2024 Subaru Solterra AWD Touring evaluation

Subaru’s first totally electrical car (EV) – the Solterra mid-size SUV – has lastly launched in Australia virtually two years after it launched in abroad markets like Japan and the US.

It’s arriving a bit of later to the competitors in what’s already a hotly contended section. Essentially the most notable rival is the top-selling Tesla Mannequin Y and it’ll quickly need to go up towards the Kia Sportage-sized EV5.

This automotive has been co-developed with Toyota in an analogous manner the BRZ/GR86 got here to be. This implies Toyota has its personal model of this automotive which is calls the bZ4X – deliveries of this automotive additionally simply began regionally.

The Solterra and bZ4X do look virtually similar although there are minor exterior and inside design variations. The previous can also be solely supplied in Australia with a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain setup.

I’ve already reviewed the entry-level Toyota bZ4X FWD, although now I’m trying on the full different aspect of the spectrum with the flagship Subaru Solterra AWD Touring.

Does this tops-sped variant kind because the decide of the Solterra vary? Learn alongside to search out out.

How does the Subaru Solterra examine?

View an in depth breakdown of the Subaru Solterra towards equally sized automobiles.

Subaru Solterra cutout image



How a lot does the Subaru Solterra value?

There are presently two Solterra variants on provide in Australia – on check right here is the flagship AWD Touring variant.

2024 Subaru Solterra pricing:

  • 2024 Subaru Solterra AWD: $69,990
  • 2024 Subaru Solterra AWD Touring: $76,990

Costs earlier than on-road prices

To see how the Solterra compares with its rivals, use our comparability instrument.

What’s the Subaru Solterra like on the within?

Strolling as much as the Subaru Solterra it’s a bit of arduous to inform it other than the associated Toyota bZ4X. One of many few distinguishing design parts is the fake hexagonal grille on the Solterra, in addition to the marginally totally different LED headlight signature.

Thanks partly to its lifted trip top that’s inherent with crossovers, the Solterra is simple to get and out of. You may pivot out and in fairly than stepping up or down, which is nice for these with achy joints.

The battery pack is mounted underneath the ground which helps additional elevate the driving place. That is one thing SUV consumers search for and offers you considerably of a ‘King of the Street’ vibe.

On this flagship Solterra AWD Touring variant you get black leatherette upholstery that in case you weren’t paying full consideration could possibly be confused with correct leather-based. It’s a bit of softer than precise leather-based nevertheless, in order that’s the giveaway.

Each the entrance seats provide heating which is to be anticipated, however no air flow. The latter could possibly be a tad annoying as fake leather-based upholstery will get highly regarded and sticky in heat climate.

The entrance seats themselves are sporty-looking models that present a very comfy seating place. You are feeling supported and there’s loads of aspect bolstering to safe you in.

The driving force’s seat has eight methods of electrical adjustment, together with loads of thigh assist which is my private favorite given I’ve lengthy legs. This explicit variant additionally picks up driver seat place reminiscence, in addition to eight methods of electrical adjustment for the entrance passenger seat.

Forward of the driving force is a steering wheel and instrument cluster setup that appears and feels very fashionable and virtually Peugeot-like. You’ll want to look over the steering wheel to see the digital instrument cluster that’s mounted far-off from the driving force and up close to the digital instrument cluster.

It’s undoubtedly not for everybody, however in essence it has been designed to ensure your eyes don’t stray too far off the street to verify your present velocity, and many others.

The steering wheel within the Solterra is a squared-off unit not like the bZ4X which has a spherical one. It permits you to see the digital instrument cluster only a bit simpler as the highest is flat.

One catch of getting a squared-off steering wheel nevertheless is if you go to show the steering wheel for tighter corners. I do know I grabbed the place I believed the steering wheel could be however ended up greedy at skinny air. You do get used to this in time, however there’s a studying curve.

Fortunately the steering wheel nonetheless has loads of push buttons and switches which are simple to grasp and supply satisfying suggestions.

As normal the whole Solterra vary receives a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster that’s mounted a good distance from the driving force so it appears a bit of small. Fortunately its interface is extremely minimal and it shows all of the vital data you possibly can each need very clearly.

