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I’ve just been contacted by my old Subaru dealership and was asked if I’d like to attend one of the two local Solterra events in April.  I’ve signed up but just need to see if I manage to get a place?

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On 4/4/2022 at 5:15 PM, ernieb said:

I’ve just been contacted by my old Subaru dealership and was asked if I’d like to attend one of the two local Solterra events in April.  I’ve signed up but just need to see if I manage to get a place?

Go for it! I got the invite/application emailed to me too, but will give it a miss (so that's one less competitor for a place).  I imagine there'll be some free canapes and cheap plonk on offer, and a pile of glossy brochures to take home. To be fair, if i was in the market for an EV (can't really see that happening) the Solterra looks okish.  I watched this vid road test a few days ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duR-jQphyCw

Hope you get a place and are also able to give us some feedback afterwards.

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We got an email ticket almost immediately as I think that our old dealer was hd a block allocation. I currently own a RAV4 PHEV having owned a number of Subaru’s over the years. We had asked to be kept informed of the new BEV when it became available and this is the result. For me the winter range will be a big decider and right now I’m not sure it’s going to be good enough. This car is obviously a collaborative job with Toyota, the Battery, eCVT hybrid systems combined with the 4WD of Subaru. 
I will report back and hope to take a few pictures if it’s that kind of event, it’s called a pre release event so not sure what will be offered, not really interested in the food and booze more looking at the car.

I'm very happy with the dual fuel RAV, good local Battery range averaging high 40’s over the year depending on speed and temperature, with excellent fuel/hybrid performance when on ICE. The Toyota systems baked into the BEV should make it pretty efficient but the current Battery technology is still very dependent on the temperature even with Battery heating and cooling.  The lack of reliable charging is a major factor in my decision as to when I might go for a full BEV.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The event was held inside the Double Day, Hilton, Thame near Oxford. Plenty of parking and refreshments on registering. There were just a few people attending so we were able to spend some quality time with the cars and have one to ones with the Subaru reps. The presentation started with a quick introduction and then there was a 15 minute video, sadly only cutting in clips of the Solterra and using an Outback to draw comparisons. Two guys chatted their way though the specifications and emphasised the permanent AWD system still being the only option for both the Solterra cars in the line up. It would have been better if they had had a Solterra there but overall they did a good enough job of providing background information without over selling.
The line consists on two cars, let’s get the OTR numbers out of the way, £50K and £53K. Both use a dual motor system, 218PS, permanent AWD, useable Battery of 71.4kWh, charging at 7kW type 2 AC and 150kW DC Fast Charge (CCS), Heat pump, ground clearance 210mm, 0-62mph 6.9 secs.
The Limited version (£50k), has a range of 288 miles WLTP, 452L boot, 18” wheels and Fabric seats, the Touring version (£53k) has a range of 257miles, 441L boot 20” wheels and Leather seats.
Both cars have the new Safety Sense system, single camera/radar system, similar I guess to the Toyota system, collision avoidance, Safe Exit, Reverse Automatic braking, 360 degree panoramic monitor, pre collision etc., 12.2” touch screen, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, the Touring version has Harman Kardon speakers.  There is Subaru X-Mode and hill decent mode, these worked well in the XV we had previously. (X-mode controls the drive, in mud, snow, steep slippery slopes)
When the two cars were unveiled they looked lovely (LH drive unfortunately), I don’t get mushy about cars but they did look good, one white with a black roof and one dark blue. Overall impression was very good, clean lines inside and outside. Sitting inside the drivers seat was more like a cockpit overall visibility for me 5’ 11” ish was good, the 360 camera system giving a great all round view although I would not want anyone to knock off one of the wing mirrors as it loaded with kit and must cost a bomb to replace. Adjusting the seat to my height the top of the steering wheel did intrude a little into the 7” MID, not enough to be totally blinded. The seats were very comfortable, synthetic leather, but felt supportive with a good range of adjustment. The back seats were good, with vertically no tunnel on the floor just a very small hump which I guessed was for power cables. There is plenty of room in the car and shares a similar foot print to the Forrester. The boot is reasonably sized, no spare just gunk, with rear seats when folded are not flat with a small rise to towards the front seats. The body finish was excellent good lines and overall the materials used felt upmarket.
The Battery is rated at >90% after 10 years and is heated and cooled by the heat pump system to improve life and driving range in normal use.  There is no storage under the bonnet, it’s full of kit and you could be forgiven for thinking it was an ICE under there but inside the cabin there plenty of cubby holes and storage even under the bridge that links the central arm rest with the dash, good use of space.
As this was developed in conjunction with Toyota, BZ4x version, there loads of similarities, the Subaru version is well spec’d with most items being fitted as standard and few options available as add ones.
$64,000 question would I buy one, no, not right now. If the range of the Limited edition was spec’d as the actual winter range for the Touring version then I would seriously consider this a real option and we might not have left the hotel without putting down a deposit. I get the feeling that driving this car would put a smile on anyones face. 
Having owned 3 Subaru’s I know how well the permanent AWD works, instant reaction to changes in road conditions. It’s not just the snowy conditions but the wet, rainy season that makes this cars systems shine.
They expect to get 350 Solterra cars to the UK this year, current estimate is dealer showroom test cars by July with the delivery till the end of the year. A £1K deposit would secure a car, refundable if you change your mind having tested one, my old dealer said he’d have no problem with that as they currently expect to sell the allocation and have a waiting list. 
 

