Why is the Toyota Supra Banned in the U.S.?

The 2020 Toyota Supra might technically be one of the most popular sports car models of the year. Even so, lots of people are still questioning the legality of this sports car in America. To be fair, the Supra has somewhat of a checkered past so we can understand that there is some confusion. If you are wanting to buy a new Supra you’re in luck because the model is very much alive today in the U.S. but at the same time, the Supra is still banned.

The illegal Supra

A black 1994 Toyota Supra which features the sleek exterior and aggressive spoiler drivers fell in love with.
1994 Toyota Supra Turbo | Toyota

The 1994 Toyota Supra model was banned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because of serious long-term reliability issues. It would be extremely hard to find this model anywhere in the U.S.; you can’t import it either because it has still been blacklisted by the NHTSA. The ‘94 Supra is the only model year with this serious restriction so you can still shop for older models if you would like.

Supra production suspended 

Even with the terrible 1994 model year, the Supra remained popular for a while and was still considered as an excellent performer and hailed for its upscale cabin and technology. However in 1998, Toyota ultimately discontinued the Supra in North America because of low sales. In 2002, Toyota stopped producing the Supra because it didn’t align with Japan’s updated fuel-efficiency guidelines.

Supra the reprise 

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Curves for days. #Supra

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After being on hiatus for over 20 years, Toyota decided to revive the Supra for 2020. Enthusiasts still love this coupe because of its thrilling performance, gorgeous interior, and user-friendly technology.

Each 2020 Supra model is powered by a smooth BMW turbocharged six-cylinder engine that’s mated with an eight-speed automatic and makes a 335-horsepower. Rear-wheel drive is also standard on the 2020 Supra and all-wheel drive is not officially available. But, you could convert your Supra.

The Supra’s handling capability is ideal for the street as well as the track and can compete with the likes of the Chevy Corvette and even the Porsche Cayman GTS.  It can go from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds. The Supra also has an above-average fuel-economy rating with a combined 26 mpg.

Inside the Supra

Since performance capability is the same on each 2020 Supra model, the interior is what really separates the trim levels. The standard GR Supra 3 model offers a suede-like material and has an attractive infotainment display.

A host of advanced safety features come standard including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. On the Premium trim, you get an upgraded infotainment system and leather upholstery. The Supra 3 starts at $49,990 and the Premium model starts at $53,990.

Reliability ratings

The 2020 Supra earned a lower reliability score from Consumer Reports due to the three recall notices on the model. One has to do with a headlight failure, another with the backup camera, and one for issues with the front seatbelts. Impacted owners have been notified of these issues.

Since the Supra is so new, there isn’t a ton of extensive data available. Generally, the Toyota brand is known to be reliable but some of these issues are BMW related