I’m pretty sure the car community got bored with the whole debate over the new Toyota Supra not being a real Supra or a real Toyota a while ago. But since I was busy doing other things at the time such as attending meetings and filling out spreadsheets, I wasn’t really able to participate. That changed last night when I picked up the keys to a bright yellow Supra press car.
And after driving the Supra a whole 30 miles, let me tell you. Boy, do I sure have some opinions. You better buckle up, because some sizzling hot takes are incoming! Just kidding. I’m about to complain about how the Supra smells.
As far as driving impressions go, my main takeaway so far is that I don’t actually have any strong opinions yet. You either love or hate the styling. The yellow is very bright. I accidentally drove way over the speed limit on the way home from the airport.
That’s some real groundbreaking stuff, I know. But earlier today, one thing did hit me: The Supra doesn’t smell like a Toyota.
It’s the kind of thing that you’d probably only notice if you regularly drive a bunch of different vehicles, but there’s no single New Car Smell. Audis smell different than BMWs. Fords smell different than Chevrolets. You can even smell the difference between a Hyundai and a Kia.
Can I describe those smells like a sommelier picking out tasting notes in a glass of fine wine? No, I cannot. I fractured my skull at 16, lost my sense of taste and smell, slowly relearned both over the years and am honestly just lucky I’m alive and semi-functional. When I used to work at restaurants that served wine, I literally just made up the tasting notes. No one ever called me on it.
What I can tell you is that when I sit down in a new Toyota, it smells like a Toyota. On a good day, I could probably put on a blindfold and identify the automaker based only on a car’s New Car Smell. But when I sit down in the Supra with a whole 2,265 miles on the odometer, it does not smell like a Toyota.
Is this a big deal? Does it matter? I don’t think so. The fact that I haven’t seen any other reviewers mention this particular issue is probably a sign that it’s too minor for even professional complainers to notice. But that’s why you come to Jalopnik. You want to read the takes none of those other outlets are brave enough to publish.
Also, it’s not like sales are anywhere near as terrible as the Supra haters would have you think. So far this year, the Supra has outsold both the BMW Z4 and the Porsche 718. Other coupes such as the Lexus RC and Infiniti Q60 haven’t even come close. So even though Supras aren’t flying off the lot at the same rate as the Ford Mustang, it’s still far from a sales flop.
But does it smell like a Toyota? No, it does not. If that’s important to you, at least you now know.