The verdict: A awful absorbing sports auto arranged with Scandinavian design, but its range, allowance and amount accumulate it from accurate greatness.
Versus the competition: There’s alone one big ambition here: the Tesla Archetypal 3. Compared with that car, the Polestar 2 is pricier, beneath ample and has a beneath range, but it’s abundant added accepted to drive and calmly as absorbing — plus, its appearance are absolutely higher-quality.
When you’re aboriginal to the bold and berserk successful, a ambition gets corrective on your back. Such is the case with the Tesla Archetypal 3, the California automaker’s added affordable bunched electric sports auto that’s bound become one of the acknowledged affluence cartage in the apple behindhand of ability source. Everyone abroad has been arena catchup to Tesla, and we’re starting to see some of those efforts crawl in: the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Porsche Taycan and now the Polestar 2.
It’s a cast you’ve acceptable never heard of, as it was afresh spun off by Volvo and its Chinese ancestor company, Geely. Polestar acclimated to be a high-performance tuner analysis whose name appeared on Volvo trim levels, and it still is to some extent, but that will eventually become beneath accepted as Polestar begins to beef out its own lineup. As the Polestar 2 is the latest (but not last) accomplishment to claiming the criterion Archetypal 3, we took it for an afternoon circuit to see if it could hit that swift, silent, accepted target.
Related: Polestar 2 Arrives to Claiming Tesla Archetypal 3
You don’t acquire to attending too adamantine at the Polestar 2 to see its Swedish ancestors heritage; admitting actuality branded a Polestar, there’s accessible Volvo birth in every angle of its styling. From the Thor’s hammer-style headlights and upright, beefy attitude to the architecture of the taillights, cipher would’ve batted an eye had this affair debuted as the Volvo E60. Polestar assembly accede this, adage both this car and the Polestar 1 two-door constituent amalgam sports auto absolutely acquire beheld ties aback to Volvo, but that the abutting model, an SUV alleged the Polestar 3, will not. A adumbration at the altered architecture accent that car and all approaching Polestars will use can be apparent in the Precept abstraction car that Polestar put out in February, which was declared to acquire debuted at the canceled 2020 Geneva International Motor Show.
The attending is absolutely a abandonment from best of the draft of the segment. It’s blockier than the Archetypal 3 and beneath SUV-like than the Jaguar I-Pace or Audi E-Tron, admitting the Polestar 2 accepting a four-door auto configuration. It sits a little college than a acceptable sports auto but not as aerial as a new-style crossover; if you bethink the old Subaru Outback sedan, that’s the vibe it gives off. It’s adorable in a spare, spartan Scandianavian aesthetic, which makes it angle out in its own way. Sadly, the beheld absorption does not extend to the acrylic blush palette, which is a arid acclivity amid white and black; alike my allegedly dejected analysis car acquainted like aloof addition another of gray. Amid the blocky administration and aerial hues, the Polestar 2 feels about airy out on the road. Considering what the car can do, though, that ability not be a bad thing.
Volvo builds some appealing amazing sedans, so it’s no abruptness the Polestar 2 affiliated a lot of what fabricated Volvo’s Polestar high-performance versions so fantastic. The new Polestar 2 is a accepted electric sports sedan, abnormally aback decked out with the another Performance Backpack my analysis agent had.
Before the options, though, it starts with the powertrain: a bifold electric-motor bureaucracy powering the advanced and rear auto independently, with rear bias. They aftermath 408 arrangement application and 400 pounds-feet of torque, acceptable abundant for a 0-60-mph time of beneath than 4.5 seconds, Polestar says. Actuality electric, the car’s torque ambit is formidable, acceptation dispatch comes on in a massive, seamless blitz aback you bulb your foot. Initial dispatch is adequately calm, however; it’s not acquainted to be jumpy, but rather able and laid back, carrying that activity alone aback you’ve able-bodied and absolutely alleged for it. There’s no action ambience or approach alteration at all, aloof some altered settings for adorning braking aggressiveness and council settings.
The Polestar 2’s ride and administration is on the close ancillary of sporty, but it is adjustable — manually. The analysis agent I collection was able with the Performance Backpack option, which includes 20-inch wheels, high-performance Brembo brakes and adapted Ohlins shock absorbers with 15 settings. My analysis car was set in the average of the compactness scale, which I begin to be too close for accustomed active on Michigan’s burst roads. If you alive about that takes affliction of its roads, it would acceptable be fine, but I would acquire cranked those dampers all the way over to their softest ambience in adjustment to accomplish it tolerable. I would acquire had to do so manually, however, as they’re not electronically adjustable — and I don’t apperceive abounding bodies who’d booty the time to change their damper settings.
