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Solterra: Looking for more reach

The Subaru Solterra got off to a rocky start. First there were delays due to problems with the bZ4X from cooperation partner Toyota, then the first test reports stated high consumption and measly ranges. Now interventions in the software should improve things.


Like pretty much everyone else automakers also want Subaru carbon neutral become. But the Japanese are giving themselves quite a lot of time for this, namely until the end of the 2051 financial year. As a first step in this direction, the Solterra, which is largely identical in construction to the Toyota bZ4X, has to be used. It is, how could it be otherwise, a mid-range SUV, costs just under 60.000 euros, looks a bit more powerful in person than in photos and is typically Subaru driven on both axles. There are two 80 kW/109 hp each electric motors with 169 Nm each on the front and rear axles, which together deliver 160 kW/218 hp. They allow the 0-100 sprint in 6,9 seconds, at 160 things is limited.

Because of its weight of around two tons, the Solterra doesn't look exactly sporty, but it does dynamics with a firm step on the accelerator pedal, it is definitely more than sufficient. But you shouldn't indulge in the fun too often, because even if you move slowly, it's still fun Stromer not exactly frugal. The WLTP standard consumption of 16,0 to 17,9 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 kilometers can be seen in the test drives rather than theoretical values: nothing works below 20 kWh. That is why the standard ranges of up to 466 kilometers cannot be achieved. Depending on the outside temperature, route profile and air conditioning use, the 71,4 kWh battery enables a more real 300 kilometers. That's not very rich.

Significant criticism had in the first Practical tests triggered the charging properties of the Solterra. Instead of the promised 30 minutes for filling to 80 percent with the 150 kW fast charger, this procedure usually took much longer. And the limited number of quick charges per 24 hours opposed the relaxed long-distance use of the e-Subaru.

The manufacturer will therefore react shortly and install a number of software changes. Among other things, the safety buffer in the range calculation and in the calculation of the air conditioning system consumption, which is allegedly too lavish at the moment, is to be reduced. In addition, the state of charge of the battery is also displayed as a percentage. Subaru also promises to optimize the charging power in the filling range between 80 and 100 percent. And an increase in the number of consecutive Fast Charges.

Whether that's enough to address the significant limitations in the everyday practicality it remains to be seen whether it will be at least partially corrected. It would be desirable Subaru, because the 4,69 meter long Solterra is in principle a successful, practical vehicle with a pleasant mix of analogue and digital operation, plenty of space for passengers and their luggage, with plenty driving comfort and a fairly comprehensive infotainment and safety equipment even in the basic version for 57.490 euros. The materials used in the interior feel good and look just as good. Chassis, suspension and steering match the character of the two-ton truck.

The ground clearance of solterra is 21 centimetres, the approach angle is 17,7 degrees at the front and 25,4 degrees at the rear and the ramp angle is 18,1 degrees. What this means in practice is shown by the electric all-wheel drive vehicle on a trip to the prairie: forest paths with deep ruts, steep depressions and steep ascents and descents - as long as it doesn't get too violent, the big Stromer stoically digs through it Matsch (mud) and climbs unimpressed on gravel hills. Orientation is not a problem thanks to the virtual top view and 360-degree all-round view. After pressing the X-Drive button, the desired downhill speed can be set exactly with a rocker switch.

Thanks to these talents, the Solterra is recommended for the Subaru eight years full guarantee granted, as a locally emission-free and quiet alternative for foresters or hunters, who until now have been stalking in the Forester. For all other users, the obligatory all-wheel drive is particularly useful in adverse conditions weather conditions paid. However, those who can do without a 4 × 4 can save significantly: Toyota offers the Solterra brother bZ4X with 150 kW/204 hp and front-wheel drive exactly 10.000 euros cheaper.

Rudolf Huber/SP-X

Subaru Solterra Specifications:

Five-door, five-seater mid-size SUV; Length: 4,69 meters, width: 1,86 meters, height: 1,60 meters, wheelbase: 2,85 meters, trunk volume: 452 liters
Two three-phase synchronous motors, power: 160 kW/218 hp, maximum torque: 336 Nm, single-stage reduction gear, all-wheel drive, Vmax: 160 km/h, 0-100 km/h: 6,9 s, standard consumption: 17,9 kWh/100 km

Price: from € 57.490

Subaru Solterra – short characteristics:

Why: Because it's comfortable, roomy, versatile and even a little off-road

Why not: because it consumes too much power and doesn't get far enough

What else: VW ID.4, Skoda Enyaq, MG Marvel R, Nissan Ariya, Toyota bZ4X

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