2023 Subaru Solterra Preview

Amelia Dalgaard | Nov 17, 2021
  • First all-electric vehicle by Subaru
  • Standard AWD
  • Estimated 220-mile range
  • 8.3 inches of ground clearance
  • Estimated 215 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque
  • Charges in under one hour using a DC fast charger
  • Available in 2022

A favorite brand among outdoor enthusiasts, Subaru has never marketed an all-electric vehicle (EV). With the 2023 Subaru Solterra, that changes.

2023 Subaru Solterra Blue Front Quarter View

Developed in partnership with Toyota, the new Solterra compact crossover SUV sits on the e-Subaru Global Platform, the brand's first dedicated EV platform. The Solterra name combines the Latin words for "Sun" and "Earth" as a nod to its environmental commitment. Equipped with Subaru's full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and plenty of rough-ready upgrades, the Solterra is well equipped for both daily driving and rough-road adventures.

Exterior Features

2023 Subaru Solterra Blue Rear Quarter ViewThe first thing you'll notice about the Solterra is its dramatic stance. With angular sides and a sloped rear glass window and hatch punctuated by a ducktail spoiler, the Solterra's exterior styling makes it clear that this isn't your average hatchback. At the front, LED headlights sit low and wide against the traditional Subaru hexagonal grille. Additional design elements reinforce the vehicle's all-terrain capability, including pronounced wheel arches, black body cladding, and short front and rear overhangs.

Interior Features

2023 Subaru Solterra Interior Dashboard

Inside, the Solterra's design is clean and minimal. An available 12.3-inch touchscreen that controls media, climate, and additional functions sits front and center. Meanwhile, the digital instrument cluster sits closer to the windshield, straying from the traditional dashboard layout and creating a roomier feel in the cockpit.

An available panoramic glass roof extends the car's entire length, bathing all five seats in natural light while giving occupants a clear view of nature's beauty. Though three adults may fit in the Solterra's back seat, its size is better suited for two. The Solterra has up to 30 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, similar to the Subaru Outback (32.5 cubic feet). Subaru did not provide a measurement for when the rear seat is folded down. The wide rear hatch should make loading and unloading easy.

Under the Hood

Though it has yet to release specifications on the Solterra's battery or electric motors, Subaru estimates power output of 215 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. As for charging options, Subaru says the Solterra will charge "just about anywhere" thanks to its Level 2 and DC fast-charging capability. Using the latter, Subaru says the Solterra can fully charge in under an hour. The automaker estimates the Solterra's range at more than 220 miles, which isn't terribly competitive.

The Solterra EV includes several technologies to help simplify driving on all types of terrain. In addition to full-time AWD courtesy of front and rear electric motors, Solterra drivers can also engage the vehicle's X-Mode traction system for additional grip on low-friction surfaces and for driving on steep grades. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance, the Solterra is over an inch lower to the ground than the Outback Wilderness. While it may not prove to be the most capable off-roader, the Solterra should supply competent light-duty capability when driven off-pavement.

Safety Systems

The Solterra's list of standard safety features includes automatic emergency braking, pre-collision throttle management, and lane-centering assistance. Additional safety features include blind-spot warning, lane-change assistance, and rear cross-traffic warning. Two new technologies include Safety Exit Alert, which uses audible and visual alarms to alert occupants of approaching obstacles before they get out of the vehicle, and a Subaru-first 360-degree surround-view camera.

Infotainment and Technology

Subaru didn't share many details about the 2023 Solterra's infotainment system or other technology. Still, the automaker did say the vehicle would have a new multimedia system with an available 12.3-inch touchscreen, with additional details to come. However, Subaru has confirmed that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are standard in the Solterra, and there will be a wireless charging pad in the center console.

Other upgrades include remote start, remote lock/unlock, and remote climate system control to enable owners to heat or cool the cabin before entering the vehicle.

2023 Subaru Solterra Competitors

When it goes on sale in 2022, the Solterra will compete with a fast-growing group of crossover EVs, a few of which are trail-ready. Competitors include the Ford Mustang Mach-E, upcoming Toyota bZ4X all-electric SUV, and upcoming Volkswagen ID.4 AWD (ID.4 GTX in other global markets). 

Subaru is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of November 17, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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