Polestar 2 review

Category: Large Electric

Section: Performance & drive

2021 Polestar 2 rear tracking
  • Polestar 2 2021 front
  • 2021 Polestar 2 rear tracking
  • 2021 Polestar 2 RHD dashboard
  • Polestar 2 rear boot - 2020 car
  • Polestar 2 touchscreen - 2020 car
  • 2021 Polestar 2 right tracking
  • 2021 Polestar 2 rear right cornering
  • 2021 Polestar 2 rear right cornering
  • Polestar 2 door trim - 2020 car
  • Polestar 2 front boot - 2020 car
  • Polestar 2 2021 front
  • 2021 Polestar 2 rear tracking
  • 2021 Polestar 2 RHD dashboard
  • Polestar 2 rear boot - 2020 car
  • Polestar 2 touchscreen - 2020 car
  • 2021 Polestar 2 right tracking
  • 2021 Polestar 2 rear right cornering
  • 2021 Polestar 2 rear right cornering
  • Polestar 2 door trim - 2020 car
  • Polestar 2 front boot - 2020 car
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

At launch, the Polestar 2 was available only in four-wheel-drive, dual-motor form, but it can now be bought with a single motor on the front axle, providing either 221bhp or 227bhp. Despite the slight difference in power, both cars have the same claimed 0-60mph time of 7.4sec.

Now, if you’re thinking 7.4sec sounds a little tardy in a world of sub-3.0sec Porsche Taycans, let us put your mind at rest. Due to the instantaneous way that electric cars produce power, the entry-level Polestar 2 feels properly punchy both around town and at higher speeds. It’s certainly quicker than a similar-priced petrol or diesel executive car, such as a BMW 3 Series, although it's worth noting that the sheer eagerness of its acceleration means it relies quite heavily on its traction control to prevent the front wheels from spinning in wet conditions.

To help keep all of that weight under control in corners, dual-motor cars get the choice of a Performance Pack. This adds special suspension by specialist firm Ohlins that's manually adjustable, so you can change the suspension settings to suit your needs, but you'll have to ask your dealer to make the changes unless you're handy with a spanner. 

With that clever suspension option, the Polestar 2’s weight is well disguised around corners. When you turn in, it feels taut and secure. And while there is more body lean than in a Model 3, it’s controlled and measured. 

The same, however, can’t be said for the standard suspension, on either the single-motor or dual-motor car. Granted, if you drive it in a relaxed manner – as most people surely will – it handles perfectly adequately. Push it harder in the bends, though, and you'll really feel the body lean over onto the outside wheels, and there’s quite a bit of float over undulations. It also doesn’t help that the steering is numb, no matter which of the three weight settings you select. By comparison, the Model 3's steering is far more alert and the car feels more agile and grippy. And if you're a keen driver looking for more than just grip and grunt, the balance and poise of the BMW 3 Series should not be ignored.  

Ride comfort is a mixed bag in the Polestar 2. The standard car is smooth and settled at motorway speeds, until it encounters a pothole or an expansion joint. Such sharp abrasions elicit a harsh jolt. It is, however, more comfortable more of the time than the Performance Pack car. Indeed, even if you have your Polestar dealer soften off the suspension (we recommend 18 clicks at the front and 20 at the rear; they'll know what that means), it's not exactly soft, so it tends to follow the ups and downs of the road – even the smallest of imperfections – especially at town speeds. The Model 3 is certainly more controlled and comfortable. 

Aside from the motor whine, town driving is seriously relaxing, aided by the inclusion of a one-pedal driving mode. This means that the Polestar 2’s regenerative brakes, which feed energy back into the battery whenever you lift off the accelerator, slow the car to such an extent that you don’t often need to touch the brake pedal at all, except for an emergency stop.

You can switch this mode off if you prefer and use the brakes as normal, but the pedal is a little wooden. It's effective at stopping you from high speed, but its dead-weight feel makes it quite difficult to gauge the correct pressure to apply to do so smoothly. 

As for the crucial matter of range, the 64kWh standard-range, single-motor Polestar 2 can officially cover up to 273 miles on a single charge – almost identical to that of the more expensive Model 3 Standard Range Plus. Step up to the 78kWh long-range battery and the official range increases to 335 miles, which is better than the Audi Q4 e-tron 40’s 316 miles but somewhat short of the 360 miles claimed by Tesla for the Model 3 Long Range. Meanwhile, the dual-motor car promises up to 298 miles on a charge.

New car deals
Target Price from £39,900
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Used car deals
From £49,990