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The Solterra is Subaru’s first venture into fully electrified motoring and it shares its underpinnings with the Toyota bZ4X. It is a five-door SUV-styled car and both the Limited and Touring trims are generously equipped.

Subaru Solterra side
Subaru Solterra rear
Subaru Solterra interior

The good

Design, handling and on-board tech

The bad

Range drops like a stone on motorways

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
Driving range 289 miles
0-62 from
6.9 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

Subaru Solterra – First Drive (2024)

Subaru may be a name strongly associated with big spoilers and global  rallying success, but the arrival of the Solterra shows the company is certainly moving with the times.

That’s because this five-door model is the Japanese carmaker’s first fully electric car and with prices starting from £52,495, customers can choose from two generously-equipped trim levels called Limited and Touring.

Both feature a 71.4kWh battery delivering 218PS and we opted for the range-topping Solterra Touring for our test drive, priced at £55,495.

One glance in the direction of the Solterra and you would be forgiven for noticing strong similarities to the Toyota bZ4X, which is built on an identical platform. However, with a nod to the company’s 4×4 heritage, the Solterra boasts all-wheel drive as standard whereas it is an option on the Toyota.

Eye-catching features on the Solterra include Subaru’s trademark hexagonal grille which is integrated into the front fascia and this is flanked by slim, wide LED lights. There is a low bonnet line that helps to accentuate the vehicle’s SUV styling, along with bold wheel arch mouldings. The look is completed with 20-inch alloy wheels.

The interior has a clutter-free, quite minimalist approach and features powered seats with synthetic-leather upholstery. These can be heated to fend off the winter chill and have memory settings which is practical if there will be more than one driver. The leather-clad steering wheel, along with the outer rear seats, can also be heated.

On-board tech impresses with a 12.3-inch infotainment system and a wealth of features to explore. There is wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto smartphone connectivity, a high-end Harmon Kardon sound system, full navigation, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, a panoramic 360-degree camera and a digital rear-view mirror.

All the climate settings are controlled via a separate panel and the vital driving data is clearly displayed on a seven-inch digital cluster behind the steering wheel.

Owners can use an app to pre-condition the vehicle remotely meaning it can be warmed or cooled before setting off, as well as keeping an eye on the battery charge levels and driving range amongst other functions.

And talking of range, the Solterra can deliver a WLTP-tested 289 miles between charges, reduced to 257 miles on Touring versions. But, be warned, long-ish stints on a motorway will see that limit drop like a stone.

However, the battery levels can be boosted as energy is recouped in busier stop, start traffic. There are steering wheel paddles to alter the level of regenerative braking and single-pedal driving is also a possibility for more relaxed city driving.

Like all EVs the instant power makes the Solterra quick out the starting blocks. With 218PS and 168.5Nm of torque it can reach 62mph from a standing start in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 100mph.

On country lanes with lots of twists and turns, the Solterra is very grounded and it’s also easy to manoeuvre in busier town centre settings with cameras and sensors helping to make light work of parking.

The all-round visibility is excellent and drive modes called Eco, Normal and Power alter the dynamics considerably. No prizes for guessing which is the most fun, but stay in Power too long and that range will diminish quite quickly.

Then if you fancy a little more adventure away from the Tarmac, the Solterra boasts Subaru’s X-Mode AWD set-up. Press that button and it will automatically adjust all settings to cope with snow, deep mud or steep, slippery slopes. All the driver needs to do is steer.

With SUV proportions, practicality bases are well covered and there is ample space for five occupants to sit comfortably. The boot, accessed via a powered tailgate, can hold 441 litres of goodies with extra space beneath the boot floor to store the cables. Drop the 60:40 split-folding rear seats and that capacity increases considerably and throughout the cabin is a central cubby, door bins, seat back pockets, front and rear cup holders, a wireless charging pad and a vast area beneath the centre console. Just like the bZ4X the Solterra does not have a glovebox.

Charging the 71.4kWh battery to 80 per cent via a 7kW wallbox takes 7-8 hours and that level can be achieved in about 30 minutes if using a 150kW fast charger.

All in all, the Subaru Solterra is a very capable EV that was also awarded a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. The range could be better, but it is still a worthy all-round family vehicle.

And just in case you wondered what Solterra stands for, it has been created by merging the Latin words for Sun and Earth together.