The 2024 Subaru Solterra has seating for five passengers. (Photo provided by Subaru)

2024 Subaru Solterra is updated with no increase in pricing

Improved charging ability, added EyeSight features and a new steering wheel are among the upgrades.

The Solterra, Subaru’s first all-electric SUV, entered the electric compact SUV market in 2023. For 2024, Solterra gets several updates, with no increase in pricing.

Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assistance technologies is expanded to include hands-free driving at speeds up to 25 mph, including stop-and-go traffic, and to change lanes on command using Active Lane Change Assist. Front Cross-Traffic Alert adds reassurance for a driver entering an intersection, a formerly harmless maneuver that has become high-risk in Snohomish County due to an apparent proliferation of reckless and impaired drivers.

The 2024 Solterra can replenish its battery from 10 percent to 80 percent in as little as 35 minutes, with a state of charge indicator displaying the estimated time to 80 percent or 100 percent. In freezing weather, an upgraded battery conditioning system enables the 2024 Solterra to charge up to 80 minutes faster than the previous model.

Solterra’s steering wheel has been redesigned for 2024. Flattened at the top and bottom, it’s more square than round. Sticklers for accuracy might say it can no longer be called a wheel. Subaru opted for the design because it gives the driver a better view of the information display behind it. As a bonus, it gives the driver more leg room while driving, and when getting into or out of the seat. The squarish new “steering mechanism” also has regenerative braking force paddle switches.

Solterra’s five-passenger interior is roomy and seats rate high on the comfort scale, except for the middle spot in the second row, a compact-car position recognized worldwide as cramped.

Interior stowage facilities abound, from multiple bins in the center console to 29 cubic feet of cargo space in back. The cargo area floor is low and flat, perfect for easier loading and unloading of bulky items, and always appreciated.

A quirky aspect of Solterra is the lack of a traditional glove compartment in the dash. However, one of the console bins is deep enough for stashing the hefty owner’s manual along with many other things traditionally assigned to a console bin.

There are three Solterra trim levels: Premium, Limited, and Touring. Pricing starts at $46,340 including the destination charge.

Two electric motors and a 72.8-kWh battery provide Solterra with 215 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. The EPA gives Solterra a rating of 114 MPGe city and 94 MPGe highway. That’s for the Premium trim. Limited and Touring numbers are 111 MPGe city and 93 MPGe highway.

Solterra has a literal shortcoming: its driving range. Limited and Touring trims can travel up to 222 miles on a full charge; the Premium can make it to 227 miles. Those numbers aren’t shame-worthy, they’re just not as high as some others in Solterra’s competitive class.

In Solterra’s great favor, it’s a Subaru. That means the brand’s signature all-wheel drive system is standard. Every Solterra is equipped with dual-function X-Mode with settings for snow/dirt, and deep snow/mud with grip control and downhill assist control. Ground clearance is 8.3 inches. All told, Subaru’s proven capability over challenging terrain is ensured.

Solterra handles paved ground with finesse as well. Not like a luxury conveyance over uneven pavement at freeway speeds for long distances, of course. More like a Subaru with never a need for gasoline. The whole point of the Solterra, come to think of it.

2014 SUBARU SOLTERRA TOURING

Base price, including destination charge: $53,340

Price as driven: $54,558

Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.

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