Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: Which One Wins?

Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: Which One Wins?

As more automakers enter the electric vehicle space, competition between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 has intensified as more automakers step forward with offerings in this area. Both models have attracted considerable consumer and critical interest. Subaru entered EV sales with Solterra, while Tesla maintained their dominance. When pitted head to head, who comes out victorious?

To choose between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3, it’s crucial to dig deeper into their features, performance, and overall value propositions. Both vehicles boast impressive specifications, but key differences distinguish one from another that potential buyers should carefully consider when selecting which vehicle best meets their needs.

It’s time to settle this faceoff and determine the victor. Jump in with us!

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: Side-by-Side Comparison

Subaru SolterraTesla Model 3
Vehicle TypeElectric SUVElectric Sedan
Range (EPA Estimate)Around 250 miles263 – 358 miles
Fast ChargingUp to 80% in <1 hourUp to 80% in ~30 minutes
Seating Capacity5 passengers5 passengers
PowertrainSingle motor, AWDSingle motor, RWD or Dual motor, AWD
Charging NetworkElectrify AmericaTesla Supercharger Network

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: What are the Differences?

The electric vehicle market is rapidly evolving, with newcomers like the Subaru Solterra quickly emerging to challenge Tesla’s dominance. Here we explore some key differences between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 to give an in-depth comparison.


One of the main distinctions between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 is in their efficiency. The Tesla Model 3 boasts dramatically better mileage, reaching 138 MPGe in city driving conditions and 126 on the highway. Meanwhile, the Subaru Solterra achieves just 114 MPGe in city conditions and 94 on the highway.

The better efficiency of the Tesla Model 3 can be attributed to its advanced technology and design. Tesla has long been at the forefront of electric vehicle performance innovation. Their expertise contributes to its remarkable efficiency, outpacing the Subaru Solterra by quite some margin.


A key differentiating factor between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 is their respective starting prices. The Subaru Solterra starts at an accessible $46,330 base Premium trim price point, while the Tesla Model 3 starts higher, at approximately $62,990 with the base-level Long Range trim starting price. This makes the Subaru Solterra a more cost-effective solution when shopping for a new EV.

Subaru Solterra may appeal to budget-minded buyers looking for an eco-friendly vehicle without breaking their budget. While Tesla Model 3 provides more advanced features and technology, this more accessible alternative provides reliable transportation in a more eco-friendly fashion.


Regarding range, the Tesla Model 3 surpasses the Subaru Solterra by an overwhelming margin. An EPA-estimated range of up to 358 miles on one charge, compared to the Solterra’s 228 miles for models equipped with 18-inch wheels, demonstrates Tesla’s clear advantage.

The Tesla Model 3’s more extended range allows drivers more freedom, enabling longer trips without frequent recharging stops. This flexibility makes the Tesla Model 3 a more practical choice than other options in terms of convenience and cost.

Power and Performance

Regarding power and performance, the Tesla Model 3 easily outshines the Subaru Solterra, boasting a powertrain capable of up to 425 horsepower. Its impressive power output allows the Model 3 to reach top speeds of up to 155 miles per hour while reaching 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds. The Subaru Solterra has 215 horsepower, reaching 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

The Tesla Model 3 offers an exceptional driving experience due to its impressive power and performance capabilities, offering drivers who prioritize performance an ideal choice. Conversely, drivers looking for more budget-friendly options without demanding exceptional performance capabilities might prefer the Subaru Solterra instead.

Ground Clearance

One area in which the Subaru Solterra truly excels is ground clearance. Offering an 8.3-inch clearance height versus approximately 6.6 inches for the Tesla Model 3, this increased ground clearance gives the Solterra more agility to tackle rough terrain and navigate uneven surfaces.

Subaru Solterra drivers frequently encountering off-road conditions or challenging driving environments will appreciate its higher ground clearance, enabling better handling and maneuverability than Tesla Model 3. Its higher stature offers a more versatile driving experience than Tesla’s Model 3 vehicle.

Brand Reputation and Trust

Subaru is well-renowned for its engineering prowess and longevity, earning the spot as the Most Trusted Brand eight times in Kelley Blue Book. Consumers may consider this when deciding between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3.

