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Subaru and Toyota teamed up to develop an electric vehicle platform. The Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X may share a platform, but they are different in several key ways. Here are three major differences between the two new Japanese electric SUV models.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is missing a key 2022 Toyota bZ4X optional feature

A Toyota bZ4X yoke steering wheel.
Toyota bZ4X steering wheel | Toyota

The 2023 Subaru Solterra shares a platform with the Toyota bZ4X, but these two electric vehicles are far from identical. Vehicles with the same platforms can have completely different design languages and key features. The 2022 Toyota bZ4X offers one optional feature that made headlines.

The bZ4X can include a steering yoke instead of a traditional steering wheel like Tesla models. Tesla’s steering yoke design has been met with much skepticism since it was revealed. Toyota made a point to offer the futuristic-looking steering wheel. According to The Verge, it seems like the Subaru Solterra is giving the steering yoke a hard pass. In fact, the Solterra’s interior seems conventional compared to the bZ4X’s design.

It may be hard to differentiate the two electric SUVs on the exterior, but the SUVs will both have unique interiors that convey their own personalities.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra will feature X-Mode

The 2023 Subaru Solterra will feature a driving mode that is tough for any other automaker to replicate: X-Mode. X-Mode is Subaru’s all-wheel drive control system that allows Subaru vehicles to adapt to the most treacherous driving conditions. X-Mode allows drivers to cycle through AWD control options like mud and deep snow.

Sure, other automakers have their own traction control settings and features, but X-Mode is unique to Subaru and has been a key feature to the automaker’s vehicles since 2014. Toyota has not mentioned whether the bZ4X will include its Multi-Terrain Select traction control system or not.

The Subaru Solterra has a different target audience than the Toyota bZ4X

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

The biggest difference between the two vehicles is their respective histories. Subaru and Toyota may have collaborated, but they hardly produce the same type of SUVs.

Toyota produces SUVs like the Toyota RAV4. The compact RAV4 is affordable, reliable, fuel-efficient, and safe. The RAV4 may come in several trims, but ultimately its main selling point is its value for its low price and its longevity. Subaru produces SUVs like the Forester, Crosstrek, and Outback. Subaru has specifically been producing SUVs that are made for exploring the great outdoors since 1997.

The Subaru Forester is the perfect example of the typical Subaru SUV. It has high ground clearance as well as terrain control features. The Subaru Forester currently comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a feature that improves handling in dangerous driving conditions.

Subaru is unlikely to deviate from the style of SUVs it currently produces with the 2023 Subaru Solterra. The X-Mode feature is a clue that the Solterra can potentially share the off-roading prowess of its ancestors. Despite sharing a platform, it seems that Subaru and Toyota are targeting completely different audiences.


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