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4 out of 5 stars

Quick, Quiet, & Comfortable!

Jonny, 05/09/2023
updated 07/13/2023
2023 Subaru Solterra Limited 4dr SUV AWD (electric DD)
30 of 31 people found this review helpful

Dual electric motor drivetrain (AWD) gives the Solterra instant traction and torque, allowing for a quick hole-shot, while also being very smooth (acceleration/braking) and comfortable (suspension damping). Leased the poverty (base) "premium" trim, because in addition to the $7500 instant credit, the dealer also discounted the price by $1500 off MSRP. The manual cloth seats are comfortable for the Florida climate. Air conditioning (HVAC) works well, and the visibility is good. Biggest disappointment is the infotainment system. Coming from the iDrive system in our BMW, the Toyota/Subaru software/hardware is a huge letdown. Toggling between touchscreen menus is cumbersome (versus BMW's round dial and controls), and there is no one-pedal driving feature. The S-Pedal button on the console will slow the Solterra fairly well, but not to a complete stop. Also, the S-Pedal feature can't be used when the battery is nearly full. The steering wheel paddle controls for braking (deceleration) give mild regeneration... wish the paddles could give true one-pedal drive. Our dealership (salesman) wasn't knowledgeable about the Solterra's battery and infotainment systems. Make sure to do your own extensive research on the vehicle's features and functions before buying. Hopefully our dealership experience isn't common across the USA. Don't let the salesperson connect your phone to the Solterra (using the "Connect" app). We regret this. It is extremely difficult to reverse this decision. If you have an iPhone, just connect it yourself and use the CarPlay app. No need to use the Solterra Connect app, unless you want those specific functions. Please research first! Concerning the exterior design, I'm not a fan of the big, black plastic panels that Subaru is using on many of their models. However, we like the Solterra for its functionality. It is extremely comfortable to drive, has plenty of cargo room in the hatch (even though our "premium" trim has a manual liftgate!), gives smooth and quick acceleration, and most of the safety features can be customized/adjusted to your preference. For example, you can turn down the volume level or mute most of the safety "nannies", and some of the functions can be turned off if you don't like them. One downside to the controls... every time the vehicle is powered on, you have to select brake regeneration/S-Pedal functions, the Solterra doesn't remember your previous choice. Also, the pre-collision feature defaults to "on" at every startup. In order to eliminate the "reverse warning buzzer", the Solterra has to be taken to the dealer service for "mute" setting (we will be doing this). Subaru/Toyota should allow the driver to select/deselect this function. I don't want to hear a backup beeper inside the cabin every time I drive in reverse! Our "Premium" trim Solterra came with wheel covers, which I removed because I prefer to see the dark gray/black alloy wheels underneath instead. However, the decorative center caps are missing, which I'll need to order (this should be a standard inclusion by Subaru!). One feature I really miss from our BMW X3 is the Harman Kardon audio system. In order to get the HK audio, you will have to buy/lease either the "Limited" or "Touring" trim of the Solterra. The base 6-speaker system in our "Premium" trim is adequate, but not up to this audiophile's standards. I wish car manufacturers would include a wide spectrum equalizer in every (audio system) head unit. Overall, I really enjoy driving the Solterra. My main gripe is with the lackluster infotainment/audio system. However, I'm excited for the future of EVs. This Solterra is our first EV, and I hope that the Subaru/Toyota joint venture will listen to customer feedback during development of future models. FYI: this is my initial first week review. Updates to come on range and efficiency... Update 7/12/2023: Returned "Premium" trim because of dealer error on lease contract. Leased "Limited" trim from a different dealer. So far, electricity cost is $0.03 per mile to power Solterra (strictly charging at home with supplied 120V cable). Enjoying the Limited trim upgrades: Light Gray & Blue interior, Power Liftgate, 12" screen, Surround View Camera system and Harman Kardon (HK) audio. However, the HK system isn't as high quality as the BMW X3 HK system because of different DSP/amp and the failure to include a full-spectrum equalizer to fine-tune the audio output. In addition, I've noticed a firmer ride and elevated noise levels attributed to the 20" wheels on the Limited trim. My previous "Premium" trim lease Solterra had the 18" wheels, which gave a notably softer and quieter ride. This is the typical trade-off between trims when upgrading to the larger wheel/tire package. Although I prefer the look of the 20" wheels, my ride preference is the 18" size. As for the EV battery range shown on the driver display: at full charge, the display will show 277 miles of range with the HVAC off. However, when I turn on the HVAC air conditioning, the range immediately drops to 205 miles on the display. Since my vehicle is driven in Southern Florida, the 205 miles has been a fairly accurate range with the AC running constantly every day. Although, I have not tested the limits of the range displayed by running the battery down to 0% charge. Typically, I keep the battery range available between 50 and 200 miles. If you regularly drive long distances of 200 miles or more, then the Solterra is probably not the best fit for convenient transportation. However, if the majority of your driving is short commutes and trips of less than 100 miles, the Solterra is a relatively efficient EV choice. One pet peeve: at startup, the display always asks for "Profile" settings, which I "Dismiss" and let the system default to "Guest" settings. This may be due to the fact that I don't use the Solterra Connect app. However, the infotainment system does hold the settings I have previously programmed. Toyota/Subaru needs to improve the user experience with their new infotainment software. Specifically, the display takes too long to refresh at startup, and the vehicle owner/user should not have to subscribe to their app in order to program/save individual settings and use the OEM navigation software. Full capability to customize the display interface and user settings should be available to the owner/customer without an app subscription and constant prompts to change user settings. Overall, I'm happy with my Solterra experience. Toyota/Subaru needs to improve the following: 1. Infotainment software usability and startup speed 2. HK audio system quality (need better DSP and full-spectrum equalizer) 3. Noise level in Limited trim (need acoustic glass and more sound-deadening materials) 4. Ventilated seats should be included in Limited trim 5. Discontinue requirement of app subscription to use full capability and customize settings 6. Replace "piano-black" trim with wood-grain veneer and/or matte finishes 7. Increase battery range for long-distance trips 8. Add battery charge percentage indicator on driver display 9. Allow S-pedal to be true one-pedal driving (more aggressive braking control) w/full stop 10. Update software to allow full-range brake regeneration with paddles on steering column

