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Subaru Solterra

The independent definitive Subaru Solterra video review
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    ELECTRIC AVENUE (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Subaru's very first EV, the Solterra mid-sized SUV, offers the suburbs something a little different, thinks Jonathan Crouch.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 65

    It's hard to find an EV that's properly capable off-tarmac. For the time being, Subaru's Solterra is probably as close as you're going to get to a full-battery-powered model delivering that kind of capability to any great extent. Developed with Toyota, it's the brand's first purpose-built EV and includes quite a lot of what Subaru's learned in the last few decades about off road technology.

    Backgroundword count: 204

    What will the Subaru of the future be like? It certainly can't be anything like the Subaru's of the present - and in this age of electrification, must be far removed from the Subarus of the past. So the brand has brought us this, the all-electric Solterra, the name derived from a combination of the Latin words for 'sun' and 'earth'. This car comes with a pledge from its brand - that existing Subaru customers "can feel it is truly a Subaru". Well that could be a stretch because, as you might notice if you've been following the EV market lately, this car shares most everything with its close cousin, the Toyota bZ4X. To be fair, the Solterra isn't merely a re-badged design. The company has played at least an equal part in the development both of the car itself and the EV platform it sits on, called 'e-TNGA' by Toyota and 'e-Subaru Global Platform' by Subaru. It's all part of a move by the marque towards electrification, though its targets are decidedly modest. By 2030, when many manufacturers will have switched to an all-EV range, Subaru hopes that 40% of its model line-up will have full-battery power. A change which starts right here.

    Driving Experienceword count: 284

    Inevitably, Subaru had a lot to say over the configuration of the 4WD system - in this case a twin motor drivetrain - for this joint venture model. The company has engineered in its 'X-Mode' system to enhance this EV's off-road credentials. And added in a 'Grip Control' mode enabling the Solterra to travel more stably at speed over rough trails. The pair of 107bhp motors, one on each axle, develops 214bhp and rest to 62mph is dispatched in 7.7s. Power, as with the Toyota bZ4X, comes from a 71.4kWh battery which offers 289 miles of range for the base 'Limited' model (it's 257 miles for the top 'Touring' version). For the future, there's also a single motor front-driven model with 201bhp, a range of 330 miles and a 0-62mph time of 8.4s. Subaru expects the majority of customers though, to want the dual motor variant, with drivetrain electronics that claim to offer precise control of each wheel through the turns and 'flexible driving force between front and rear'. The strong, stiff 'e-Subaru Global Platform', allied to a low centre of gravity due to battery placement, should limit body roll through the turns. Subaru is also planning a higher performance STI version. Across the range, the steering is interesting. It's an innovative 'steer-by-wire' system which removes the mechanical link between the steering wheel and the front axle. The engineers reckon that this enhances control because the directional influences of rough surfaces and braking are minimised. And, to suit the EV mood of the moment, there's a 'single pedal' driving mode, which maximises regenerative braking to the extent that you'll hardly ever have to use the actual brake pedal unless coming to a complete stop.

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    Statistics (subset of data only)




    £42,000.00 (At 8 Apr 2022)

    £55,000.00 (At 8 Apr 2022)

    Max Speed (mph):

    99 (AWD)

    0-62 mph (s):

    8.4 (AWD)

    Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):


    Length (mm):


    Width (mm):


    Height (mm):


    Boot Capacity (l):


    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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