2023 Subaru Solterra
Part of Subaru’s “Love Promise” is to be environmentally responsible. This was in part to their support of the U.S. National Park System, however it goes much further.
Recently, Subaru sold hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Crosstrek. However, they went even further for the new 2023 Solterra – the brand’s first battery-electric vehicle.
It is about the same size as the Crosstrek, yet it shares a platform with Toyota with plenty of common components. It also shares a design with Toyota’s bZ4X that is only distinguished by the badges, wheels, and the front clip. It is a handsome exterior at that!
The front clip is distinctively Subaru, although the grille is a body panel and painted. The rest is contemporary to the class with good access to the rear seats and through the liftgate. The vehicle sits with an 8.3-inch ground clearance, just as you expect from a Subaru. Our Limited tester adds 20-inch alloy wheels and some chrome trim.
Step inside and you will be greeted with a completely different cabin as expected in a Subaru. A fully digital instrument cluster is clean and readable, as well as customizable. However, the steering wheel may cut-off the instrument cluster screen for taller drivers. On the Limited model, the center stack is crowned by a wide 12.3-inch touchscreen with a navigation system included.
On the center console, the shifter is a knob that the driver will have to press down to engage Drive or Reverse. Park is operated by a push button sitting on top of the console. All other controls throughout the cabin are tactile with good logic.
The cabin itself is very accommodating, with a 4-5 seat capacity that has room for adults sitting on StarTex upholstery. The front seats are comfortable with plenty of support. Our Limited tester adds a 10-way power adjustment for the driver. Rear seat space is very good. Behind the rear seats, there is 23.8 cubic feet of usable cargo space. Fold down the rear seats, and you get up to 63.5 cubic feet of space overall.
Powering the Solterra is the StarDrive system. This consists of two electric motors running off of a 72.8 kilowatt-hour battery. Overall, the Solterra is rated at 215 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. The drive system also includes Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a dual-function X-Mode.
As for recharging, it will do so at a DC Fast Charging station. Level 2 charging could take between 9.5 to 11 hours to get back to a full battery level. The Environmental Protection Agency and Subaru claims an estimated range of 228 miles on the Solterra.
The ride quality is just smooth on both the highway and in the city. Handling is controlled and offers a lot of stability through evasive maneuvers. The steering offers a good turning radius, along with a solid on-center feel. The brakes feel great and stop very well. Pedal feel is solid and as expected from any other Subaru. You can also utilize the S-Pedal system, which will stop the Solterra without depressing the brakes. It is also the most aggressive setting for regenerative braking.
Pricing for the Subaru Solterra starts at $44,995 with a choice of trim levels. Our mid-level Limited tester came with a sticker price of $50,432.
The Solterra is one of the newer entries in the battery-electric segment. Consumers often compare the Solterra to the Toyota bZ4X, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Hyundai Kona EV and IONIQ 5, Kia Niro EV and EV6, Nissan Ariya, Volvo C40 and XC40 Recharge, MINI Electric, and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Where the Solterra stands out is its Subaru-ness. It may not have the boxer engine and .4 inches more of ground clearance, but it is the smoothest riding model in its lineup. If you are looking for a battery-electric SUV that has everything you expect in a Subaru, look no further.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors