Subaru Solterra – Test Drive

The Solterrra is Subaru’s first fully electric vehicle, and it has finally made it to New Zealand, after a number of delays. In this test drive I’ll be checking out its looks, interior, features and performance. First up, tho a need to cover off how this Subaru has a sibling, the Toyota BZ4x, Also now available in New Zealand. Having only spent a short time with the Solterra Touring, I’d like to get it back for a longer period, to fully test it out.


Adrian Maidment (00:00.398)

When I think Subaru, I think a little bit quirky, all-wheel drive, out there exploring, rallying, Possum Bourne, blue and gold, and I think the Subaru Leone my dad had as his company car when I was a child. They were awesome. And today I’m gaining some new Subaru memories as I test drive Subaru’s first full EV, the new Subaru Solterra.

Adrian Maidment (00:31.598)

The Solterra is a mid-sized fully electric SUV available in two models in New Zealand. All-wheel drive is standard on both. The base model Saltera is priced from $79 ,990. The Solterra Touring is priced from $84 ,990. There’s also a two-tone exterior color option for the Solterra Touring. Couple of key specs – Battery size, 71.4 kilowatts, but the usable battery size is actually 64.

There’s two 80 kilowatt electric motors for both versions, 0 -100 in 6.9 seconds. My first driving impressions are that it  is very comfortable.  Great visibility, side mirrors nice and large, rear at the back pretty good for an SUV. 

When this car first came out, the Toyota and the Subaru version, it got a lot of negative comments, a lot of it around the range. So this version they’ve upped the battery range and the performance and they’ve changed a few other things such as on the dash you can see the recharge. It’s not the fastest EV, pick-up id okay though.

Nice headrest, you got the sunroof, I actually quite like the cockpit layout with the basic speed there, you got your sign what the speed limit is, distance you should be traveling, one thing I actually do like is that unlike some cars I haven’t had a lot of bings and bongs action, I’ve had the reverse obviously signal coming on but

Adrian Maidment (02:31.822)

has been a lot more, there’s been a lot more harmony in this car compared to some other cars I’ve been in. So that’s good. I’m not getting stressed from all the sound effects going off. 

This is all pretty Toyota, I mean this is Toyota. A few buttons for the temperature controls. This should work well. I think the screen’s a bit small, I wouldn’t mind it a bit bigger. Charger there. You gotta press down to reverse or drive. You’re going to reverse, the screen’s very clear. Map, you’ve got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the side there you’ve got for regen.

Adrian Maidment (03:32.973)

You see it up and down, on the paddles. This is a bit weak. It doesn’t feel very strong. This is cloth I don’t mind the feel of, but that might dust up. And you always got this black mat, which does scratch. The black mat, you know, that can scratch and that’s dusted up a bit as well. It’s button here, and that takes you into a subsection there. I don’t mind that.

It’s a very easy drive.

Adrian Maidment (04:18.093)

And just getting into the rear passenger seat behind me, just normal doors. Yep, I’ve got good legroom, not too bad on the height.

Feels quite spacious. Fans, heating, two USB plugs. Not a lot of room for the toes. Some storage there. Two in the back. I wouldn’t want to push three. But they’re pretty good. 

Claimed charging on a 7kW AC charger from 0 to 100 % is 9 .5 hours on a 150kW DC charger from 20 % to 80 % is claimed at approximately 30 minutes. The official claimed range is 485 kilometers based on the NEDC system which seems a bit easier than the WLTP system. 

434 K’s at 100% so, the range can vary. I’d like to drive the car more to get more of a clarification on the actual range. A couple of other features I haven’t mentioned earlier, driving modes, normal eco power, there’s also S -pedal for one pedal driving. Plenty of safety features such as pre -collision braking and lane departure alert. 18 inch alloy wheels on the Saltera and 20 inch wheels on the touring version.

And just to reiterate, I’ve only had this car for a test drive, so I really would like to spend longer with it to see how it performs over a longer period of time.

Adrian Maidment (06:06.893)

So just open the tailgate with a press of the button and then you’re away.

Adrian Maidment (06:13.869)

410 liters in the back here. So there’s no back windscreen, nothing there. They reckon the water just flows off. The back here is slightly different to the Toyota version. Slightly different, so it’s a little bit different, but… And they’ve got these spoilers here, which remind me of the MG4, to be honest. I like the all -wheel drive. 

So I do recommend giving this a test drive. It’s probably this version, the 2024 version does seem a big step up from the original car that was released. So there’s a lot of videos out there based on the original version, but.

I think there has been definite improvements made. Braking well, I like the regen. Big fan of the pedals. Based on my test drive, I’d say definitely give it a test drive.

Adrian Maidment (07:25.485)

So thanks for watching this video, a like and a subscribe would be awesome as it helps me get more cars to review and also more time with them. Let me know what you think about the Soltera, would you consider it?

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