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2023 Subaru Solterra electric SUV could be cheaper than Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5!

The new Subaru Solterra is an eye-catching car, but it won't launch with an eye-watering price tag.

Subaru Australia has announced it will launch its first electric car in 2023, in the form of the much-anticipated Solterra SUV - and while the brand is yet to confirm local market pricing, we know it will be all-wheel drive (because of course it will), and will pack a 71.4kWh battery pack, good for about 460km of electric driving range.

Those numbers put it on par with rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, but one number that could well be a lot smaller in the Subaru’s case is its price.

The Ioniq 5 starts at $75,900 (MSRP) for the all-wheel drive model, while the EV6 AWD kicks off from $82,990 (MSRP). 

Subaru’s AWD EV SUV is set to be a bit cheaper, if comments from the brand’s Australian managing director, Blair Read, are, ahem, on the money.

When asked if the Solterra will be the brand’s most expensive car, Mr Read coyly replied: “Maybe”. 

That would mean it would have to be more than $57,990 (MSRP), which is the list price for the top-spec WRX Sportswagon tS.

It would be unprecedented for the first Subaru EV to be in the sub-$60,000 price range, but Mr Read was clear that the market is changing quickly, and prices of cars on sale today may prove to be outdated and expensive when newer EV models launch in the coming months and years.

“The way I would describe that marketplate is that it’s very dynamic,” he said. “Those are the existing competitors today. But when that vehicle comes to market, in terms of development across even our range, and the broader market, it’s a dynamic market that will keep evolving.

“What we are most focused on at the moment is how the positioning lands from a Subaru brand perspective and we’ve always had strong repurchase, strong loyalty to the brand. So how do we position this so that it appeals to traditional Subaru owners so that they see the benefit of the vehicle, they see the evolution of the brand they love, and it’s positioned well for existing owners. That’s initially the focus for us,” said Mr Read.

Reading between the lines there, the Subaru brand has, in recent times, become heavily focused on value for money, so to ask customers to fork out $70,000 or more for an EV could be a big ask.

However, the Solterra is just the start of the brand’s electric car range, and - given it is a product of the alliance between Subaru and Toyota, and the latter brand has announced a game-changing EV strategy involving 30 electric vehicles by 2030 - it seems likely there will be further spillover between the brands and their EV offerings.

“There is obviously joint collaboration in that space, and obviously both of those manufacturers have worked together to challenge each other to make better cars. That, from the Subaru perspective, has come to fruition with BRZ and now Solterra,” said Mr Read.

“So, there’s obvious linkages there, but then Subaru has its own direction outside of that where it has to stand on its own feet and take the evolving technologies that it wants to.

“There is some joint work, and there will be some great sharing out of that which benefits both brands, and there will be Subaru’s own story around that.”