Toyota Supra

13 Best Toyotas Ever Designed

Toyota is one of the world’s biggest and best automotive manufacturers and a true giant in motoring. It is a little wonder that it produced some of the best vehicles on the planet at that time.

Choosing the best from Toyota’s impressive lineup took a lot of work. After careful consideration, we present a list of 13 exceptional Toyotas, each selected for their aesthetics, performance, and practicality. 

Fifth-Generation Toyota Supra

2024 Toyota GR Supra
Image Credit: Toyota.

When Toyota launched the revived Supra in 2019, it received a lukewarm reception due to its ties to BMW and the underpinnings Toyota used for the sports car. However, it has become a regarded performance vehicle and a favorite among enthusiasts worldwide.

Under the hood, various turbocharged engines sit, from the 2.0-liter inline-four to the 3.0-liter inline-six, with the Supra producing up to 382 hp. The Supra’s handling has received a lot of praise, as have its comfort levels and looks, refreshing the Supra for the 21st century. Toyota also finally added a manual to the range in 2022, which gearheads had been screaming out for.

Toyota 2000GT

1967 Toyota 2000GT
Image Credit: Mecum Auctions.

One of Toyota’s finest products is the gorgeous Toyota 2000GT. The 2000GT is significant as it showed the rest of the world, mainly Europe and America, that Japan could produce cool, sleek, and stylish sports cars. It was a significant change from the very capable but tame sedans and saloons that had come before it.

The 2000GT was Toyota’s answer to the British Jaguar E-Type. Under the hood, it had a 2.0-2.3-liter inline-six engine producing up to 148 hp. Its most famous moment came in 1967 when a special convertible model appeared in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. Toyota produced two examples of the convertible 2000GT.

Toyota Mega Cruiser

Toyota Mega Cruiser
Image Credit: Ethan Llamas/WikiCommons.

It might be big, bold, and unnecessary, but the Mega Cruiser is one of the craziest and most excellent Toyotas the Japanese manufacturer has produced. What looks like the Japanese answer to the Humvee is a transporter for the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, which Toyota then modified for civilian use.

The massive vehicle had a 4.1-liter 15B-FTE inline-four turbo-diesel under the hood, producing 153 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. Toyota sold 133 Mega Cruisers to civilians in Japan at Toyota Store locations, and the Mega Cruiser was never officially sold outside of Japan. The manufacturer produced 3,000 Mega Cruisers; only a few have gone outside Japan as grey imports.

Toyota GR Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris Mk1
Image Credit: M 93/WikiCommons.

There is a solid argument to make that the Toyota GR Yaris is the best Toyota of the 21st century. It might share its name with the competent but bland hatchback, but the GR Yaris differs from its sibling. 

Built as a rally homologation special before the WRC rules changed, the GR Yaris features a four-wheel drive system, a carbon fiber roof, and a 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine producing 257 hp. An engine that is the most potent production cylinder in the world. It is in the corners where the GR Yaris excels, and the handling is some of the best seen on any performance car in the modern era. Demand has been high for the GR Yaris, such is the quality of the hot hatch.

Seventh-Generation Toyota Celica

Seventh-Generation Toyota Celica
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Amidst all the hype for classic examples of the Supra and MR2, it is largely forgotten that Toyota produced the very competent Celica. In particular, we mean the seventh-generation Celica, which Toyota created from 1999 to 2006. Even in 2024, the sports car’s design still looks the part.

Under the hood, you would find two versions of Toyota’s 1.8-liter inline-four engine, the 1ZZ-FED and the 2ZZ-GE, developed jointly with Yamaha. The 1ZZ-FE was the more economical engine with 140 hp, while the 2ZZ-GE, available in Europe and Japan, was more potent with 192 hp. The seventh-gen Celica was a stylish, agile, and fantastic sports car, and it was an excellent way for the Celica to bow out.

Toyota GR86

Toyota GR86
Image Credit: Wiki Commons

The Toyota GR86 is the second generation of the GT86, co-developed with Subaru, which created its version with the BRZ. In a world of high-priced, large, and luxurious SUVs, the GR86 is a breath of fresh air. It provides us with a bargain sports car that is fast and usable daily.

Under the hood, you will find a 2.4-liter flat-four with 231 hp, an increase of around 16 percent over the previous GT86. The GR86 also develops its peak torque at a lower rev range of 3,700 rpm versus the earlier 6,400 rpm. Thanks to a stiffer chassis, the GR86 handles better, and an aluminum roof, hood, and front wings lower the center of mass by 1.6mm.

