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In-depth reviews

Polestar 2 review: forget the Model 3, take a chance on me!

Boasting one of the longest ranges of any electric car on sale, the Polestar 2 is a premium-feeling product that’s great to drive – it’s just a shame about its stiff suspension

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • Long range
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Tight rear headroom
  • Tesla Model 3 has bigger boot
  • Very firm ride

Range

Wallbox charge time

Rapid charge

406 miles

12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)

28mins (10-80%, 205kW)

Polestar 2 verdict

When it first arrived back in 2019, Polestar seriously impressed us with its Tesla Model 3 rival. However, a recent update means the Polestar 2 is now even better than ever; we think its slick Google-based infotainment system comes close to matching the Tesla’s, while a 405-mile range is class-leading, and should be more than enough for anyone. With this in mind, the Polestar 2 is a hard act to beat – and we mean this literally. The electric fastback’s stiff ride is perhaps its biggest downside and could become annoying if you’re planning on covering great distances frequently. If this doesn’t bother you, though, the Polestar 2 is otherwise a stylishly Scandinavian take on the electric executive formula, and certainly worth considering against the somewhat soulless default choice that is the Model 3.

Range details, specs and alternatives

Several household names hail from Sweden, including the likes of IKEA, H&M, Spotify and of course, Volvo. Looking to be the next Swedish success story, Polestar was once but a performance sub-brand of Volvo that has now evolved into an electric marque in its own right.The Polestar 2 is the maker’s first all-electric model – the Polestar 1 coupe came first as a sleek-looking performance plug-in hybrid – and is set to go up against a growing list of rivals which currently consists of the BMW i4, Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Tesla Model 3. That’s not to mention the multitude of models coming soon like the Volkswagen ID.7 and BYD Seal.

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Polestar gave the 2 a subtle nip and tuck in 2023 with a redesigned grille and a handful of new colour options. Bigger changes happened underneath, though, where the electric fastback – based on the same underpinnings as the Volvo XC40 Recharge – made the switch from front to rear-wheel drive, in addition to gaining a more powerful selection of batteries and electric motors.

The result is that even the base Polestar 2 is capable of up to 339 miles on a charge – more than even a Tesla Model Y Long Range. Most impressive, however, is the mid-spec Long Range Single Motor model which, according to Polestar, is capable of up to 406 miles on a single charge. A dual-motor variant is also available with more power and grip at the detriment of outright range, as well as a top-of-the-line Performance Pack model. This will reach 62mph in four seconds flat and boasts special performance enhancements like uprated suspension and Brembo brakes, plus colour-coded gold seatbelts.

The Polestar 2’s interior and technology are the same no matter what battery and motor option you go for. There's an 11.2-inch central infotainment touchscreen running Android Automotive software, 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, heated front seats, lots of safety kit – as you might expect from a Volvo spinoff brand – and as of January 2023, 360-degree parking cameras, wireless phone charging and extra driver-awareness systems.

There are still no trim levels as such for the Polestar 2 – just a series of option packs. The first is the £2,000 Pilot Pack, which adds additional safety and driver-assistance features, while the £4,000 Plus Pack includes a panoramic glass roof, 13-speaker Harman Karmon audio system and other interior upgrades.

Previously, Polestar offered a pair of limited edition BST Edition 270 and BST Edition 230 models, with the number referring to how many would be built. These featured the punchiest powertrain, exclusive paint, racing stripes and eco-friendly recycled upholstery. Commanding a hefty premium, we’d question whether the exclusivity is worth the extra.

Click here to see why you can trust DrivingElectric reviews, or for a more detailed look at the Polestar 2, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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