As the automotive industry turns its attention to a future with zero emissions, Subaru proudly jumps on board with the debut of its first global all-electric vehicle––the 2023 Solterra. The SUV’s name is a portmanteau of the Latin words for “sun” and “Earth,” representing Subaru’s commitment to a brighter and greener future. So, what can you expect when you arrive at your local Subaru Solterra dealer? Unlike most electric vehicles, the Solterra doesn’t have a frunk, but it comes with a host of features, remarkable capability, and cutting-edge technology that make it one of the most anticipated EVs to take the road.
A Frunk-Less EV With Plenty of Room
Electric vehicles bypass the traditional internal combustion engine for an electric powertrain that’s more compact, freeing up the space under the hood for additional storage. This storage area is known as a “frunk,” but you won’t find one on the Solterra. Instead, Subaru ensures its all-electric SUV has plenty of storage with a massive cabin that offers 125 cubic feet of space for passengers and cargo. That’s nearly 30 cubic feet of room for gear, groceries, luggage, and other items, which is more room than you’ll find on the Kia Niro EV.
Accessing the rear cargo area is convenient thanks to the Solterra’s 60/40 folding seatback and the two-position load floor. These features add flexibility and ensure you get the most out of the Solterra’s spacious cabin. But Subaru doesn’t stop there and outfits the SUV with a 41.3-inch rear gate with a low liftover height that makes it easier to access, load, and unload your cargo. You’ll also find fixed mounting points that add versatility and various options for configuring and securing your cargo.
Beyond the Pavement: Electrified Capability and Off-Road Agility
In an industry where all-wheel drive is usually an available upgrade, Subaru distinguishes itself by equipping almost every model with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The 2023 Solterra is no exception and is the first all-electric SUV to feature the technology. So, how does it enhance the Solterra’s performance and capability?
Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system adds stability, enhancing the Solterra’s performance by delivering optimal power when needed. The result is maximum traction and responsive handling on any terrain, making the Solterra incredibly capable on the trail. In addition, Subaru gives you the confidence to explore new terrain with the Solterra’s 8.3 inches of ground clearance and standard features like the Dual-Function X-MODE with Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes. Just as important, these driving modes also outfit the SUV with Downhill Assist Control and Grip Control for improved handling on hazardous terrain or challenging conditions.
But what about the Solterra’s power? Can an electric SUV deliver the power you need on the pavement and down the trail? The answer is a resounding “yes,” thanks to the SUV’s 215-horsepower electric powerplant that delivers 249 lb-ft of on-demand torque for immediate acceleration and exceptional handling. This power is enhanced by features like Sport mode, paddle shifters, and One Pedal Driving, which actively recharges the Solterra’s battery by allowing you to use the accelerator and brake pedal for enhanced convenience and responsiveness.
Cutting-Edge Safety Technology: The Solterra’s Virtual Spotter
The Solterra’s cutting-edge safety and driver-assist features make the all-electric SUV even more attractive and showcase Subaru’s commitment to keeping you and your passengers safe when traveling. For example, the Solterra comes standard with Subaru’s renowned EyeSight driver-assist suite that includes Emergency Steering Assist, Pre-Collision Brake Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Prevention, and Intersection Collision Avoidance. This technology constantly keeps an eye on the front, rear, and sides of the Solterra, notifying you of potential collisions and giving you ample time to respond.
Beyond the EyeSight suite, the Solterra also comes standard with a blind-spot monitor and a rear camera with pedestrian detection. The standard Parking Support Brake feature is especially helpful when parking since it will apply the Solterra’s brakes if it detects an obstacle in the SUV’s path. Most impressive is the Solterra’s available 360-Degree Panoramic View Monitor, a first for the Subaru lineup. The camera gives you a bird’s eye view around the SUV, enhancing your situational awareness wherever you are.
See More and Do More in the Solterra: Driving Range and Recharging
One of the biggest misconceptions about adding an electric vehicle to your garage is the hassle and inconvenience of recharging the battery. Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the 2023 Solterra, which promises an estimated range of 220 miles. This range is relatively standard across the segment, making the Solterra an enticing option with the added benefit of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
Since the Solterra comes equipped with Level 1 charging capability, recharging the battery is as easy as plugging in your smartphone. For example, when plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, the Solterra can reach an 80% recharge in 24 hours. Or, if you’re looking for faster charging, you can opt to have a 240-volt Level 2 charger installed in your garage, which increases the recharge rate to a matter of hours. But what about recharging when you’re on the road?
You’ll find an entire network of Level 2 and DC fast charging stations across the country. You can use Subaru’s mobile app or the Solterra’s infotainment system to navigate the most efficient route with charging stations along the way. Then, once you arrive, it’s all a matter of plugging in, with DC fast charging stations adding up to 80% battery capacity in less than an hour.
Digital Driver Cockpit: Keeping You Informed and Connected
As Subaru’s first all-electric SUV, it’s only fitting that the 2023 Solterra offers the latest connectivity features. Subaru designed the Solterra with a keen focus on the driver, outfitting the digital cockpit with an array of conveniences and connectivity tools that put all the information you need within view or reach. The heart of this technology is the 12.3-inch center touchscreen display that offers over-the-air updates to ensure the Solterra is operating on the latest technology. The display is also home to Subaru’s navigation system, Intelligent Assistant, WiFi hotspot, and wireless smartphone integration that gives you immediate access to your favorite apps via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Where Will the Solterra Take You?
The 2023 Solterra lives up to its name, a portmanteau of the Latin words for “sun” and “Earth.” It’s the embodiment of Subaru’s impeccable ability to deliver practical and versatile vehicles that are innovative, capable, and comfortable. This trifecta is at the heart of the Solterra, making the all-electric SUV a must-see for drivers looking to electrify their time in the driver’s seat.
So, where does the Solterra rank in the segment? Today, there’s fierce competition among luxury EVs, but the Solterra isn’t interested in competing with these opulent rivals. Instead, it remains true to its heritage, delivering practicality, reliability, and capability at an affordable price. With few competitors in this regard, the Solterra is set to shine.
Additionally, the Solterra does something significant by distinguishing itself in several key ways. First, it avoids the EV-standard frunk by opting for a spacious cabin that ensures your passengers’ comfort and that you have plenty of room for cargo. Second, its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive further differentiates it in a segment where you have to pay extra for this level of capability, making the Solterra one of the most capable adventurers to roll off the Subaru production line. Even better is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on this capability, making the Solterra a key player in forging Subaru into an even more remarkable brand with its eyes set on the future.