Polestar 2 review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
Great build quality, familiar architecture and impressive Google-powered infotainment all count in the Polestar 2's favour here
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 wood 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
Volvo owners will find the Polestar 2's dashboard familiar in its general architecture, particularly with its high-set dashboard, high-waisted doors and Volvo-derived steering wheel. The centre console is a departure, however, rising high up between the front-seat passengers to meet the large floating portrait touchscreen, a sculptural drive selector and a tactile rotary control for infotainment navigation. Three trim options are available, with a choice between black ash or reconstructed wood trims, and there are also three upholstery options.
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.
As of January 2023, all Polestar 2s come with 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.
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 680Nm of torque.
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. 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 11.5-inch touchscreen looks good and is 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.
In This Review
- 1VerdictWith 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 & infotainment - currently readingGreat 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