By Cars.com EditorsNovember 18, 2021
About the video
Subaru unveiled its first all-electric SUV at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new 2023 Solterra.
(upbeat music) Subaru has just unveiled their first ever electric vehicle here at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, this is the 2023 Subaru Solterra, and if it looks similar to you, like maybe it's something you've seen before, like actually here at th...
e LA Auto Show, that's understandable, because Toyota has a version called the bZ4X that they've just unveiled a few feet over there on their own turntable. Now, Toyota and Subaru have gotten together to develop this vehicle, which is not new for them, they actually did this with a sports car, Subaru has the BRZ, Toyota has the GR 86. Well, they've done it again with this vehicle, they've come together and each contributed their own specialties to create something that is actually gonna be increasingly popular, an electric compact crossover. So what exactly have they created here? Well, they contributed things like chassis and electronics and interior, but Subaru's come with its own X-Mode all-wheel drive and Toyota's contributed things like it's on multimedia system. Let's have a closer look at the new Subaru Solterra version to see exactly what Subaru's first electric vehicle looks like. First, let's talk about the size. The thing is about the size of a Subaru Forester, but smaller than a Subaru Ascent, and it feels a little bit lower as well, so it really is perfectly positioned to be on the higher end of the compact crossover category, things like a Honda CR-V or maybe a Toyota RAV4 size as well. The styling, yeah, it looks almost identical to the Toyota bZ4X, but there are a couple of subtle differences. These panels up front, they're actually gray plastic instead of any kind of painted color, and it actually does have a grill up front, it's not a real grill, but it has a Subaru badge in the middle. Along with the headlights and tail lights, it does present a little bit of a distinctive difference than the Toyota version. Under the hood of the new '23 Solterra is, well, nothing. There's no frunk on the Solterra, this actually isn't meant to be a storage compartment. Under the floor of the Solterra however, is a 71.4 kilowatt hour lithium ion battery. Now, that's powering two motors in the Solterra, because it gets standard all-wheel drive, but Toyota bZ4X will have a standard front-wheel drive model with optional all-wheel drive model. Now, this is using Subaru's X-Mode all-wheel drive technology, which also includes a kind of off-road cruise control to help you go up some challenging terrain a little bit easier. It's also sitting a little bit higher than a lot of other EVs like the Mustang Mach-E, so it is meant to be a little bit more off-road ready. Estimated range for this is about 220 miles on a full charge. Now, that's not an official EPA number yet, that's just Subaru's estimate, but that does come in a little bit less than all-wheel drive competitors like the Volkswagen ID.4 or the Mustang Mach-E. Inside the Solterra, it's actually really kind of unique in here. The two most obvious features are this screen in front the instrument cluster, you don't look through the steering wheel to see it, you actually look over the steering wheel, and so it kind of almost doubles as a heads up display as well. One of the things Toyota contributed to this party is the multimedia system. This is Toyota's new multimedia system, it uses a 12.3 inch screen and things like cloud-based navigation. You can also set up all kinds of personalized profiles on it as well. The interior controls include things like capacitive touch, climate control buttons, but you also do have a good number of actual hard buttons and controls as well, which we like to see. You have a rotary dial here for your gear selector, and overall, the interior really does look smart and modern and fresh. There's also a surprising amount of room inside the Solterra, it's a fairly large vehicle for its outside dimensions. I can sit behind myself where I would normally position the front seat, and there's plenty of leg room and knee room. There's still a few things that we don't know about the new '23 Solterra, we don't know exactly how fast it takes to charge on a DC fast charger, we don't know exactly how much it's going to cost, we expect around $40,000, but we also don't know how it drives. We're gonna learn that next year when it goes on sale in early 2022, and when we do have that drive, you'll see it here on Cars.com.
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