2023 Subaru Solterra First Drive Video in OLIVE BRANCH, MS

Build-A-Brand's Blog | 2023 Subaru Solterra First Drive Video

Besides minor styling differences inside and out, the Subaru Solterra only comes with dual-motor AWD…because Subaru. Meanwhile the Toyota bZ4X is also offered in cheaper single-motor FWD form. Elsewhere, the Solterra has slightly higher ground clearance of 8.3” versus the Toyota’s 8.1”, on the Subaru heated front seats come standard, there is a Subaru-exclusive “power mode” that alters accelerator responsiveness and unlike the standard 12.3” screen found in the bZ4X, the Solterra comes with an 8” screen on the base Premium. If you want that 12.3”-er, you’ll have to move to the Limited or Touring trims.

Range

228-miles – Premium

222-miles – Limited/Touring

72.8 kWh battery pack

215 HP, 249 lb-ft

Curb Weight: 4,365 lbs Premium Trim

One big distinction is these paddle shifters. Unlike its Toyota counterpart, the Solterra offers 4 different regenerative braking intensities rather than 2.

Unsurprisingly snappy acceleration rt. Though if your standards are based in Tesla, this won’t blow up your figurative skirt.

As for handling, the Solterra turns just fine. It’s not particularly fun to steer. Like the bZ4X, the Solterra offers predictable, comfortable road manners.

Even with various regenerative brake intensities, the Solterra doesn’t offer a one-pedal drive mode as is common among many electric cars…meaning you’ll have to use the brake pedal. That pedal doesn’t feel perfectly natural but close enough that as an owner you’ll get used to it.

Down the road, we’ll examine the Solterra in a deeper way but I will VERY quickly note that while I’m not in love with the Solterra’s style, to my eyes, it does look better than its Toyota bZ4X kin, the back seats are super roomy, the infotainment interface is easy enough to use but I wish it included a volume knob, as in the bZ4X the steering wheel perfectly blocks the gauge cluster display when adjusted to my preferred position, cargo space is a practical 27.7 cu-ft, and the roof rails can accommodate a dynamic load of 176 lbs and a static load of 700 lbs. You know what that means Subaru fans, time to price rooftop tents.

While the competitors like the Kia EV6 & Hyundai IONIQ 5 can charge from 10% to 80% charge in 18 minutes using a 350-kW DC Fast Charger, the Subaru Solterra maxes out at 100 kW charging speeds, resulting in a much slower 10-80% charge time of about an hour.

Lastly, let’s talk price. A base Solterra premium trim costs $44,995 plus $1,225 in destination charges. That price buys you a decently equipped electric car but it’s a grand more than a base Toyota bZ4X AWD, which again, comes with the 12.3” screen standard. That sounds bad for the Subit but unlike Toyota, which is about to exhaust its allotment of federal tax incentives, the Subaru Solterra will be eligible for the US government’s $7,500 tax incentive for a long time to come. So, assuming you can exploit that tax incentive, the Solterra could be the smarter buy.

Copy-pasting from every other small electric SUV review I’ve done recently, the Solterra’s competitive set includes the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Tesla Model Y, Nissan Ariya, and the Toyota bZ4X.

But in the Venn diagram of automotive desires, Subaru fans who want an electric car really want a Subaru, right? And if what you want is an electric Subaru, this is the only game in town.

00:00 2023 Subaru Solterra

0:40 Details

1:23 Range

1:43 Driving Impressions

3:05 Off-Road Driving Impressions

6:50 Competitors

Contact me today for answers to your questions about the 2023 Subaru Solterra!

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