There are a number of informative pages you possibly can cycle by way of on the digital instrument cluster, together with ones for effectivity, music, compass and settings, amongst others. You may also simply decide to not have informative pages on show which makes the present velocity data extra distinguished.

Transferring throughout is a big 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that sits proudly on the dashboard and feels just like the centrepiece of the cabin. This touchscreen, just like the digital instrument cluster, is the very same because the bZ4X and has the Toyota interface which is simple to navigate.

The display itself seems to be actually high-resolution and is shiny sufficient that it may be seen in sunny conditions. It’s additionally very responsive to the touch inputs which makes opening new apps and scrolling by way of menus seamless.

As normal the Solterra comes with wired and wi-fi types of each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With my iPhone 15 Professional Max related wirelessly I didn’t expertise any dropouts in any respect, which is a bit of stunning.

Fortunately this automotive additionally comes with a wi-fi charger which is situated on the centre tunnel and was in a position to preserve my cellphone battery topped up properly on longer journeys.

There’s additionally satellite tv for pc navigation as normal which is nice for when your cellphone runs out of service and you continue to want to search out your manner house. In contrast to the bZ4X it’s not related to web although, which suggests no dwell site visitors data.

I admire the local weather management pod is very easy to grasp and function not like some automobiles which bury the features within the touchscreen. There are some bodily switches, in addition to touch-sensitive buttons which bought a bit of smudgy and fingerprint-ridden after a bit.

Wanting across the cabin there are many buttons. That is good to see as nearly all of the vital features are inside fast attain of the driving force. It looks like a Subaru on this sense.

From a switchgear perspective the Solterra feels just like the polar reverse to the Tesla Mannequin Y which could be very minimalistic and requires you to make use of the central touchscreen for a lot of features.

Regardless of the darkish headliner the Solterra’s cabin is a fairly gentle and ethereal place to be with good visibility. It’s even brighter if you open up the shade for the panoramic glass roof. It’s a set unit nevertheless which suggests it doesn’t tilt or slide, plus there’s a thick pillar blocking the view.

The dashboard is completed in a woven material textile that’s fascinating to have a look at given it has a tough texture. It’s just like what Mini is doing in its present fashions, together with the brand new Countryman and Cooper.

Disappointingly nevertheless there’s a tonne of piano black. It’s plastered on the whole centre console and even options on the door panels that are each excessive touch-points. This bought very dusty and dirty throughout our mortgage interval, and likewise will get scratched actually simply if you clear it.

One other oddity concerning the Solterra is there’s no typical glovebox on the passenger aspect. To be able to make up for this the automotive has a deeper-than-usual centre console field. There’s an insert within the centre console which might be pulled out to disclose extra coated storage.

The Solterra additionally has an open house underneath the piano black-ridden centre console which is massive sufficient to accommodate a purse or units which are charging from the 2 USB-C ports or 12V socket. It’s price noting the door bins are additionally massive sufficient to accommodate an enormous water bottle plus different odds and ends.

The very last thing I’ll point out earlier than speaking concerning the second row is the Solterra AWD Touring’s 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system didn’t impress me as a lot as I believed it will. Certain it sounds okay but it surely’s not as improbable as I’d count on a Harman Kardon-branded system to be.

Transferring to the second row I used to be stunned how a lot house is on provide within the Solterra. It’s a really beneficiant house with loads of leg, head and shoulder room.

There are a few catches, nevertheless. Toe room is restricted, and like quite a few different EVs you are feeling like you could have your knees up larger than normal as a result of the battery pack raises the ground top.

Two adults match simply within the second row of the Solterra, although making an attempt to squeeze three is doable however just for shorter journeys. Fortunately there’s a flat ground which makes combating for foot house a bit simpler.

When it comes to second-row facilities there are heated outboard rear seats, centre console-mounted air vents, USB-C ports, in addition to a fold-down armrest with cupholders and a cellphone holder. There are additionally the requisite ISOFIX baby seat anchor factors on the 2 outboard seats, plus top-tether factors on all three rear seats.

