2023 Subaru Solterra - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2023 Subaru Solterra

Should you buy Subaru’s first-ever electric vehicle?

Subaru is known for its boxer engines. As a matter of fact, this is what made Subaru stand out in the automotive industry. However, the move towards electric vehicles (EVs) means that Subaru even has to ditch what made their cars unique in the first place in favor of motors that are powered by electrons.

Say hello to the 2023 Subaru Solterra, and it’s the Japanese automaker’s first EV. Developed alongside Toyota’s bZ4X, the Solterra should help Subaru gain a foothold in the growing demand for electric crossover SUVs. Without a boxer engine, however, how will the Subaru Solterra stand out in a sea of other crossover EVs?

What’s New for the 2023 Subaru Solterra?

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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The 2023 Subaru Solterra is the brand’s first-ever electric vehicle

Unsurprisingly, the 2023 Subaru Solterra looks similar to the Toyota bZ4X. Both models have a comically large amount of gray body cladding, especially at the front fenders as this extends all the way to the LED headlights. The Limited trim comes with a black contrasting roof, which somehow breaks the car’s slab-sided side profile. It also has a sloping roofline for a more dynamic look, though this certainly will cut into the car’s cargo area. And then moving towards its rear end, you can see more black plastic trim on the bumpers. There’s also a full-width LED taillight design that’s a first for Subaru.

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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Its 218 hp figure, however, while not disappointing, isn’t powerful either

At this point, you might be asking what aesthetically separates the Solterra from the bZ4X, and with that, the devil is in the details. Whereas the bZ4X’s front end is sculpted in a way that looks similar to the Spindle Grille from Lexus, the Solterra has a hexagonal outline that puts it in line with other Subaru models. The headlights are also different, as the Solterra comes with C-shaped LED daytime running lights that also echo the design language of other Subaru models.

Pros and Cons

  • Leave it
    •  Comically-large body cladding
    •  Looks too similar to its Toyota sibling
    • Range falls short compared to its rivals

2023 Subaru Solterra Trims

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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Trim Powertrain Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Premium AC synchronous electric motor Single-speeed automatic All-wheel drive TBA
Limited AC synchronous electric motor Single-speeed automatic All-wheel drive TBA 
Touring AC synchronous electric motor Single-speeed automatic All-wheel drive TBA

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior

Dimensions

Length 184.6 inches
Width 73.23 inches
Height 64.96 inches
Wheelbase 112.2 inches
Front Width N/A
Rear Width N/A
Curb weight 4254.92 lbs

Exterior Colors

Elemental Red Pearl (Premium only) Cosmic White Pearl (Limited only) Harbor Mist Gray Peal Two-Tone (Touring only)

2023 Subaru Solterra Performance

Powertrain

Electric Motor AC synchronous dual electric motors
Transmission Single-speed automatic
Horsepower 218 hp
Torque 248 lb-ft
Driveline Four-wheel drive (4WD)
0-60 mph 8.4 sec.
Top Speed 99 mph
Towing Capacity 2,000 - 4,000 lbs

Handling and Driving Impressions

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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The Subaru Solterra isn’t in production yet, but given that this rides on a new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform that’s dedicated to EVs, we expect the Solterra to offer decent if not sporty handling. The low center of gravity provided by the batteries being mounted into the car’s floor should enable the Solterra to only have minimal body roll when cornering.

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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While the Toyota bZ4X will be available in front-wheel-drive configuration (FWD), the Solterra will be exclusively offered with all-wheel drive (AWD), which is unsurprising since Subaru built its reputation around its famed permanent AWD system. This should also enable the Solterra to have excellent grip through corners as well as when going through a bit of rough pavement.

2023 Subaru Solterra Battery and Range

Trim Battery Range
Premium 71.4 kWh More than 220 miles
Limited 71.4 kWh More than 220 miles
Touring 71.4 kWh More than 220 miles

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior

Seating and Interior Space

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior
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Because the Subaru Solterra is yet to be released, the Japanese automaker has not yet released any data regarding its interior dimensions. This section will be updated as more information is revealed closer to its on-sale date of summer 2022. What we do know is that the Solterra is a five-seater compact electric crossover SUV, so expect a similar interior space as the Forester.

Interior Colors and Materials

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior
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The 2023 Subaru Solterra’s interior features plenty of soft-touch materials for a more premium vibe. Unsurprisingly, it shares a lot in common with the Toyota bZ4X, but in Subaru’s case, some of the upholstery is unique to the Solterra. This includes the StarTex upholstery, which is a urethane material that is highly durable and water-resistant. The base Premium variant, on the other hand, only comes with fabric seats. Splurge for the top trim Touring variant, and you’ll then benefit from ventilated front seats and illuminated interior trim.

