Polestar 3 reader test team

Having whetted buyers’ appetites with the Polestar 2 electric executive car, the brand is broadening its menu. The Polestar 3 SUV offers a taste of what’s to come...

Reader test team Polestar 3

After a fairly slow start, introducing just two new models during its six years in the UK car market thus far, Polestar is looking to expand its horizons – along with its sales figures – with the Polestar 3, its first electric SUV.

Expected on sale this spring, the Polestar 3 will go head to head with the likes of the Audi Q8 e-tron and BMW iX. It will be followed by the Polestar 4 coupé SUV, and there’s a Polestar 5 performance car in the pipeline.

The Polestar 3 is powered by two electric motors – one on each axle, giving it four-wheel drive – and produces 483bhp in standard form. That’s enough for 0-62mph in 5.0sec, and if that’s not quick enough, there’s also a Performance Pack that adds another 27bhp to knock 0.3sec off the time.

Polestar 3 2023 rear

A 107kWh (usable capacity) battery drives the motors and promises an official range of up to 379 miles – marginally farther than the iX can take you. The 3 is capable of charging at rates of up to 250kW, which means the battery can be topped up from 10-80% in 20 minutes if you can find a powerful enough public charger.

Inside, the Polestar 3’s clean-lined dashboard is dominated by a 14.5in infotainment touchscreen, which is laden with technology that’s been developed with Google.

All this power and equipment don’t come cheap, though; we expect the new model to start at around £80,000. To find out if the 3 will set Polestar on the right course for expansion, we asked a group of readers to assess the new model and issue their verdicts.

Richard Wright

Reader test team Polestar 3

Age 61

Job Retired

Drives BMW M340i Touring, Porsche 911, Seat Ibiza

“My next car will be a pure electric model, so I was keen to see if Polestar is a credible brand that I should consider alongside Audi, BMW and Porsche.

“I think the exterior styling is just right. It’s very stylish, but in an understated way, and it exudes the confidence of a premium brand. The car seems practical and roomy enough to carry four people in comfort, yet it has a sloping roofline and a sleek profile that suggests a performance car.

“The interior is uncluttered but not austere, and the panoramic sunroof helps it to feel airy. I also appreciate how its seats are upholstered with responsibly sourced Nappa leather. I can’t fault the ergonomics of the interior, either. The driving position is great and the driver’s seat is comfortable and feels supportive. I love the small steering wheel, and the infotainment system has crisp, clear graphics.

“My only concern is the £80,000 price tag, but maybe that will be mitigated when they introduce a less powerful version. That said, overall the Polestar 3 is a very convincing proposition compared with the established premium rivals.”

Star rating 5/5

Jurgen Volske

Reader test team Polestar 3

Age 64

Job Retired

Drives Mazda CX-3

“The Polestar 3 is a lovely-looking car. It’s shapely, but not too angular, like some SUVs. The interior is the most important aspect for me, though, and I felt at home behind the wheel straight away.

“The driving position is good, all the controls are within easy reach, and I like the head-up display, which projects lots of useful information onto the windscreen in front of the driver.

“Both front seats have a lot of height adjustment; that’s good because I’m pretty tall and my wife is shorter but likes to sit high up for good visibility.

“Space in the back isn’t as good, especially for a third person sitting in the middle seat, because they don’t have much space for their feet behind the storage cubby that also carries the rear air-con controls.

“Electric car range has been a sticking point, putting me off making the switch from petrol for some time, but the 3’s official range of 380 miles sounds reassuring. We do driving tours of Scotland and Ireland, as well as travelling to central Europe; we can cover around 4000 miles on a trip. With the ultra-fast charging options available there and the 3’s long range, I wouldn’t be worried about these trips.”

Star rating 5/5

Paul Freshwater

Reader test team Polestar 3

Age 59

Job Retired

Drives Hyundai i30 N, Kia Picanto

“Although I’m a devoted petrolhead, I’d like to find out if an electric car could be a good alternative. I’ve read about the Polestar 3’s performance, and it certainly sounds good on paper.

“I live in Shropshire and visit relatives in Sussex fairly often. I wouldn’t want to have to queue up to use public chargers en-route, but it sounds like I wouldn’t need to in the Polestar.

“The interior has some positive features: the driving position is good, and it’s useful to have a memory seat function; my wife and I could both programme in our preferred seating positions.

“The absence of physical controls is a disappointment. Too many of the functions I want to use regularly, such as the air-con temperature control, have to be accessed via the touchscreen.

“The rear is roomy enough for two adults, but I think a third would mean rubbing shoulders.

“Overall, the 3 has some good points, but it ’s extremely expensive and the restricted rear seat space and lack of physical buttons are concerns for me .”

Star rating 3/5

Tony Hunt

Reader test team Polestar 3

Age 65

Job Managing director

Drives Audi SQ7, Porsche Taycan, Porsche 718 Boxster S

“I am interested in the range, practicality and comfort of the Polestar 3. My wife will only drive SUVs, and having changed 80% of our company car fleet to EVs, I’d like to replace my SQ7 with an electric alternative.

“The environment is important to me, and my business is carbon neutral, so I’m impressed with the steps Polestar is taking to reduce the amount of carbon created in producing new cars.

“Polestar is targeting Audi and Porsche in the EV market, and I think the 3’s interior has the quality to take on these rivals. However, that stylishly sloping roofline encroaches a little on rear headroom, and with the rear seats mounted quite high, I fear taller passengers could be uncomfortable on long trips.

“Better news, though, is that the rear boot is a good size, and it ’s useful that there’s a ‘frunk’ for storing the charging cables.

“Although the Polestar 3’s official range sounds great, I’d like to find out what the real range would be, especially in winter. At present, I’m getting only around 200 miles between charges from the Taycan. I’d be happy with the Polestar if it could do 300 miles, though.”

Star rating 4/5

Ian Beaumont

Reader test team Polestar 3

Age 67

Job Retired

Drives Audi A6 Avant, Audi TT

“I’m planning to replace my A6 with a pure electric model, but I need a car with a real-world range of at least 300 miles; I live on the south coast of England and regularly make a 270-mile trip to Yorkshire to visit my parents, and I don’t want the hassle of having to use public charging points on the way there.

“I like the attention to detail on the inside and outside of the car. The slim exterior lights are very attractive, and it’s neat how the driver assistance sensors have been tucked away in the grille.

“The quality of the interior is seriously impressive, too. As an Audi owner, I expect very high standards in this area, and the Polestar doesn’t disappoint. There’s a mix of screens and physical buttons for the main driver controls, and I think they’ve got the balance between the two spot on.

“Another great feature is the panoramic glass roof; my A6 has one and I’d not be without it.

“Overall, I think the Polestar 3 represents a big leap forward in terms of range and sophistication compared with earlier premium pure electric SU Vs, such as the Jaguar I-Pace. If it can get fairly close to its official range, it’ll definitely be a contender for me.”

Star rating 5/5

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