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2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium: Little Things We Like and Dislike

Toyota’s new Supra is fun, but the manufacturer can easily make improvements.

LOS ANGELES—On the first night of a scheduled multi-day stint in the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium, it also happened to be the same day a friend from back home came to visit. He hadn't a clue about the car I was driving, and I kept it a secret until we walked out onto the street where the little beast of a sports car was parked and ready. When the taillights illuminated and the Supra emblem in its brush script typeface revealed itself, my friend melted with excitement into the little kid within. We buckled up in the snug, black leather-trimmed buckets, and pointed the Supra toward the majestic scenic roads of Palos Verdes.

Packing a punchy, turbocharged inline-six making 382 horsepower, I didn't need to force the throttle much before the exhaust began to emit a sound that denoted something good was happening. The nearly empty roads lent the Supra all of the breathing space to run, and its killer instinct at sudden turns was on the money, though the spirited cornering had my friend reaching for the oh-$&!^-handle as if we were about to go off the rails.

Toyota says the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and the car leaves little doubt as to the claim's accuracy: Hammer the gas pedal, and you're pushed back into the seats as the Supra darts forward like Jerry Rice dashing down the sideline toward the end zone. At this point, my passenger momentarily appeared downright scared, and I smiled at the Supra's satisfying performance.

To make up for the madness, we picked up a to-go order of sushi and situated the Phantom-coated Supra 3.0 Premium in a far corner of an adequately illuminated parking lot. As Tame Impala serenaded us, we cracked open our dinner and naturally began talking about the things we liked and disliked in the rear-wheel-drive coupe with a spitfire personality. The following day, Angeles Crest seemed like the right thing to do, and so we joined another group for a cruise up the two-lane road.

The high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires handled the asphalt superbly, but still, my co-driver suggested I take it easy given the damp road surface. He was correct, too, as good advice is always better to accept than letting your evil ego win. A bit later, zigzagging farther up the mountain road amplified the fun, but our excursion was cut short due to a road closure. Nonetheless, it was a memorable send off for an out-of-town visitor.

For my final runs with the go-getter Supra, I spent most of the day attacking other famous roads around Los Angeles, including Mulholland Dr. and Topanga Canyon Blvd. In between the two, I squeezed in a detour to Lake Balboa and the Nike Missile Launch Site LA-88 in Chatsworth, an abandoned Cold War-era launch site covered in graffiti. The sun was sinking quickly, though, and I took the 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium for an ice-cream stop before saying goodbye with a night drive down Topanga and Pacific Coast Hwy. It wasn't easy to let go of the keys, so I compiled this quick list from my notes as a reminder of the experience's notable takeaways:

2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium Likes

  • Ambiguous and minimalistic instrument-gauge cluster
  • Windows lower by holding the key-fob's unlock button
  • Black Alcantara/leather-trimmed sport seats
  • Double-bubble roof design
  • Mean and spirited exhaust sound
  • Carbon-fiber interior trim

2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium Dislikes

  • Boring keyless remote
  • Massive fuel-door cover
  • Uninspiring steering-wheel design
  • No exterior trunk-release button
  • Non-functional exterior vents
  • No center-console storage compartment
 2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium Specifications
ON SALE: Now
PRICE: $55,485/$58,175 (base/as tested)
ENGINE: 3.0L turbocharged DOHC 24-valve I-6/382 hp @ 5,800-6,500 rpm, 368 lb-ft @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT: 2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE: 22/30 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H: 172.5 x 73.0 x 50.9 in
WHEELBASE: 97.2 in
WEIGHT: 3,400 lb
0-60 MPH: 3.8 sec
TOP SPEED: 155 mph