2023 Subaru Solterra EV The upcoming Subaru Solterra 2023 is the Japanese automaker’s first electric compact crossover and EV. Fittingly, it features the standard all-wheel drive, which Subaru is a mainstay of.

The company is working with Toyota to jointly develop the platform for this SUV EV, which is also planned to support other future models. The Solterra is visually and mechanically similar to the upcoming Toyota bZ4X but has a more phonetically pleasing name and some subtle Subaru-style motifs.

Along with a few neat off-road tricks and plenty of standard driver assistance, it has an estimated range of 220-plus miles. While the bZ4X and 2023 Solterra currently don’t face much competition in the non-luxury compact-ute EV segment, the landscape could change drastically by the time they hit showrooms next year.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Review

Built on the same platform as the Toyota bZ4X, Solterra promises to be ready for weekend adventurers. Subaru unveiled its first electric vehicle, the Solterra, at this week’s LA Auto Show.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV

 

The new outdoor-inspired compact SUV uses a two-motor electric powertrain to form a new version of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, offering 8.3 inches of ground clearance for the weekend adventurer on dirt roads.

Subaru says Solterra was developed as part of a joint venture between itself and Toyota and will be built in Japan and China on Toyota’s new dedicated electric vehicle platform, known as e-TNGA. Subaru calls its version the global e-Subaru platform.

Toyota said in April that the new EV would incorporate Subaru’s deep experience in developing all-wheel-drive systems and that Toyota’s version would be called the bZ4X. Toyota says the bZ4X will fall under the Toyota bZ—“beyond zero,” a reference to the brand’s zero-emissions umbrella, which includes six other bZ models due to be introduced in 2025.

The Toyota-Subaru partnership is nothing new. It builds on the first-generation Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 collaboration that continues to this day, and the development of the Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid, which uses several Toyota Prius Prime components.

Prior to Toyota’s announcement in April, Subaru had not revealed any plans to follow the EV path that most manufacturers are pursuing. For its part, Toyota has been hesitant to jump on the EV bandwagon. Instead, it has doubled down on its hybrid offering. bZ4X will be Toyota’s first dedicated EV in the US

  • Competitors: Nissan Ariya, Toyota bZ4X
  • The look: A descendant of the Subaru Crosstrek and Toyota RAV4.
  • Powertrain: Front and rear electric motors with a combined 215 hp; all-wheel drive
  • Price: $37,000-$45,000, estimated
  • For sale: Mid 2022

The loyal Subaru has been waiting with bated breath for news of the brand’s entry into the EV market as other automakers, one after another, have hinted at their intentions. If the Solterra lives up to the mild off-road performance standards and snowy weather set by other Subaru cars, the brand’s EV converts will likely be happy with it.

All-wheel drive and good ground clearance are a great start, as is good cargo space and interior styling cues familiar to anyone who’s had a Subaru built in recent years.

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2023 Subaru Solterra EV Looks Unbelievable

As a company, Subaru has always gone its own way. Subaru’s steadfast commitment to boxer engines, and AWD has made it a unique brand among a sea of FWD CUVs with 2.0L inline fours. But now that Subaru has found a way to make its mark in the EV world and for that, it needs to partner with bigger OEMs like Toyota.

The Solterra (combining the Latin words for sun and earth) is the second vehicle to come from the Subaru/Toyota partnership. The first is of course the BRZ sports car sold by Scion and Toyota, as the FR-S and 86 respectively.

Like the BRZ/86 twin, the Subaru Solterra and its sister Toyota, the bZ4X is mechanically identical. But while the BRZ/86 leans more towards a Subaru product, this one seems to be mostly Toyota. And I’ll explain why that’s not always a bad thing.

Toyota is a prime mover in the hybrid space and has more experience than Subaru when it comes to hybrid and EV powertrains, so they are a natural partner for Subaru to make these EVs. Subaru has actually dabbled in EVs before even though they’re quaint little town cars that aren’t sold in North America. Solterra is the first Subaru EV to be sold to Canada.

