Driving the Solterra

Discussion in 'Solterra' started by R P, Aug 10, 2023.

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  1. I have been driving the Solterra to our cabin this summer which includes about 17 kms of a very rough FSR, incl some steep deeply rutted hils. I have to say I am more than pleased with the suspension and how well it handles this road. Previously, we used our Crosstrek for this, and it was not bad, much better than other SUVs and trucks. But when heavily loaded, which it usually was for this trip, it didn't take much to bottom out, and had to be really careful with the bigger bumps and holes. The Solterra on the other hand has a much stronger suspension, and would not bottom out. Yet it was still light on top and did well with gliding over the smaller bumps and wash board, just like the Crosstrek. And we had it really loaded down as well. And no problem going up the steep parts and not slipping into the deep ruts (caused by spinning trucks). Tried out X-mode on the steep parts, and it worked well, just like in other Subarus. So happy with that, too.

    So have to say, I am really happy with how the Solterra handles off-road. It is exactly what I was hoping for. And the bonus at our cabin, is we can charge it there, with all the excess solar we have on our off-grid system.

    I should mention that I went with a friend in his Jeep on a side trip to check out an off airport strip nearby (we're both pilots), and what a contrast. The Jeep has an extremely stiff suspension and you really feel all the bumps. Because it does not have independent suspension with its axles, there was also a lot of side to side bumping/swaying, which hurt the kidneys as you bounced side to side in your seats. Very, very uncomfortable. These things may be good for rock crawling, but really terrible for comfort on a rough FSR. I know his wife really complains about coming out to our cabin with it. Of course they blame the road, and don't really believe me when I tell them how smooth the Solterra is. BTW, they are also very anti EV and not very receptive of all my positive comments. Anyway, makes for fun conversations on the subject,...haha.
    electriceddy likes this.
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Is your Jeep-loving friend so EV-phobic that he won't give your Solterra a (non-)spin down one of those FSRs? Make sure his wife is along for the ride--maybe she'll order a Solterra.
    electriceddy likes this.
  4. Yeah, they're funny that way. I offered to have her drive with me back on the FSR, to see the difference. But they left early, so didn't get the chance. I think they know, but don't want to be forced to admit it. When I had the Crosstrek before, I tried to get them to ride with me, but never happened. They have it in their mind that the Jeep is made for off-road and is best for roads like that. And BTW, the only time they go off-road with it, is to our cabin. I think it is an image statement for them.

    Same with EVs, they think they are absolutely the worst, both charging/range and the environment. No convincing them otherwise. Unfortunately, there is always some anti-EV news out there that they glam onto to make their case. Anyway, we are still good friends, and don't mind disagreeing on stuff. They are by no means unique actually, probably the majority of non-EV owners think this way.
    insightman and electriceddy like this.
  5. Here's another review, this time Solterra vs Forester off road. Guess which one did better.

    No surprise to me given my experience going to our cabin this summer. I am starting to think EVs have an inherent advantage off-road with multiple motors controlling the AWD and four wheels independently.
  6. My Solterra is now one year old as of today. It has been everything I expected and more. It was especially good off road this summer to our cabin. It handled the rough stuff really well, soft on top, but stiff enough to not bottom out on the bigger bumps and holes. I used it last winter for skiing and several times drove it in deep snow, with OEM tires. Again, it handled that very well. Climate control is excellent. I keep it in auto ECO, and really like how it automatically turns on the heated steering wheel and seat warmers and turns them off later when warm. And the ride overall is very smooth and quiet, making it a good car for both around town and on the highway.

    Fast charging is slow, but I knew that before I bought it. So that doesn't matter to me. I have not fast charged it since last winter on my ski trips. Now I also have an Ioniq 6 which will be our trip car, with very fast charging and long range. So with both cars, all our needs are covered.

    After we got the I6, I actually don't drive the Solterra that much anymore. It has become my wife's fav, and I mostly drive the I6. The Solterra has a softer ride, which is nice, while the I6 is a little harsher over the bumps, but feels more sporty. We do drive the other at times, but our preferences are clear. Fine with me.
    electriceddy and insightman like this.
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