Subaru Solterra EV Range Could Be Pretty Good

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 12, 2021

Subaru has finally officially unveiled its first all-electric vehicle, the 2023 Solterra. Before you get too excited about the SUV, which is hard to do because the EV looks pretty cool, the images and information are for the Japanese version of the Solterra. The major components, features, and design should carry over, but some things will be different for the U.S. market. Still, this is the first time Subaru’s revealed the Solterra in its entirety and shared some of the SUV’s specifications.

Predictably, the Solterra looks a lot like the Toyota bZ4X that it shares a lot of components with. Seriously, these things look nearly identical to one another. The only difference we can spot in the front end is the Solterra’s fog lights. The rear ends look nearly identical, too, though Toyota’s option has a horizontal piece that connects the two taillights, while Subaru’s option doesn’t. Even the interiors look the same, though we’re unsure if Subaru will offer the Solterra with a yoke-style steering wheel like the one we saw on the bZ4X.

Based on Subaru’s dimensions, the Solterra is 73.2 inches wide, 64.9 inches tall, and 184.6 inches long. Those figures make it similar in size to the compact Forester. The Solterra also has 8.3 inches of ground clearance, which should make it more than capable to tackle a gravel road and some light off-roading. Speaking of going off tarmac, the Solterra will come with Subaru’s X-Mode AWD control system that can control each wheel individually for improved traction. Grip Control, which is Subaru’s off-road cruise control system, is also available. The press pictures also reveal roof rails, so Subaru expects a few consumers to do some sort of rugged things with the SUV.

With that out of the way, let’s cover some of the Solterra’s powertrain figures. In Japan, the Solterra will be available in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. FWD versions come with a 150-kW electric motor, while AWD models are fitted with an additional 80-kW motor at the back. Both versions will come with the same 71.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Power is rated at 201 horsepower with FWD and 215 hp with AWD. These powertrain details match the Toyota bZ4X.

Where things differ slightly from the Solterra and the bZ4X is when it comes to range. Toyota claimed that the bZ4X would be able to travel up to 310 miles on the Japanese WLTC cycle. Subaru’s figures are slightly higher. The FWD version has a claimed 330-mile range, while the AWD model can travel up to 286 miles. The EPA’s testing cycle for electric vehicles is harsher than others, so 330 miles of range sounds optimistic for the Solterra. We expect the range to be closer to 300 miles for the FWD model and 250 miles for the AWD model.

The Solterra is certainly a good way for Subaru to enter the growing electric segment. We should get more information on the electric SUV next week, as the model is expected to make its U.S. debut at the Los Angeles auto show.

See Our Full Preview of the Subaru Solterra

Pictured: 2023 Subaru Solterra

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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