In the Subaru lineup, Solterra is closest in overall dimensions to the current Forester. Roughly speaking, it’s about the same length as the Forester, the same height as the Crosstrek, the same width as the Outback, and the same wheelbase as the Ascent. It also has a ground clearance of 211 mm (8.3).

The Solterra is only available in a four-door bodystyle and with AWD only. (FWD is available in other markets, but Canada will only accept the AWD version.) The bZ4X will be offered in either FWD or AWD, and we assume it will provide a lower starting price than the Solterra. Canadian pricing has not been announced for either model.

Solterra’s front and rear electric motors have matching outputs so Subaru still claims it’s a symmetrical AWD system. Combined, the two motors produce 215 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque and the system is powered by a 71.4 kWh battery. Subaru estimates the range will be over 355 km but official EPA numbers are not yet available.

Solterra uses the standard CCS Type 1 charging port and is capable of Level 2 and Level 3 charging. Using Level 3 charging, 80 percent charge can be achieved in under an hour. In terms of hardware, Solterra uses MacPherson struts up front and double wishbones at the back.

What is the difference between Subaru and Toyota? Both doors and quarter panels are shared for both models. Subaru is distinguished by a unique front bumper, taillights, unique 18″ wheels and an exclusive light blue color called Harbor Gray Mist Pearl which will not be offered on Toyota.

Solterra will be built in Japan in Toyota facilities. Optional 20″ wheels featured on show cars the actual car is also used in conjunction with the bZ4X.

Inside Solterra you’ll find a minimalistic design centered around a tilting touchscreen. The gauge is actually mounted high on the dashboard so you see it above the steering wheel, not through it. An eight-inch touchscreen is standard and a 12.3-inch is optional. Both displays have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The cargo floor with selectable heights allows you to choose whether you want to maximize volume when the rear seats are folded up or have a flat cargo area with the seats folded down. Two interior schemes are offered: black fabric or two-tone “synthetic” leather.

Solterra will be available for Canada mid-2022 as a model year 2023.

2023 Subaru Solterra STI

At the Tokyo Auto Salon 2022 being held from January 14 to 16, the Subaru booth hosted a surprise debut – the Subaru Solterra STI Concept. As the suffix indicates, this is a potential IMS variant concept of Subaru’s electric car.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV

The Solterra STI Concept features a custom light blue finish, red underbody spoilers on all four sides, body-colored vertical slats on the side air inlets, gloss black alloy wheels with red highlights, and a gloss black roof spoiler featuring the STI logo on the sides.

Subaru has yet to reveal any technical details or confirm the launch of the Solterra STI.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Electric Changes

The Subaru Solterra, previously referred to by the media as the Subaru Evoltis, debuted as the first Subaru electric car in November 2021. Shown at the 2021 LA Auto Show. Update: The ‘Subaru Solterra US Launch’ section updated.

Solterra, which was developed in collaboration with Toyota, is not an electrified Subaru Forester or a ‘conversion’ of existing Subaru products. Subaru has invested in the future by creating the Solterra, an electric car that is not a traditional swap engine.

Unlike other automakers, Subaru has moved forward without waiting to see if its electric car will follow, with help from Toyota.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Design

Subaru says that it coined the name “Solterra” by combining the words “Sol” and “Terra,” which mean “Sun” and “Earth”, respectively, in Latin. The C-segment is the most popular class worldwide and provides automakers with very high scale and decent margins.

That explains why Volkswagen, Nissan and Skoda are focusing on electric cars in the C-segment first – consider the VW ID.3, VW ID.4, Nissan Leaf, Skoda Enyaq and Nissan Ariya. In line with industry trends, Subaru has introduced the C-segment BEV first, in an SUV body style.

