TopGear just got out of the electric Subaru Solterra. It just missed our April issue, so you can read our full test report in the May issue of TopGear Magazine (in stores at the end of April). Now the highlights.
Test object: Subaru Solterra
Performance: Sky Package
Location: Aldenhoven Testing Center, Germany
Weather conditions: cloudy, degree or 10
What exactly is this?
The Solterra is the first all-electric Subaru (if you don’t count the 100 experimental city cars they released in Tokyo in 2003). And if it looks familiar to you somewhere, that may be true. Subaru developed it together with Toyota; he is the fraternal twin brother of the bZ4X.
Are there big differences between the two?
Quite a few. In terms of appearance, Subaru has done its best to give its own design features to the car. And in line with what Subaru owners want, they’re throwing it more on rugged engineering and capability than on design and gadgetry. For example, the Solterra has a normal steering wheel without steer-by-wire. It also always has four-wheel drive, in the form of two electric motors with a combined 160 kW/218 hp.
How is he inside?
Despite its sloping roofline, we can sit comfortably on the (rather deep) rear seat. In the front you look out on a cool dashboard with a high-placed counter screen. In the middle you will find a clear 12.3-inch infotainment display that works pretty smoothly. There are real buttons, a lot of storage space and a wall-to-wall panorama roof interrupted at the b-pillar.
How does the Subaru Solterra drive?
We were able to enter the Aldenhoven test track with pre-production cars. Bends, a smooth water course, a strip of cobblestones, that sort of thing. no real real life test, but enough to give an impression. The two e-motors make it smooth (0-100 in 6.9 seconds) and it is quiet and stable at speed. On the compact handling track the handling is nothing to worry about. The low center of gravity, as with all EVs, is a blessing and the suspension keeps the body nicely under control.
What about charging and the range?
All versions of the Subaru Solterra (there are only two, that makes a difference) have a 71.4 kWh battery. The standard car on 18 inches thus gets 454 kilometers, this Sky Package version with 20 inches does 413 kilometers. Fast charging is possible with 150 kW, but on alternating current it can only handle 6.6 kW. Still a waste of your 11 kW wallbox.
When can I buy it?
The Subaru Solterra will appear at the dealer this summer. Prices are not yet known, but will probably start around 55 grand.
You can read our full driving test of the Subaru Solterra in TopGear Magazine 203 – in stores from 28 April!