GRA wrote: While it will use the Prime's 8.8 kWh battery pack and motor, I expect it will drive like a Subaru and not a Prius.
8.8 kWh in a Subaru is not going to be anywhere near the 25 mile EV range it is in a Prius Prime.
I hope Subaru has a wildly successful first PHEV (and truth be told, I admire that company a lot), but I am not feeling optimistic.
I think 20 miles AER will be acceptable (covers the round-trip commute of ~50% of U.S. drivers), and it should be able to make that. While more would be preferable, it's an inevitable trade-off between cost, weight, efficiency (on ICE and battery) and interior volume. It's bad enough that the Crosstrek hybrid lost its (compact) spare tire, as many Subaru owners are loathe to accept that as we're often far off the beaten track, and for me personally and I imagine many others we want a full size spare; that's one reason I chose the Forester over the Outback and Legacy wagons, as it came with a full size spare that fit in the well. I dread the thought of having to swap tires front to rear in snow if I need chains.
As I don't commute by car, for me the basic standard for PHEV AER is that it should be able to do the 14 mile loop around Yosemite Valley while providing heat/defrost in winter (or A/C in summer, but I don't go into the Valley during summer). This would also suffice for Zion Canyon, Arches etc. The population density is low enough outside the few built-up areas in major parks that running the ICE isn't a major local pollution issue most of the time, although I'd obviously like to minimize that. As an example, a 53 mile AER Volt 2 can probably do the 40 miles/2,400' of climb from Crane Flat to Tuolumne Meadows on the battery, possibly with heat/defrost, and might under ideal conditions make it another 6.7 miles/+1,341' to Tioga Pass, but compared to a Prime it sacrifices a lot of Hwy mpg, and on the typical road trip many of us take the Volt would use more gas than a Prime. With less AER I'd be forced to use it more tactically, making use of Hold mode except when I'm in areas with more people (Big Oak Flat entrance station, Crane Flat, Olmstead Point, Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows).
Which you'd prefer depends on whether you're primary focus is local or global emissions, although the Prime wouldn't work for me owing to its lack of a true hold mode - I want to be able to control when and where to emit as above. We'll see if Subaru provides one. Which reminds me, I'm going to send them an email asking for it [and I just did].