With their spacious cabins and off-road capabilities, all-wheel drive electric SUVs could become the future of mobility. However, not all electric SUVs were built the same. Some offer more power, others boast an increased operational range, and a few select models even come with autonomous driving options.
Among the top automakers, Subaru and Hyundai debuted their first mass-produced electric vehicles in recent years. How do they compare, and which one is more promising? This head-to-head between Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5 can help you decide which electric SUV is the best choice for you.
Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Subaru Solterra||Hyundai Ioniq 5|
|Year of release||2023||2021|
|Powertrain||215hp||170hp to 320hp|
|Range||Up to 228 miles per charge||Up to 303 miles per charge|
|Acceleration (0 to 60mph)||6.5 seconds||5.2 seconds|
|Drivetrain||AWD||FWD, RWD, AWD|
|Self-driving||Limited||Level II autonomous driving|
|Charging speed (10% to 80%)||56 minutes||18 minutes|
|Number of seats||5||5|
|Cargo capacity||27.7 cu ft||27.2 cu ft|
Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: What’s the Difference?
Japanese and Korean automakers have been focused on EV technologies for decades. While Tesla has been the biggest name in the EV world since 2008, Hyundai debuted its first fully electric car almost two decades earlier, in 1991.
Hyundai Sonata EV had a short-lived success in its native country, but one of the newest EVs from the brand, the Ioniq 5, has conquered automotive enthusiasts around the world.
Over the years, Subaru became known as a brand dedicated to hybrid technologies. Hybrid cars may run on electric and gas engines, but focusing on these technologies gave the automaker plenty of time to perfect its electric motors. As a result, the brand unveiled its first-ever pure electric SUV in 2021 and launched it on the market for the 2023 season.
Subaru Solterra, inspired by the Sun and Earth, and Hyundai Ioniq 5 share a class but are as different as it gets. The in-depth side-by-side below highlights the differences and similarities between the two models.
The Subaru Solterra and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are compact sports utility vehicles designed for adventure. Both feature rugged profiles and overall aggressive looks that let you know they can tackle all kinds of terrains. With various degrees of success, that is, considering the difference in ground clearance.
The Solterra wins this round, standing 8.3 inches above the ground. That’s enough clearance for most situations, whether driving on or off the road. Its large, 20-inch wheels also offer more traction than Ioniq 5’s 19-inch ones.
Clearance-wise, the Ioniq 5 only stands six inches above the ground. That’s still enough for most situations, but the car might struggle in extreme conditions.
The two vehicles are similar size-wise. Hyundai’s electric SUV measures 182.5 inches in length and 74.4 inches in width, without mirrors. The Solterra has a length of 184.6 inches, but at 73.2 inches in width without mirrors, it is slightly narrower. It is two inches taller than the Ioniq 5, so both provide about the same cabin and cargo space.
While the Subaru Solterra impresses with its looks, the Ioniq 5 wins points for performance. In its AWD variant, the Korean make features 320 horsepower and a substantial 605Nm of instant torque.
Most dual-wheel drive trims are closer in power to the Solterra, but at 225 horsepower, they’re still more powerful. The only trim that is actually less powerful is the Ioniq 5 SE Standard Range, which tops 170 horsepower.
Subaru Solterra isn’t the most powerful electric SUV out there, but it can hold its own at 215 horsepower and 337Nm of instant torque. There is no doubt that the Ioniq 5 provides a more fluid drive and better acceleration. In detail, the Solterra can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, while the Ioniq 5 AWD can do it in 5.2 seconds.
That’s not a huge difference, but faster acceleration does come in handy in situations that require some sprint. Despite its lower ground clearance, the extra power in Ioniq 5 makes it a better choice for off-road adventures.
Range and Fuel Economy
Performance is not the only thing Hyundai Ioniq 5 has got for itself. This SUV also rocks in terms of range and fuel economy — although the FWD and RWD trims are those that impress in this case.
Competing more with Tesla Model Y than the Subaru Solterra, the Ioniq 5 Long Range can get you as far as 303 miles on a single charge. The range drops to around 210 miles on the AWD trims, however.
That’s less than what the Solterra offers. Subaru’s pure electric SUV impresses with a range of 228 miles in its AWD mode (all Solterra trims feature symmetrical all-wheel drive).
However, what turns the balance in Hyundai’s favor is the fast charging. At a fast charge station, it takes under 20 minutes to take the battery from 10 to 80 percent. The Solterra manages to get to the same charge level in about 56 minutes, which is fast by Subaru standards, but excessively slow compared to other EVs.