The Subaru Solterra is essentially a different-designed Toyota bZ4X, and that shows by its identical shape. Subaru doesn’t seem to be making any sheet metal changes and is dealing with easily swappable parts like the headlights, grille, bumper and wheels to keep costs down.

At the front, the Solterra has larger headlights with the C-shaped daytime running lights that are the hallmark of Subarus. Designers have used the unique hexagonal faux radiator grille and distinctive bumper as well to differentiate the electric SUV from its twin.

Both parts carry a sharper design, making the front-end more aggressive than the Toyota. Another difference is the application of fog lamps on the Subaru models, a feature that fits perfectly into the brand’s line of adventure-themed vehicles.

On the sides, the ‘EV’ badge instead of the bZ4X’s ‘ELECTRIC’ badge on the charging port cover and model-specific alloy wheels are the differences on the Solterra. At the rear, Solterra is once again trying to show that it is a Subaru with uniquely designed taillights with C-shaped light guides.

Unlike on the bZ4X, there is no light band connecting the taillights. The interior design is the same, with the closed underside of the steering wheel being the only exception. There is no choice of yoke steering or wing-shaped steering in this model.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Specs

Subaru hasn’t gone into full details of Solterra’s specs for the US market but has released some preliminary figures. As for what hasn’t been announced yet, we can guess based on what’s on offer in Japan.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV

Platform component structure with hood-mounted drive system and floor embedded battery. The Subaru Solterra doesn’t have a front or ‘funk’ trunk, but it does have a nearly level floor.

In Japan, the Subaru Solterra has a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery running at 355 volts. It will be available in a 150 kW (201 hp) single motor FWD configuration and a 160 kW (214 hp) dual-motor AWD configuration.

Subaru targets a WLTC range of 530 km (329 miles) from Solterra FWD and 460 km (286 miles) from Solterra AWD.

  • EV range (miles approx.) 220+
  • Motor output (hp) 215
  • Motor Torque (lb.-ft.) 248
  • Passenger volume (cu.ft) 95.7
  • Cargo volume up/down cargo floor position (cu.ft.) 27.7/ 30.3
  • Cargo volume from bottom row (cu.ft.) 30.3
  • Total passenger & cargo volume (cu.ft.) 126
  • Rear cargo opening width (inside) 41.3
  • Wheelbase (in) 112.2
  • Length (in) 184.6
  • Width (in) 73.2
  • Height(in) 65.0
  • Seating capacity of 5 passengers
  • Ground clearance (in) 8.3

In the US, Subaru will offer the Solterra only in an AWD configuration with two motors producing 215 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

The company didn’t mention the battery capacity, but it could be a US-spec 72.8 kWh bZ4X AWD lithium-ion package. The company targets a range of more than 220 miles for the US-spec Solterra.

In Japan, Solterra customers can charge up to 6.6 kW with AC using the built-in charger or up to 150 kW with DC at a fast charging station.

Subaru hasn’t revealed peak charging power for the US-spec Solterra, but it does say that charging up to 80% of the SoC with a DC fast charger will take less than an hour. Final specifications for the US will be available in the coming months.

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2023 Subaru Solterra EV Exterior

Subaru says the Solterra’s body style is pinned to its trapezoidal grille — seen here as a bare panel as the traditional grille isn’t needed on the EV.

It’s worth noting that the bare trapezoid grille, thin headlight housing, and oval-shaped blue brand badge make the Solterra look no different from the Ford Mustang Mach-E from the front, as does the heavily angled rear hatch.

The similarities end there, though. Solterra’s style can be described as angular and active, with chisel lines and black plastic accents that suggest ruggedness and movement.

The roof appears to be adorned with utility rails—a must for self-respecting Subaru owners, who most likely have bikes, cargo bins, kayaks, and other gear to mount on the roof.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Interior

Just like many current Subaru models, the center of the dashboard is dominated by the large touchscreen, although the Solterra is a 12.3-inch horizontally oriented unit. And it appears to be running a redesigned version of the infotainment system that debuted in many of the new Toyota and Lexus models.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV

Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be standard, and a wireless smartphone charging dock will be optional. The turn signal lights and wiper handles, and some of the dashboard controls, look as though they’ve been removed from the existing Toyota parts holder—not that that’s a bad thing.

