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8 Things You Should Know About the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV

Key Takeaways

  • The Subaru Solterra offers three trim levels with varying range numbers, starting at $44,995. The Premium trim provides 228 miles of range, which is sufficient for daily commuting.
  • The Solterra comes standard with a dual-motor setup and all-wheel drive, giving it the traction and capability that Subaru is known for. It’s perfect for adventurers and provides peace of mind in sticky situations.
  • With 8.3 inches of ground clearance and X-Mode for off-road capability, the Solterra can conquer light trails. While not the best for heavy off-roading, it offers decent capabilities for those seeking off-road adventures.

Subaru has built its reputation by making excellent all-wheel-drive vehicles that can accompany you on most of your adventures, and now it is taking that same philosophy and applying it to electric vehicles. The Subaru Solterra is the Toyota BZ4X’s EV twin, and even though there are obvious similarities, the Subaru has its own unique character (and features).

Let’s explore what Subaru’s first foray into the world of electric crossovers has to offer!

1. Three Trims With Varying Range Numbers

The Subaru Solterra is available in three trim levels, which include Premium (which starts at $44,995), Limited ($48,495), and top-of-the-line Touring ($51,995). The most affordable trim level is the Premium, and it also happens to offer the most range.

The Premium will do 228 miles on one charge, which admittedly is not much in today’s world of EVs with tons of range. Regardless, the 228 miles of range should be more than enough to use daily, especially if you’re just commuting to work and then recharging at night. If your commute isn’t very long, you won’t even need to charge your Solterra every day.

The Limited trim has a claimed range of 222 miles, and the Touring is also good for an identical 222 miles. Honestly, the difference is negligible, and if you want to go for the higher trim levels but are afraid of losing range, you can take the plunge without worrying too much.

The higher trim levels also net you goodies like 20-inch wheels and roof rails. The wheels you can live without, but a Subaru without roof rails seems a bit out of character. Upgrading to the Limited and Touring trims also nets you the Panoramic View Monitor, which is a 360-degree field-of-view camera system.

2. Standard AWD Dual-Motor Is Great for Adventures

Subaru Solterra in a snowy mountain
Image Credit: Subaru

Subaru has always been famous for its vehicles that are capable on both paved and unpaved roads, especially the rally-inspired STI line of enthusiast vehicles equipped with the company’s famous Symmetrical AWD system.

The Solterra comes standard with a dual-motor setup to give it the kind of traction that Subaru buyers expect, and it’s one way in which it differs from its Toyota cousin, which has a single-motor front-wheel drive layout.

Although the Solterra is by no means a rally car, it’s the kind of EV that. All-wheel drive also ensures that you can get out of sticky situations with ease, an ability that will come in handy while you’re out on an adventure.

3. Great Ground Clearance for Light Off-Roading

Subaru Volterra off-roading
Image Credit: Subaru

The Subaru Solterra probably won’t position itself among the best EVs for off-roading, with the likes of the Rivian R1T (and its crazy 15 inches of ground clearance), but with 8.3 inches of ground clearance, it can definitely help you conquer some pretty decent trails.

Subaru also includes X-Mode on the Solterra, which is an off-road mode that you can activate at the touch of a button. It helps you tackle situations where there might be wheel slippage by braking whichever wheel is slipping, ensuring you don’t get stuck in deep mud or sand.

The Solterra should have the off-road chops to tackle light trails, but for any heavy off-roading, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

4. EyeSight Driver Assist Technologies Provide Increased Safety

Subaru includes its EyeSight driver assistance technology on all trim levels, which is a nice addition to an already compelling EV. EyeSight includes the Pre-Collision System, which can bring the vehicle to a full stop if it detects an imminent collision.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) are two technologies that are standard on the Solterra and help keep you safe on road trips as they take some of the strain out of long-distance driving.

Electric vehicles are expected to be at the forefront of autonomous driving, so it’s good to see Subaru has included technology that’s not fully autonomous but makes your daily driving less frustrating and safer.

5. Safe Exit Assist Is Standard

Subaru has a cool technology called Safe Exit Assist, and it monitors your vehicle’s surroundings when you’re opening the door. The vehicle will emit a beeping sound to warn you (as well as generate a warning in the driver information display) that you’re about to open your door in front of another road user. This feature is designed to primarily protect bicyclists.

This is a super cool safety feature that should be mandatory on all new cars, and it’s especially useful in crowded cities where finding parking (and getting out of your vehicle) is a hassle.

6. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Subaru Solterra interior with Apple CarPlay
Image Credit: Subaru

Subaru offers standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the Solterra, which is a great addition to an already inviting interior, and you can even pair that with an optional 12.3-inch display if you’re a fan of large touchscreens in your cars.

7. Subaru StarTex Fabric Is Great for an Active Lifestyle

Subaru’s StarTex fabric is perfect if you lead an active lifestyle. The durable fabric is ideal for those off-the-beaten-path moments full of dirt and mud that you may encounter as a Subaru owner.

The material is synthetic, so it’s also a great option for those who are opposed to animal-based interior materials. StarTex is also a water-repellant, which means you can easily clean the seats of any dirt or mud, making sure your interior stays pristine after a day-long adventure.

Subaru says StarTex will keep you cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter, and it’s also more durable than leather seating surfaces. It’s not available in the base trim vehicle, so you’ll have to step up to the Limited and Touring models if you want it in your Subie.

8. Based on the Toyota bZ4X

Subaru Solterra with mountains in the background
Image Credit: Subaru

The Subaru Solterra is based on the Toyota bZ4X, and even though they have many differences, it’s still apparent by merely glancing at these two side by side that they’re very closely related. The design is very similar between the two vehicles in a way that’s very reminiscent of Subaru and Toyota’s other collaborations: the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GR 86.

The rear of the Solterra appears to have a lot of Toyota Highlanders in it as well. Its interior is almost identical to what you will see in a bZ4X, and this is where the Toyota influence starts to become more visible.

You see, Subaru makes vehicles with lots of character, and while Toyota is an awesome brand that makes reliable vehicles, it’s not known for its quirkiness. The interior lacks any typical Subaru touch, and instead its sedate, all-gray interior just screams bZ4X.

Even though the interior has nice soft-touch surfaces and an available 12.3-inch touchscreen, it would have been nice to see some more adventure-specific features available in the interior. Overall, the Toyota connection is not a bad thing (especially if the Subaru inherits Toyota’s reliability and quality finish), but it does sap some personality from the Subaru.

The Subaru Solterra Is the Adventurous Brother of Toyota’s bZ4X

The Subaru Solterra isn’t a game-changer by any stretch of the imagination. In a competitive EV SUV segment that’s getting more heated every day, having a derivative vehicle like the Solterra may not prove to be a good long-term strategy for Subaru.

But it’s still a very competent SUV that will comfortably get you to your destination, and it should also prove reliable, thanks to the fact that it’s heavily based on Toyota’s bZ4X electric SUV.

If you’re looking for a practical Subaru (that also happens to be electric) with eight-plus inches of ground clearance, look no further than the Solterra.

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