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
3 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

A fine entry into the EV arena

Buck, 09/28/2023
2023 Subaru Solterra Touring 4dr SUV AWD (electric DD)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Have had a touring model for 9 months. It has performed flawlessly. Have set charging to 80%. Without Ac we experience 220 miles per charge. Live in Florida, so air conditioning is a must. With AC we get 170 miles per charge. As we use this car for inner city to close regional purposes, we do not use fast chargers. At home we use a level 1 charger, which is really a trickle charger. We charge overnight and find the long charge time not inconvenient. When purchased, the car came with a charging cable. Some manufacturers want the customer to purchase the cable separately, which I liken this as someone wanting me to buy a toaster without the cord to make it work. The 360 feature along with other safety features is very helpful, particularly in close quarter parking lots. The two person driving seat position feature is well liked by both me and my wife. We are of different heights. The driver’s seat adjusts to our needs with no effort. If there is any complaint, it does not have anything to do with the quality of the car. Any car that I have owned that had built in navigation I did not have to pay to continue use of that feature. This car came with a 1 year introductory subscription for use of the navigation feature. I understand I will need a further subscription after the end of the year and that it will cost a healthily sum of $16/month. We charge at home and find it costs about 3.5 cents per mile to operate. A car getting 30 miles per gallon at $3.00/gal is 10 cents per mile, if I have my math right. Subaru has a good reputation for taking care of its customers and my experience so far is along that line. For those interested in an EV, I recommend the SOLTERRA for consideration.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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2 out of 5 stars

Almost a good Car

LAD, 09/26/2023
2023 Subaru Solterra Touring 4dr SUV AWD (electric DD)
10 of 12 people found this review helpful

The Solterra would be a great car if the range was anywhere close to what is advertised and or promised by Subaru... in reality the range is only averaging about 60 to 70 percent of the 220 miles for a full charge... the range estimates are pure fabrications and Subaru knows it... have been a Subaru owner for well over 40 years and will never buy another due to the deceptions and dealer lies and excuses... !!!

Safety
4 out of 5 stars
Technology
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
2 out of 5 stars
Value
1 out of 5 stars
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2023 Subaru Solterra
At a Glance:
  • 4 Colors
  • 3 Trims
  • $44,495starting MSRP
Build & PriceSubaru.com
*MSRP excludes destination and delivery charges, tax, title, and registration fees. Retailer sets actual price. Certain equipment may be required in specific states, which can modify your MSRP. See your retailer for details. 2023 Subaru Solterra Touring shown has an MSRP of $51,995

5 out of 5 stars

Very capable!!!

Minnesota driver, 09/10/2023
2023 Subaru Solterra Premium 4dr SUV AWD (electric DD)
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Love this car. Had it for over a month and changed from Outback to Solerra last min. This car handles amazingly. Best ground clearance. It has excellent acceleration. Another Subaru owner was impressed with how much it can carry with the back hatch being wide. Range can go much farther than 230 with no A/C. Closer to 294 miles per charge. Con. The trade off for the ground clearance is the battery pack and vertical rear leg room. Has plenty of horizontal leg room. Also may not have Panasonic battery but CATL. Doesn't qualify for tax benefits.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

Amazing full-package AWD !!!

Satisfied Solterra owner, 11/24/2023
2023 Subaru Solterra Limited 4dr SUV AWD (electric DD)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Ok, so range is not the greatest. But with a level 2 home charger, it is more than enough for most needs. I think even the longest-range EV’s on the market today are still a hassle for long trips anyways. With have a top of the line Impreza for those occasions. Still the good news about the Solterra is, it’s a great car! Fun to drive, VERY solid feel, plenty of power too. Above all, we feel safer in it than all the other cars in the same price price range we tried before purchasing. And many of them were just front pull where you have a true AWD drive with the Solterra, an SUV with the ground clearance to match. Also, I must be the only one on the planet that agrees with the reverse chime. I mean, EV’s are SO quiet, I like to have confirmation that I am in reverse. With a standard car, you have the proverbial transmission clunk sound confirming, so I do like that chime in the Solterra. One annoyance, winter tires are EXPENSIVE in 20’’ size, like double the price of 18’’…in closing, absolutely no regrets, and I do get many compliments. However someone posted that the interior looks cheap, look at the competition! It is a matter of taste. Like a few other EV’s the look from inside is minimalist. I personally would have preferred a more standard interior, as I have never liked Toyota’s interior styling with complicated shapes, but it is not a deal breaker. Thanks for reading. Update Monday Nov 27th, major snow fall, the Solterra was stellar in those Continental Viking 7 snow boots!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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