Most automakers have joined the EV revolution with new electric vehicles, and one of the latest is the Subaru Solterra. This brand-new EV isn’t totally from Subaru — the Japanese automaker worked with Toyota to create the Solterra and the Toyota bZ4X. But despite this crossover SUV’s high-quality origins, Subaru may have indirectly acknowledged consumer concerns about the 2023 Solterra’s range.
An overview of the 2023 Subaru Solterra
Known for its all-wheel-drive vehicles, Subaru prioritized the Solterra’s readiness for off-pavement adventures. The Solterra gets AWD standard with two electric motors. Combined, they generate 215 hp and 249 lb-ft of torque. This all-electric Subie also has 8.3 inches of ground clearance, allowing it to handle light off-roading.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra will start at about $48,500. That makes it significantly more expensive than the Toyota bZ4X, with which the Subie shares many similarities. But that price will get Subaru customers a high-tech and spacious interior. Consumer Reports says that the Solterra’s interior volume is smaller than the Forester’s but that the new SUV should still be spacious and comfortable.
In terms of tech, the 2023 Solterra has a 12.3-inch horizontal touchscreen display and a new-to-Subaru infotainment system that Toyota and Lexus already use.
The EV will also come with EyeSight, Subaru’s suite of advanced safety features. They include automatic emergency braking, lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree camera.
But the automaker may have just acknowledged a range problem
Although the 2023 Subaru Solterra boasts plenty of tech features, its range doesn’t excite. Its 72.8-kWh battery allows the EV to go about 228 miles on a full charge. But that’s only for the Premium trim. The Limited and Touring models will go about 222 miles.
And in a roundabout way, Subaru might have admitted it’s aware of consumers’ concerns about the Solterra’s range.
“Customers who lease or purchase a Solterra will receive up to 10 days of free Subaru rentals from their participating dealerships,” Consumer Reports explains, “enabling them to choose a gasoline-powered vehicle for road trips or other needs.”
That perk seems like Subaru is acknowledging its new EV’s so-so range and giving buyers a backup option if they’re concerned about taking longer trips.
Here’s how the 2023 Subaru Solterra’s range compares with other EVs
Compared with other EVs, the 2023 Subaru Solterra’s range isn’t great, especially for nearly $50,000. The Toyota bZ4X, which is almost identical to the Solterra in many ways, has much better range. The bZ4X can go approximately 250 miles — about 30 miles farther than the Solterra. It’s a similar story with the Chevrolet Bolt and Volkswagen ID.4: Both EVs have around 250 miles of range.
But the Solterra’s range looks even worse compared with the most popular EVs. For example, the Ford Mustang Mach-E can go over 300 miles, and the Tesla Model 3, which costs about the same as the Solterra, gets about 358 miles of range.
However, it’s not an entirely fair comparison because Subaru designed the Solterra for outdoorsy adventures. That might explain why the new Subie has lackluster range.