In-depth reviews

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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • Sharp design
  • Great build quality

Cons

  • Tight rear headroom
  • Tesla Model 3 has bigger boot
  • Firm ride with Performance Pack
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Standard Range Single295 miles10hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)33mins (10-80%, 130kW)
Long Range Single336 miles12hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 150kW)
Long Range Twin298 miles12hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (10-80%, 150kW)

The Polestar 2 arrived in 2020, giving prospective Tesla Model 3 buyers a viable alternative to the fully electric company-car favourite. The zero-emissions Polestar 2 electric car also propelled the fledgling Swedish brand into the mainstream following the launch of its limited-run first model, the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe.

Now, as we await the arrival of more models such as the Polestar 3 SUV and Polestar 5 saloon – single electric motor versions of the 2 have joined the line-up, making the car more affordable than before. At launch, the only version you could buy featured two electric motors and four-wheel drive, and was capable of 0-62mph in less than five seconds thanks to the impressive 402bhp on tap. The optional Performance Pack for the dual-motor Polestar 2 boosts that to 469bhp, taking the 0-62mph time down to 4.4 seconds.

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.

The Standard Range is fitted with a smaller 69kWh battery, instead of the 78kWh battery capacity in other versions. Still, a maximum official range of 295 miles is competitive with the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, and should be fine for most drivers. The Polestar 2 Long Range with a single electric motor can cover 336 miles on a single charge, while the range for the dual-motor Polestar 2 is just under 300 miles, so neither is on par with the equivalent Tesla Model 3.

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...

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