Pros: Nimble handling; strong power with dual-motor model; cool styling; spacious interior
Cons: Single-motor is hard to recommend; interior has some cheap materials; manually adjustable suspension
The current premium electric cars all have many features in common. They’re fairly stylish, have fancy technology, and have powerful electric motors. The Polestar 2 has all this, too, but it goes beyond those basic features by having ride and handling characteristics of some of the best sport sedans on the market, with or without electric powertrains. And it does so while being a decent value compared to other premium electric cars.
Yes, driving the Polestar 2 is what will sell you on the car. It’s eager to corner, and simply feels lighter than its specifications say. With the dual-motor powertrain, it’s darn quick, too. It’s also still very spacious and quiet inside, and it has a high-tech Google-sourced infotainment system. And with pricing in the low-to-mid-$50,000 price range, it can offer more power for the money than the BMW i4 or Genesis GV60. The Tesla Model 3 is about the only thing that offers a better on-paper value, but we prefer the Polestar’s styling, hatchback and interior controls.
Things to keep in mind with the Polestar, though, are that the base, single-motor car, while the cheapest, barely offers more range than the dual-motor and has vastly less power. It also isn’t that much cheaper. So, it’s likely worth skipping. And every Polestar 2 has an interior that’s not quite up to snuff for a luxury car, especially compared to the i4 and GV60 (not to mention the cars made by Polestar’s sister company, Volvo). But on the whole, the Polestar 2 is a value-packed and very fun electric car worth checking out.
Interior & Technology | Passenger & Cargo Space | Performance & Range
What it’s like to drive | Pricing & Trim Levels | Crash Ratings & Safety Features
What’s new for 2023?
The Polestar 2 no longer qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit. The MSRP is also a bit more expensive. New colors are available. An upgraded heat pump is available on the Plus Pack, and the Performance Pack includes the high-output motor calibration. Apple CarPlay is also now included as standard.
What are the Polestar 2 interior and in-car technology like?
Despite the Polestar 2’s tall, almost SUV-like exterior, the interior feels relatively car-like. A big part of this is seating. The front seats can be lifted up fairly high for that highly desired SUV position, but with the batteries placed in the center of the car, there’s room to drop the seats down low. It’s very much in keeping with Polestar’s sporting vibe. That battery arrangement also means there’s more room for feet and legs in the back seat.
While spacious, the rest of the Polestar 2’s interior does feel a little underwhelming for a car starting around the $50,000 mark. Some of the plastics feel scratchy and cheap. And it’s a very monochrome place. The central battery placement, while facilitating more vertical space, means there’s a huge center tunnel that encroaches on knee- and elbow room. There are bright spots, though, such as the nifty hexagonal shifter, the lovely glass roof with illuminated Polestar logo (part of the Plus Pack), and a few interestingly textured trim panels. But it could use just a little more sprucing up.
The infotainment is also pretty good. Every Polestar 2 gets a bright and crisp 11-inch touchscreen running an Android Automotive OS interface that manages virtually all the interior controls from navigation to climate. It is very responsive, and functions are divided into categories with large icons. It’s also fairly customizable, and is now compatible with Apple CarPlay. And while most controls are operated with the touchscreen, there is still a physical volume knob with a play/pause button.
How big is the Polestar 2?
The Polestar 2 is close in size and shape to many other EVs including the Ford Mustang Mach-E, BMW i4, Genesis GV60 and Tesla Model 3. It’s a bit shorter in length, but is one of the taller examples. That also puts it in striking distance of many entry-level luxury sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and A5 Sportback, and even the Volvo S60.
As previously mentioned, the Polestar 2 feels quite spacious inside. There’s loads of head- and legroom for both rows of seats. The seats themselves feel very supportive without being particularly firm, so they’re great for both short and long distances.
Cargo space, on paper, is adequate, but unexceptional at 14.3 cubic feet with the seats up. We found that it holds less behind the back seat than the Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, but does a bit better than the BMW i4 and the fact that it’s a hatchback grants it greater flexibility than the Tesla Model 3. Plus, it has a shockingly deep well below the cargo floor, which offers additional space that’s hidden from view. It also has a small frunk for other odds and ends, perhaps even a car charger.
What are the Polestar 2 range and performance specs?
The standard Polestar 2 model comes with a single front motor making 231 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. It powers the front wheels and is fed by a 78-kilowatt-hour battery, which is the same for all Polestar 2s. Range is 270 miles and it has an EPA-estimated combined efficiency rating of 31 kWh/100 miles or 107 mpg-e. Polestar estimates it will hit 60 mph in 7 seconds, and it has a top speed of 100 mph.
