March 07, 2023 Volume 19 Issue 09

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Solterra: Subaru's first all-electric SUV

If your driving lifestyle includes a get-up-and-go-anywhere attitude and you are game for trying a new all-electric vehicle, Subaru's Solterra could be a good choice for you. The five-passenger EV comes standard with a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system that channels smooth linear output from Subaru's StarDrive Technology to provide outstanding traction and capability in all kinds of weather and terrain.

Solterra is available in three flavors: Premium (base model), Limited, and top-of-the-line Touring. All models feature a progressive design integrating curves and angles in a way that keeps the car from looking too boxy. Two 80-kW motors (front and back) put out a total of 215 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque for all models.

Solterra's high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack provides up to a 228-mile range for the AWD SUV, which many potential buyers may find limiting given other available longer-range EV options. Diehard Subaru fans will probably not be phased. Solterra can quickly charge just about anywhere with its Level 2 AC and DC fast-charging capabilities. With DC fast charging, Solterra can charge up to 80% of total battery capacity in approximately an hour.

One of the most noticeable design features is the contrast-color (black) wheel arches and front "eyebrow" trim, which give Solterra a very sporty, "Let's go off-roading!" look. Subaru's signature hexagonal grille has been tightly integrated with the front fascia. Thin and wide LED headlights complement this design motif. A low hood line also contributes to the SUV's sleek styling, aerodynamic performance, and excellent forward visibility.

The aerodynamically sloped rear glass has a standard ducktail spoiler at the bottom and, on higher trim levels, a dual-spoiler at the top. At the back of the vehicle, the rear combination lamps are positioned high, with a trapezoidal theme that strengthens the design.

The all-new Solterra is equipped with Dual-Function X-MODE with Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes. The system also features Grip Control and Downhill Assist Control for increased performance in low-friction and off-road conditions. With 8.3 in. of ground clearance, Solterra provides versatility in both off-road and city driving.

The new Solterra offers a suite of standard EyeSight driver assist technologies including Emergency Steering Assist, Intersection Collision Avoidance Support, Pre-Collision Brake Assist, Lane Departure Prevention, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist. Additional standard active safety features include Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Rear Camera Detection with Pedestrian Warning. The standard Parking Support Brake feature can apply the vehicle's brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing.

For the first time in a Subaru, a 360-Degree Panoramic View Monitor provides an overhead view of the vehicle for better all-around situational awareness. Also new for Subaru, Solterra is equipped with standard Safe Exit Assist. The new safety feature notifies occupants, before exiting the vehicle, of approaching vehicles with an audible and visual warning.

Unique to Solterra is the new e-SUBARU Global Platform that has been engineered to bring together Subaru's all-wheel drive capability, superior driving dynamics, and world-leading passive safety. The new SUV comes standard with driver and front passenger frontal airbags, side curtain airbags, side pelvis/torso airbags, and driver and front passenger knee airbags.

With up to 125 cubic ft of passenger and cargo space, generous leg room, and a nearly flat floor, the SUV gives occupants the airy, open feel of a much larger vehicle. The Solterra offers up to 29 cubic ft of usable cargo space behind the rear seats, and also features a 60/40 folding seatback and two-position load floor for maximum cargo and passenger flexibility. The wide 41.3-in. rear gate opening with low lift-over height allows easy loading and unloading. Standard fixed cross-bar mounting points add more cargo-carrying options for owners' adventures.

The interior for the new SUV is a clean, minimalist design centered around an intuitive, high-res touchscreen with multifunction display, multimedia, and climate control. Combined with generous storage options and an available panoramic glass roof, Solterra delivers an interior that is not just spacious, but also inviting.

Solterra is equipped with an all-new multimedia system with an available 12.3-in. touchscreen. The new system comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. A wireless charging phone dock is available for the center console.

The Solterra is available now but extremely limited, with 2024 models (likely no updates) coming later this year (price may be elevated slightly). Premium starts at $44,995, Limited starts at $48,495, and Touring starts at $51,995. Learn more at

Source: Subaru

Published March 2023

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