No longer just a subdivision of Volvo, Polestar is making waves in the EV segment with its new range of sedans and SUVs. The 2024 Polestar 2 falls into the former category and brings enough to the table to go up against the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and BMW i4. In single-motor guise, it can travel up to 320 miles, while the dual-motor setup offers excellent performance with up to 421 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque. True, this isn't as far or as fast as a Tesla can go, but Polestar does present buyers with a far more premium package that is more in line with its German rivals and at a similar price. Still, good performance is nothing special in an EV, and with range becoming more of a deciding factor than ever, does the Polestar 2 do enough to stay ahead in a quickly growing segment?
The changes to the new Polestar 2 electric sedan are mostly under the hood, so to speak. For 2024, the single-motor model switches to rear-wheel drive and adds both improved outputs and slightly more range than before. The dual-motor setup benefits from the latter, too, but it also has better weight distribution and can send even more torque to the rear wheels when needed for an improved driving experience. The larger battery doesn't just improve range, but it also has faster charging times of up to 205 kW. Lastly, SmartZone is now equipped as standard on all models, featuring a mid-range radar and front-facing camera in the otherwise cosmetic grille.
At just shy of $50,000, the starting price of the 2024 Polestar 2 is reasonable for a premium vehicle at $49,900 for the single motor RWD. Meanwhile, the MSRP of the dual-motor model is set at $55,300. Neither figure accounts for the $1,400 destination charge. Sadly, the car is not assembled in the USA and, therefore, does not qualify for tax credits despite being an EV.
As for which model we'd buy, the dual-motor model is now a bit more expensive than it used to be, compared to the single-motor one. Opting for the pricier ones gives you more power but less range - by around 50 miles, which is quite a big sacrifice. Both models come with the same list of standard features, and while the single-motor variant can't equip the Performance Pack, it does benefit from faster charging times. Thus, we'd stick with the base model and keep costs down as much as possible, especially if you're attracted to one of the packages.
Polestar aims at a minimalist but high-tech cabin, and it hits the mark perfectly, but it's not as spacious as a family sedan should be.
Polestar trims have always been at the top end of Volvo lineups, which is an indication of what you should expect from the brand's own offerings. The interior of the Polestar 2 is a special place. All the materials are sustainably sourced, and the upholstery is fully synthetic, while the overall design of the cabin is minimalist and clean. The touchscreen is located in a large center console that separates driver from passenger, and it operates the majority of the features, leaving the rest of the dashboard for storage. This simplicity belies the fact that the car is simply awash with modern features, particularly those aimed at maintaining safety.
As with most sedans, the Polestar 2 offers two rows of seats, but it also falls victim to the same weaknesses as most compact sedans, such as restricted interior space. The driver and passenger won't feel any need to complain, but headroom in the back is a little below average, leaving taller folk at risk of bumps and jostles against the roof lining from time to time. On the plus side, the seats are very comfortable, and the standard power adjustability makes it easy to find a suitable position.
In terms of a sedan, the Polestar 2 has reasonable cargo space behind the rear seats - namely 14.4 cubic feet. This can be expanded to an impressive 38.7 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. But this is an electric vehicle, which means there is also a small secondary compartment under the hood, offering an extra 1.2 cubes of storage, which is even less than the additional 1.4 cu-ft area under the trunk floor.
Around the cabin, there are a few nooks and crannies where you can store smaller items. These include removable cupholders in the center console, along with a few small bins, another storage slot above the glove compartment, and pockets in each of the doors. There are another two cupholders in the back and a small cubby under the armrest.
|Tesla Model 3
|BMW i4 Gran Coupe
|41.3 in. front
37 in. rear
|40.3 in. front
37.7 in. rear
|38.2 in. front
36.6 in. rear
|42.2 in. front
33.9 in. rear
|42.7 in. front
35.2 in. rear
|41.5 in. front
34.2 in. rear
|14.3 - 38.7 ft³
Comfy vegan leatherette with 3D etched deco is the standard upholstery. It is presented in a Charcoal hue that matches the headliner and textile floor mats, though Zinc is an option. If you want something different, there is Slate and Charcoal WeaveTech upholstery, which matches the available Black Ash trim. This will cost you more, though, as it requires the Plus Pack. If you really want leather, then you'll have to pick this package and then spend even more to unlock Nappa leather in Barley. At this level, wood trim replaces the standard fare.
Every Polestar 2 comes equipped with a staggering number of features, starting with power-adjustable heated front seats, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, a 12-volt power outlet, and a 12.3-inch driver information display. For infotainment, you get an 11.2-inch touchscreen that offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming, and Digital Radio, all played back through an eight-speaker sound system.
Four USB ports and a wireless charger help to keep your devices going over longer trips. There are just a few packages that allow you to add heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a panoramic roof, a Polestar digital key, and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
|12.3-inch digital gauge
|Dual-zone climate control
|Heated front seats
|13-speaker Harman Kardon sound
The Polestar 2 can go really quick with the Performance Pack, but the sacrifices to ride comfort is not really worth it.
