Whether you need a family-friendly electric vehicle or one that’s adventure-ready, a compact crossover SUV might be your best bet. The newest models can give us a glimpse of what the future of mobility holds in store, and the first impressions are promising.
From all of them, Subaru and Kia promise impressive performance packed in affordable rides. Let’s break down the pros and cons of each car and see which to pick between the Subaru Solterra vs. Kia EV6.
Subaru Solterra vs. Kia EV6: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Year of release
|176hp to 576hp
|Up to 161mph
|Up to 228 miles per charge
|Up to 310 miles per charge
|Acceleration (0 to 60mph)
|Charging speed (10% to 80%)
|Number of seats
|27.7 cu. ft.
|24.4 cu. ft.
Subaru Solterra vs. Kia EV6: What’s the Difference?
The 2023 Solterra is Subaru’s first EV, a compact SUV co-developed with Toyota and the fraternal twin of the Toyota bZ4X. It features many of the brand’s hallmarks, including symmetric AWD as standard on all trims.
With its high ground clearance and large tires, the Solterra offers some neat off-road tricks and plenty of driving performance in town, but it’s not nearly as powerful as the Kia EV6.
Like the Solterra, the EV6 also has a twin. The brand’s parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, introduced the EV6 and Ioniq 5 in 2021. These cars are built on the same platform and feature the same powertrain and drivetrain.
Sure, this doesn’t mean the two vehicles are identical. The EV6 is larger and features way more horsepower than its Ioniq counterpart. But who makes the best electric crossover, the Japanese or the Koreans? Let’s find it out.
Subaru Solterra addresses the brand’s fans that want to upgrade from a conventional or hybrid vehicle to an EV. It isn’t a transcendent car, but it comes with the performance and reliability one has come to expect from Subaru.
Like most vehicles in Subaru’s lineup, we’re talking about a symmetric all-wheel drive compact enough for the city but designed for the out-of-town. It is powered by a dual motor that, combined, delivers a total of 215 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque.
Four driving modes, from Eco to X-mode, allow you to deploy the power differently based on road conditions or needs. The former is ideal for saving fuel, while the latter deploys all power, allowing you to tackle challenging situations.
A generous ground clearance of 8.3 inches and a low-speed cruise control called Grip Control are further proof that this vehicle is designed for adventure. Acceleration-wise, you can expect it to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds, which isn’t bad, but it isn’t jaw-dropping either.
By comparison, the Kia EV6 is a sports car built for speed — as long as you’re comparing the top-tier AWD. The EV6 GT trim features a whopping 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque.
It goes from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds (which is faster than Ferrari Roma, according to Kia) and provides outstanding stability in all driving conditions. However, the specs aren’t so impressive in terms of the lower-end, rear-wheel drive trims.
The entry-level variants are closer in performance to the Solterra, featuring between 167 and 225 horsepower and an acceleration of 6.7 seconds. That said, if you’re a hot-shoe driver looking for a ballistic-fast ride, you might find the right option with Kia.
Range and Charging
In electric vehicles, performance isn’t measured in power and speed alone. If you don’t want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere, you must calculate the range and plan the recharge stops wisely. Equipped with larger batteries, the Kia EV6 wins this round.
Specifically, you can expect a range of up to 310 miles, which is about the same you’d get from a Tesla Model Y. Solterra can go far but not that far, with a range of no more than 228 miles per charge.
If that sounds somewhat disappointing, knowing that you’ll have to wait for almost an hour for Subaru’s battery to charge from 10 to 80 percent is downright depressing. Meanwhile, the Kia EV6 only requires 18 minutes of fast charge to replenish its battery.
It goes without saying that fuel economy is better on the Kia. The EV6 has a combined EPA rating of up to 117MPGe. The Solterra is behind, with a combined fuel economy of 104MPGe.
Driver Assistance and Safety
Modern EVs are built with both performance and safety in mind, and things are no different when it comes to the Solterra and EV6. The former brings plenty of innovation to Subaru’s lineup, as it features the first 360-degree camera system seen on the automaker’s cars.
But that’s not all. You can also expect other impressive technologies, including dynamic radar cruise control and lane tracing assist; two features designed to take some of the stress of driving off of you.
Other safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, anti-collision systems, and safe exit assist. All these features come as standard on all trims.