Tesla has undoubtedly made strides in the electric vehicle market and is known for its cutting-edge technology; however, some consumers may prefer Subaru due to its longstanding history and long-standing trust-worthy reliability. Buyers who prioritize innovation may choose Tesla Model 3, while buyers who prioritize brand trust may lean more toward Subaru Solterra.

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: What are the Similarities?

Although these vehicles hail from distinct brands, they share several commonalities that make them strong competitors in the EV market. Both the Solterra and Model 3 offer similar features, so let’s explore them below.

Electric Vehicle Technology

The Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 utilize cutting-edge EV technology to provide an eco-friendly driving experience, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. Their focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility are core similarities between them.

Autonomy and Driver Assistance Features

The Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 offer advanced driver assistance features to improve safety and convenience. Tesla’s Autopilot system, for instance, includes features that detect nearby cars, help prevent collisions from happening, and assist with parking, among others. The Subaru Solterra offers EyeSight driver assist technology, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and pre-collision braking.

Design and Aesthetics

While both vehicles feature unique designs, both feature sleek and modern aesthetics that appeal to contemporary tastes. Their exterior designs boast smooth lines and aerodynamic shapes for an eye-catching appearance — two hallmarks of aesthetic excellence shared between these vehicles that demonstrate their dedication to form and function.

Aerodynamic shapes add visual appeal and performance and efficiency improvements to these vehicles. This includes fuel economy and increasing range, which is especially crucial when considering electric cars like the Solterra and Model 3. By reducing air resistance or drag, aerodynamically designed vehicles can become more fuel-efficient.

Though their exterior designs differ considerably, both vehicles try to incorporate sleek and aerodynamic shapes that draw upon aesthetics and performance to stand out.

white Tesla Model 3 parked under a bridge
The Tesla Model 3 provides a modern, sleek design that new entrants to the EV market, like the Subaru Solterra, are drawing on.

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • The Subaru Solterra’s superior off-road capabilities may find the Subaru Solterra more desirable as its 8.3-inch ground clearance gives an edge over Tesla Model 3, which boasts only approximately 6.6 inches.
  • The Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 were created with aerodynamics in mind, featuring sleek lines and shapes to maximize efficiency while increasing visual appeal.
  • The Tesla Model 3 provides superior fuel economy in city driving conditions and highway travel, boasting an average of 138 MPGe in the city and 126 on highway routes. By comparison, the Solterra achieves only 112 MPGe in the city and 94 on highway routes.
  • The Tesla Model 3 boasts advanced features such as Tesla Vision, which detects nearby cars to avoid potential collisions and assist with parking. Meanwhile, Subaru Solterra emphasizes its renowned engineering, making it an excellent choice for drivers who trust Subaru.
  • The Solterra has three trim options for drivers to select, offering drivers plenty of choices that meet their preferences. In comparison, the Model 3 only has limited trim choices available to them.

The History of the Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 boasts a rich innovation, technology, and design legacy. Unveiling in March 2016, this electric vehicle (EV) quickly changed the automotive landscape thanks to cutting-edge features and unparalleled performance — making EVs more desirable and accessible than ever.

Preorders of Tesla’s Model 3 began immediately following its unveiling. They were met with overwhelming interest. Over 325,000 reservations came flooding in within days, breaking records and showing that people worldwide are ready for sustainable transportation solutions. Production began for this car in July 2017, and deliveries commenced shortly afterward.

The Model 3 comes in multiple variants to meet customer preferences. The Standard Range Plus provides affordable efficiency, while the Long Range and Performance models provide increased mileage and power. All models boast advanced safety features, while Autopilot elevates driving experiences through semi-autonomous capabilities.

Tesla’s commitment to innovation can be seen in its sleek Model 3 design. Its minimalist interior boasts a 15-inch touchscreen that controls most car functions without needing buttons or knobs, creating an elegant solution that simplifies and improves user experience.

Over its lifespan, the Model 3 has garnered numerous prestigious honors, such as Car and Driver’s 10 Best Award in 2019 and 2020. Furthermore, Electrek praised it for its driving dynamics and energy efficiency, further cementing its position as an influential EV on the market.

The Tesla Model 3 has made a tremendous mark on automotive history. Its combination of performance, design, and sustainability set new standards for electric vehicles; furthermore, its widespread adoption helped accelerate a shift toward cleaner transportation solutions.

