2023 Subaru Solterra EV Crossover SUV First Look Review
You’re looking at the freshly revealed 2023 Subaru Solterra, a long-awaited electric vehicle co-developed with Toyota (whose variant is the bZ4X, which we’ve already seen). After a long series of teasers, the first full glimpse of the Solterra (in Japanese-market spec) reveals some differences from its Toyota cousin.
The striking contrasting fenders of the bZ4X carry over to the Solterra basically unchanged, which is a bit of a surprise given how distinctive an element it is. But more significant differences emerge further forward, featuring chunkier headlights with a distinct Subaru attitude, and a hexagonal grille outlined in black and filled in body color. That grille, and the twin foglights below, are quite distinct from the bZ4X’s sharp emphasis on unbroken spaces and sweeping horizontal elements.
The same can be said for the rear. While the bZ4X adopts a width-spanning light element, the Solterra gets more truckish C-shaped taillamps that float above an otherwise similar hatch and rear bumper.
It will be tough to pick out one over the other from a profile view, save for the Toyota’s blacked-out A-pillar. The shape of the fender cladding, and even the contrasting cut elements emerging from the taillights, seems identical at a glance.
No matter, because both appear to be handsome vehicles, with enough contrasting cladding to convey ruggedness but with a sleek shape that’s enhanced by spoiler-like features above the rear hatch and sprouting from the vestigial decklid.
In Japan, there will be a front-wheel-drive Solterra featuring a single 150-kW motor, but we know that all models sold here will feature Subaru’s iconic Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. Both e-motors are rated at 80 kW, for a total system output of around 214 hp. In Japan, both FWD and RWD versions will use a 71.4 kWh battery. Range is claimed at 329 miles for the single-motor version, and 285 for the dual-motor—expect EPA mileage ratings to differ.
The interior layout is very similar to the bZ4X, as you’d imagine, but looks handsome and features a steering wheel—no word on whether the yoke, available on the bZ4X only in China (for now), will make an appearance.
We will have more details on November 17, when the Solterra is shown at the L.A. Auto Show.
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