Similarly to the Subaru, the Kia EV6 features a surround-view monitor, automated emergency braking, and a blind-spot monitor. You won’t get a safe exit assist, but the car features all the anti-collision systems you’d expect from a modern car.
You’ll also get Level II highway driving assist, meaning that the vehicle can control steering and speed in certain traffic conditions. Overall, both cars are highly rated and as safe as vehicles can get.
Technology might not make or break the deal, but it can improve the driving experience. In this aspect, the Subaru Solterra is superior. This compact crossover features a 12.3-inch touchscreen located in the center of the dash.
The infotainment center allows you to control non-vital car functions and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, the true highlight is not the infotainment center but the app that allows you to control certain features, including the HVAC, or the ability to lock and unlock the car from a distance.
An intelligent assistant similar to Alexa also lets you interact with your Solterra with a simple “Hey, Subaru,” so you can turn on music or adjust the air conditioning without having to take your hands off the steering wheel.
The Kia EV6 comes with a slightly smaller touchscreen but, at 12 inches, the difference is negligible. You’ll obviously get the usual Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, as well as wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Nevertheless, the design and performance of the menu structure and overall interaction with the voice assistant are unimpressive. What does make a difference if you’re an avid music listener is the stereo system that can be upgraded to a very impressive 14-speaker Meridian unit.
The Subaru Solterra and the Kia EV6 provide ample cabin space and comfort to all passengers. Both cars feature a 5-seat configuration and a flat floor that provides plenty of legroom at the rear.
Solterra impresses with a wide center console and hidden storage spaces. Unlike the Ioniq 5, the EV6 doesn’t come with a sliding central console or footrests on the front seats, but the driving experience is as comfortable as it gets, thanks to the gaming-inspired seats.
On both cars, you can get a panoramic sunroof as optional (or standard on higher-end trims). The main difference is the cargo space. The Kia EV6 comes with 24.4 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are up and about 50 cubic feet with the seats folded.
The Solterra delivers 27.7 cubic feet, which can make a difference if you have a bigger family. When the rear seats are folded flat, this space increases to 56.9 cubic feet.
One of the most important aspects when buying a new car is the price. If you don’t want to spend a lot, the Solterra might be your best bet. Its starting price is $44,995 for the entry-level trim (Solterra Premium), and it goes up to $51,995 for the Touring trim. However, considering the number of standard features, that’s a bargain.
In its most basic version, the Kia EV6 is $3,705 more expensive than the Solterra. This might not seem like much, but you must remember that the basic EV6 is a two-wheel drive with very few add-ons and less power than the Solterra.
The AWD trims start at $57,600 and can get to a starting price of $61,600 for the acclaimed Kia EV6 GT. Considering that the Ioniq 5 is a lot cheaper and that the two are built on the same platform, you should really think twice before dropping your hard-earned money.
Subaru Solterra vs. Kia EV6: 5 Must-Known Facts
- Subaru Solterra is the brand’s first electric vehicle. This crossover SUV is co-developed with Toyota and built on the same platform as the Toyota bZ4X.
- The EV6 is one of Kia’s electric vehicles. Like the Solterra, it is a crossover SUV. It is co-developed with Hyundai and built on the same platform as Hyundai Ioniq 5.
- Kia EV6 GT is one of the most powerful electric SUVs on the market. It boasts 576 horsepower and can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds.
- Subaru Solterra doesn’t have as much power, but all trims feature symmetric AWD. The generous ground clearance makes it perfect for off-road adventures.
- Kia EV6 is a better choice if you want a longer range. This vehicle has better fuel economy and charges a lot faster.
Subaru Solterra vs. Kia EV6: Which One Should You Get?
From an objective standpoint, it’s hard to deny that Kia EV6 is superior. This EV brings higher performance, a longer range, and faster charging — all crucial features in an electric vehicle. However, things are not always black and white.
If you’re mainly looking for an off-road vehicle, the Subaru Solterra is the better one. This car features 8.3 inches of ground clearance — 2.2 inches more than Kia — and the symmetric AWD delivers incredible traction on challenging terrains. The specific X-mode further improves performance when tackling slippery or uneven soils.
The Subaru Solterra is also the best choice if you want a promising car without going over the top. You can save thousands compared to the Kia EV6, and then save some more with the tax credit and incentives.
Sure, the EV6 benefits from incentives and tax credits, too, but it’s still more expensive. In the end, the choice is yours, but the Solterra might just bring a better balance between price and performance.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Mike Mareen/Shutterstock.com.