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In-depth reviews

Polestar 2: interior, dashboard & infotainment

Great build quality, familiar architecture and impressive Google-powered infotainment all count in the Polestar 2's favour here

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, dashboard & infotainment rating

4.5 out of 5

Inside, the Polestar 2 feels cool and comfortable; the minimalist style of the exterior continues with clean lines, high-quality materials and a large, Android-powered central infotainment screen that’s used to control most primary functions and features slick Google-integrated services.

Standard equipment is generous, build quality is good and all versions come as standard with vegan-friendly trim, which can be switched out for leather at extra cost. Polestar follows Volvo's lead with a set of excellent seats, a smattering of attractive inlays and a general feel of simple, considered design that doesn't quite go to the ruthlessly minimalist levels that Tesla achieves in its cars.

Polestar 2 dashboard

If you’ve spent any time in modern Volvos, you’ll be instantly familiar with the Polestar 2’s high-set dashboard and steering wheel. Much of the Polestar’s solid-feeling switchgear is shared with the XC40 Recharge, including the volume knob, door handles and climate vents. There are some Polestar-specific design traits, though, specifically the hexagonal gear selector, fabric dashboard and floating central touchscreen – more on that later.

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In the pursuit of minimalism, there are very few physical buttons in the Polestar 2’s cabin – for better and for worse. The climate controls have been integrated into the touchscreen which can be a little tricky to use whilst on the move – especially given the Polestar’s stiff suspension – but at least they remain at a permanent spot at the bottom of the display.

Equipment, options & accessories

Polestar hasn't skimped on standard equipment for the 2, doing away with conventional trim levels in the process. All three variants – the Standard Range Single Motor, Long Range Single Motor and Long Range Dual Motor – get the same standard equipment. That includes Polestar's Android-powered infotainment system displayed on an 11.5-inch central touchscreen, plus a 12.3-inch driver's display behind the steering wheel. Google Maps sat nav is standard, as is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

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As of 2023, all Polestar 2s come with at least 19-inch wheels, LED lights front and rear, 360-degree surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, wireless phone charging frameless mirrors and a vegan-friendly interior. Together with a full suite of safety and driver assistance systems, the Polestar 2's impressive level of standard equipment means it's more than a match for the Tesla Model 3 in terms of value for money, while also giving some more expensive rivals cause for concern.

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A small selection of options packs is available. The Plus Pack (£4,000) adds a panoramic glass roof, 13-speaker Harman Karmon audio system, WeaveTech vegan upholstery, Black Ash deco panels, fully electric heated front memory seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and heated wiper blades, plus a heat pump. The Pilot Pack (£2,000) includes additional safety and driver-assistance features such as Pixel LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and lane centering.

Finally, there’s the Performance Pack (£5,000), which is only available on the dual-motor version. This adds adjustable Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and 20-inch forged wheels for better handling. It also introduces a gold finish to the seat belts, brake calipers and valve caps. The dampers are adjustable in 22 different ways, allowing you to tailor the car's ride and handling to your taste in a much more fine-grained way than regular 'normal', 'comfort' and 'sport' presets, according to Polestar. As of April 2022, cars fitted with the Performance Pack also get an increased power output of 469bhp and 740Nm of torque.

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If you don't get the full Performance Pack when you order a Long Range dual-motor Polestar 2 now, the extra power and performance is available through an over-the-air purchase, which also adds launch control.

The rest of the options list is limited to paint finishes, leather upholstery and an electric tow bar. You can also add 20-inch alloy wheels to non-Performance Pack cars, though we wouldn’t bother as we found the ride to be quite firm. A range of accessories is also offered, including child seats, roof racks and extra charging cables.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

A headline feature for Polestar is its Android-powered infotainment system. The system comes with a full complement of Google services, including slick Google Maps navigation, multi-language voice recognition, Google Assistant and access to the Google Play Store. The 11.5-inch touchscreen is then split into four quarters, showing Google Maps, Google Search, phone and media controls. 

The system loads quickly and brings up postcode searches or other specific points of interest with ease, plus it can adapt a chosen route based on real-time traffic changes. Access to other functions such as drive settings and external cameras is through shortcuts at the top of the screen, while climate controls can be adjusted at the bottom.

The system works well and the touchscreen is both snappy and easy to use. It's a particularly good setup if you're an Android phone user or an existing proponent of the Google ecosystem, but iPhone users can now operate key functions on their smartphone via Apple CarPlay.

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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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