2023 Subaru Solterra Trunk and Cargo Space

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior
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With its sloping roofline, you might assume that the Subaru Solterra has less cargo space than the boxier Forester. That is true to a certain extent because the Solterra offers 27.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which is slightly less than the Forester’s 28.9. However, the Solterra has an adjustable trunk floor, and in its lowest position, offers 30.3 cubic feet.

2023 Subaru Soltera Infotainment and features

Infotainment

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior
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The 2023 Subaru Solterra comes with a digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch infotainment system as standard. The operating system is the same as the Toyota bZ4X’s, which means it isn’t running Subaru’s Starlink infotainment. The software is almost similar to the new Lexus Interface found in the new NX, which means it supports over-the-air (OTA) updates and enhanced voice recognition. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also offered as standard.

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior
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As for other features, the Solterra comes with a powered driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, powered tailgate, heated front seats, wireless charging, Harman Kardon sound system, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror if you get the Limited trim. Splurging towards the top-trim Touring model adds a panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats.

2023 Subaru Solterra Problems and Reliability

Warranty

Since the 2023 Subaru Solterra has yet to go on sale, details about its warranty are still unknown at the moment. This section will be updated once more information is released. And then as for reliability, we won’t be surprised if the Solterra proves to be a very reliable EV considering Subaru’s reputation for reliability.

2023 Subaru Solterra Safety

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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The EPA has not yet rated the Solterra’s range, but Subaru promises more than 220 miles when it’s fully charged

Advanced safety comes as standard on the 2023 Subaru Solterra. On top of the usual suite of airbags and electronic stability control, the Solterra is also equipped with the EyeSight suite of advanced driver-assistance tech.

Key Safety Features

Subaru EyeSight comes as standard on all variants, and this includes the usual automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. This comes on top of standard blind-spot warning and rear cross traffic alert. A 360-degree camera is then offered starting with the Limited trim, while the Touring trim benefits from the addition of a digital rearview mirror.

Verdict: Is the 2023 Subaru Solterra a Good Car?

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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Based on what it offers on paper, the Subaru Solterra is competent if not formidable in this ever-growing compact electric crossover SUV segment. It offers plenty of standard features, including AWD as expected from a Subaru, and a generous serving of safety tech under the EyeSight suite of driver-assistance tech.

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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Its range and performance, however, do not stand out in a sea of competitors. Subaru claims a range of more than 220 miles, which falls short of the claimed 232 to 310 miles that the Kia EV6 offers or the 220 to 303 miles that its Hyundai sibling, the Ioniq 5 offers. Still, it will most likely be more affordable than its aforementioned competitors, and that alone could make the Solterra a sales winner.

What’s the Price of the 2023 Subaru Solterra

The 2023 Subaru Solterra’s pricing has not yet been announced. Stay tuned to this space to stay updated on the Solterra. For now, what we only know is that Subaru is asking for a $250 refundable deposit, with vehicles expected to arrive in dealers this summer.

2023 Subaru Solterra Models

  • Premium
  • Limited
  • Touring

Additional Packages

What new 2023 Subaru Solterra Should I Buy?

While many would probably content with the base Premium, the sweet spot in the 2023 Subaru Solterra range is the Limited, as it gets most of the quality-of-life features you need. The Touring mostly adds luxury touches such as a panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats, but most would be able to live without these features anyway.

2023 Subaru Solterra Comparisons

2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2023 Subaru Solterra Exterior
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Model Horsepower Range Price (MSRP)
Subaru Solterra 218 hp More than 220 miles TBA
Kia EV6 167 - 320 hp 232 - 310 miles $40,900 - $55,900
Hyundai Ioniq 5 225 - 320 hp 220 - 303 miles $39,700 - $54,500

2023 Subaru Solterra vs 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Exterior
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One of the Solterra’s competitors is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. A corporate cousin of the Kia EV6, the Ioniq 5 focuses on retro styling cues and a funky interior layout. It has significantly more range than the Solterra, and since it’s also a compact crossover SUV, it sits right in what is arguably one of the most popular EV segments right now.

2023 Subaru Solterra vs 2022 Kia EV6

2022 KIA EV6 Exterior
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While the Ioniq 5 looks funky and retro, the Kia EV6 looks thoroughly modern and sporty. At least to my eyes, it’s also the nicest looking compact crossover EV in the segment right now. That sporty styling is also matched with significantly more performance and range than the Solterra.

Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza is a Filipino motoring journalist who joined TopSpeed.com in 2021. He is a car enthusiast who especially thinks that wagons are the best type of vehicle, though sports cars and anything with three pedals also tickles his fancy.  Read full bio
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