What is it: 

This is Subaru’s version of the Toyota BZ4X electric car. The two Japanese companies joined forces to share research and development.

The partnership started years ago with the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 sports cars (which are built in a Subaru factory).

The Subaru Solterra and Toyota BZ4X are made in a Toyota factory (the same facility that assembles the Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch).


The Subaru Solterra AWD tested starts from $69,990 plus on-road costs.

This translates to $75,515 drive-away in NSW according to the Subaru Australia website. Prices in each state vary according to registration and stamp duty.

The top-of-the-range Subaru Solterra Touring costs from $83,065 drive-away in NSW.

As a comparison, the single-motor Toyota BZ4X base model starts from $66,000 plus on-road costs ($71,500 drive-away in NSW) and the dual motor Toyota BZ4X starts from $74,900 ($80,800 drive-away in NSW). 


There are two models in the Subaru Solterra range – known simply as AWD and Touring – both of which are all-wheel-drive.

One electric motor drives the front wheels, the other electric motor drives the rear wheels.

Both electric motors have the same 80kW/168.5Nm output for a total of 160kW/337Nm combined.

As a comparison, the front-wheel-drive single-motor Toyota BZ4X has an output of 150kW/266Nm.

And the flagship all-wheel-drive version of the Toyota BZ4X has the same dual electric motors as the Subaru Solterra (160kW/337Nm).


All with most electric vehicles (one exception being the Porsche Taycan which has a two-speed electric motor), the Subaru Solterra’s electric motors have one ratio (or gear). Top speed is listed at 160kmh.

Driving range and battery capacity:

The battery pack has a capacity of 71.4kWh (the same as the Toyota BZ4X). 

Claimed maximum driving range for the Subaru Solterra is listed at 485km and average consumption is estimated at 14.1kWh/100km.

However, both of these figures are optimistic claims.

On test we averaged 16.7 to 17.0kWh/100km on a 130km road test loop including a mix of city, suburban, inter-urban and freeway driving.

The Toyota BZ4X energy consumption was 15.7kWh/100km on the same test loop. We suspect the lighter weight of the Toyota’s single electric motor (rather than two in the Subaru) may have contributed to the difference in consumption between the Toyota and the Subaru.

Real-world driving range in the Subaru Solterra AWD was closer to 350km to 400km.

0 to 100km/h (as tested):

The Subaru Solterra did the 0 to 100km/h dash in a repeatable time of 6.9 seconds, which is brisk for a family car.

In comparison, the single-motor Toyota BZ4X recorded repeatable 0 to 100kmh times of 7.7 seconds using our precision VBox test equipment. 

The AWD version of the Toyota BZ4X should have the same acceleration as the Subaru Solterra AWD. 

Emergency braking from 100km/h (as tested): 

The Subaru Solterra AWD base model on 18-inch wheels and Yokohama Advan V61 235/60/18 tyres pulled up in 39.3 metres, which is average to below-average for this type of vehicle.

In comparison, the Toyota BZ4X pulled up in an impressive 37.1 metres (equipped with 235/50/20 Bridgestone Alenza tyres).

Good points:

As with its Toyota BZ4X twin, the Subaru Solterra is a handsome car with a futuristic design inside and out.

All cabin controls are well placed and easy to use.

As with the Toyota BZ4X, the Subaru Solterra has a good blend of comfort and handling (grip) and feels secure on the road.

However (and this is splitting hairs) the Subaru suspension tune felt a touch firmer than the Toyota – despite the Subaru running on 18-inch wheels and the Toyota running on 20-inch wheels with low-profile tyres.

Customarily, low profile tyres are less comfortable over bumps, but there are exceptions to this rule and the Subaru appears to be one of them.

The construction of the tyre and the different suspension tune could explain the difference between the two vehicles.

For what it’s worth I prefer the way the Toyota BZ4X drives.

However, the Subaru Solterra AWD is still a comfortable and serene machine and by no means is this a deal-breaker. I only mention it as it was one of the few minor differences.

The large window area and convex side mirrors provide a good view of the traffic around you.

As with the Toyota BZ4X, the Subaru Solterra has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AM and FM etc.

Other electric cars (Tesla, MG and others) don’t bother with AM any more and the controls are not as intuitive.

The roomy cabin and nice fabrics throughout the cockpit make the Subaru Solterra a pleasant place to be in the daily grind.

Bad points:

The battery recharging speed and real-world driving range are not as good as the industry benchmarks for electric cars.

As is the case with most electric cars, there is no spare tyre, so you’re calling a to truck if you get a flat tyre.

Generally speaking, though, I don’t have any major dislikes regarding this vehicle. 

What the haters say:

It’s a Toyota, not a Subaru.

What the haters don’t understand:

It is a Toyota, but that’s a good thing.

Without Toyota’s vast resources, Subaru would not have an electric car.

And we know from experience that Toyota sweats the details, which is why it has taken so long to get to the start line in the electric-car race.

Toyota is a risk-averse company that quadruple-checks every step of the process (and then some), from engineering to manufacturing.

Other brands, particularly emerging Chinese brands and even Tesla, release vehicles to market prematurely and let customers do the final validation work.

Should you buy one?

I love both the Toyota BZ4X and the Subaru Solterra and would happily recommend either of these vehicles.

The only caveats: Real-world driving range could be better, and the battery pack can’t take fast-charging at the same speed as other electric cars (notably Tesla).

If you find Tesla’s unconventional technology too confusing, the Subaru Solterra and the Toyota BZ4X are great alternatives.

You also have the peace of mind of the vast dealer networks of Subaru and Toyota, should you ever need urgent service support.

Also consider:

Toyota BZ4X, Tesla Model Y.