Subaru Solterra vs Volvo C40: Which One Wins?

Miro Vrlik Photography /

More and more manufacturers are adding electric vehicles to their lineups. Some, like the Volvo C40 Recharge, are a whole new design meant for the EV market. This also extends to Subaru s Solterra, which is an electric SUV based on no other existing designs.

With so many EVs on the market today, it can be challenging to find one that fits the needs of your household best. So, which one is better, the Subaru Solterra or the Volvo C40 Recharge? Both these EVs occupy a similar niche and are roughly in the same price range.

With that in mind, it does bear exploring these options to see which one is a better fit for you. A new vehicle is always a substantial purchase, so it makes sense to go in armed with as much information as possible.

Subaru Solterra vs Volvo C40: Side-by-Side Comparison

Subaru Solterra Volvo C40 Recharge
Horsepower 215 horsepower 402 horsepower
Regenerative Braking Yes Yes
Front Headroom 38.8 inches 39.4 inches
Back Headroom 38 inches 36.7 inches
Length 184.6 inches 174.8 inches
Width 73.2 inches 75.2 inches
Height 65.1 inches 62.8 inches
Wheelbase 112.2 inches 106.4 inches
Curb Weight 4,365 pounds 4,737 pounds
Rear Storage 29 cubic feet 15 cubic feet
Range 228 miles 226 miles

Both of these beingEVs, they use the same general charging infrastructure. You can expect to use standard adapters like the CHAdeMO and J1772 charging ports.

Subaru Solterra vs Volvo C40: What s the Difference?

There are some striking differences between both of these vehicles. They may occupy the same niche, but they have very different goals in terms of what is important for their drivers. Both are certainly capable vehicles, however.


The Subaru Solterra pales in performance compared to the Volvo C40 Recharge. It has less equivalent horsepower, and, as such, the acceleration can feel a bit more sluggish.

Being a heavier EV, this might be a point of contention for some, but there is enough pep in its step to handle highway conditions and most city driving. It has an operational range of 228 miles on a single charge, which is below the standard set by theModel 3and Model Y from Tesla, but still quite admirable given its capabilities.

Subaru Solterra vs. Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Subaru Solterra achieved a five-star 2022 Euro NCAP rating.

Ringo Chiu/

TheVolvo C40Recharge is a zipper vehicle, boasting 402 horsepower. As such, you can expect far more responsive acceleration. This can be helpful on highway conditions or if you somehow end up at a racetrack and need to rely on your EV to save the day.

For most daily driving conditions, it might not even be a consideration, however. It has less range, but not by much, at 226 miles on a single charge. Even comparing the fast charging times, the two are roughly equal at around 40 minutes when going from 0 to 80%.

Interior and Exterior Capacity

The Subaru Solterra is, overall, a far roomier vehicle. It does have a little less headroom in the front portion of the cabin, but has more legroom. Cargo capacity is, likewise, far higher nearly double what the Volvo C40 Recharge offers.

It can fit five passengers quite easily, with plenty of room for each person to have their own personal space. The spacious trunk can also have the seats fold down for even more overall storage.

If you re the sort of person who enjoys camping and the great outdoors, the Solterra might make for a great choice just to accommodate all the extra gear you ll need.

The Volvo C40 Recharge has a little more legroom and headroom in some areas, but has less overall space; by inches, mind you. You ll still find room for five passengers, including yourself, with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the ride.

Where things start to come out a little differently is in regard to the trunk storage capacity. The C40 Recharge only has around half as much storage capacity. You can greatly expand this when folding down the seats, but then you lose space for your passengers. If you re after trunk capacity, the Solterra is the way to go.

Infotainment and User Interface

The Subaru Solterra has a great infotainment panel, but the overall navigation is fairly swift. Users accustomed to the features of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will find plenty to like here.

Subaru has also included a smartphone app, which allows you to control systems like heating and air conditioning. There, sadly, aren t in-built navigation options just yet, but that might be a forthcoming feature for the next production year.

Volvo C40 EV
The C40 Recharge is available with partially recycled upholsteries and carpets.

ben bryant/

The Volvo C40 Recharge has a host of solid features marred by a slightly sluggishuser interface. While it functions effectively as an Android system and comes with a full complement of Google Services, the interface needs work.

This might not be an issue with future updates but could be a dealbreaker for some. Also supported are the requisite Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Safety Features

The Subaru Solterra has a great set of safety features available for the discerning driver. You have blind spot monitoring, automatic braking, braking assists, and much more. If you re after a vehicle with smart safety features, the Subaru Solterra has a whole host of them included in the base trim package.

Automatic lane-keeping assist and parking sensors are all included. Sadly, there s no 360-degree camera present, which seems to indicate a lack of LiDAR on the vehicle itself. That said, the Solterra is a solid choice for safety alone.

Volvo has long been a standard of automotive safety, and the C40 Recharge carries this heritage forward. You ll find braking assists and automatic braking. There is blind spot monitoring and lane-keeping assists. Unlike the Solterra, you will find a front and rear parking sensor.

It does lack the rear cross-traffic alert seen with the Solterra, sadly. It has pedestrian detection technology, though, which is a great boon for anyone doing a fair bit of city driving.

Subaru Solterra vs Volvo C40: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Subaru Solterra is the first purpose-built EV from Subaru.
  2. The Subaru Solterra is capable of the same off-road mayhem as its gas-powered siblings.
  3. The Subaru Solterra has slightly slower Level 1 charging capabilities compared to competitors.
  4. The C40 Recharge is Volvo s second purely EV-driven design.
  5. The C40 Recharge is an all-wheel drive, just like the C40 Recharge.
  6. The C40 Recharge has less overall capacity than the C40 Recharge.

Subaru Solterra vs Volvo C40: Which One Is Better? Which Should You Choose?

Deciding which of these vehicles is the better choice is a particularly tough nut to crack. The tip of the hat has to go to the Subaru Solterra, however, which has near feature parity but can be found for $10,000 less, on average, than the newly released C40 Recharge.

The Volvo C40 Recharge is an outstanding vehicle, make no mistake of that, but doesn t offer that much more than the Solterra. If you re after a capable EV, the Solterra is a great choice that comes in cheaper than some of its competitors.

It carries the same quality fit and finishes you would expect from the rest of the Subaru line, while also being far more economical to drive on a daily basis.

It might not win any awards when it comes to raw power, but the Solterra is a great fit for any household. As with any EV purchase, you ll want to give both of these vehicles a test drive before committing to a purchase.

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