Thursday, June 27, 2024

2024 Subaru Solterra Touring AWD: The Brand’s Only All- Electric Vehicle


Highlight: The Solterra shares a platform with the compact electric vehicles from Toyota and Lexus.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $ 54,558 (Premium Model$46,340)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; traction control; a stability control system; a tire pressure sensor system; a rear-view camera; a rear cross traffic alert system; a lane departure warning system; a radar activated cruise control system; a hill start control system; electronic blind spot; a pre-collision braking system; front radar sensors; and a hill descent control system


Standard Equipment (Premium): 18-inch wheels; all-electric; front and rear electric motors; 72.8 kWh high voltage battery; a variety of driving modes; one drive pedal; three driving modes; 60/40 rear seats; automatic climate control; heated front seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel; an 8-inch infotainment screen; and cloth seats

Standard Equipment (Touring): 20-inch wheels; a power front seat; a 12-inch infotainment screen; digital key using one’s smartphone; a cloud-based navigation system; power folding exterior mirrors; an 11-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system; pseudo leather seats; ventilated and heated front seats; heated rear seats; a heated steering wheel; a pedestrian detection parking system; a 360-degree camera; dual roof mounted spoiler; wireless phone charging; ambient interior lighting; a digital rear view camera; panoramic sunroof; a retractable luggage cover; and a LED footwell lighting

Options: premium exterior paint; all-weather floor liners; and cargo tray

Other Trim Levels:

Limited

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Electrification Warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles

Engine/Horsepower: a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder/215-horsepower

Towing Capacity: N/A



Driving Range: 228-miles

Standard Electric Mileage: 111 -city/93-hwy (test model)

What’s New: The Solterra made its debut during the 2023 model year. This year’s model enhances the Level 3 public charging performance, while also offering an updated driver safety system.



Why:

Stylish design

Optional two-tone color

AWD

All-electric vehicle

Enhanced cold weather and public Level 3 charging

Hands free driving for up to 25 mph (stop and go highway traffic)

Three trim levels

360-degree camera

A variety of driving modes (eg. snow)

A perpendicular and parallel parking assist feature

Heated second row seats on Limited and Touring trims

Heated steering wheel available on Limited and Touring trims

Inflation Reduction Act lease incentive available

Power rear gate on select trims

Power front seats on select trims

Wireless charging on select trims

USB outlets standard

Power panoramic sunroof on higher level trims

Toyota’s bZ4X AWD, which shares a platform with the Solterra, is priced higher 

But: 

Uses the same cloud based/ inconsistent voice activated system as Toyota

Needs to offer an extended range model with a larger battery capacity

The Toyota bZ4X offers a front wheel drive option, which equate to a lower price point.



Verdict: The compact Subaru Solterra is the brand’s first all-electric vehicle. While the Solterra shares a platform with both Toyota and Lexus, the stylish electric vehicle is only available in an all-wheel drive configuration. 

At a starting price under $47,000, before any lease incentives kick in from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Solterra is available in three trims.  The Subaru falls on the shorter end of the spectrum, as it relates to driving range. This is due to Toyota offering a variety of battery options for the bZ4X, and Subaru only offering one. Our Subaru inked out 228 miles of range on a full charge.

Conversely, it a day and time, when more automakers are inching toward a 300-mile driving range vehicle, the Subaru narrowly clears the 200 miles range. Although Subaru electric vehicle owners are able to map out their day, without experiencing a high level of range anxiety, more planning is involved, as opposed to those vehicles with a higher driving range.  

Moreover, the Solterra, which is a comfortable riding vehicle, can be outfitted with features ranging from a radar activated cruise control system to a 360-degree back up camera to a perpendicular and parallel parking assist feature.

Furthermore, like the Toyota and Lexus electric vehicles, the Subaru uses the same interface to support its infotainment screen and subscriber-based navigation system.  As with the case of both Toyota and Lexus voice-activation systems, the Subaru's can be somewhat inconsistent, too. There are time it recognizes one's voice, and there are other times when its literally perplexed. With that said, we prefer having access to dials and knobs to control the infotainment system.

Lastly, with electric vehicle sales influx, buyers in the market should be able to swing a good deal, when factoring in the Inflation Reduction Act incentives and other discounts. We recommend shopping this vehicle against its sibling at Toyota, before signing the dotted line. 

Competition:  Ford MachE, Tesla Model 3 and Toyota bZ4X

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