Polestar 2 review
With the addition of two single-motor variants, Polestar's Tesla Model 3 rival is more affordable, but still strikes a great balance between practicality and desirability
- Fun to drive
- Sharp design
- Great build quality
- Tight rear headroom
- Tesla Model 3 has bigger boot
- Firm ride with Performance Pack
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Standard Range Single||297 miles||10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||33mins (10-80%, 130kW)|
|Long Range Single||341 miles||12hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)||32mins (10-80%, 150kW)|
|Long Range Twin||301 miles||12hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)||32mins (10-80%, 150kW)|
Swedish electric-car brand Polestar has been around since 2020, offering buyers a viable alternative to the Tesla Model 3. The fully-electric, 2 pushed Polestar into the mainstream after the launch of the brand’s lower volume first model, the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe. The Polestar 2 will soon be joined by other fully-electric models such as the Polestar 3 SUV and Polestar 5 saloon.
When the Polestar 2 was first released, it was only available with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup producing a total of 402bhp. That made the five-door family car quite quick, capable of 0-62mph in under five seconds. To make it more affordable, the Polestar 2 was later offered as a single motor front-wheel drive model.
The single-motor variants that joined the line-up in 2021 send all their power through the front wheels, producing 221bhp in Standard Range guise and 228bhp if you pick the Long Range version. It's nowhere near as much outright power, but there's still plenty of shove for overtaking and getting away from traffic lights.
There's a Performance Pack should any of the standard cars feel lacking. Adding this beefs up the brakes, suspension and other components, and adds a healthy chunk of power (469bhp) and torque (680Nm). There is a limited-run Polestar 2 BST Edition 270, too, which ups the ante even further, with extra performance parts. Just 40 of these special cars are coming to the UK, though, and every single one has been accounted for.
The Standard Range car is fitted with a smaller 69kWh battery, instead of the 78kWh battery capacity in other versions. Still, a maximum official range of 297 miles is competitive with the cheapest Tesla Model 3, and should be fine for most drivers. The Polestar 2 Long Range with a single electric motor can cover 341 miles on a single charge, while the range for the dual-motor Polestar 2 is just over 300 miles.
The Polestar 2’s interior and technology are the same no matter what battery pack and electric motor option you go for. There's an 11.2-inch central touchscreen running an Android operating system, plus a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display. All Polestar 2s also come as standard with full keyless go, a powered tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, heated front seats and lots of safety kit – as you might expect from Volvo’s spinoff brand.
The same sharp styling features across the range and practicality numbers are unaffected by which version you choose, either: there's 405 litres of boot space in the back, plus 35 litres in the nose, which is ideal for storing charging cables. There’s plenty of rear legroom as well, but the car’s sporty roofline does limit headroom slightly. And the sizeable transmission tunnel is a redundant reminder that this car sits on the same platform as the combustion-engined Volvo XC40.
Charging speeds for the Polestar 2 are good, with the top-spec version topping out at 150kW from a fast enough DC rapid charger and can be topped up from 10-80% capacity in just over half-an-hour. That puts it on par with the Audi Q4 e-tron and BMW iX3, but behind the ultra-rapid charging capabilities of the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5.
On balance, we recommend the single-motor variants, thanks to their excellent standard equipment, decent performance and long range. Plus, they’re a good deal cheaper than the dual-motor car. For a more detailed look at all the Polestar 2 models, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith the addition of two single-motor variants, Polestar's Tesla Model 3 rival is more affordable, but still strikes a great balance between practicality and desirability
- 2Range, battery & chargingLots of charging options and competitive range figures keep the Polestar 2 on par with its rivals
- 3Running costs & insuranceGenerous standard servicing deal and zero road tax make up for what's likely to be an expensive insurance premium for the Polestar 2
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt's fast, grippy and safe – and you can make it even quicker with a software update – but the Polestar 2 doesn't offer the last word in driving pleasure
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortGreat build quality, familiar architecture and impressive Google-powered infotainment all count in the Polestar 2's favour here
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityIt's spacious and comfortable enough for most families, but the Polestar 2's sloping roof does hinder practicality a little
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThere's no concrete data yet, but Volvo roots bode well for the Polestar 2 in these areas