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Author Topic: Electric Vehicles  (Read 69873 times)

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First drive review: 2023 Subaru ⚡ Solterra sheds Toyota’s skin off-road 🤠


Bridging sun and earth, the 2023 Subaru Solterra arrives late to the electric party, and makes more inroads for the brand than it does for the EV marketplace. Built in partnership with Toyota and mechanically and cosmetically related to the Toyota BZ4X, which is also Toyota’s first mass-produced global electric vehicle, the Solterra lives in the shadow of its twin.

But the Solterra sheds Toyota’s skin doing what Subaru’s are known for: taking its off-road prowess on trail. Getting to the access roads beyond Scottsdale required more everyday driving, and Subaru’s dual-motor system proved adequate if not anodyne. Each 80-kw motor powers an axle, and the 249 lb-ft of torque has a variable split, shifting torque 40/60 between front and rear axles under heavy acceleration, and 70/30 when braking to prevent understeer.

From a stop, it can accelerate to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds and it’s lighter than some rivals, topping out at 4,505 lb in top Touring trim (the base Premium weighs 4,365). When it comes to acceleration, there isn’t much difference in the normal, Eco, or Sport drive mode settings that can be activated with a simple button push on the console. 

It’s not just remarkably quiet for a Subaru, whose flat-4s can run loud with a CVT, it’s quiet for an electric car , lacking any motor whir. It’s well-insulated from the road as well, with only a bit of highway noise coming from the all-season tires wrapped around the tester’s 20-inch wheels (18s are standard). It rides quietly and composed as well, with MacPherson struts up front and a double-wishbone setup in back, but it can be willowy on undulating terrain. I wasn’t pushing it hard on the paved 90-degree intersections outside Scottsdale, but Solterra owners won’t mistake this for an autocross car, unless or until the STI performance department gets a shot at it. Steering doesn’t provide much feedback, but the small-diameter wheel points and goes where directed. ... ...

Some other oddities about the Solterra, which has Toyota’s DNA all over the cockpit, is that there’s no glovebox and the instrument cluster sits at the end of a plastic tray extending from the front of the dash until it nearly touches the windshield. It feels as distant as a head-up display, and the small power meter alongside Toyota’s even smaller vertical menu bar for vehicle info is an odd use of real estate. The top of the wheel can block some of the display, but seat and steering wheel adjustments resolve it. ... ...

It all felt very Toyota, until the pavement ended 🤠 and the access road descended into the desert valley. Even with all the traction control settings active, the rear tapped out and went a bit sideways on the loose dusty gravel.

It corrected itself quickly, proving its Subaru system, and turning off the first level of stability control gave power back to the driver. The higher-speed off-roading was the highlight of my time in the Solterra, and it proved itself equally capable on more challenging terrain.

With X-Mode set to the Snow/Dirt setting, it climbed up uneven ascents strewn with loose rock and all the dusty desert dirt. A third X-Mode setting called Grip Control behaves like an off-road cruise control so drivers can focus on the obstacles, not the pedals, both uphill and downhill. Three settings between 3 and 5 mph can be controlled through a toggle in the console, and the driver can override the setting with the accelerator, then the system will reactivate once below the threshold. It works well, but must be activated from a stop with the gear setting in drive. When one wheel slipped, or articulated off the ground, the other wheels pulsed and grabbed until it righted itself. It would help newcomers get a taste for deeper off-road terrain and instilled confidence in its abilities. 

Full article:

Agelbert NOTE: Green Car Reports has a seriously flawed comment moderation algorithm . SEE comments on their moderation policy, after the happy talk boilerplate, HERE . If you try to complain to a poster that attacks you that he is violating the commenting policy with ad hom, YOU get YOUR post "under moderation" while the abusive 👿 poster's post is left to stand.

So, while the articles are good reading, the comments largely favor a group that says whatever abusive or ridiculous baloney they wish to come up with while everyone who challenges them is "put in moderation".

Enjoy the articles but don't waste your time responding in the comments section.

Agelbert added NOTE: March 21, 2022 UPDATE on irrational, biased, just plain stupid,  "moderation" at Green Car Reports. Today this comment I made two days ago, was removed: 
AGelbert > john1701a  2 days ago Removed
Mr. Briggs is not, as you can see, objective, knowledge based or reasonable. Thank you, John1701a, for your excellent objective, knowledgeable and reasonable comments.

If the above "violates" any moderation policy anywhere, I'll eat my hat. Mr. Briggs is the 👿 author of the sarcastic and demeaning reply to me that was left to stand.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 06:13:12 pm by AGelbert »
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37


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