That said, the antithesis and ride affection of the Polestar 2 was impressive. It handles beautifully, with the electric council abetment calmly switchable amid three settings acute ablaze to able effort. I kept it in the middle, which provided acceptable sportiness and ascendancy after sacrificing affluence of use. I did the aforementioned for the three adorning braking settings — the arch is too able and the lightest doesn’t do anything, but the average ambience provided acceptable balance. There was some accelerator ascent regen activation, but it didn’t impede rolling drive too much. The upgraded brakes fabricated quick assignment of bleeding off any extra, exceptionable momentum, with a solid pedal and no achromatize in again stops during advancing backroads driving.
Driving the Polestar 2 is agnate to active any cardinal of EVs: It’s deceptively quick, able to draft accomplished slower cartage with amazing acceleration and abutting to no noise. Turns out, you don’t allegation complete to accomplish fury, and I afraid added than one aged RV disciplinarian with a sudden, bashful bang accomplished their window. It’s quick like the Tesla Archetypal 3 and Jaguar I-Pace, but area the Polestar 2 delivers over added big-ticket EV adventures is in its anatomy refinement. It absolutely feels like a exceptional European sports sedan, solid and unflappable, carrying a advantageous active acquaintance through the affectionate of acknowledgment that’s generally missing in computerized EVs.
The array itself is a 78-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion backpack application LG Chem pouch-style cells. An EPA ambit appraisement was not yet accessible at advertisement time, but based on the European aeon — which tends to be appreciably added optimistic than American testing methods — it’s acceptable for 291 afar on a abounding charge. In the absorption of accepting some real-world numbers, Polestar commissioned an absolute ambit analysis amid two new Polestar 2s (a approved adaptation and one with the Performance Backpack and 20-inch wheels), a Tesla Archetypal 3, a Jaguar I-Pace and an Audi E-Tron. Performed by a testing lab on a bankrupt 3-mile egg-shaped course, all cars were answerable and set to run at 70 mph, with the altitude ascendancy at 72 degrees, until they could no best advance 70 mph. As expected, the Tesla Archetypal 3 went farthest, at 234 miles. The two Polestar 2s were abutting best, with the approved Polestar 2 activity 205 afar and the Performance Backpack archetypal activity 197 afar (Polestar estimates the EPA ambit will appear in about 250 miles). The Jaguar I-Pace came in next, at 188 miles, followed by the Audi E-Tron, which brought up the rear at 187 miles.
The autogenous is conceivably the best accessible abode area the Polestar 2 distinguishes itself from the Tesla Archetypal 3. Like the E-Tron and I-Pace, it’s a abundant added accepted layout, in befitting with acceptable automotive design: There’s a barometer array abaft the council wheel, committed buttons as able-bodied as touch-sensitive console controls, and adorable shapes that absolutely arm-twist some artistry. The Tesla is a tub with a axial screen, but Polestar absitively instead to advance a added accustomed bureaucracy — to acceptable effect. It doesn’t affection the balmy colors and copse tones you’ll acquisition in a Volvo, but that’s intentional; Polestar’s artful is air-conditioned and abstruse against Volvo’s balmy and organic.
That said, while the autogenous looks appreciably added adorable than annihilation from Tesla, it doesn’t necessarily feel better. Some of the ability doesn’t assignment so well, like the tiny air vents aloft the dashboard that almost clear and the actuality that about aggregate employs a fingerprint-magnet atramentous touchscreen. And for the price, the autogenous accessories feel rather cheap. There’s a acceptable bit of adamantine artificial that feels attenuate and alveolate aback you beating on it. The environmentally friendly, vegan “WeaveTech” bolt on the seats (leather is optional) feels like chintzy wetsuit material, not article I’d apprehend on a car I’m advantageous added than $70,000 to drive. And sadly, the colors axial are aloof as arid as the colors alfresco unless you get the big-ticket covering option, which enables you to specify tan upholstery instead of gray or black.
Front-seat abundance is acceptable alike if the seats do feel a little flat. The rear seats are beneath comfortable, with bound legroom and allowance admitting the Polestar 2’s adequately cocked roofline. The car looks bigger in photos than it absolutely is; you’re reminded it’s based on the Volvo XC40 auto SUV aback you’re axial it. You don’t absolutely sit low in the Polestar, but it still has the activity of sitting in a tub acknowledgment to broad windows and a aerial beltline. Outward visibility, however, isn’t bad — alike through the rear window, acknowledgment to a agent in the rear roof that allows you to see further bottomward the alley than you contrarily could. There’s a accepted bottle roof overhead, but it doesn’t acquire a shade, aloof some UV aegis and tinting. Overall, it feels about as ample for occupants as a Jaguar I-Pace, but beneath so than a Tesla Archetypal 3 or the abundant beyond Audi E-Tron.
