New Polestar 2 vs Tesla Model 3: costs

The all-new, fully electric Polestar 2 is the first direct rival for the hitherto unbeatable Tesla Model 3. Time to see whether the current class champ is in for a shock...

Polestar 2 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Pure electric cars priced at less than £50,000 qualify for a £3000 grant from the Government, so you’d imagine that both of our contenders just miss out on this sweetener. However, Polestar appears to have found a loophole: because the Performance upgrades are part of an optional pack, its car still qualifies for the grant and will cost cash buyers some £4600 less because of it.

Mind you, the Model 3’s slower predicted depreciation helps to offset this when you consider overall three-year ownership costs; the difference here falls to just £2600. And there’s even less in it for company car drivers: between now and April 2023, a 40% taxpayer will have to sacrifice a total of just £658 of their salary to run the Polestar, compared with £677 for the Model 3.

Tesla Model 3 side

Polestar wasn’t offering a PCP finance option at the time of writing, but if you decide to lease through the manufacturer directly, you’ll pay £693 a month (assuming 10,000 miles a year and a three-year term). Tesla will charge you a hefty £910 for the Model 3 under the same terms.

There isn’t much in it for standard luxuries; both cars get 20in alloys, climate control, heated seats (front and rear), LED headlights, a panoramic glass roof and keyless entry, with the Polestar adding a heated steering wheel to its already healthy kit list.

Given its Volvo underpinnings and safety aids, we’ve little doubt the Polestar will do a great job of protecting you and your passengers. However, at the time of writing it hadn’t been appraised for crash safety by the experts at Euro NCAP, whereas the Model 3 secured a generally outstanding write-up across the board. Both cars come with automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, blindspot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and a self-steering function.

Polestar 2 vs Tesla Model 3 costs

A contentiously named ‘full self-driving’ package (£6800) is available on the Model 3, allowing the car to make automatic lane changes on the motorway and be ‘summoned’ using Tesla’s app on your phone, although this doesn’t mean the car is fully autonomous.

Both cars can complete a full charge from empty in around 11hr 45min if you plug in to a 7kW wallbox at home. Find a 150kW CCS charging point (there aren’t many of these in the UK at the moment) and you’ll be able to charge the Polestar from 10-80% in as little as 27 minutes, whereas the Tesla can manage that in 22 minutes via a 250kW Tesla Supercharger station. With around 500 Superchargers in the UK, this is a compelling reason to choose the Model 3.

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