“The future is electric.” That is the phrase we keep hearing from more and more automakers as they prepare their first EV offerings or as they transition their entire lineup to electric vehicles. For big brands like General Motors, Ford, and Hyundai, this process is already well underway with multiple electric vehicles on sale today and more in the near future.
For smaller brands like Subaru, converting from Dino-juice to electrons took partnering with a big player like Toyota in order to deliver their first electric vehicle. This is a really big step as Subaru has hardly even played in the hybrid space of the market. The partnership of Toyota and Subaru has resulted in this 2023 Subaru Solterra and Toyota’s bZ4x electric crossovers.
We were in Los Angeles at the 2021 LA Auto Show when Subaru pulled the covers off this vehicle for the world to see for the first time and now, thanks to Peltier Subaru here in Tyler, we are able to get some time behind the wheel of this groundbreaking Subaru.
As far as modern electric vehicles go, there is nothing out-of-the-ordinary with the Solterra. Dual motor, over 200 horsepower, over 200 miles of range, and DC fast charging all are expected with an EV here in 2023. Where Subaru has stepped up to differentiate its EV. Or at least make it distinctly Subaru is with their symmetrical all-wheel drive with X-MODE®.
The Solterra, which is a blending of the words for sun and earth, has 8.3-inches of ground clearance and Subaru X-MODE® for some off-road adventuring which should help owners commune with nature while hardly disrupting it thanks to the zero-emission nature of this EV.
We did not get to test this one off-road but hope to get our hands on one soon from Subaru for testing which should include a trip to Barnwell Mountain here in East Texas for a little red-dirt action. We stuck to paved surfaces and found this to be a pleasant EV that should delight many modern shoppers. Acceleration was good for a vehicle with “only” 215 horsepower, thanks in part to the instantaneous torque afforded by the EV platform. AWD meant I felt confident in my short drive around town, no matter the road conditions.
The interior is comfortable and loaded with Subaru’s driver assistance tech and some technological goodies borrowed from Toyota. EyeSight® driver-assist tech is standard across the board and new for the Solterra is standard Safe Exit Assist. The new safety feature notifies occupants, before exiting the vehicle, of approaching vehicles with an audible and visual warning.
There is truly a lot to love about this new Subaru, and cannot wait to get some additional time behind the wheel of one.
2023 Subaru Solterra EV Specs:
Dual Electric Motors
249 lb-ft of Torque
Single Speed Transmission
Symmetrical All Wheel Drive
8.3-inch ground clearance with Subaru X-MODE®
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist
EyeSight® Driver Assist Technologies
Safe Exit Warning
Intersection Collision Avoidance Support
Pre-Collision Brake Assist
7-inch LCD Instrument Cluster
12.3-inch Color Touchscreen Infotainment
Qi Wireless Phone Charging
Heated and Ventilated Front Seats with 2-Person Memory Driver Seat
StarTex Seating Surfaces
Heated Steering Wheel
LED Daytime Running Lamps
Digital Rearview Mirror
360-degree Camera System
Harmon/Kardon® Premium Audio System
Panoramic Glass Roof
Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™
USB-C charging ports
Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
Proximity Key with Push Button Start
EPA-Estimated 102 MPGe
EPA-Estimated 222 Miles of Range
Starting MSRP $44,995 (Premium Trim)
Price as tested: $54,427
If you are in the East Texas area and in the market for a new or pre-owned Subaru, check out our friends at Peltier Subaru: