Could the Subaru Solterra Dethrone the Tesla Model Y?

The 2023 Subaru Solterra is the kind of SUV that could be a game-changer for the electric SUV market. It’s Subaru’s first fully electric SUV, built with Toyota and their new bZ4x. Could the Subaru Solterra be enough to challenge the current top-of-the-electric-car pyramid, Tesla? With the Subaru Solterra price likely to rival the 2022 Tesla Model Y price, it’s probable that these two electric SUVs will end up competitors. And, it just might be possible that the Subaru Solterra is able to come out on top.

2023 Subaru Solterra close up on stage at the LA Auto Show
2023 Subaru Solterra | Andrew Beckford/MotorBiscuit

Can the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV take down the 2022 Tesla Model Y?

The 2023 Subaru Solterra should be an electric SUV not too dissimilar from Subaru’s staples, the Forester and Outback. Tesla is an expert at electric cars and SUVs, and its 2022 Model Y is a cheap-ish Tesla that appeals to those wanting a little more space and an electric engine.

According to Automotive News, Subaru has high hopes for the Solterra’s ability to challenge the Model Y. Subaru’s CEO, Tomomi Nakamura, said, “I hope you will test drive and compare the Solterra with other EVs, including Tesla…Other EVs are good at driving on paved city roads, but you will feel the difference when you drive on rugged roads.”

One of the biggest advantages that Subaru is banking for in the Subaru Solterra is its AWD. Subaru’s Chief Technology Officer, Tetsuo Fujinuki, said, “The essence of Subaru cars remains the same even with this battery-EV model…The Solterra is our all-wheel-drive EV, so you can feel that it is a Subaru car when you ride it.”

What is the range of the Subaru Solterra?

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The range of the 2023 Subaru Solterra hasn’t been officially announced, but it’s likely to be somewhere around at least 250 miles per full charge. That’s the number that will make the 2023 Subaru Solterra competitive with other similarly-sized electric SUVs, though it’s less than the Model Y.

The 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range has a range of 318 miles and a top speed of 135 mph, according to the Tesla website. It can go from 0 to 60 in just 4.8 seconds. On the other hand, the Tesla Model Y Performance has a range of 303 miles and a top speed of 155 mph, which is way more than anyone should need. It can go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

Other potential competitors of the 2023 Subaru Solterra and 2022 Tesla Model Y include the Chevy Bolt EUV (which can go 247 miles on a single charge), the Ford Mustang Mach-E (at 305 miles per charge), and the Volkswagen ID.4 (249 miles).

How much does a Tesla Model Y cost?

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The Tesla Model Y Long Range currently starts at $60,990. The Tesla Model Y Performance costs $63,990. As of November, 2021, the wait for a Tesla Model Y was seven months. If you order a Tesla Model Y Long Range in November, it’s expected to be delivered in June of 2022. However, you can get the Tesla Model Y Performance model a bit sooner, if you’re willing to pay for it. The Model Y long Range will be available in January of 2022.

Right now there’s reason to believe that the 2023 Subaru Solterra will cost somewhere around $35,000 brand new. It should be available in mid-2022.

No one knows how the Subaru Solterra will fare in the U.S. electric vehicle market. Even Nakamura isn’t confident. He said, “Our U.S. retailers have been shown the Solterra. As a car, it was very well received by them…But whether it sells well is another matter.” Yet electric vehicle production and sales are on the rise, the Subaru Solterra certainly stands a chance against the Tesla Model Y.

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