the 2021 Toyota Supra models are their engines. The 2.0 model has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 255 hp and 295 lb-ft. The 3.0 model, in contrast, has a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. Both, though, have the same 8-speed automatic transmission.

Generally speaking, smaller engines are more efficient than larger ones. And such is the case with the four-cylinder Supra, MT reports. The EPA estimates the 2021 Toyota Supra is capable of 28 mpg in the city, and 32 mpg on the highway. However, the six-cylinder model isn’t significantly less efficient, Automobile reports. The EPA rates it at 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

Are the 2021 Toyota 2.0’s EPA estimates real-world accurate?

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It’s worth pointing out that EPA estimates don’t always translate directly to the real world. Firstly, it’s usually the automaker, not the agency, that obtains the results, Car and Driver explains. The EPA usually only directly tests about 15% of the new cars on the market. However, the automakers use the EPA’s specific testing procedures, because the agency can always request a vehicle to directly verify the results, Autotrader reports.

But while the EPA’s standards have evolved over the years, they’re meant to be a repeatable idealization of real-world scenarios. There are city and highway testing cycles, SlashGear reports, but they’re rarely run in those actual environments. Instead, the car is strapped to a dynamometer and spun to the required speed at a specified acceleration rate. And, depending on the cycle, the A/C may be turned on, and the engine may be pre-warmed.

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That’s why, Edmunds explains, every fuel economy sticker has the “your mileage may vary” disclaimer. And this applies to EVs just as much as ICE vehicles.

The rear view of a yellow 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 on a racetrack
2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 rear | Toyota

However, the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 may be more efficient than the EPA says it is. In Roadshow’s testing, the four-cylinder model saw 36 mpg on the highway. Though that’s also the case with the Supra 3.0, which saw 34 mpg in Car and Driver’s highway testing. But the same Supra 3.0 saw 22 mpg in combined, though admittedly spirited, driving conditions.

How does it compare to the competition?

Admittedly, fuel economy likely isn’t high on sports car buyers’ list of demands. However, it is undoubtedly a welcome bonus when buying the more affordable model comes with fuel savings too.

A red 2019 BMW Z4 M40i First Edition with its roof down
2019 BMW Z4 M40i First Edition | BMW

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The 2021 Toyota Supra shares its powertrains—and much more besides—with the BMW Z4. And its EPA fuel economy estimates match the Supra’s estimates, Autoblog reports. However, in Car and Driver’s testing, the four-cylinder Z4 sDrive30i only saw 20 mpg in combined driving. Car and Driver saw the same figure when testing the six-cylinder M40i model. Though that makes some sense, given that it weighs about 200 pounds more than the Supra.

2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition
2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition | Toyota

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Toyota has another four-cylinder sports car, the 86. It has a 2.0-liter flat-four engine, rated at 205 hp and 156 lb-ft. Although it weighs about 390 pounds less than the Supra 2.0, its 0-60 time is 1.5 seconds longer, Car and Driver reports. According to the EPA, it’s also less fuel-efficient, achieving 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. In combined driving, Car and Driver saw 23 mpg.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary | Mazda

Finally, there’s the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which is available with a soft-top or a hardtop. It received a power boost in 2019, Car and Driver reports; its 2.0-liter four-cylinder now makes 181 hp and 151 lb-ft. According to the EPA, the soft-top Miata sees 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. And Car and Driver saw 30 mpg in combined driving, 1 mpg better than the EPA’s estimates.

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