The Polestar 2 has the altered acumen of actuality the aboriginal assembly auto to use the abounding Google Android Automotive operating system, acceptation the absolute axial affectation — which controls not alone the multimedia arrangement but additionally agent systems like altitude control, settings and others — uses software developed by Google. Why? Because it’s cheaper and easier for a low-volume vehicle, Polestar says. Developing a new interface, multimedia arrangement and altered built-in apps to handle things like aeronautics and audio systems is expensive, abnormally aback you don’t plan on authoritative hundreds of bags of cars to advance the amount around. The Polestar’s arrangement allows you to allocation amid claimed Google accounts and the car, enabling downloads of media and apps from the Google Play abundance to the agent itself. Preferences can be aggregate amid disciplinarian accounts and the car, or you can actualize an annual accurately for the car — or you can not assurance in at all and aloof use the systems the car comes with if you’d rather not allocation all your advice with anyone who ability use the car after you in it.
Thankfully, the Google arrangement works absolutely well; the axial affectation is huge and accessible to use on the go, featuring quick aeronautics amid screens, easy-to-find controls and a minimum cardinal of airheaded to annal through to acquisition the adapted controls. Certain appearance still acquire committed buttons, but they’re actual few; Polestar instead dedicates amplitude on the big tablet-style awning for functions like altitude control. Blush adverse is good, as are acceleration and responsiveness, and I had no complaints about the tablet-style controls abreast from the archetypal gripes about abridgement of acknowledgment from flatscreen “buttons” that artlessly don’t feel luxurious.
The axial barometer array is additionally agenda and reconfigurable. It’s not as accessible to apprehend as the big book display, but it can additionally affectation aeronautics and map information. What it abnormally does not affectation is any audio arrangement information, so unless you acquire the audio awning up on the axial book display, there’s no way to apperceive what radio abject you’re alert to or what song is playing. It’s a analytical blank from a agenda awning accustomed aloof about every added architect appearance it in their fractional or absolutely agenda apparatus panels.
More From Cars.com:
Full appraisement for the American adaptation of the Polestar 2 has not yet been announced, and seeing as how alone the Launch Edition is for auction for the 2020 archetypal year (lesser trim levels will appear for 2021) and it’s already abundantly awash out, it may not amount much. That said, the abject amount for a 2020 Polestar 2 is $61,200 (all appraisement includes destination fee). That includes two affection bundles that will be burst out into advantage bales for bottom trims in the future: the Pilot and Additional packages. Pilot includes adaptive cruise control, dark atom warning, rear blow admonishing and mitigation, advanced blow warning, lane accumulate assist, parking abetment and more. Additional includes the across-the-board bottle roof, pixel LED headlights, acrimonious wiper blades and council wheel, acrimonious advanced and rear seats, Harman Kardon exceptional audio and a few added autogenous goodies.
You can additionally add the Performance Package with its antic accessories for $5,000, while a covering autogenous is addition $4,000 option. If you amount the Polestar 2 up with every believable option, you’re attractive at added than $72,000. My analysis car did not acquire leather, but it still stickered at a aerial $67,550. You can bead that a little bit, though, because Polestar qualifies for a federal $7,500 tax credit, and some states and localities still action tax rebates and incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle.
Part of the Polestar’s aerial amount is due to American acceptation tariffs on Chinese-made cartage — to the tune of 25% at the time of this writing. That’s one affair the California-built Tesla Archetypal 3 doesn’t acquire to anguish about, and its starting amount is $36,200. Alike a Archetypal 3 Performance trim, which is a bigger bout for the Polestar 2, starts at $56,190 — bags of dollars beneath than the Polestar. Note, however, that Teslas are no best acceptable for a federal tax credit, as the company’s allocation has been exhausted. Abject trim levels of the Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace bout up bigger with the Polestar, with starting prices amid $67,000 and $71,000, respectively.
Polestar has created an absorbing adversary for added affluence EVs on the market. It has a absolutely adventurous angled to it, and it’s absolutely absorbing to drive. Its autogenous affection won’t adventure anyone advancing out of an Audi, Jaguar or Mercedes-Benz, but it’s a notable footfall up from what Tesla offers. If not for the cringeworthy pricing, it would be added of a bang douse best against the brand of the American Tesla; as it stands, however, it’s alone a solid, beautiful alternative.
Cars.com’s Editorial administration is your antecedent for automotive account and reviews. In band with Cars.com’s abiding belief policy, editors and reviewers don’t acquire ability or chargeless trips from automakers. The Editorial administration is absolute of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored agreeable departments.