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Typically people say to never buy a new vehicle during its first model year. But the Subaru Solterra is enjoying its second year of attempted electrified glory. Not everything with this Subie is bad, but I found a few 2024 Subaru Solterra problems that deserve some attention. 

Potential 2024 Subaru Solterra problems 

First of all, these 2024 Subaru Solterra problems could be unique to the model I spent a week with. Also, this isn’t a hate post, there are plenty of features to enjoy with the Solterra too. 

I too the Solterra around what I assume to be a Subaru’s happy place in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I took it off-roading, on the highway, and around town to complete some errands. 

From the woods to charging stations, it was fun to drive thanks to that instant electric torque. 

However, there were a few perplexing Subaru Solterra issues: 

1. I couldn’t get the adaptive headlights to work. I set the knob on Auto and adjusted the settings multiple times on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

There are multiple long tunnels without any lights that I drove through multiple times, trying to get this feature to work, with no luck. The lights would only come on when I pushed the knob back. 

It could be related to user error, loose fuses, electrical issues, or faulty sensors. Some Subaru models require you to turn on the automatic headlights through the infotainment settings. But if that’s the cause why have the option on the knob? 

The 2024 Subaru Solterra on a cloudy day
2024 Subaru Solterra | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

2. The wireless charging pad is pretty random. It is a convenient location in front of the center console, and it holds your phone securely in place. But sometimes, I’d get a message saying wireless charging was stopped. 

This could be related to conserving the Solterra’s range. Also, my phone would get really hot at times. Also, sometimes the charging pad would emit sounds like it was a large company printer and that seemed weird. 

3. The steering is super loose. Seriously, you may turn it all the way upside down during light curves. I mean curves that require less turning than entering a parking space. With all the arm movement the steering requires, you might get an arm workout. 

4. Another potential Subaru Solterra problem is the steering wheel position. It’s designed to sit really low which compromises leg space. If you move it up, it can block your view of the digital gauge system which provides your driving range, speed, and other beneficial information. 

Although, I did enjoy the square shape of the steering wheel. The interior layout and style feel futuristic and like you’re piloting a spaceship. 

2024 Subaru Solterra interior and dash
2024 Subaru Solterra interior | Subaru

5. The Solterra can’t be used with Tesla charging stations, so you have to rely on alternative options such as EVgo, or Electrify America. This isn’t the Solterra’s fault, but these charging networks aren’t as reliable. 

I found plenty of charging stations that were down and had to drive across town to finally find one that worked. At least the charging times are quick! 

6. The X-Mode system has automatic downhill decent control at speeds under 15 mph. While this is helpful for those who want to rely on automatic braking while descending steep inclines, it can be frustrating. 

While driving through the woods at low speeds on pretty fat surfaces, the automatic braking power feels heavy and limiting. I’d prefer a physical button for turning hill descent control on and off. 

7. There is no glove box! So, you have to put important papers in the pretty small center console. There is a massive tunnel under the cupholders and charging pad, but the open space isn’t the best for storing personal items. They could roll around and fall out of the space.

8. The Solterra’s EPA-estimated range of 220 miles for models with AWD doesn’t fully make sense to me. I charged the Solterra to 90% and it said it had 170 miles of range. 

    So how does that extra 10% get to 220 miles? According to math, which isn’t my strong suit, if 170 is 90% then 188.88 would be 100%. Perhaps the estimated range accounts for traveling in Eco Mode the entire time without gunning it or off-roading. 

    The regenerative brakes are impressive, and they did gain extra miles of charge, but relying on them to go from 188 to 220 seems like a stretch in my mind. 

    Turning on the AC caused my range estimate to drop by 25 miles, so their ride must have been hot. Also, maybe there is a charge reserve. Gas in ICE vehicles say there are zero miles left when typically there is a 25-mile reserve. 

    I didn’t fully test the range until the charge said zero because I don’t trust the non-Tesla charging stations to be up and running in Asheville. I admit I don’t have the stones for low-range testing in my area. 

    Also, I did have some stretches with five miles of travel while only losing one mile of range. So, I won’t claim that the range estimate is wrong, I just need to dive in for clarification before fully trusting it. 

    Just to reiterate: These Subaru Solterra problems didn’t ruin my experience. I won’t call it a bad EV because some things could be related to my tester or user error. It isn’t the Solterra’s fault that the EV stations around my city are iffy. 

    There are plenty of positives I have to share in a few days. For example, I like the acceleration, space, comfort, and modern tech.