2023 Subaru Solterra: Too Expensive for an Off-Roading Electric SUV?

You could say that Subaru fans were hyped about the 2023 Subaru Solterra. It was the brand’s first electric vehicle and is off-road capable. However, pricing for the 2023 Solterra is out, and people are confused about the high starting price. Does the electric Subaru deliver enough to make a dent in the crowded electric SUV segment?

The 2023 Subaru Solterra has 228 miles of range, but is that enough?

Is the 2023 Subaru Solterra electric SUV too expensive?
The 2023 Subaru Solterra off-roading | Subaru

A lot is riding on the success of the 2023 Subaru Solterra. For a long time, Toyota and Subaru have been working together on the Solterra and its Toyota counterpart, the 2022 Toyota bZ4X. Subaru had hoped to make this one appropriate for the fan base and ready to off-road.

Edmunds says that Subaru “leaned into its outdoorsy image, made all-wheel drive (AWD) standard on the Solterra, and added a few more premium features.” The 2023 Subaru Solterra checks all the boxes, but people are a little thrown off by the high price point.

The initial electric Subaru shape doesn’t exactly scream off-road-ready, but it offers 8.3 inches of ground clearance and AWD for added capability. Thanks to these features, it only has 228 miles of range. While some automakers argue that will be plenty of range, some people are thrown by any range under 250 miles.

The Subaru Solterra electric SUV has a lot of competition already

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One of the most significant drawbacks to the Solterra is its price and its competition. The 2023 Solterra will roll out quite later than some main competitors like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Volkswagen ID.4. These electric vehicles also benefit from having a previous year or two of sales to tweak things. Subaru announced the pricing this week, and the trim levels are as follows.

Solterra Model/TrimSolterra MSRPMSRP with destination & delivery ($1,225)
Solterra Premium$44,995$46,220
Solterra Limited$48,495$49,720
Solterra Touring$51,995$53,220
2023 Subaru Solterra pricing tiers

When publications were estimating the price of the Solterra, it definitely wasn’t starting at $46,220. Though it is called the Premium trim, it is a base or entry-level model. The 2023 Solterra starts at $46,220 and goes up to $53,220 for the top Touring trim. All of the Solterra trims are currently still eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.

In the same press release, the paint option colors are listed. Galactic Black and Smoked Carbon are both free, but red, grey, and white are an additional $395. The two-tone paint for those three colors is an additional $890.

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X is cheaper and has a longer range

Is Subaru doing its fan base a disservice by pricing the 2023 Solterra so high? The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are far less expensive and offer more than 300 miles of range. The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E, arguably one of the most popular electric SUVs on the market, starts at $43,895. This segment gets more crowded every day, and the Solterra automatically priced itself out of many budgets.

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X, the Solterra’s Toyota twin, will have a starting MSRP of $42,000. It also has 252 miles of range. It won’t have all-wheel drive and won’t be off-road capable, though. The bZ4X is a reasonable electric vehicle for those who appreciate the Toyota brand.

This summer, the 2023 Subaru Solterra will start delivering in “limited numbers” to all 50 states. It might take some off-road trial and error from the peanut gallery before anyone settles on an option of the electric Subaru. The stakes are pretty high, and so are the competing electric vehicles ranges.

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