New Subaru Solterra EV offers Silent Ruggedness.


By Breda Corrigan

The new Solterra AWD SUV is Subaru’s very first fully-electric EV, and rather than going it alone, Subaru has worked with Toyota to combine their all-wheel drive expertise with Toyota’s extensive battery know-how. As a result, the Solterra is very closely related to the Toyota bZ4X, with the main visual difference being that the Solterra has slightly different frontal styling around the grille. However, it does come to the market with a four-wheel-drive system as standard, and this provides enough capability to tackle some light off-roading.

Spacious Cabin & Boot.

The Solterra’s interior is presented in an ergonomic fashion, with the car’s 2.85-metre wheelbase providing generous leg and headroom for the driver and up to four passengers. The cabin features a high-mounted digital gauge cluster, a large infotainment system touchscreen and an elevated centre console with an easy-to-operate rotary shift knob.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen is located in the centre of the dash and it features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wireless phone charging facility as standard. The Solterra’s deep windscreen, large side glass and panoramic sunroof (trim dependent) give the cabin a light and airy feel. Various storage areas dotted around the car will come in handy for family trips away, and the large bin under the centre console adds even greater practicality. The boot has a useful 452-litre capacity, and there is a storage compartment underneath the boot floor for the charging cables too.


Subaru Safety Sense.

The Solterra comes with a suite of advanced driver-assistance technology under the title of ‘Subaru Safety Sense’, and it includes such features as: Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, Emergency Steering Assist, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Centring Function, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Automatic Braking, Traffic Movement Notification, Pre-Collision Throttle Management (and Reverse Throttle Management), and Safe Exit Assist, which supports the safe exit from the vehicle on busy streets.

Impressive Specification.

Trim options consist of Limited AWD and Touring AWD versions, and buyers can choose from a palette of six fashionable colours. Entry-level Limited trim comes as standard with key features such as: 18” alloy wheels, Subaru Safety Sense, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, fabric seats, panoramic view monitor, heat pump, heated front & rear seats, and keyless access & start. Additional features in Touring trim includes an upgrade to 20” alloy wheels, leather seats (synthetic), panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, Harmon/Kardon audio system with subwoofer, electric passenger seat, and an electric driver’s seat with memory function. The inclusion of a smartphone app (on both trim versions) lets users remotely operate the car’s heating and ventilation system to heat or cool the cabin as required, or to lock or unlock the doors, or to schedule charging in order to possibly take advantage of night-rate electricity costs.


Dual-Motor Powertrain.

A dual-motor powertrain with 218PS (215bhp) and 336Nm of torque provides brisk acceleration, with the car capable of reaching 100km/h from a standstill in just 6.9-seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 160km/h (where permitted). The power on offer can be deployed differently depending on the drive mode, of which there are: Eco, Normal, and Power, along with an X-mode which is intended to help in wet and slippery conditions, or on rough terrain, by independently regulating the power distributed to all four wheels when required. Drivers who do wish to take their Solterra off-road will benefit from 210mm of ground clearance, along with the fact that the Solterra can distribute 60 percent of its torque to the rear axle in order to achieve maximum grip with minimum fuss. 

The Solterra’s battery pack has a usable capacity of 71.4kWh, and this is enough to provide a range of up to 465km on a single charge. When plugged into a domestic wallbox (11kW) power outlet, the onboard charger can fully recharge the battery (0-100%) in approximately 9 hours. However, when connected to a public DC fast-charger, a 10-80% charge can be achieved in as little as 30 minutes.

Test Car Details.

My Solterra Touring AWD test car was finished in stylish grey metallic paintwork that complimented the car’s stylish 20” alloy wheels. The relatively-small steering wheel adds an element of sportiness to the driving experience, and the responsive steering helps to make the Solterra fun to drive. On a motorway, the car performs in a serene manner, and there is always lots of instant acceleration available for overtaking slower moving vehicles, with wind and tyre noise well insulated from the cabin. When travelling along a back road, the Solterra’s agile chassis provides the car with enjoyable handling characteristics, with the reassuring grip from the all-wheel drive system adding confidence to every journey. Drivers can increase the amount of brake regeneration by using a button control, or steering wheel-mounted paddles to choose between four levels of deceleration.

Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.

The new Subaru Solterra EV successfully blends its excellent on-road driving dynamics with impressive off-road capability, and it also benefits from the low running costs associated with EVs. The Solterra Limited AWD and Touring AWD are priced at €51,495 and €56,495 respectively – inclusive of current EV subsidies for private buyers. The Solterra comes with a 3-year/100,000km vehicle warranty and an 8-year/160,000km battery warranty as standard. 

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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