Toyota’s Electric SUV Is Proving to Be Slightly More Popular Than Its Subaru Cousin
Toyota is one of the most well-known and popular automakers in the world, and although it makes a lot of great cars, it gets some help from other automakers. For example, Toyota collaborates with Subaru on a variety of models, and one of their latest collaborations was on an EV. Despite the fact that Toyota’s electric SUV is very similar to its Subaru cousin, Toyota’s option has sold better than Subaru’s has so far, and here’s a look at why that may be happening.
Here’s how the Toyota bZ4X is selling compared to the Subaru Solterra
GoodCarBadCar recently published its sales data for the first four months of 2023, and overall, gas-powered cars continue to dominate the market. As far as EVs go, Tesla is unsurprisingly the best-selling automaker, though the company didn’t release any sales data for the month of April yet. Outside of Tesla, the EV market is dominated by brands like Hyundai and Kia.
That shouldn’t be a surprise since Toyota and Subaru are relative newcomers to the EV market. As such, the Toyota bZ4X, which debuted last year, only sold 734 units in April 2023. That puts its year-to-date sales at about 2,400 units, and that’s fewer sales than rare cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata have so far this year.
Despite that, the Subaru Solterra is doing worse. Like its cousin, the Solterra only went on sale last year, so there isn’t much data from 2022 to compare it to. However, in April 2023, Subaru only sold 603 units of the electric SUV. Its year-to-date sales added up to about 2,000 units. This means that Toyota has sold about 400 more units than Subaru has, and that’s a difference of about 19%.
The two electric SUVs are very similar overall
That’s a somewhat surprising result since the two electric SUVs are almost identical. Just like with the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GR86, the two SUVs were developed by Toyota and Subaru together, and both share the same platform. The two Japanese automakers also gave their cars similar powertrains and batteries.
The two SUVs are also fairly identical on the inside. They both seat five people, and they both have a similar amount of cargo capacity. That said, Toyota gave its EV a 12.3-inch touchscreen as standard, while Subaru gave its EV an 8-inch one. Their prices are also almost identical, and they both cost about $44,000, though the Toyota is about $1,000 cheaper.
There are a couple of reasons why Toyota’s electric SUV may be selling better
That price difference may hint at why more car shoppers are choosing the bZ4X over the Solterra. While the two electric SUVs are very similar, the two Japanese automakers made an effort to differentiate themselves. Subaru leaned into its reputation for building off-road vehicles, and as such, the Solterra is a much better off-roader.
However, the Solterra’s off-road capabilities come at a cost. The Solterra currently has a max range of about 220 miles. That’s because it comes with two electric motors and all-wheel drive as standard, and that’s merely an optional powertrain on the bZ4X. Toyota is well-known for making great vehicles for commuting and daily driving, and that’s likely why the bZ4X’s standard powertrain allows it to get 252 miles of range.
These significant range differences, as well as the differences in reputation between the two automakers likely explain why the bZ4X has been selling about 19% better than the Solterra. That said, the two EVs are still new, so their sales numbers will undoubtedly look different in the future.