Things don’t get better for the Solterra in terms of fuel economy. This model has an EPA rating of 104 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) combined. Meanwhile, the Ioniq 5 boasts 113MPGe combined.
With autonomous driving becoming increasingly popular, more automakers try to cram at least some self-driving features into their vehicles. While neither the Subaru Solterra nor the Hyundai Ioniq 5 features self-driving capabilities, the latter is a notch over the Solterra with its Level II autonomous driving.
What this actually means is that you can sit back and relax while driving on the highway. The car can control the steering, braking, and acceleration for you.
The Solterra comes with some driver assistance functions, including adaptive cruise control and lane keep and lane change assist, but it doesn’t have an advanced driving assistance system that can take the burden off you in low-traffic environments or other specific situations.
The Subaru Solterra might not come with autonomous driving, but it has its bells and whistles in the safety department. All trims come with a standard blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, automated emergency braking, and forward collision warning.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 comes with all these safety features, too; however, they are not standard on all trims. While they are available, opting for them in entry-level trims usually means a bump in the price. Yet, the car does have a 5-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating, so that’s something.
Interior and Comfort
One top characteristic most people look for in an SUV is a comfortable travel companion. Both the Solterra and the Ioniq 5 deliver.
Subaru Solterra impresses with an oversized dash and a high-mounted digital gauge cluster that lets you keep an eye on both the road and your driving performance. Ample side windows, a steep windshield, and the sunroof give the cabin an airy feel.
Meanwhile, plenty of cargo space (27.7 cubic feet with the rear backrests up) makes it easy to carry luggage for the entire family — or a whole lot of outdoor gear or shopping bags.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 features a slightly smaller cargo space, but you can expect more comfort for the passengers. The ample interior space is emphasized by the sliding central console and the footrests available on the reclining front seats.
You can lay back and relax while the battery is charging — something that you can’t do in the Solterra, despite the longer charging time. Overall, both vehicles offer ample headroom for the front and rear passengers alike, as well as lots of storage space.
Driving electric vehicles is as easy as it gets, but it’s all made better — or worse — by the infotainment center. As far as the Subaru Solterra and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 go, both feature large touchscreens at the center of the dash. A 12.5-inch infotainment screen is only slightly larger than Subaru’s 12.3-inch one.
Both platforms are Android-based and compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Beyond controlling the entertainment, they also control performance and comfort features, including the HVAC.
A huge difference between the two electric SUVs is the magnetic dash on the Ioniq 5. This feature makes it easy to transform the cabin into a personal space and gives the vehicle that unique touch that most folks crave.
The Subaru Solterra and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are different in many ways, but the difference in price is not that jaw-dropping. If you want to save a buck, however, the Ioniq 5 is the cheaper of the two.
Prices start at $41,450 for the entry-level trim and can go up to $52,600 for the Limited model without any add-ons. You can expect to pay more for optional features.
Subaru Solterra Premium, the entry-level trim, has a starting price of $44,995 MSRP. Surprisingly, though, the top-tier Touring is cheaper than the Ioniq 5 Limited, with prices starting at $51,995.
Considering that all Solterra trims come with all-wheel drive as standard and that both vehicles are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit and other incentives, you won’t spend excessively more on a Solterra compared to the Ioniq 5.
Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: 5 Must-Known Facts
- Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the automaker’s first mass-produced electric SUV. The Ioniq 5 was released in 2021.
- Subaru Solterra is the first pure electric vehicle manufactured by Subaru. It is built on a symmetrical AWD platform developed by Toyota.
- Subaru Solterra has an airy interior and plenty of cargo space, but the Ioniq 5 is unbeatable regarding passenger comfort.
- With its AWD and generous ground clearance, the Solterra is the best choice for off-road adventures and difficult roads.
- Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the best choice for long-distance driving. It delivers a longer range, faster charging, and Level II autonomous driving.
Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Get?
The Subaru Solterra and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 are two capable electric SUVs. Each vehicle comes with strengths and weaknesses, but the Ioniq 5 is superior from an objective standpoint. In its AWD variant, this car is more powerful than the Solterra. Acceleration is faster, and the increased torque improves performance in difficult situations.
The comfortable interior features unique highlights, such as reclining front seats with footrests and a sliding central console that makes the front of the cabin roomier. If you’d rather compromise performance for a longer range, the Ioniq 5 can deliver up to 303 miles per charge. However, if you want a high-end trim, the Solterra might actually save you a few grand.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ringo Chiu/Shutterstock.com.