Subaru's first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru

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Subaru's first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru
The 2023 Subaru Solterra.Subaru
  • Subaru revealed its first-ever electric vehicle on Wednesday.
  • The 2023 Solterra SUV comes with all-wheel drive, at least 220 miles of range, and 215 horsepower.
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Subaru took the wraps off its first fully electric vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.

The 2023 Solterra SUV will hit US dealerships in the middle of 2022 with dual electric motors and signature Subie traits. The environmentally-friendly SUV feels like the natural progression for a brand that's all about getting into nature.

Subaru's first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru
The 2023 Subaru Solterra.Subaru

Subaru's rugged vehicles are already popular among outdoorsy people who like the ability to occasionally tackle a dirt road or some snow. (Just go to a place like Vermont and try to count the number of vehicles on the road that aren't Outbacks, Foresters, or Imprezas.)

The Solterra continues in that tradition but brings quiet and clean electric power to the table.

Subaru's first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru
The 2023 Subaru Solterra.Subaru

Like most Subarus, the Solterra comes standard with all-wheel drive. That's delivered by two motors — one in front and one in the rear — generating a combined 215 horsepower. For light off-roading, Subaru included plastic cladding and X-mode, a feature that varies power to each wheel to help with grip in slippery conditions.

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EVs are already great for off-roading because they offer lots of torque at low speeds. The Solterra also introduces Grip Control, basically a cruise-control setting that keeps the vehicle going at a steady speed up and down steep inclines.

Subaru's first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru
The 2023 Subaru Solterra.Subaru

The Solterra will be able to travel at least 220 miles on a single charge, Subaru says. That's not all that impressive compared to rivals like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Volkswagen ID.4, which have ranges of at least 250 miles. But all-wheel drive deals a blow to efficiency and we'll get a better idea of the Solterra's true range once it's tested by the EPA.

In terms of sizing, the Solterra is just a bit longer than the Forester SUV and smaller than the Outback. It's largely identical to Toyota's new BZ4X SUV (the companies collaborated on EV tech) but that vehicle doesn't get the Solterra's standard all-wheel-drive or its Subaru styling cues. And the Solterra doesn't offer a strange rectangular steering wheel like the Toyota does.

Subaru's first electric model is here — and the outdoorsy SUV brings the brand to peak Subaru
The 2023 Subaru Solterra.Subaru

Subaru hasn't shared any information about pricing or trim levels, but it'll need to start at around $40,000 to be competitive with rivals.

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