Skip to main content

The 2023 Subaru Solterra just made its world premiere. The new Japanese electric SUV shares a platform with the 2022 Toyota bZ4X. Here’s why the Solterra is a completely different SUV despite sharing a platform with the bZ4X.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra caters to a different audience than the 2022 Toyota bZ4X

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is Subaru’s first mass-produced fully-electric SUV model. The Solterra gets its names from the Latin words for “sun” and “earth”. It is the first of many new electric Subaru vehicles and will act as the foundation of Subaru’s electric future.

Subaru SUVs are typically different from Toyota SUVs. Subaru produces models like the Forester, Crosstrek, and Outback. These SUVs have high ground clearance and include features that make them ideal for off-roading. SUVs like the Forester are specifically designed to tackle trails and take drivers off the beaten path.

Subaru isn’t likely to deviate from its normal SUV consumer base with the Solterra. It may be an electric vehicle, but plenty of electric vehicles have shown off-roading prowess. The Rivian R1T electric truck recently powered through Hell’s Gate in Moab, proving that EVs can get the job done.

Toyota SUVs normally focus on a different audience and have different characteristics than Subaru SUVs. Toyota SUVs are known for their reliability, longevity, and affordability. The Subaru Solterra takes drivers through nature in its world premiere video. The bZ4X’s unveil video focuses more on the electric SUV’s zero carbon emissions and battery capabilities.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra already teased its true nature

A blue Subaru logo.
A blue Subaru logo | Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is ushering consumers into the future, but it will still represent the brand’s key characteristics. The President and CEO of Subaru, Tomomi Nakamura, made sure that fans knew the Solterra wasn’t abandoning its heritage.

“we had to create a car that our customers feel is indeed a Subaru, even in an EV form.”

Tomomi Nakamura

Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura and the folks at Subaru understand that taking the brand in a completely different direction from the company’s legacy could frustrate many of its fans. That’s why the Solterra is acknowledging its roots despite being such an innovative new vehicle.

According to The Verge, the Subaru Solterra is including Subaru’s X-Mode traction control system. X-Mode allows drivers to deal with tricky terrain like mud and snow more easily. It has several traction settings that drivers can cycle through, including mud and snow.

Should you buy a Toyota bZ4X or Subaru Solterra?

The Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X share a platform, but it’s in the best interest of both automakers to make their vehicles as different as possible. These differences will most likely show in the interiors and features of the vehicles. Due to the information revealed and each brand’s respective history, it seems the Solterra will operate in the same market as other Subaru SUVs like the Forester and Outback. Both electric SUVs should provide incredible value.

The choice is ultimately a lifestyle choice. If the Subaru Solterra proves to be an adventure EV like the Rivian R1T, then the Toyota bZ4X may be the better choice for the average driver. If you want to explore the great outdoors, it looks like the Solterra may be the electric SUV for you.


What the Subaru Solterra Means for the Future of SUVs