Subaru Solterra vs. Subaru Outback

By

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 - June 14, 2022
2022 Subaru Outback

Subaru is renowned for its rugged vehicles that help owners tackle terrain beyond smooth tarmac. With the release of the all-electric 2023 Subaru Solterra, the Japanese automaker enters the growing all-electric segment. Despite having an all-electric powertrain, the Solterra has all of the rugged elements as the automaker’s other vehicles.

The Subaru Outback has been on sale in the U.S. since 1995. The Outback is one of the few wagons on the market and offers serious off-roading capability on top of having a spacious cabin. While the all-electric Solterra SUV and the gas-powered Outback wagon may seem like they don’t have a lot of similarities, they share a lot of qualities. We’ll compare the two to vehicles to see which one comes out on top.

What the Subaru Solterra Gets Right

2023 Subaru Solterra

The major difference between the Subaru Solterra and Outback is that one is powered by electricity and the other by gas. The Solterra comes with two electric motors and a 72.8-kWh battery pack. The SUV has standard all-wheel drive, an estimated range of up to 228 miles, and an estimated combined fuel economy rating of up to 94 MPGe. For consumers that are interested in making the leap to an electric vehicle, the Solterra is a competitive option in the class.

In addition to having a futuristic powertrain, the Solterra also has more advanced tech features than the Outback. The Solterra is available with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless smartphone compatibility, a wireless charging pad, and a digital key feature. The largest touchscreen in the Outback is an 11.6-inch touchscreen.

Compared to the Outback, the Solterra has more standard safety features. The electric SUV comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, emergency steering assist, intersection collision avoidance, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, as well as vehicle exit warning. Some of these features are optional on the Outback, while others aren’t available.

Read Our Overview of the Subaru Solterra

What the Subaru Outback Gets Right

2022 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is far more affordable than the Solterra. Pricing for the Outback starts at $28,820 (with destination), while the Solterra starts at $46,220. The $17,400 difference between the two is massive. The gap between the Outback and Solterra is so vast that you can get the range-topping Outback Touring XT trim and still save $4,400 compared to the base Solterra.

On the performance front, the Outback is the more powerful of the two. The Solterra’s dual electric motors make for a combined output of 215 horsepower. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in the Outback makes 182 hp. The wagon is available with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 260 hp.

Thanks to the Outback’s wagon body style, the vehicle has a massive cargo area with up to 75.7 cubic feet of total cargo space. The Solterra has approximately 30 cubic feet of cargo space. When it comes to off-roading, the Outback is the more capable model, offering up to 9.5 inches of ground clearance, available all-terrain tires, performance-oriented suspension, and an aggressive body kit. The Solterra has 8.3 inches of ground clearance.

Read Our Overview of the Subaru Outback

Looking To Go Electric?

With the all-new Solterra, Subaru has a much-needed competitor in the all-electric segment. The electric SUV might not be a leader in the class, but it brings another element to Subaru’s lineup for consumers looking to make the switch to an EV. Consumers that do trade in their gas-powered car for a Solterra will be happy to find that it still has the same traits everyone has come to expect from Subaru.

Our Verdict

For the majority of consumers looking for a Subaru, the Outback is the best choice. It has a massive cargo area, can off-road with some of the best SUVs, and has the automaker’s iconic Boxer engine that’s especially powerful with a turbocharger. The price difference between the two models practically decided for us in this comparison, though.

Compare Side-By-Side: Subaru Solterra vs. Subaru Outback »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, 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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