On the again there’s an influence tailgate that opens swiftly, and fortunately solely beeps as soon as to announce its intention to both open or shut.

As soon as the tailgate is open the boot house on provide isn’t improbable relative to different EVs. Subaru formally claims the Solterra has a boot capability of 410 litres.

Given this automotive is predicated on a devoted electrical structure I’m upset there’s barely any underfloor storage within the Solterra – it’s solely actually large enough for a charging cable. There’s additionally no frunk in any respect.

The Solterra solely comes with a tyre restore package which isn’t stunning for an EV. It’s one thing to remember nevertheless in case you plan to enterprise removed from tyre restore outlets as you possibly can be caught ready for some time for roadside help.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

The Subaru Solterra is solely supplied regionally with a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain. There’s a single-motor possibility supplied within the associated Toyota bZ4X, in addition to the Japanese-market Solterra.

Mannequin Subaru Solterra AWD
Electrical motor setup Twin electrical motors
Energy 160kW
Engine torque 337Nm
Pushed wheels All-wheel drive
Battery 71.4kWh lithium-ion
Vary 485km (NEDC)
Most AC charging fee 11kW
Charging time (10-80 per cent) ~6.5 hours
Most DC charging fee 150kW
Charging time (0-100 per cent) ~half-hour
Weight 2060kg (tare)
Power consumption (declare) 14.1kWh/100km (NEDC)
Power consumption (noticed) 17.8kWh/100km (500km blended driving)

Utilizing my noticed vitality consumption the Solterra AWD Touring has a real-world vary declare of simply over 400km.

It’s price noting my noticed vitality consumption was typically larger than what I noticed within the single-motor, front-wheel drive Toyota bZ4X I just lately reviewed which has the very same battery pack measurement.

To see how the Solterra compares with its rivals, use our comparability instrument.

How does the Subaru Solterra drive?

Beginning up the Solterra feels acquainted to an inner combustion engine (ICE) automotive because it has a correct begin button. The one distinction is there’s no engine ignition noise if you press the button. Solely a beep performs signifying the automotive is able to be pushed.

Setting off it’s essential acquaint your self with the Prius-style puck gear selector which takes a bit to get used to. To be able to choose both drive or reverse it’s essential push the puck down after which twist both left or proper, relying on which path you propose to go.

Though the Solterra does have twin electrical motors as normal, its acceleration received’t plant you again within the seat like some extra performance-oriented EVs do. As a substitute it accelerating linearly and considerably docilely. A single-motor Tesla Mannequin 3 RWD beat it from the sunshine for context.

Fortunately like all EVs the complete quantity of torque is offered from standstill which suggests you possibly can lean on the throttle at low speeds and get the leap on most automobiles.

Driving the Solterra additionally feels just like an ICE automotive. There’s no one-pedal driving mode which in my private choice is essentially the most pure method to drive an EV. This implies it’s essential depress the brake pedal to really come to a cease within the Solterra.

As a substitute this has a regular driving mode it defaults to each time you begin up automotive, which permits it to coast like an ICE automotive if you take your foot off the accelerator with none regenerative braking.

You may nevertheless use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel to modulate the quantity of regenerative braking gives. There’s additionally an ‘S Pedal’ operate that enhances regenerative braking as a lot as potential which is activated by urgent a button on the centre console.

The throttle on this mode turns into extra numb to accommodate the regenerative braking that’s factored into the accelerator pedal journey.

When you could have the ‘S Pedal’ operate activate, which I did for almost all of my testing, the automotive will sluggish itself down at a reasonably linear fee to round 5-10km/h with out miserable the brake pedal in any respect, although as I famous earlier than you continue to must press it to return to an entire cease.

I don’t consider it’s the top of the world that the Solterra doesn’t have a one-pedal driving system, as this automotive is meant for these transitioning out a daily ICE or hybrid automotive.

One thing I like about Solterra is the digital instrument cluster reveals when the brakes lights are illuminated. I just lately examined the GWM Ora which in its one-pedal driving mode didn’t illuminate the brake lights when you got here to finish cease.

