Expert Insights

Subaru Solterra EV: Creating a Seamless Transition to Electrification

Pedro Ruiz
July 14, 2023
Whether you're a longtime Subaru owner or new to the brand, the new Solterra EV crossover is designed to make the transition to electric driving as smooth and easy as possible.
Subaru Solterra exterior on the road

Subaru Solterra: First All-Electric Subaru

The all-new 2023 Subaru Solterra is the first all-electric vehicle in the Subaru lineup. It offers traditional Subaru owners, as well as those new to the brand, an easy transition into electrification. By incorporating familiar Subaru features and characteristics, the Solterra provides Subaru owners a sense of continuity and familiarity – all while embracing the benefits of electric power and sustainability.

One of the notable features of the Solterra is its ground clearance, which is similar to that of other popular Subaru models like the Crosstrek, Forester, and Outback. The ground clearance makes it easy to get in and out of the Solterra, and also makes it easy to tackle different kinds of terrains and road conditions with ease. The Solterra is a suitable choice for adventurous Subaru enthusiasts who value off-road capability.

Subaru Solterra exterior back view

Electric Power with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Additionally, the Solterra is equipped with Subaru's signature symmetrical all-wheel drive system, which is standard on all trim levels. This system ensures power is distributed evenly to all four wheels – enhancing traction, stability, and control. The combination of all-wheel drive and electric power in the Solterra contributes to confident handling and reliable performance in all driving conditions.

While it has excellent ground clearance, the Solterra’s EV battery actually gives it low center of gravity – which contributes to excellent driving dynamics. This characteristic is shared with other Subaru vehicles, whose boxer engines also have a low center of gravity; it plays a significant role in providing responsive handling, agility, and stability on the road. You feel connected to the road, while enjoying all of the benefits of electric propulsion.

Subaru Solterra close up shot of wheel in dirt

Subaru Solterra: Safety and Tech

In terms of safety, the Solterra is built on the e-Subaru Global Platform, which delivers the same high level of collision protection found in other Subaru vehicles. The Solterra incorporates energy-absorbing aluminum alloy components built into the side sills, and substantial crumple zones, within its frame. These elements help protect the Solterra’s occupants in the event of a collision, as well as the traction battery compartment. As a result, the Solterra is engineered to achieve Top Safety Pick+ status with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). This top safety rating provides peace of mind to drivers and passengers alike.

Inside the Solterra, Limited and Touring trim levels feature a large 12.3-inch multimedia display screen with capacitive touch buttons for the climate control, as well as center console switches for ease of access. Unlike some manufacturers, who rely on integrated screens, Subaru has opted for a separate digital instrument cluster. This design choice aims to minimize confusion and improve usability.

A model of the Subaru Solterra customizable Driving Behavior

Customizable Driving Behavior

The Solterra offers you various driving modes to suit different driving and traffic conditions. Normal provides a balance of performance and energy consumption which is suitable for everyday driving. Power gives you faster acceleration, delivering a more exhilarating driving experience. And ECO optimizes energy consumption to extend the vehicle's range.

With the Regenerative Braking Power Mode, you can adjust the strength of regenerative braking according to your preferences. Choose to have stronger regenerative braking force, which results in a more significant deceleration when they release the accelerator pedal – or opt for lighter regenerative braking, which gives smoother coasting and a more traditional driving feel. The Solterra is equipped with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow you to switch between four different regeneration settings, simulating the experience of driving an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. This feature is particularly appealing if you’re used to the driving experience of a traditional car.

The Solterra also features an S-Pedal Drive button. When S-Pedal Drive is activated, drivers can keep their foot on the accelerator pedal for longer periods, even while slowing down or coming to a complete stop. As a result, you don't need to switch between the accelerator and brake pedals as frequently, making driving less tiring. S-Pedal Drive gives stronger regenerative braking – meaning that when you release the accelerator pedal, the vehicle will decelerate more rapidly, similar to the effect of applying the brake pedal in a traditional vehicle. This enhanced regenerative braking force not only contributes to more efficient energy recapture, but also provides a seamless transition between acceleration and deceleration, offering a more intuitive and engaging driving experience.

Solterra EV: Caters to a Range of Preferences

Overall, the combination of the Regenerative Braking Power Mode, steering wheel paddle shifters, and S-Pedal Drive button allows you to have greater control over your Solterra EV's braking behavior and overall driving experience. Whether you prefer a more traditional driving feel or a more convenient EV driving mode, these features cater to a range of preferences and contribute to the overall comfort and enjoyment of driving an electric vehicle.

With the 2023 Subaru Solterra, you can expect a practical electric car that blends Subaru's established features, such as ground clearance, all-wheel drive capability, and handling prowess, with the benefits of electric power and sustainability. It’s designed to make the transition to electrification a smooth and seamless experience for existing Subaru owners and new customers, letting everyone embrace a greener future while enjoying the performance and reliability of a Subaru.