In terms of volume, the interior space is smaller than the current Subaru Forester by a few cubic feet. Despite its steep rear glass, the Solterra offers slightly more cargo space than the Forester.

That’s probably because Solterra has a large flat load floor, which Subaru says can be set at two different heights. The rear seats with a 60/40 split fold down to provide more cargo space. The rear hatch opening is over 41 inches wide for easy loading and unloading.

Thanks to the e-Subaru platform supporting the Solterra, the floor of the passenger compartment is also flat, which Subaru says helps with legroom.

The Solterra interior features a high-mounted digital gauge cluster, a large touchscreen for the infotainment system, and an elevated center console with what looks like a rotary dial. The steep windshield, large side mirrors, and panoramic sunroof seem to give the cabin a spacious feel.

The overall interesting mix of textures also contributes to an attractive aesthetic. Along with a variety of storage areas, including a large trash can under the center console, the Solterra makes a handy travel companion with up to 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded flat.

The Solterra infotainment system is available with a 12.3-inch touchscreen located in the center of the dashboard. Each model features standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a cordless phone charger.

The inclusion of a smartphone app allows users to remotely control the HVAC system to pre-condition the cabin or to lock and unlock doors, among others. We also expect built-in navigation and possibly an improved stereo option to be on the list.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Features

The main features of the Solterra are similar to those of the bZ4X, but it doesn’t get all the fittings of the Toyota model. The Solterra is Subaru’s first vehicle to feature fully automatic parking, although Subaru has yet to confirm the feature for the US model.

Other key features of the brand’s first EV include a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, digital lock, heat pump-type air conditioning, X-Mode AWD control system, and Grip Control.

Like the bZ4X, the Solterra has a shift-by-wire system with a dial-type gear selector and will be available with diesel, but will not be available with a steer-by-wire system.

With Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system, Solterra should be able to tackle snow, mud and gravel with ease. While this isn’t a rock crawler, don’t think of it as a tall horse carriage, for it is Subaru.

It features the Subaru ICE model’s dual-function X-Mode system which allows the driver to adapt vehicle components to specific driving conditions such as snow/soil and snow/mud. There is also the newly developed Grip Control, which consists of Hill Ascent and Descent Assist, to enhance the SUV’s rough road performance.

Subaru will offer Solterra a number of active safety technologies. This is the company’s first model to feature a 360-degree surround-view camera (a first on a Subaru) and Safe Exist Assist. EyeSight and Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert will also be available.

Solterra will come with EyeSight, Subaru’s suite of advanced active safety features that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic, lane change assist features and adaptive cruise control.

The car will also have a 360-degree view camera and a parking assist feature that activates the brakes in case of an obstacle while reversing. A new feature called safe egress assistance that warns passengers of approaching vehicles when getting out of the car will also be included.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV SUV

EV Motor, Power and Performance Along with the fact that the Solterra is powered exclusively by electricity, it has an all-wheel drive system that uses two electric motors that produce a combined 215 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV

That power can be used differently depending on the driving mode, of which there are four: Eco, Normal, Power, and X-mode, which are meant to assist in slippery conditions or on uneven terrain by modulating power independently to each wheel.

For those interested in taking the Solterra off-road, it has a ground clearance of 8.3 inches and features “Grip Control” which is basically low-speed cruise control. Paddles on the steering wheel allow the regenerative braking force to be adjusted.

Range, Charge and Battery Life While Subaru hasn’t revealed how big the Solterra’s battery pack is, or how much capacity it can use, the company estimates a driving range of more than 220 miles on a single charge.

Subaru has been equally tight-lipped when it comes to charge times, only saying that the Solterra is compatible with DC fast chargers and is “capable of charging significantly in under an hour.”