It’s good and reassuring to know when your tail lights are illuminated within the Solterra so the automobiles behind you’re conscious you’re slowing down.

Given the Solterra comes normal with all-wheel drive this provides a little bit of safety if you’re driving in slippery circumstances, whether or not that be on- or off-road.

Talking of off-road driving, the Solterra comes with Subaru’s X-Mode terrain driving modes. There are two totally different modes – Snow/Grime and Deep Snow/Mud – in addition to a Grip Management operate. The latter acts a bit like a low-speed cruise management.

Round city the Solterra is quiet and serene. This isn’t unusual for EVs as there’s no engine chugging away underneath the bonnet. The one noticeable sound is the odd little bit of tyre noise if you’re turning corners.

At low speeds the automotive’s suspension tune could be very comfy and settled which is to be anticipated give it’s branded a Subaru. The electrical SUV takes velocity bumps like a champ and doesn’t ever really feel awkward over harsher bumps.

The Solterra’s steering is on the lighter aspect which makes it simple to whip. The one catch is the sq. steering wheel can get a bit of cumbersome when it’s essential flip the wheel a bit of tighter. It could be good to have a steer-by-wire system so that you didn’t need to cross your fingers over when turning.

As normal the Solterra comes with entrance and rear parking sensors, in addition to a surround-view digital camera which has nice image high quality and likewise a clear chassis mode. As well as the automotive comes with an auto-parking function that’s surprisingly nice.

In contrast to different parking methods from different automotive manufacturers, the Solterra’s doesn’t require it scan the house between two automobiles. As a substitute the methods makes use of the surround-view digital camera to fit the automotive between line markings.

The auto-parking system could be very sluggish however reassuring in the best way it guides the automotive into the park. It should even do a digital spin across the automotive on the infotainment touchscreen to point out the way it has parked completely inside the traces.

Build up velocity within the dual-motor all-wheel drive Solterra is simple and easy. It doesn’t really feel prefer it’s ever actually out of puff, even at freeway speeds, and nonetheless has sufficient oomph in reserve to overhaul if needed.

There’s a bit extra apparent tyre roar at larger speeds, particularly on coarse-chip roads which are prolific in rural Australia, although for essentially the most half it’s nonetheless quiet contained in the cabin.

Identical to at low speeds, the suspension tune could be very comfy at larger speeds, although generally harsher bumps are transmitted into the cabin. Steady undulating bumps, nevertheless, are ironed out easily, which is satisfying.

On the security entrance the Solterra is totally loaded. Fortunately each model of this automotive receives the complete suite of obtainable security gear (not like the associated bZ4X) although you do pay a worth premium for the privilege.

The adaptive cruise management reacts to different automobiles merging into your lane very naturally. If the automobiles are travelling sooner than the Solterra fortunately it fortunately doesn’t slam on the brakes like some.

That is significantly higher than quite a few different Subaru fashions that solely use a camera-based adaptive cruise management system which generally is a little hit or miss.

The lane-keep help and lane centring operate which might be activated by urgent a button on the steering wheel is up there with a number of the greatest I’ve examined to date.

When this operate is activated the automotive will preserve itself inside a lane very well. It has street edge detection which suggests it really works even with out correct line markings. That is extremely helpful for individuals who dwell in rural and regional areas.

It’s not all good nevertheless, as like most lane centring methods it does get misplaced on the odd event. Fortunately all it’s essential do to repair that is barely nudge the steering wheel again within the right path.

As normal the Solterra comes with shiny LED headlights, although sadly they don’t swivel if you flip like some Subaru fashions. They do nevertheless, have an adaptive high-beam operate which mechanically dips a portion of the sunshine when it detects a automotive’s headlights or tail lights.

The adaptive high-beam operate is ideal for individuals who dwell in dimly-lit nation areas who don’t need to faff round with dipping your lights each time you meet a automotive.

I discovered in observe although the adaptive high-beam operate would generally be overly desirous to dip parts of the high-beams and others it wouldn’t dip rapidly sufficient, leading to getting flashed from oncoming automobiles.

