Subaru Solterra and Volvo XC40 Recharge are the first pure electric vehicles from each automaker. The former only comes in its electric variant. Volvo XC40 also exists as a conventional, combustion engine SUV, as well as a hybrid car. Like its conventional and hybrid sisters, the XC40 Recharge delivers serious speed and power in eco-friendly packaging. Solterra is fast too, but not as powerful. What does it really mean on the road? This side-by-side between Subaru Solterra vs. Volvo XC40 Recharge can help you find out.
Subaru Solterra vs. Volvo XC40: Side-By-Side Comparison
|Subaru Solterra||Volvo XC40 Recharge|
|Year of release||2023||2021|
|Range||Up to 228 miles per charge||Up to 223 miles per charge|
|Acceleration (0 to 60mph)||6.5 seconds||4.7 seconds|
|Charging speed (10% to 80%)||56 minutes||37 minutes|
|Number of seats||5||5|
|Cargo capacity||27.7 cu. ft.||16 cu. ft.|
|Wheel size||20 inches||18 inches or 19 inches|
Subaru Solterra vs. Volvo XC40: What’s the Difference?
Unveiled in November 2021 and released in 2023, the Solterra is Subaru and Toyota’s brainchild. This pure electric SUV was developed as a joint project and is widely known as Toyota bZ4X’s twin. It is also the first-ever pure electric vehicle in Subaru’s lineup and features the symmetric all-wheel drive that most of Subaru’s models are known for. This detail makes Solterra — inspired by and named after the Sun and the Earth — one of the best adventure vehicles on the market.
Volvo introduced the XC40 lineup in 2017. The massive SUV became an instant hit, which led to upgrades and improvements. The pure electric variant was unveiled three years later and went on sale in late 2020 as a 2021 model. Except for the motor, the differences between the conventional, hybrid, and pure electric XC40 are so subtle that the popularity of the electric variant doesn’t come as a surprise. While both vehicles are compact crossover SUVs, there are some differences that may make you prefer one over the other.
Whether you need the ultimate adventure vehicle or just a powerful car for everyday use, performance is high on the list of things folks look for in a car. Solterra and XC40 Recharge stand up to their names, but the truth is that Volvo is hard to beat.
The XC40 Recharge AWD variant features a front and a mid-motor, each outputting 201 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of instant torque. Combined, you’re looking at 402 horsepower and 486 lb-ft of torque that make this vehicle one of the most powerful electric SUVs out there.
Subaru Solterra comes in AWD trims only. The symmetric AWD Subaru is known for is present on this vehicle, too, and delivers a combined 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of instant torque. That’s enough to tackle most situations, but nowhere near the XC40.
The two cars can reach similar top speeds, 110mph on Solterra and 112mph on the XC40 Recharge, but Volvo wins more points with its faster acceleration. You can expect it to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds, which is a lot faster compared to the 6.5 seconds of the Solterra.
However, a higher power and faster acceleration come with lower fuel economy. You can expect a combined economy of 79MPGe from the XC40 Recharge. Subaru Solterra features a fuel economy of about 104MPGe combined.
Range and Charging
More often than not, buying an electric vehicle means choosing between range and performance. However, the XC40 Recharge is proof that you can have both. While Volvo’s electric SUV has a lower range than the Solterra, we’re talking about a 5-mile difference per charge.
Specifically, you can expect the Solterra to take you about 228 miles per charge, whereas the XC40 Recharge can go as far as 223 miles. If you think that five miles is a lot and you’d rather opt for the Solterra, know that you’ll have to wait quite some time for the battery to replenish once it’s drained.
At fast-charging units, Subaru’s EV requires around 56 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent. It can take half a day at a slower charging station or more if you plan to hook the car to a 120-volt unit or regular wall outlet.
Volvo doesn’t charge fast by other EVs’ standards, considering the Hyundai Ioniq 5 needs less than 20 minutes of charge time. However, it does replenish in about 37 minutes — a lot faster than Solterra. Similarly, it can take hours on end to recharge the batteries at a 120-volt outlet or to charge them to 100 percent.
Driver Assistance and Safety
Thanks to Tesla, electric vehicles have become synonymous with self-driving capabilities. However, Subaru and Volvo haven’t focused on autonomous driving. So while you won’t be able to afford a moment of distraction in either car, both SUVs come with plenty of driver assistance features designed to increase your safety.
