NEWS

2023 Subaru Solterra Delivers Solid EV Range, Off-Road Abilities

subaru-solterra-2023-7-blue-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-suv 2023 Subaru Solterra | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ4X

Looks like: Toyota bZ4X

Powertrains: 215-horsepower dual electric motors with a lithium-ion battery pack; all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: 2022

The Subaru Solterra made its first appearance on the global stage last week, and now we have more details on the U.S. version of the all-electric SUV as it debuts at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Solterra will mark a series of firsts for Subaru: In addition to being the brand’s first all-electric vehicle, the SUV will come with new safety features such as an available 360-degree camera system. Like the other SUVs in its lineup, the Solterra also promises to offer mild off-roading capability with standard all-wheel drive and generous ground clearance.

Related: More 2021 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

A Closer Look Around

We caught the first glimpse of the Solterra during its global reveal, but now Subaru has revealed more details (and photos) of the U.S.-bound model. The Solterra was jointly developed by Subaru and Toyota, and shares a new e-Subaru Global Platform and many styling elements with its cousin, the Toyota bZ4X.

The Solterra sports a heavily creased and angular exterior, with a low hood and thin A-pillars intended to optimize forward visibility. In front, a hexagonal grille motif is framed by the vehicle’s thin LED headlights that come with standard high-beam assist. The vehicle’s profile features short front and rear overhangs and a sharply sloped roof; large wheel arch moldings hint at its off-road capability.

In contrast to the origami-inspired exterior, the Solterra’s interior is minimalistic and tech-focused with a large, upright touchscreen display and digital top-mounted instrument panels. Subaru says cargo and passenger space is optimized thanks to a flat floor, folding rear seats and a wide liftgate opening that should make loading gear easier.  A panoramic glass roof along with raised roof rails will be available.

Power and Charging

subaru-solterra-2023-1-blue-dynamic-exterior-front-angle-suv 2023 Subaru Solterra | Manufacturer image

Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and dual motors, the Solterra produces 215 horsepower and 248 pounds-feet of torque. It offers Level 2 AC and DC fast charging capability with a Subaru-estimated range of over 220 miles on a full charge.

Although the 220-mile range is competitive among the list of EVs with the longest range, the Solterra’s estimated range falls short of its direct competitors. The Volkswagen ID.4 gets an estimated 260-mile range in rear-wheel drive models and up to 249 miles for AWD; the Ford Mustang Mach-E gets up to 305 miles in RWD and 270 miles in AWD.

The Toyota bZ4X will be offered in the U.S. with front-wheel drive or AWD; FWD models get a Toyota-estimated 250 miles of range, while range estimates for the AWD models have not yet been determined. A long-range Tesla Model Y leads the entire pack with an EPA-estimated range of 326 miles.

Tech and Safety Firsts

subaru-solterra-2023-5-dashboard-front-row-infotainment-system-interior-steering-wheel-suv 2023 Subaru Solterra | Manufacturer image

The Solterra’s multimedia system is accessed through an available 12.3-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless charging. The EV is the first Subaru vehicle to offer a 360-degree surround-view camera, and it also gets Subaru’s new standard Safety Exit Alert system that warns passengers of potential obstacles before they exit via visual and audible alerts.

Additional driver-assist features include standard automatic pre-collision braking, automatic pre-collision throttle management, lane departure warning, and a blind spot monitor with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

Off-Road Capability

subaru-solterra-2023-13-blue-exterior-front-angle-suv-wheel 2023 Subaru Solterra | Manufacturer image

Following the lead of Subaru’s current SUVs, the Solterra comes with standard AWD (U.S. version) and utilizes Subaru’s on-demand torque technology with driver-selectable regenerative modes. Intended for off-roading, hill climbs and slippery pavement, the driver-activated X-Mode adds more stability and grip by adjusting the SUV’s power output, AWD torque split and brake system. Subaru’s grip control also helps navigate steep grades with hill ascent and descent assist. The Solterra has 8.3 inches of ground clearance, which is slightly less than the Crosstrek and Outback’s 8.7 inches.

Pricing and Release Date

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is expected to arrive in the U.S. in summer 2022, with a starting pricing of $46,220 (all prices include destination but exclude any tax credits).

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