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3 hours ago, ernieb said:

The event was held inside the Double Day, Hilton, Thame near Oxford. Plenty of parking and refreshments on registering. There were just a few people attending so we were able to spend some quality time with the cars and have one to ones with the Subaru reps. The presentation started with a quick introduction and then there was a 15 minute video, sadly only cutting in clips of the Solterra and using an Outback to draw comparisons. Two guys chatted their way though the specifications and emphasised the permanent AWD system still being the only option for both the Solterra cars in the line up. It would have been better if they had had a Solterra there but overall they did a good enough job of providing background information without over selling.
The line consists on two cars, let’s get the OTR numbers out of the way, £50K and £53K. Both use a dual motor system, 218PS, permanent AWD, useable battery of 71.4kWh, charging at 7kW type 2 AC and 150kW DC Fast Charge (CCS), Heat pump, ground clearance 210mm, 0-62mph 6.9 secs.
The Limited version (£50k), has a range of 288 miles WLTP, 452L boot, 18” wheels and Fabric seats, the Touring version (£53k) has a range of 257miles, 441L boot 20” wheels and Leather seats.
Both cars have the new Safety Sense system, single camera/radar system, similar I guess to the Toyota system, collision avoidance, Safe Exit, Reverse Automatic braking, 360 degree panoramic monitor, pre collision etc., 12.2” touch screen, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, the Touring version has Harman Kardon speakers.  There is Subaru X-Mode and hill decent mode, these worked well in the XV we had previously. (X-mode controls the drive, in mud, snow, steep slippery slopes)
When the two cars were unveiled they looked lovely (LH drive unfortunately), I don’t get mushy about cars but they did look good, one white with a black roof and one dark blue. Overall impression was very good, clean lines inside and outside. Sitting inside the drivers seat was more like a cockpit overall visibility for me 5’ 11” ish was good, the 360 camera system giving a great all round view although I would not want anyone to knock off one of the wing mirrors as it loaded with kit and must cost a bomb to replace. Adjusting the seat to my height the top of the steering wheel did intrude a little into the 7” MID, not enough to be totally blinded. The seats were very comfortable, synthetic leather, but felt supportive with a good range of adjustment. The back seats were good, with vertically no tunnel on the floor just a very small hump which I guessed was for power cables. There is plenty of room in the car and shares a similar foot print to the Forrester. The boot is reasonably sized, no spare just gunk, with rear seats when folded are not flat with a small rise to towards the front seats. The body finish was excellent good lines and overall the materials used felt upmarket.
The battery is rated at >90% after 10 years and is heated and cooled by the heat pump system to improve life and driving range in normal use.  There is no storage under the bonnet, it’s full of kit and you could be forgiven for thinking it was an ICE under there but inside the cabin there plenty of cubby holes and storage even under the bridge that links the central arm rest with the dash, good use of space.
As this was developed in conjunction with Toyota, BZ4x version, there loads of similarities, the Subaru version is well spec’d with most items being fitted as standard and few options available as add ones.
$64,000 question would I buy one, no, not right now. If the range of the Limited edition was spec’d as the actual winter range for the Touring version then I would seriously consider this a real option and we might not have left the hotel without putting down a deposit. I get the feeling that driving this car would put a smile on anyones face. 
Having owned 3 Subaru’s I know how well the permanent AWD works, instant reaction to changes in road conditions. It’s not just the snowy conditions but the wet, rainy season that makes this cars systems shine.
They expect to get 350 Solterra cars to the UK this year, current estimate is dealer showroom test cars by July with the delivery till the end of the year. A £1K deposit would secure a car, refundable if you change your mind having tested one, my old dealer said he’d have no problem with that as they currently expect to sell the allocation and have a waiting list. 
 

Cheers ernieb.  I really appreciate you taking the time to provide such a fulsome description of the event and the car, plus your considered opinion. What particularly caught my eye was the 20" wheels on the Touring version, compared to the 18' on the Limited. I'm not a big fan of 20" wheels, especially on a car that might perform some (albeit very modest) off-road work.  Shame about no spare tyre option too, but I guess that's the way the world is going now.  With Subaru planning to sell only all electric vehicles by the early 2030s and with the UK, supposedly, banning the sale of all diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030, I've got some very careful planning to do to ensure my next vehicle purchase remains a budding petrohead  mobile just before those cut off dates 😉

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