Two different motor arrangements are available to the Polestar 2, each offering different levels of performance. The basic setup comprises just a single motor that develops up to 299 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels. Meanwhile, the dual-motor configuration makes 421 hp and 546 lb-ft, and it comes with rear-biased all-wheel drive. The single motor setup gets the Polestar from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, while a pair of motors gets the Polestar 2 there in 4.5 seconds. If you opt for the Performance Pack, the dual-motor model increases outputs to 476 hp and cuts the sprint time down to 4.2 seconds. Top speed is clocked at 127 mph.
This brisk acceleration is just the beginning, and the easy access to torque, even when moving, gives the electric sedan a surprisingly sporty feeling. The quick and accurate steering only further supports this. Since the battery is mounted low down in the middle of the vehicle, weight distribution is excellent, and the car doesn't slide around unexpectedly when taking a corner. As for ride comfort, there is nothing to complain about here, at least in standard guise. Opt for the Performance Pack, and you get a stiffer suspension and Ohlins dampers that make the trade-off for a few more horses seem unwise, unless you like the taut and sporty feel. Unlike many sedans, the Polestar 2 is rated with a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs, which isn't bad.
Rather than gas mileage, EVs measure their fuel economy by their maximum range and charging times. Polestar has upgraded the batteries in its 2 sedan, allowing the single-motor model to travel up to 320 miles, while the more powerful dual-motor model can only cover 276 miles. These figures do drop a little if you add 20-inch wheels.
If you want to translate to the equivalent of gas mileage figures, the Polestar 2 base model on 19-inch wheels achieves EPA figures of 124/106/115 MPGe. Switching to larger wheels will cost four or five miles per gallon. Dual-motor models get 112/100/106 MPGe on 19-inch wheels but dip to 100/90/95 MPGe for models with the Performance pack.
Able to handle up to 11 kW of AC charging or 205 kW on a DC fast charger, the Polestar 2 recharges in eight hours, or from 10 - 80% in 28 minutes, respectively. The dual-motor model can only handle 155 kW charging, so it takes 34 minutes to charge from 10% to 80%.
Single Speed Automatic
Single Speed Automatic
|8 hours from flat @ 220/240V
28 minutes from 10% - 80%
|8 hours from flat @ 220/240V
34 minutes from 10% - 80%
In typical fashion, the Polestar 2 earns top marks: a perfect 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA.
Only the NHTSA has given the Polestar 2 a safety review, but it was highly impressed and awarded the car a perfect five stars in every category. This is unsurprising considering its sound Swedish engineering and an extensive list of standard safety tech.
The safety suite comprises forward collision avoidance and mitigation, lane-keep assist, road sign recognition, hill-start assist, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear collision mitigation, all-around parking sensors, and a surround-view camera. All of this is on top of the nine airbags, ABS, and stability and traction control. The Pilot Pack adds what few systems are missing, such as adaptive cruise control with Pilot Assist and emergency stop assist.
|Forward collision mitigation
|Adaptive cruise control
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
Despite its heritage, the Polestar 2 has a poor reliability rating of just 58 out of 100 from JD Power. Its overall consumer score is low, too, at 67/100. This low expectation doesn't seem to have any real grounding in history, as the model has not been recalled this year, and it was only subject to a single recall in 2023 for an incorrectly installed front lower ball joint.
Every new Polestar 2 sedan enjoys a long warranty that is not uncommon for an EV. Standard limited coverage is only for four years/50,000 miles, but the electric components are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.
Polestar is not some bold new startup seeking to make a name for itself in the EV segment. If anything, it has already established itself in the world of high-end luxury and is now simply branching out into new opportunities. As such, it can confidently stick with its more conservative styling despite being a fastback with a sloping roofline. For those who can appreciate understated beauty, there is a lot to like here. The front fascia still has a somewhat traditional grille, which houses the SmartZone system, with adaptive LED headlights paired with the well-known Thor's Hammer daytime running lights.
If you want something a bit flashier and futuristic, you can opt for pixel LED headlights. In the wheel arches, you'll find 19-inch alloys as standard, which can be upgraded 20 or 21s. Similarly, you can replace the regular roof with a panoramic glass one. At the back, the car is a bit less traditional, with a long brake light bar that runs the entire width and then circles back on itself on the upper half of the trunk. This is power-operated for ease of access.
Polestar is no longer just a word associated with expensive Volvos. It stands on its own for creating forward-thinking products that appeal to a wide demographic, and it has cleverly positioned its sedan among others in a quickly growing segment. However, it hasn't abandoned its ideals of sophistication, performance, and safety. The Polestar 2 has good looks, a luxurious interior, loads of standard features, and impeccable safety. It still falls behind Tesla's sedan in terms of range - but not by much. It's much better put together and offers a stunning cabin in comparison to the Model 3, so unless your focus is getting to 60 mph as quickly as the Model 3 does, the Swedish sedan offers better value. The 2024 Polestar 2 is a compelling alternative that we wouldn't hesitate to put our money on.
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