Both Volvo and Subaru include automated emergency braking and collision-detection sensors on all trims as standard. Lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist are other features that you can find on the Solterra and XC40 Recharge alike. Standard blind-spot monitors are also available on both models.
While autonomous driving is not an option, you’ll still be able to enjoy adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving on both vehicles. Overall, both vehicles enjoy a 5-star safety rating.
One of the major differences between the Subaru Solterra and the Volvo XC40 Recharge is the design. Both vehicles are compact crossovers, but the similarities end here.
Volvo XC40 Recharge maintains the same profile as its conventional and hybrid counterparts. There are some subtle design differences between these models, but to the untrained eye, they all look the same. The design is not exactly remarkable either, even though the car is pretty massive.
By comparison, Subaru Solterra is a breath of fresh air. Modern, sporty lines blend into a rugged allure. Its no-nonsense character makes it clear that this vehicle is designed to withstand whatever the terrain is throwing at it. The generous ground clearance of 8.3 inches further confirms that this vehicle is built for off-road. The XC40 only has a ground clearance of 6.73 inches.
Interior and Comfort
Volvo XC40 Recharge might be unremarkable on the outside, but it offers plenty of comfort on the inside. The cabin is huge and provides plenty of leg and headroom for all passengers. The leather-free interior may not look as upscale as the likes of the Tesla Model Y, but, together with the partially recycled carpets, it is eco-friendly.
One of the most sought-after highlights is the translucent back-lit décor that creates a soothing glow in the cabin. Cargo capacity is rather disappointing for a car this size, though. However, you’ll get a smart storage compartment for the chargers under the front hood, so that’s something.
Subaru Solterra also provides plenty of space as well as generous cargo space. With five passengers, the trunk has a capacity of 27.7 cubic feet. That’s almost twice as much as the XC40. The seats feature fabric upholstery, but the true star of the interior is the Harman Kardon premium audio system.
Interior design aside, the two vehicles have similar infotainment consoles. Solterra comes with a 12.3 infotainment touchscreen that allows you to control multimedia as well as non-vital performance parameters and optional functions (such as the HVAC). The system is compatible with Android Auto and AppleCar, and you can also access plenty of news, music, podcasts, and navigation.
Volvo XC40 comes with a Google built-in infotainment touchscreen that is compatible with AppleCar. The best thing about it is that you can access Google Maps for navigation, but the overall look and feel are rather old-school. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering the design of this car. However, if you like a cleaner, more modern appearance, you might be disappointed.
Finding the best car often means compromising for an affordable price. While both Solterra and the XC40 Recharge deliver outstanding value for money, the latter is a lot more expensive. If the budget is of no concern, know that its starting price (for the low-end trim) is $53,550. Lease options start at $675 per month directly from the automaker.
Subaru Solterra starts at $44,995. Lease and loan options are available from official retailers, but conditions might vary. Nevertheless, you can expect a lower price compared to the XC40 Recharge, regardless of your option.
Subaru Solterra vs. Volvo XC40: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Subaru Solterra is the automaker’s first pure electric vehicle. It was developed together with Toyota and built on the same platform as Toyota bZ4X.
- Volvo XC40 Recharge is one of the first pure electric SUVs developed by the Swedish automaker. Its line is inspired by the conventional XC40.
- While both vehicles are compact crossovers, Solterra features a higher ground clearance and is a better choice for off-road adventures.
- Volvo XC40 Recharge is the best choice for folks who want power over anything else. The car delivers 402 horsepower.
- Volvo XC40 Recharge is more powerful, but Solterra has a sleeker, more modern presence and increased cargo space.
Subaru Solterra vs. Volvo XC40: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Get?
Deciding between Subaru Solterra and Volvo XC40 Recharge often comes down to needs and preferences. The former boasts modern lines, plenty of ground clearance, lots of comforts, and cargo space. However, it is less powerful than the XC40 Recharge.
Volvo brings true power and a choice between two- or four-wheel drive. The car is ideal for the city but massive enough to tackle the great outdoors. Fast acceleration and shorter charge time are some of its other highlights. However, this vehicle is more expensive. If you want unmatched power, though, it could be the right choice for you.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©emirhankaramuk/Shutterstock.com.