Next up is the dual-motor version that has a motor up front and one at the back that make a combined 408 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. It does take a range and efficiency hit, but it’s fairly minor. Range drops to 260 miles and efficiency is 34 kWh/100 miles or 100 mpg-e. Polestar’s 0 to 60 estimate is 4.5 seconds with an increased top speed of 127 mph.
There’s also a software update available as an option for the dual-motor car. It increases power to 469 horses and torque to 502 pound-feet.
What’s the Polestar 2 like to drive?
One of the biggest reasons to pick a Polestar 2 over its competitors is the superb handling. Somehow, Polestar has managed to make this roughly 4,500-pound EV feel about 1,000 pounds lighter than it is. The car responds immediately to every input from the quick and precise steering, and with minimal body roll. It’s impressively neutral, too, even with the single-motor, front-drive layout, and simply begs you to whip it around corners. And that’s just with the standard suspension. It only gets better with the optional Performance Pack with fancy adjustable Ohlins shocks.
The handling doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality either. It’s a little stiffer than some similar EVs, but it doesn’t bang you around by any means. If you do have the Performance Pack, though, you’ll want to keep it in its softest settings on the street, as it does end up uncomfortably hard in the stiffest setting. We have to note, however, that unlike other adjustable suspension, this one is adjusted manually and not without some effort.
The biggest differences in Polestars are in the powertrains. Unsurprisingly, the dual-motor version with its 408 horsepower is impressive, and it will keep you pinned to your seat as long as you keep the pedal down, or until you start getting up to higher motor speeds. Like many other electric cars, the power does diminish at high rpm. But in regular driving, you’ll probably never notice it. You can get more power with an optional software change that brings power up to 476 horsepower and torque to 502 pound-feet. It’s included with the Performance Pack that also adds the Ohlins suspension and upgraded Brembo brakes.
The single-motor Polestar 2 is, unfortunately, substantially slower. Not that you would be surprised as it has a little more than half the power of the dual-motor. Yes, it’ll still keep up with traffic, and it has great throttle response and immediate torque. But keep your foot planted, and it’s clear it runs out of steam quickly. It feels much more like an entry-level luxury sedan with a base engine. On the plus side, although the single-motor is front-wheel-drive, the car still feels neutral, and there’s not really any torque steer. Still, when you can have twice the power and twice the powered wheels for just $3,500, and you only lose 10 miles of range, it’s hard to recommend the single-motor car over the dual-motor one.
What other Polestar 2 reviews can I read?
2021 Polestar 2 Road Test Review | The mystery sport sedan
The Polestar 2 seriously impresses as a great sport sedan, regardless of whether it’s electric or combustion-powered.
2020 Polestar 2 First Drive | No gas, no bull, all beauty and speed
Our first time behind the wheel of the dual-motor Polestar 2 goes very well.
Polestar 2 Luggage Test | How big is the trunk?
While the basic cargo area isn’t great, there are some little tricks that make it much more useful.
What is the 2023 Polestar 2 price?
Pricing for the Polestar 2 starts at $49,800 for the single-motor car. The dual-motor version starts at $53,300. As alluded to in the driving experience sections, the $3,500 increase to get the dual-motor car is very much worth it, as you get substantially more performance with hardly any loss of range.
The Polestar 2 comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED lighting, power-operated hatch, parking sensors, proximity entry and starting, the ability to use your phone as a car key, dual-zone automatic climate control, a cloth interior, power-adjustable heated front seats, faux leather-wrapped steering wheel, 250-watt sound system, 11-inch touchscreen infotainment system running a Google operating system, and Apple CarPlay.
Options are mostly grouped into three main packages. Two are available on the single-motor, and one, the Performance Pack, is exclusive to the dual-motor model. The Plus Pack is $4,200 and includes many desirable features such as an upgraded heat pump for climate functions, which will be very desirable in colder climates for maintaining cold-weather range. It also adds a heated steering wheel, heated rear seat, heated wiper nozzles, wood interior trim, wireless phone charging and the panoramic glass roof. The Pilot Pack, costing $3,400, comes with many driver assist features, which we’ll cover in more detail below. The Performance Pack is only for the dual-motor car, costs $5,500, and it comes with the power increase, Ohlins suspension, four-piston Brembo brakes, 20-inch forged alloy wheels and yellow seatbelts.
To make things easier, you can find a complete breakdown of features, specs and local pricing here on Autoblog for the 2023 Polestar 2.
What are the Polestar 2 safety ratings and driver assistance features?
The Polestar 2 has not been evaluated by third-party crash testers.
It does come with a number of useful safety features including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, road-sign recognition with automatic speed adjustment, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic high-beam headlights. The Pilot Pack adds many more driver assists including blind-spot warning with steering assist, rear automatic emergency braking with cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with lane-centering and stop-and-go functionality, side parking sensors, turning fog lights, auto-dimming side mirrors and 360-degree cameras.