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We take a ride in the Subaru Solterra: consolation on a small scale


A compact SUV with all-wheel drive and plastic planks: With the Solterra, the Japanese brand Subaru is approaching customers electrically for the first time. Why is this of particular interest to foresters and hunters?

AreaRead the video transcript expand here

Nico Bünten

»Jürgen, what are you doing up there?«

Jurgen Pander

“Waidmannsheil, Niko.

Today we start on a high seat, because it's about a car brand that is particularly popular with hunters and foresters and that also takes special care of these customers: Subaru.

The Japanese four-wheel drive brand has been active in Germany since 1980 and it was the Upper Bavarian hunter Hans Willibald who became the first local dealer.

And that's because the four-wheel drive and the off-road mobility of the cars were so popular.

Subaru later built the Hubertus special model, named after the patron saint of huntsmen.

And to this day, the brand offers special hunting equipment packages, and recently Subaru has been on a journey into a whole new territory, namely that of e-cars.

We do a lap with the electric SUV Subaru Solterra.

There's the car.

Let's stalk the new Solterra.

The car is the brand's first electric model and is based on a platform that Subaru has developed together with Toyota.

At Toyota, the twin model B Z4 X of the Solterra is distinguished by permanent all-wheel drive, ground clearance raised to 21 centimeters and, of course, by the logo.

The design of the electric SUV is characterized by these chunky plastic panels here around the town halls in front and behind and on the sill.

The car shows that it is also intended for off-road use.

Overall, the car looks robust, edgy and a bit restless due to the many lines.

Nevertheless, here is the current car mainstream, a medium-sized SUV.

The five-door with five seats is 4 meters 69 long, 1.86 wide and 1.65 high.

So much for the looks.

Now let's peek inside.

An SUV like many others, you think.

But the Subaru Solterra comes up with a few peculiarities.

The number one feature is the seven-inch digital cockpit, which is positioned particularly far forward and high.

You look at the displays of this cockpit over the steering wheel rim and not through the steering wheel as is usually the case.

Unfortunately, this does not work for every body size and every sitting position.

However, Subaru decided to do so because the information is as close as possible to the driver's field of vision on the road.

Basically like a Head Up Display.

And in fact, no head-up display should be offered for the Subaru.

Oddity number two is the lack of a glove box.

There is storage space here, for example, under the center console, for example for the operating instructions and small items such as binoculars.

This can be stowed in the center console and there is an inductive charging cradle with a special feature for mobile phones.

It has a semi-transparent flap, so you can see when something is happening on the mobile phone screen, but at the same time you are not distracted by it too much.

The dashboard is dominated by this 12.3-inch touchscreen, which can be used to control the on-board computer, navigation system and infotainment.

Below that is the button bar for the air conditioning system and one floor below there is the rotary control for the automatic entrance or here the selector buttons for the driving modes and all-wheel drive.

We are sitting here in the top trim level Platinum plus, which includes artificial leather, seat covers, seat heating and steering wheel heating as well as a large panoramic glass roof.

The Subaru comes standard with a whole range of assistance systems.

This ranges from the emergency braking assistant to traffic sign recognition and the 360-degree camera.

So, and now we're doing a round through the area.

Nico, get in.

You get into some cars and ask yourself what is supposed to be special or new.

It's a bit different with the Solterra, because you have to get used to this unusually positioned cockpit.

In terms of driving, on the other hand, you quickly get the car under control.

This is also due to the fact that you can practically configure it yourself.

For example with this button here, with which you activate driving without pedals.

This means that whenever you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the car decelerates sharply.

That means you can direct the car with just the accelerator pedal.

The recuperation, on the other hand, can be adjusted here using these steering wheel pedals, in four stages.

Recuperation, i.e. energy recovery when decelerating and the all-wheel drive, can be adjusted a little more finely with these buttons, depending on whether you are driving on wintry roads with a lot of snow or on muddy ground, for example.

All-wheel drive is a good keyword.

Two machines, one on the front and one on the rear axle, two machines take care of that.

They each have an output of 80 kW.

Makes 160 kW together.

And that corresponds to 218 hp.

The maximum torque they develop is 338 Newton meters and the top speed is limited to 160 km/h.

According to the WLTP standard, average consumption is 17.9 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers.

And if we look now

as we are currently driving, it is 26.8 kilowatt hours, which is significantly more.

But that's also because it's pretty frosty today and we turned on the air conditioning.

More on charging and the battery in a moment.

And then we take a look under the hood.

First, let's take a look under the front hood.

However, there is no franc here, i.e. no front trunk, but here is a large part of the drive technology, including the machine for the front axle.

So the next flap we look under is this little one on the side.

Below that are the charging ports.

The battery, which sits in the vehicle floor, has a capacity of 71.4 kilowatt hours.

It can be charged with up to 150 kilowatts of direct current.

That's pretty neat

the charge level can be increased from 10 to 80% in 30 minutes.

On the other hand, the charging performance with alternating current is disappointing.

Normal roadside charging stations usually provide 11 or 22 kilowatts of alternating current.

However, the Solterra can only charge with seven kW.

In other words: You stand for two and a half hours to recharge the energy for a 100 kilometer journey.

That's pretty slow.

Now let's get under the back flap.

So let's first take a look at the rear window and there we see that there is no rear window wiper and that's clearly the wrong end of the cut.

Because the windscreen alone cannot be kept clean.

And now let's look underneath.

The trunk, which offers a capacity of 441 liters.

You can fold down the rear seats to make the trunk bigger.

How big exactly?

There is no information from Subaru.

What is there, however, is an extra compartment for the charging cable at the very back of the trunk.

This is quite handy.

So much for that.

Now let's go one more round.

The Subaru Solterra is a pleasant car companion.

It offers a lot of space in the interior, especially on the rear seats.

It is easy to operate and the all-wheel drive is a kind of guarantee for getting ahead and getting through even in adverse road conditions.

We like the full equipment, the spacious rear and that Subaru gives an eight-year guarantee on the car and battery.

Minuses are the lack of a glove box and rear wiper.

The cockpit, which is unfavorably positioned for some drivers, and the poor AC charging power.

The Solterra is available from 57.

€490 and our fully equipped test car with pearl effect paint costs €61,923.

However, hunters and foresters can drive cheaper because Subaru grants special discounts for hunters.

So to speak, a direct hit for the bargain hunter.

Without a shotgun.«

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2023-02-04

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