What do you get?

There are two trim ranges on provide in Australia – on check right here is the flagship Touring.

Solterra AWD highlights:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Tyre restore package
  • Rear privateness glass
  • 2kW AC charging cable
  • Energy-folding exterior mirrors
  • Automated self-levelling LED headlights
  • Adaptive high-beam
  • Puddle lights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Energy tailgate
  • Keyless entry, begin
  • Digital parking brake
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Tilt, telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 7.0-inch digital cluster
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • 2 x entrance USB-C shops
  • 1 x entrance USB-A outlet
  • 2 x rear USB-C outpets
  • Digital rear-view mirror
  • Leather-based-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Material upholstery
  • 8-way energy driver’s seat
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Reclining rear bench

Solterra AWD Touring provides:

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Auto-dipping exterior mirrors with reminiscence
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Semi-automatic parking help
  • Ambient lighting
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Driver reminiscence operate
  • 8-way energy passenger seat
  • 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
  • Wi-fi cellphone charger

Is the Subaru Solterra protected?

The Subaru Solterra has a five-star ANCAP security score, primarily based on testing carried out by Euro NCAP on the bZ4X in 2022.

It obtained an grownup occupant safety score of 88 per cent, a baby occupant safety score of 88 per cent, a weak street person safety score of 79 per cent, and a security help score of 93 per cent.

Customary security gear contains:

  • Adaptive cruise management
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Driver consideration monitoring
  • Emergency Steering Help
  • Lane Tracing Help (lane centring)
  • Parking Assist Brake
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Secure Exit Help
  • Encompass-view digital camera
  • Site visitors signal recognition
  • Tyre strain monitoring
  • Entrance and rear parking sensors
  • Entrance, front-side, curtain and front-centre airbags

How a lot does the Subaru Solterra value to run?

The 2024 Subaru Solterra is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee, in addition to an eight-year, 160,000km battery guarantee.

Subaru is providing free servicing for the primary 5 years or 75,000km – with intervals of 12 months or 15,000km. There’s additionally 5 years of roadside help.

The corporate is providing a alternative of both an Ocular LTE single-phase 7kW Sort 2 wallbox for $2250 together with set up, or a three-phase 22kW unit for $2645.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Subaru Solterra

The Subaru Solterra is a surprisingly good EV in case you’re entering into it from the angle of proudly owning an Subaru- or different legacy-branded ICE-powered automotive and have by no means pushed an EV earlier than.

All the things is the place you’ll count on it to be and also you don’t must faff round an excessive amount of with the touchscreen infotainment system to regulate features like some EVs. It’s good there’s no scarcity of bodily buttons within the Solterra.

This ICE-like expertise even carries by way of to the best way the Solterra drives. With no correct one-pedal driving mode you’re pressured to make use of the brake pedal to return to an entire cease.

This isn’t my most well-liked method to drive an EV, however I can perceive why people who find themselves hopping into an EV for the primary time would love some type of familiarity with the driving expertise. Given the automotive is silent that may already be so much to grapple with.

A catch with the Solterra nevertheless is its worth…

Though it was just lately slashed and nonetheless contains goodies like a complimentary five-year service plan and 5 years of roadside help amongst different inclusions, it nonetheless doesn’t stack up pretty much as good worth when in comparison with the likes of the top-selling Tesla Mannequin Y. Your complete Solterra vary nonetheless slides underneath the FBT threshold although.

The flagship Solterra AWD Touring variant on check right here doesn’t kind because the candy spot of the vary. Certain it’s totally loaded however I’d a lot fairly go for the entry-level mannequin given it doesn’t lose too many options and will get smaller 18-inch alloy wheels which might doubtless carry a fair higher trip.

I’m additionally not an enormous fan of the noticed vitality consumption I noticed throughout my week of testing. A mean of virtually 18kWh per 100km in blended metropolis and freeway driving is alright however nowhere close to class-leading.

I skilled significantly higher vitality consumption with the single-motor Toyota bZ4X although I perceive this mannequin doesn’t include the safety of all-wheel drive and the X-Mode off-road drive modes.

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