20.11.2021Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor review
Polestar might not be a familiar name for some, but the public should certainly take note. Volvo’s electrified performance brand has seen its second model - and first pure-EV - the Polestar 2 prove extremely popular. An expanding line-up means there are various battery and motor options, but tested here is the long range dual motor version.
Review by Chris Lilly
POLESTAR 2: PERFORMANCE
Performance is not really an issue in this version of the Polestar 2, fitted as it is with twin 150 kW electric motors. The combined 300 kW (408 hp) and all-wheel drive, alongside the traditional instant response of electric motors, means the Polestar 2 is rapid. Sprint time? Well the 0-62mph dash is dispatched in just 4.7 seconds, and there’s a 127 mph top speed where conditions allow. It all feels well balanced between high-performance and accessible power too. The grip and response offered by the 2 is excellent, and gives the driver confidence to push on when required. It’s comfortable sitting on the motorway, performs well on twisting country roads, and excels along sweeping A-roads. A case of more performance that you really need, but not too much to be truly excessive.
Unusually for a non-performance focused model, the Polestar 2 has adjustable Öhlins dampers - at least the test model did as part of a Performance Pack that also includes larger wheels and brakes. It allows more than 20 different settings, though most will pick a stiffness setting and largely stick with that to preference. The test vehicles was coincidentally set up to my liking, with a stiff-ash but not uncomfortable ride. Body roll was kept nicely under check, but the Polestar didn’t crash over most poor surfaces, with enough pliancy to keep occupants comfortable. It feels like a grown up model, not one from a relatively new brand.
Personally I think the 2 looks great. A few years ago Volvo created two concept cars, one of which went on to become the Volvo XC40, while the Concept 40.2 has been translated into the Polestar 2. A stylish fastback design ensures a practical hatchback rear and seating for five - though a large central tunnel that houses the batteries effectively makes it a four seater for comfort. There’s a small front load space that is ideal for charging cables, and occupant space is excellent throughout, with only tall adults feeling the effect of the sloping roofline - though the panoramic sunroof has a small impact on this.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Polestar continues the great Swedish tradition of extremely comfortable seats; though this should come as no surprise considering that Polestar has access to Volvo’s considerable ergonomic expertise. This will be gradually discovered by occupants, especially after a long trip that leave drivers feeling fresh. However, more noticeable is the infotainment system. It’s the first car to feature a system built on the Android platform, and it works very well indeed. It’s fast to load and respond, with clear graphics, and quick integration. Polestar’s minimalist design translates well digitally too, and functions provided are comprehensive, but not overwhelming.
POLESTAR 2: RANGE & RUNNING COSTS
The Polestar 2 range is quoted at 299 miles for this long range dual motor model, which is comfortably enough for most drivers on a single charge. There’s a longer range single motor model with 336 miles per charge available, or a smaller battery version with 275 miles. In real world conditions, the Polestar 2 suffered over the course of almost 800 miles in it because of its performance potential - essentially it was often too tempting to push on a bit. As such, the overall average was a rather disappointing 235 miles on a charge - though this was in chilly weather and with a big kid behind the wheel. In more normal conditions and with a normal rather than enthusiastic driving style, that extended to 255 miles each charge, and with a gentle right foot around 270 miles. Not brilliant compared to opposition, but a decent showing overall.
As you would expect from an EV, there is brake energy recuperation available, and nicely set-up it is too. One-pedal driving is possible, though a ‘low’ setting is also available, and you can switch it off to enable coasting. Charging is possible at up to 155 kW DC for ultra-rapid top-ups using CCS, and AC charging is possible at up to 11 kW. There’s a Range Assistant that offers live driving feedback and data, as well as enabling an Eco setting for the climate control. Connected car services include pre-conditioning and charge timing.
The Polestar equipment system is fairly simple, with no trim levels to speak of barring the choice of powertrain. Customers are then offered the familiar choice of colours and wheels, and then interior and equipment packs. Fitted as standard are LED headlights, 19-inch alloys, 11.2-inch Google-powered infotainment system, digital driver’s instruments, heated front seats, automatic lights and wipers, parking sensors front and rear, and rear parking camera. Packs include the Performance pack with adjustable dampers, large Brembo brakes, 20-inch alloys, and Polestar gold touches inside and out. Pilot pack adds pixel LED headlights and 360-degree camera, as well as driver assistance systems. Plus pack includes the panoramic sunroof, vegan upholstery, heat pump, and Harman Kardon stereo.
POLESTAR 2: MODEL SUMMARY
The Polestar 2 is an excellent executive model, regardless of whether it’s electric or not. Powerful, responsive, fun to drive, refined, and well built, it offers a very different proposition to the final Tesla Model 3. If outright range is your priority, the Tesla pips the Polestar - In every other regard I’d personally pick the Polestar 2. One of the few cars I’ve gone and configured online after testing it to see how many pennies I need to save.
Model tested: Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor
Body-style: Executive fastback
Engine / CO2: Twin electric motors / 0 g/km
Trim grades: Standard Range Single Motor, Long Range Single Motor, Long Range Dual Motor
On-road price: Polestar 2 range from £39,900 Long Range Dual Motor from £45,900
Warranty: Three years / 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Now
Review rating: 5 Stars