Polestar 2 performance, motor & drive
It's fast, grippy and safe – and you can make it even quicker with a software update – but the Polestar 2 doesn't offer the last word in driving pleasure
|Model||0-62mph||Top speed||Driven wheels||Power|
|Standard Range Single||7.0s||100mph||Front||221bhp|
|Long Range Single||7.0s||100mph||Front||228bhp|
|Long Range Twin||4.5s (4.4s with Performance Pack)||127mph||Four||402bhp (469bhp with Performance Pack)|
Neither the single nor the dual-motor version of the Polestar 2 can match the equivalent Tesla Model 3 for sheer straight-line acceleration, but overall the driving experience is good, with the performance, handling and ride quality all striking a good balance between passenger comfort and driver engagement.
Polestar 2 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
When it launched, the Polestar 2 was only available in dual-motor, all-wheel-drive form with 402bhp and 660Nm of torque on tap. Going from 0-62mph in this top-spec version takes just 4.5 seconds, while overtaking seems effortless.
It's not quite as fast as a Tesla Model 3, but feels brisk, powerful and safe all the same. Top speed is 127mph. As of April 2022, all versions of the dual-motor Polestar 2s fitted with the optional Performance Pack get an increase in power to 469bhp and 680Nm of torque. The boost in power shaves just a tenth off the Polestar's 0-62mph time.
While not as quick, the more single-motor, front-wheel-drive Polestar 2s still offer instant torque off the line and enough power for easy overtakes. Both the Standard Range and Long Range versions of the single-motor car will do 0-62mph in seven seconds.
The first version of the Polestar 2 we tested was the dual-motor model fitted with the optional Performance Pack, which adds Brembo brakes, adjustable Öhlins suspension components and 20-inch forged alloy wheels, plus natty gold-coloured seatbelts inside. In this configuration, the 2 strikes a nice balance between control and comfort. Our test car had the adjustable suspension set somewhere in the middle of its range, and it felt firm but pliant on most surfaces.
This is an agile car, too – stability is great, there's loads of grip and body control is excellent. Come out the other side of a corner and there’s more than enough performance on tap – noiseless, linear forward shove is ready and waiting at any speed, while sitting at a cruise is a relaxed experience thanks to the hushed, well isolated interior.
A firm ride means the car jiggles on rougher roads, but it's not terrible; opt for some smaller wheels and this may well be reduced. There's lots of traction on offer and the car feels like it uses its considerable weight to its advantage in this regard. Overall, the Polestar 2 doesn't feel as poised or punchy as a Tesla Model 3, but the performance on offer is still addictive: press hard on the accelerator at any speed and there's instant access to more power than you could ever need. Slightly dead steering lets the side down, however.
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 make up for what's likely to be an expensive insurance premium for the Polestar 2
- 4Performance, motor & drive - currently readingIt's fast, grippy and safe – and you can make it even quicker with a software update – but the Polestar 2 doesn't offer the last word in driving pleasure
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortGreat 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