Motoring: Solterra, Subaru’s first electric car

Ally and Lorraine Ballingall take the new Solterra, Subaru’s first electric car, for a test drive. 

It has been quite a while since we had the chance to get behind the wheel of a Subaru of any description so we were looking forward to our time with the new Solterra, Subaru’s first ever electric car. 

Now there are those in some quarters who think the Solterra is not rugged looking enough to be a typical, tough and versatile Subaru. However, we would argue that they are barking up the wrong tree.  

It is tough, it is versatile but it is also very stylish which is not a word often associated with the traditional Subaru workhorses. 

Now on looking at the photos, you may be thinking that it looks a bit familiar and you would be right, because they have partnered up with their Japanese chums at Toyota to manufacture the Solterra which is very similar to the bZ4X. 

So it has great looks but will it satisfy the thirst of the Subaru stalwarts? We think it will, its 4 x 4 capabilities are really good and yes, it is an EV but it can wade in up to 50mm of water. We both agreed (and it doesn’t always happen) the drive is one of the best of any vehicle we have experienced in recent months.

On the inside it is well turned out, with great tech but it also has traditional instruments and the 12.3 inch screen is easy to view. The Seats are comfortable and flexible. Plenty of head and legroom inside and the boot space is 452L which is not the best in class but more than ample for our and the average driver’s needs.

The Solterra comes in two specs, Limited (which isn’t limited in anything) and Touring which adds a bit more refinement such as wireless phone charging and a panoramic sunroof, so you can see the rain.

Interesting name…. combines the Latin words ‘sol’, meaning sun, and ‘terra’, meaning earth. Subaru says the name expresses the brand’s commitment to deliver traditional SUV capabilities in an environmentally responsible package.

Prices start from just over £50,000 but we all know electric cars are not cheap, it is about the year long savings in having no fuel costs that is attractive. 

Most importantly the range is stated 289 for the Limited and 257 for the Touring.  We didn’t get anything akin to that but it was in the middle of a very cold spell.

This medium-sized crossover is in a highly competitive sector with rivals such as the EV 6 and the Mach E, although the Solterra does come in all wheel drive only which will please the diehards and if they can be convinced that EV and Subaru can actually go hand in hand, we think the Solterra is a serious contender.