Toyota TS050 Hybrid

Toyota TS050 Hybrid
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

While not a road-going car that we can buy, the Toyota TS050 Hybrid will become one of the most excellent cars in the history of sports car racing and the Le Mans 24 Hours. Toyota introduced the TS050 for the 2016 WEC season in the LMP1 class, and it won at the Six Hours of Fuji. It should have won in Spa and Le Mans as well, with it breaking down on both occasions, tragically on the last lap at Le Mans.

The TS050 would win 19 races, with 46 podiums, 16 pole positions, and two drivers and constructors titles. The TS050 also won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2018, 2019, and 2020 before the new Hypercar class came in for the 2021 season.

Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux
Image Credit: Ethan Llamas/WikiCommons.

While it is not currently available in the United States, the Toyota Hilux has been a staple of the Japanese manufacturer’s range for decades. The current range offers plenty of brawny diesel engines, making it feel old-school in a world of hybrids and turbocharging.

Its most famous moments came in Top Gear. In Series 3, the show tested a Hilux to destruction, yet no matter what they did, it always came out and was still running. The Hilux was also the vehicle of choice when Jeremy Clarkson and James May went to the North Pole, racing Richard Hammond on his dog sled.

Toyota MR2

TOM'S T020 Toyota MR2
Image Credit: Wiki Commons

Toyota MR2 introduced the MR2 in the 1980s, and it soon became one of the best and most enjoyable sports car experiences while it also didn’t break the bank. Under the hood was a 1.6-liter engine, either naturally aspirated or supercharged, and in the second generation, Toyota brought in a 2.0-liter powertrain.

Many have felt the demise of the original, although Toyota filled the gap somewhat with the Supra and the GR86. Rumors have persisted for a couple of years that Toyota might bring the MR2 back. These have ranged from talk of an all-electric version to a new, turbocharged sports car. 

Toyota Corolla AE86

Toyota Corolla GT AE86
Image Credit: Wiki Commons

Of all of Toyota’s products, the Corolla AE86 is one of the most famous. Also known as the Hachi Roku, it’s a car that defined the Japanese car scene in the 1980s and JDM culture. The Corolla AE86 shot to fame thanks to its role in Initial D, its appearance in the Gran Turismo PlayStation game, and the car of choice for drift king Keiichi Tsuchiya.

Thanks to those famous appearances, the prices of the Corolla AE86 keep increasing, but it also has the performance to back up its fame. Under the hood is a 1.6-liter twin-cam 4A-GE. It only produced 112 hp as standard, but tuning and modifications extract even more power from the hatchback.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Landctruiser J40 - 4x4 - front quarter View
Image Credit: Wikicommons

A list of Toyota’s best-ever designs is incomplete without looking at the exceptional Land Cruiser. The original Land Cruiser remains one of the best off-roaders in history, appearing in all sorts of forms and designs, and Toyota has recently relaunched the Land Cruiser in both the United States and Europe.

The Land Cruiser became famous for its robustness and dependability. It was one of the few vehicles that could go anywhere and get you home. The Land Cruiser first appeared in 1951 as the BJ and FJ, evolving into the famous J20 in 1955 with a design that would soon become iconic.

Toyota Century

Toyota_Century_3rd_generation_2017_Tokyo_Motor
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Toyota is no stranger to luxury, especially with its luxury division, Lexus. However, the main parent company knows a thing or two about opulent travel, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Century sedan.

Century is a manufacturer’s flagship in Japan, and while it has been in production since 1967, there have only been three generations of the luxury sedan. The best is the G50, which debuted in 1997 with a massive 5.0-liter V12 under the hood. The third generation debuted in 2018, and under the hood now is a 5.0-liter hybrid V8 engine, producing a combined total power output of 425 hp.

Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota GR Corolla
Image Credit: zombieite/WikiCommons.

Not content with its current GR offerings, Toyota introduced the GR Corolla for the 2024 model year. Starting at just $36,500, it is little wonder that, like the GR Yaris, the GR Corolla has taken the enthusiast market by storm. 

Under the hood, the G16E-GTS 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine produces 300 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque across all the trim levels. Like the GR Yaris, it offers superb handling via the GR circuit-tuned suspension, and gearheads will revel in the six-speed manual transmission. All-wheel drive is another bonus with the GR Corolla.

Henry Kelsall

Author: Henry Kelsall

Title: Writer

Bio:

Henry has freelanced for over eight years now, mostly in automotive matters, but he has also dabbled in other forms of writing too. He has a lot of love for Japanese classics and American muscle cars, in particular the Honda NSX and first-generation Ford Mustang. When not writing, Henry is often found at classic car events or watching motorsports at home, but he also has a curious passion for steam trains.

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