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Engine

Subaru hasn’t provided details on the individual power outputs of the Solterra’s two electric motors, but their combined power outputs are 215 hp and 248 lb.-ft. torque. The all-wheel-drive system will include the X-Mode and hillside traction features found on many petrol-powered Subarus.

The automaker said the estimated range is more than 222 miles, although that figure has not been confirmed by EPA testing. Like every EV, Solterra will be compatible with Level 1 and Level 2 charging, as well as commercial DC fast charging.

Subaru says the battery can be charged to 80 percent capacity in under an hour using DC fast charging.

The Solterra infotainment system is enabled to use apps to help drivers find charging stations, leveraging a network of over 3,000 DC fast chargers and 38,000 Level 2 chargers.

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2023 Subaru Opens Solterra EV Reservations

If you’ve been waiting in line for Subaru’s first electric model, now’s your chance. Starting today, you can order the new Subaru Solterra 2023. The upcoming crossover SUV is the company’s first fully electric vehicle.

Solterra is the latest testament to the Japanese automaker’s longstanding partnership with automotive heavyweight Toyota, which itself will market a similar model under the BZ4X nameplate.

Considered the most advanced Subaru product to date, the Solterra will come standard with a new electric version of the company’s trademark symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.

This will bring an estimated range of over 220 miles, which is oddly shorter than the estimated 250 miles that Toyota is proposing for its own very similar BZ4X.

Subaru expects to ship the 2023 Solterra this summer. The number of reservation slots is limited and each will cost you $250. If you are cold and don’t want to make a reservation, this reservation fee is refundable. The final price of the vehicle will be agreed upon with the local Subaru dealer between April and May this year.

As part of the announcement about the reservation process, Subaru also revealed that the company has partnered with EVgo, a national charging network company.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Price

2023 Subaru Solterra EV SUV Price $37,000 (est) Subaru hasn’t announced pricing for the Solterra 2023 yet, but we expect it to be on par with the Toyota bZ4X, which we think will start in the $30,000s.

Once we figure out how much the Subie costs and learn more about the different trim levels and available features, we can recommend which one to buy.

2023 Subaru Solterra EV Release Date

The Solterra crossover will be Subaru’s first electric vehicle when it goes on sale in 2022 as a 2023 model.

Production of the bZ4X will take place at the Toyota Motomachi Plant in Japan and other factories in China. Solterra should also be rolled from the same plant. Chinese-made units may have a battery system co-developed with CATL, as is the case with the bZ4X.

Co-development with Toyota, plus Toyota factory-based production will ensure Solterra’s reliability. Unlike Subaru, Toyota is one of the top 3 trusted brands in the US, according to a recent Consumer Reports study.

In addition, Toyota has developed and manufactured several partially electric cars (hybrid and plugin) that are impressive in terms of reliability. The bZ4X and Solterra twins should also be high-quality product offerings, despite being new EVs.

The Subaru Solterra will go on sale in its first markets, including the United States, in the middle of the year. The first Subaru electric car has received the green signal for launch in Japan, Canada, China, as well as European countries. In the US, prices are expected to start at around USD 40,000 at launch.

Reservations open for Subaru Solterra in the US on February 8, 2022. Customers in all 50 states can book a car on the official Subaru Solterra website by paying a refundable reservation fee of USD 250.

They can also select their preferred Subaru retailer and choose the color and trim for their SUV. While shipping will begin from Summer 2022 onwards, the process for final orders, pricing, and availability will be discussed by the respective retailer between April and May 2022.

Additionally, Subaru has partnered with EVgo, the largest public fast-charging network in the US to give Subaru customers access to more than 46,000 charging locations across all 50 states. The EVgo network has 800 public fast-charging locations and more than 1200 Level 2 fast chargers in the US.

Subaru has announced that the Subaru Solterra will go on sale in the US in mid-2022. Reservations open on February 8.