The Success of the Subaru Solterra

The Subaru Solterra has made waves in the market. Boasting sleek designs and cutting-edge technologies, they have quickly captured eco-conscious drivers’ hearts.

First and foremost, the Solterra features Subaru’s signature all-wheel-drive system for maximum traction and handling in challenging conditions. Furthermore, responsive steering and agile maneuverability contribute to an unforgettable driving experience.

The Solterra boasts an expansive and relaxing interior space. It easily accommodates five passengers with ample legroom and cargo space. Furthermore, its minimalist design and user-friendly infotainment system further add to its overall charm.

The Solterra boasts an advanced battery system that ensures impressive range on a single charge, helping drivers avoid range anxiety. Fast charging capabilities further add practicality for long road trips.

Safety is also key to the Solterra’s success. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology is standard on every Solterra and it offers adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and pre-collision braking as part of an unsurpassed sense of security on the road.

Solterra’s competitive pricing makes it an appealing option for electric vehicle enthusiasts, combined with federal and state incentives, making it an economical solution for anyone seeking to switch over.

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: Pros and Cons

Subaru Solterra

Its spacious interior and cargo area make it a practical choice for families and outdoor enthusiasts.Some consumers may find the exterior design too conservative compared to other electric vehicles.
Subaru’s renowned EyeSight driver-assist technology enhances safety and confidence on the road.Solterra’s initial price point may be higher than some entry-level electric vehicle options.
With an estimated range of 220 miles, the Solterra offers a competitive electric driving experience for daily commutes and road trips.The lack of a dedicated fast-charging network like Tesla’s Supercharger may deter some buyers from considering the Solterra.
The Subaru Solterra offers all-wheel drive, providing excellent traction and control in various road conditions.The 220-mile range, while competitive, may need to be more for long road trips without frequent charging stops.
The Solterra’s e-Subaru Global Platform delivers a smooth, responsive driving experience with zero emissions.Less charging infrastructure in some areas can be a concern for potential buyers.

Tesla Model 3

Access to Tesla’s expansive Supercharger network makes long-distance trips more convenient.Some customers have reported build quality issues, such as inconsistent panel gaps and paint imperfections.
Its sleek design and minimalist interior create a modern, attractive aesthetic.The Model 3’s charging speed is slower at non-Tesla chargers, limiting flexibility on road trips.
The Tesla Model 3 boasts impressive acceleration and handling, delivering a thrilling driving experience.Tesla’s customer service and repair network can be inconsistent, leading to varying experiences for owners.
The Model 3 offers cutting-edge technology features like Autopilot and over-the-air software updates.The Model 3’s price tag can be high, especially when adding optional features.
Tesla’s electric powertrain provides excellent energy efficiency, reducing fuel costs and emissions.The vehicle’s minimalist interior may appeal to some as it lacks some traditional controls.

Subaru Solterra vs. Tesla Model 3: Which is Superior?

The decision between the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 ultimately hinges on personal preferences and priorities. The Solterra impresses with its off-road capabilities, safety features, and Subaru’s famed symmetrical all-wheel drive; while the Tesla Model 3 boasts a longer driving range, faster acceleration, and cutting-edge tech like Tesla’s Autopilot system.

Both vehicles offer unique advantages, so assess your particular driving needs and allow that to ultimately dictate which one wins out for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to charge a Subaru Solterra or Tesla Model 3?

Charging times depend on the charger you choose; home chargers usually take 8-12 hours for a full charge.

Are these electric vehicles compatible with public charging networks?

Yes, the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 can be charged at public charging stations with adapters installed, including non-Tesla stations that may offer adapter support.

What is the estimated range for electric vehicles?

The Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 typically cover between 200-350 miles on one charge, depending on their particular model and driving conditions.

Are any government incentives available for purchasing electric vehicles?

Many countries provide incentives for purchasing electric vehicles, including tax credits and rebates. These details depend on where you reside.

How do the maintenance costs for the Subaru Solterra and Tesla Model 3 compare with traditional gas-powered cars?

Maintenance costs for electric cars like the Solterra and Model 3 tend to be lower than for their gas counterparts due to fewer moving parts and no need for oil changes or exhaust system servicing.

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