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||322 miles||10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||34 mins (10-80%, 135kW)|
|Long Range Single||395 miles||12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||28 mins (10-80%, 205kW)|
|Long Range Twin||368 miles||12hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||28 mins (10-80%, 205kW)|
Polestar 2 verdict
The Polestar 2 is a handsome and well built alternative to the Tesla Model 3, filled with lots of safety kit and a Google-powered infotainment system that’s easy to use. 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 versions.
This Swedish electric fastback doesn’t quite offer the same exhilarating driving experience a BMW i4 does, nor can it match the Tesla’s practicality or brutal acceleration. But following a recent facelift – bringing extra range and performance – the Polestar 2 is arguably an even more appealing package than it already was.
Range details, specs and alternatives
The Polestar brand started life tuning and racing Volvos, then became the performance badge for Volvo’s sportier road cars. But in 2017 it was spun off on its own to focus on electric cars and take on Tesla.
Admittedly, its first production car was a plug-in hybrid, limited-run coupe called the Polestar 1, though the pure-electric Polestar 2 arrived to great fanfare in 2020 and catapulted the fledgling Swedish car maker into the mainstream. It’s now one of the most talked about brands around, and has several new models on the way – including the Polestar 3 SUV, Polestar 5 flagship GT and Polestar 6 convertible.
The Polestar 2 uses the same platform as the Volvo XC40 compact SUV, but has a fastback-inspired bodystyle with a full hatchback tailgate and a slightly elevated ride height. The design helps set it apart from the numerous electric saloons it competes with, chief among which is the Tesla Model 3, plus the BMW i4 and Hyundai Ioniq 6. The entire Polestar 2 line-up was also significantly updated in January 2023, boosting the electric family car’s range, performance and efficiency, as well as giving it a new look.
We’ve yet to drive the updated car, but specs have been confirmed. The entry-level, Standard Range single-motor variant is now rear-wheel drive and produces 268bhp and 490Nm of torque. Range from the 69kWh battery in this version now stretches up to 322 miles, with prices from around £45,000. For an extra £4,000, there’s the Long Range single-motor Polestar 2, which thanks to its larger 82kWh battery can cover up to 395 miles on a charge, according to the Swedish firm. It’s rear-wheel drive as well, producing 295bhp and 490Nm for a 0-62mph time of just over six seconds – the same as the base model.
The Long Range dual-motor Polestar 2 starts from just under £53,000. Its pair of electric motors now produces 416bhp and 740Nm, with the optional Performance Pack bumping that up to 469bhp and 740Nm. It also uses a 82kWh battery, offers a range of up to 368 miles and can sprint from 0-62mph in close to four seconds.
Finally, sitting at the top of the range is the limited-run Polestar 2 BST edition 230, which replaces the now-discontinued edition 270. As its name suggests, only 230 of the edition 230 will be built, with just 25 examples coming to the UK.
The edition 230 features the same 469bhp powertrain as the Dual-motor Performance Pack model and to set it aside from lesser models in the lineup, exclusive green paint, a racing stripe and eco-friendly recycled upholstery. Whether it’s worth the near-£16k premium over the rest of the Polestar 2 range, though, is up to you.
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. The £5,000 Performance Pack is reserved for the range-topping dual-motor Polestar 2, and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and manually adjustable Ohlins dampers.
Make sure to check out our triple test between the Polestar 2, BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3, or for a more detailed look at the Polestar 2, 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 until 2025 make up for what's likely to be an expensive insurance premium for the Polestar 2
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt's fast, grippy and safe, but the Polestar 2 doesn't offer the last word in driving pleasure
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentGreat 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