2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV
Denis Flierl's picture

Fans Are Already Asking For A New Subaru Solterra EV Wilderness Like This

Subaru says the new 2023 Solterra all-electric SUV will be distinctly Subaru, but it's nearly identical to the Toyota bZ4X EV. Here's why Subaru needs a Solterra Wilderness trim and why outdoor enthusiasts would buy it.
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Subaru fans are already asking for a new Solterras Wilderness EV trim. There are images of a more rugged Solterra from @txtrek above, and it's a good rendering of what a Solterra could look like in Wilderness trim. Solterra already comes with Subaru's excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive and X-Mode with a new "Grip-Control" for additional all-weather performance. But Subaru needs to differentiate itself from its Toyota bZ4X EV twin and all the other new EVs.

Toyota's all-electric bZ4X comes with Subaru's off-road hardware, and it's the deal Subaru had to make with Toyota to gain access to the automaker's battery and electric motor technology. It's the only way Subaru could bring a new all-electric SUV by mid-2022.

2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV

What the Solterra offers now

The Solterra has the extra ground clearance that sets it apart with 8.3-inches, more than any other EV. It's still less than the 2022 Forester compact SUV with 8.7-inches, and the 2022 Forester Wilderness comes with 9.2 inches of ground clearance. The extra ground clearance makes a difference if customers what to get further away from civilization.

To set the new 2023 Subaru Solterra apart from Toyota and other EVs, the new all-electric compact SUV will need additional upgrades for Subaru's active customers to go further off-road.

2023 Subaru Solterra all-electric compact SUV
Solterra Wilderness - photo credit: @txtrek

The Solterra Wilderness needs more range and additional ground clearance

The Solterra offers about 220 miles of range now, which will limit trips further away from civilization. A new Solterra Wilderness will need more range to be competitive, and in comparison, the Volkswagen ID.4 Pro S with all-wheel-drive has 240 miles of range.

The new Solterra Wilderness will also need extra ground clearance close to the 9.2-inches the Forester Wilderness offers. The 8.3 inches is fine for mild off-pavement excursions but not for more serious off-road adventures.

One Subaru outdoor enthusiast commented, "Between weak range, 220 at a one hundred percent charge, and cold, wind, and hills also negatively impact range. The 8.3 inches of ground clearance is okay, but really, this is just for dirt roads or easy mountain roads."

The reader also makes a good point that the Solterra does not have a spare tire. The fan says, "Also, if you have a flat, you can lift the truck and grab a can of fix-a-flat. If there is no spare tire, this is not anything I'd want to take off paved roads except for very short trips into the forest."

The new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness offers a full-size spare tire, and the Solterra will need it for customers dealing with sharp rocks that can puncture a tire on the trail.

The Solterra doesn't have standard roof rails

Roof rails are an option and not standard on the new Solterra EV. Subaru offers standard roof rails on the Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent SUVs, so they need to be standard equipment on the Solterra for outdoor enthusiasts to carry a bike rack, cargo box, or camp with a roof-top tent.

The Solterra Wilderness will also need a fixed ladder-type roof rack system like the Outback Wilderness. It has a static load limit of 700 lbs., allowing the use of a roof-top tent and additional roof rack accessories to carry cargo, a bike carrier, or a kayak.

It's what sets Subaru apart

Subaru's core values include safety, fun-to-drive, all-weather capable, off-pavement ready, and a low center-of-gravity. The 2023 Subaru Solterra offers most of what customers want. Still, they want an all-electric SUV with Wilderness upgrades and improved range performance to get further away and for navigating steep trails.

You Might Also Like: How The New Subaru Solterra Will Now Gain A Key Advantage Over All EVs

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image @txtrek, Subaru USA


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Comments

Not sure where you’re getting your range estimates. Subaru Global clearly published 460km (285.8mi) for AWD and 530km (329.3mi) for FWD.