By on November 17, 2021

 

We’ve already covered the Subaru Solterra EV, so I don’t have much to add.

Instead, you can enjoy two poorly-lit pics from the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Auto-show lighting sucks, but the Solterra does look decent up close. Not head-turning, but more cohesive than I thought based on press photos.

Two key numbers to remember — the car has 8.3 inches of ground clearance and an estimated range of at least 220 miles.

If I can add interior photos over the next day or two, I will.

And no, the car isn’t floating. Blame a video display and bad lighting.

That’s about it from L.A. for today. Expect us to check in tomorrow or Friday with news about VinFast and … Barbie? Yes, Barbie. What a world we live in.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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57 Comments on “Subaru Solterra In the Flesh...”


  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    That purple looks like the tile color of a 1950s bathroom. And that cladding is still a shockingly bad design.

  • avatar

    Is it under water? Looks kind of murky.

  • avatar

    “I can add interior photos over the next day or two”

    I beg you not. Please, please show some mercy, spare our poor souls.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    You sure that isn’t a Hyundai? Or Volvo? Or Buick? Or Mazda? Or Volkswagen? Or…

    Oh, duh, no, it’s a Toyota.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Maybe it’s the lighting at the show site, the blue reminds me of blue vehicles under an outdoor neon lighting with that purple cast. Again that vinyl cladding is hideous, I was interested in the Subaru Solterra, but the appearance of it is a total turn-off. By comparison the Pontiac Aztek is attractive.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    220-mile range. Under ideal conditions, of course. What’s that – 150 during the winter? Nothing to see here.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The real range tests to look at are the 70 mph tests and Bjorn Nylander’s winter Norwegian Arctic Circle range tests. You can get a pretty good idea. With good regen driving skills, you can hit the WLTP numbers on some cars. I’ve done it many times. Regen skills come naturally if you are used to manual transmissions and engine braking. The trick is to plan your driving and stops to minimize use of the conventional brakes.

      The Solterra’s WLTP rating is 329. I would probably hit 300+ in good conditions. In the cold (and when I talk cold, I mean 20 degrees F and lower), depending on if they use a heat pump or not, I’m guessing 2.5 miles per kWh, so your guess is close. I’d guess about 175 miles range.

  • avatar

    How does this photo look like it’s from a video game capture in 2003?

  • avatar
    mcs

    “the car has 8.3 inches of ground clearance and an estimated range of at least 220 miles.”

    I think that estimate is a bit low. I’d figure on at least 3.8 miles per kWh and that would bring it to more like 270. If it’s 220 miles range, it would have to be a consumption of 3 miles/kWh and I just don’t see it being that low. It could be, but I doubt it. My estimates are based on my own driving.

  • avatar
    multicam

    Dwight Schrute:
    Solterra’s not even a real word.

    Andy:
    Actually, it is. It’s Latin for “sun-earth.”

    Dwight Schrute:
    Oh, so you drive a sun-earth? Yeah, that makes sense. I’d rather drive a classic Scat Pack Challenger than a sun-earth.

    Andy:
    Yeah, I bet you would. Oh, by the way, 2021 called. It wants its car back.

    [If The Office had been made in 2038]

  • avatar
    dal20402

    A RAV4 Electric that’s been hit by an ugly stick.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @dal20402: I want to know what company or companies are making and selling ugly sticks these days. Apparently they sell very well and I want in on the action.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Getting from Ugly Tree to Ugly Stick requires harvesting and processing and distribution. Much easier to just run the vehicle into the Ugly Tree (with a greatly amplified effect).

        OEMs have discovered the Ugly Forest and are doing it wholesale now (multiple tree hits for many recent vehicles).

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Basically Subaru said – FU people
    Forget flat boxer engine with signature sound, forget symmetrical AWD, forget leaky gaskets – all the attributes that made it lovable.

    Here is a blob for you. Use it

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      An AWD EV with the battery in the floor has all of the advantages Subaru likes to tout about their boxer — except quieter, smoother, better balanced, and mechanically simpler (pronounced: easier to maintain).

      Yeah, the tradeoff is that you have to charge it — but that usually happens in the background while you’re at home.

      This car comes with tradeoffs, and this car won’t be all things to all people — but it’s going to be great for some people. For instance, my next door neighbors own a Forrester, and this car would be a great fit for how they use their car. It would be an upgrade in comfort/convenience, while having lower operating/maintenance costs.

      For me, though, the Rivian R1S with the Max Pack would be a better fit, since I have three kids and tow a travel trailer. The Rivian vehicles made locally here in Illinois, and I’ve been able to visit the factory. But it’s a luxury SUV (targeting the Jeep Grand Cherokee) with a luxury SUV price — so it has tradeoffs, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Waterloo

        Luke42 were you able to drive the R1T? I have an R1S preorder (Sept 21) and am hoping the max pack will get me a real 350 mile range with the 20″ wheels and AT tires. Hoping.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @Waterloo:
          “Luke42 were you able to drive the R1T? I have an R1S preorder (Sept 21) and am hoping the max pack will get me a real 350 mile range with the 20″ wheels and AT tires. Hoping.”

          I wasn’t special enough to get a test drive.

          I did get to climb through the truck, and watch them glide silently by on the test track.

          Having driven other EVs in the past and being involved in R/C, I was able to get a pretty good feel for the driving experience by watching. It’s smooth and silent for sure.

