The 2023 Subaru Solterra is a capable all-wheel-drive crossover EV, but how far does it go on a single charge? Announced late last year, the Solterra not only comes with off-road capabilities but also offers decent performance on the tarmac. The dual-motor version of the car produces 215 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque, and does the 0-60 mph run in 6.5 seconds. It also has a 72.8 kWh battery and comes with a charger that works with any standard 120V outlet for Level 1 charging. Users can also have a 240V Level 2 charger installed for even faster charging. The company, however, warns that fast charging will degrade the lifespan of the battery faster than usual.
The Solterra is the company’s first all-electric car and is based on the e-Subaru Global Platform. It was developed jointly with Toyota, which markets the same vehicle as the bZ4X. The Toyota bZ4X is currently available in many global markets including the U.S., Japan, and Europe. However, the company was recently forced to recall nearly 3,000 units because its wheels could fall off while driving. According to an advisory issued by Japan’s safety regulator, if a driver takes a sharp turn or brakes suddenly, that could cause the bZ4X’s hub bolt to loosen. Thankfully, there have been no reported accidents due to the defect so far.
Subaru claims that the Solterra comes with an estimated range of over 220 miles with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. It is slightly below average when compared to some of the other vehicles in its segment, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, Jaguar I-Pace, and the Tesla Model Y. The Tesla, for instance, offers as much as 326 miles on a single charge, although it also costs significantly more than most other vehicles in its class.
Subaru knows that range isn’t the Solterra’s strength and is offering incentives to potential customers to help them get over their range-related anxiety. According to Consumer Reports, Solterra buyers are eligible for “up to 10 days of free Subaru rentals (per year)” from their dealerships, enabling them to get a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle for long drives and road trips. So despite the off-road credentials, AWD technology, and SUV styling, the Solterra is more of a city car than a highway cruiser.
Overall, the Solterra is a neat package with high-end features and quality interiors, but is let down by its low range and an inadequate powertrain. What’s worse is its pricing which makes it hard to recommend over rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Volkswagen ID. 4. Still, despite its less-than-impressive range and relatively high price, the Subaru Solterra comes with some innovative features like EyeSight driver-assist technology which scans traffic movement, maximizes cruise control, and warns the driver when they veer off their lane.