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The Top Gear car review:Toyota Supra
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
So here’s the thing. We can forgive the BMW engine. But it’s hard to forgive the cabin. The Supra is a BMW inside. Of course this means it’s got material quality and tactility it wouldn’t have had otherwise, and some people will see that as a plus. And once again, if you aren’t familiar with BMW, it’s not going to offend you. But here’s Toyota, the world’s largest car company, having to wedge in large chunks of BMW switchgear. It’s just odd.
There’s a reason, unsurprisingly. The engine can’t come solus. You need all the management software with it. Which means you have to have iDrive. Which means you have to have the screens, which means that – unless you’re prepared to spend millions and millions – you have to have the typefaces and so on.
Toyota looked at doing it, and did do it for the safety alerts in the Supra. That alone required rewriting 20,000 lines of code. The complications of platform sharing in the modern age are ridiculous. The rev counter is Toyota’s own, the steering wheel definitely isn’t. Same goes for the heating controls, graphics, USB slots, switchgear, door handles etc.
Ignoring the BMW influences then: the driving position is great. You sit low, the standard seats wrap around your back a treat (they have adjustable side bolsters, but the seat bases aren’t so impressive), over the shoulder visibility is horrible, elsewhere it’s good enough. Two people have space inside, and the boot is much more generous than the 290-litre claimed volume suggests. A bit of jiggling has the parcel shelf out and you can always rest long loads on the bulkhead fire extinguisher, can’t you?
The infotainment is intuitive (if it had been Toyota’s, it wouldn’t have been) and kit levels are good. Base versions in the UK get a rear camera, electric alcantara seats with heating and cooling, 10-speaker audio, sat nav, adaptive LED lights, adaptive suspension, active differential, adaptive cruise, but 99 per cent of buyers are expected to spend the extra £1,300 for the Pro. Be the 1 per cent. The leather seats are inferior to alcantara and the head-up display is a distraction.