          I’m likely to purchase a Tesla Cybertruck to replace my GMC Sierra Hybrid, but the R1T wildly exceeded my expectations when I saw it.

          The R1T is a good truck — the size and shape are a mix of the Toyota Tacoma and a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it’s electric and has really thoughtful and extensive storage. I’ve never seen a pickup truck (or SUV) with that much usable storage, and it would be really nice to live with day-to-day.

          The storage works out to basically 3 trunks (frunk, pass-through, under-bed trunk), plus the pickup bed. Having owned four pickup trucks, this is worth a lot more than it appears at first glance.

          I will be towing a travel-trailer with whatever electric truck I buy, so I have to cut range-estimates in half. The Rivian is a better TT support vehicle than I expected, because it has a 15-amp (or is it 20-amp?) 110V outlet in the bed that can support my TT when boondocking. I’ve also done the math, and I should be able to charge the truck at the campground while using my TT off of a 50-amp 220V pedastal. The Rivian folks say that the in-bed outlet can be activated while charging, which means I can probably get by with a 30A outlet. The Rivain truck is a well designed pickup. I was impressed, and it would definitely meet my needs. The Cybertruck is likely to win out for me personally because of the really long advertised-range, and the perceived longevity of the stainless steel body, but the Rivian truck is so good it’s a hard decision.

          If you want some firsthand test drive reports, rivianforums.com has a number of threads with firsthand accounts.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Trading the mechanically complicated for the technically complicated.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @28-cars-later:
          “Trading the mechanically complicated for the technically complicated.”

          Sure. There’s a tradeoff there — mechanical stuff is one skillset, electricity and computers is a completely skillset.

          I work with electricity and computers in my job, though, so I have to know that anyway.

          EVs are *much* more approachable to me personally than, say, a carbureted ICE. But it’s not like that for everyone, because some people have different skills than I do.

          There’s a tradeoff, and some of us will prefer to tinker with mechanical vehicles, and some will prefer to tinker with electrical systems. That’s cool! It’s Diversity applied to driveway tinkering. I like it!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I work with it too, and I see where its going – nowhere good that’s for sure.

            “EVs are *much* more approachable to me personally than, say, a carbureted ICE. But it’s not like that for everyone, because some people have different skills than I do.”

            That might be true but you certainly have the skills but perhaps not the inclination for both. I don’t want to mess with carbs either but I know if I wanted to learn that dark art I am certainly able. Older mechanics seem to struggle because they don’t have any basis in electronics or computers because it largely predates their early lives and early careers. Some throw up their hands, others adapt.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “Basically Subaru said – FU people”

      I think Toyota is the largest shareholder, so they probably don’t want to spend money on separate platforms for Subaru. You can still have AWD with electric and liquid-cooled batteries have gaskets as well.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It looks like the owner had a minor fender bender on the left front, replaced the fender with a Made in Taiwan repro, and didn’t bother getting it painted.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Toyota is trying to do edgy designs so that some people might love the looks of their cars.

      The problem is that Toyota’s volume is so high that any styling they adopt immediately becomes bland. The first time you see a front clip that looks like The Predator got his head caught in an injection molding die, it looks all edgy and aggressive — but the 10,000th time it just looks bland and maybe a little fugly.

      Toyota’s blursed like that. Problems we all wish we had: “our product is so popular, our aggressive designs turn bland quickky — and people still buy it!” That’s a problem every product design company *wishes* they had.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        @Luke42–Aggressive is one way of putting it. Transmogrified is the other. To-ma-to, to-Ma-to.

        But the GR86 is a good looking car as is the upper trim versions of the Corolla. You win some, you lose some.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “LOVE is now Electric”? Sounds like they’re selling vibrators.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, I didn’t think Subaru could make stuff uglier than what they’re making now.

    I was wrong.

    If they ever start above-ground nuclear testing again, this abomination needs to be right under the H-bomb at ground zero. Vaporize it.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Urutoraman has better “special effects” than that display!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Interesting postscript to the whole Bertel affair…

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/in-which-we-bid-a-fond-farewell-to-our-former-editor-reinstate-banned-commenters-and-welcome-all-of-you-back-home-to-ttac/

    From that article:
    “There will be no more political trolling and no more attempts to make members of the UAW, the Democratic Party, or anybody else feel unwelcome. Yeah, some aspects of motorists’ rights have a libertarian aspect to that, and politics will be part of carmaking forever, but we will treat all viewpoints with respect.”

    Good to know that mission was accomplished!

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Matt Posky didn’t get the memo.

      I mostly stopped reading his stuff.

      [shrug]

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        He’s a good writer, but I think he’s pushing the “look, look…OUTRAGE!!!” button a bit too hard and too often. A little subtlety goes a long way with opinion pieces (learned that myself the hard way back in my college newspaper days).

        I’d like to see him write about an actual car.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    i would expect all EVs to be safer in accidents than IC, since they have no strict packaging requirements

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Pretty? Who cares? Is it an Audi?

    Hell make the entire front end (and rear) a flexy black ABS, so it hides moderate impact, cheap to fix/insure.

  • avatar
    zipper69

    Does it occur to the design team that just because an EV doesn’t NEED a radiator grille, that the style without it leads to the “Herniated Guppy” look ?

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    It’s really quite astonishing how bad Toyota designers have become. Just one overwrought design after another and their SUV and crossover rear ends all look the same.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Lorena Bobbitt designed the grill.

  • avatar
    W126

    Gimmiq.

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