EV Review: 2024 Polestar 2


Finding the right electric vehicle can be an overwhelming experience, given the fact that there are lots of new models and new startups. However, not many brands have as interesting value propositions as the Polestar. It is a relatively new brand, backed by Volvo. The difference is that Volvo still offers internal combustion engines and is partially electrified, whereas Polestar only offers electric vehicles in the premium market. The big question is – can Polestar 2 differentiate itself from the Volvo model lineup?

The Looks – Exterior and Interior

Even though it is not an SUV or a crossover, Polestar 2 has been the company’s bestseller since its release. It looks like a sedan from a distance, but technically it is a liftback design, which is better in terms of overall practicality. The Polestar 2 has a sleek design with bold front fascia. There is no front grille, it looks like it is covered with a paint-matched plastic trim. It also has some similarities with some Volvo models.

The sedan silhouette is more obvious from the side profile but sits significantly higher than a traditional hatchback or sedan. The 20″ Pro rims give the Polestar 2 a more premium and sporty feeling, and the unpainted cladding on the side gives the Polestar 2 a more crossover-like look. It is a nice balance of everything without going too extreme. It has no design gimmicks like weird door handles, what you see is what you get here, which we don’t see in most EVs.

The rear-end design is probably the most distinctive design feature you would find in the Polestar 2. It has a one-piece taillight that goes across the tailgate, an unpainted bottom half of a rear bumper, and a tailgate that gives the Polestar 2 a sedan-like look from a distance. Overall, the design language is premium yet sporty without any sort of gimmicks or useless features.

The interior design feels very similar to most Volvo products with some significant differences. The Polestar 2 comes with a minimalistic and monochromatic interior space with decent interior quality and a nice amount of diversity throughout the dashboard. There are soft-touch plastics, cloth-like textures, wood trims, and unfortunately, some glossy black surfaces especially where you touch the most in the center console.

Speaking of the center console, it is a love or hate relationship, but it is not designed for the North American audience. The cupholder design and locations were an afterthought to allow more space for the digital shifter. The center console is also located very high, which gives you a sportier interior feeling as you may think you sit lower. There are haptic feedback buttons located in the center console, but the rest of the features can only be controlled through the infotainment screen.

The whole dashboard is designed to underline the two digital screens, one in the middle, and the other one in front of the driver. The vertical touchscreen has the GoogleOS, which is very easy to use, and it allows you to sign in, which eliminates the need for Android Auto. For iPhone users, it offers the Apple CarPlay. It also offers multiple different layouts and a 360-degree camera with decent resolution. One feature that makes Polestar quite unique is the overall customization in terms of driving dynamics, it allows you to choose the steering wheel weight, one pedal driving level and other features that can be fine-tuned.

The digital gauge cluster is quite useful but lacks customized options, just like most Volvos. It can show you real-time Google Maps data in front of the driver, and you can simply choose the second layout, which makes the fonts bigger and eliminates the map, and that’s about it. I wish Polestar offered more custom layout options or allowed users to choose different information. If you like having your Google Maps in your digital cluster like most German luxury entries, the Polestar 2 also has you covered.

Due to the dashboard design, the front seats feel tighter than usual, but they offer tons of adjustment options, including the thigh support for both driver and front seat passenger. The rear seats have plenty of legroom even for tall passengers, but they also get decent creature comforts like air vents, power outlets and heated seats. The headroom is a little bit limited due to the overall design and battery pack located under the vehicle, but it isn’t as bad as the Nissan ARIYA, and the glass roof gives that open feeling to the rear seat occupants.

The Polestar 2 offers great looks with an unexpected amount of practicality, mainly due to the frunk with available cargo room, and a liftback trunk design. It has a huge opening that allows to place large items. The vertical cargo space isn’t great, but longer items can be placed longitudinally without any issues. It has 40:60 rear seats and a small opening to place larger items. The trunk floor is fully flat, but it has an extra board that divides the cargo room, and it allows you to hook shopping bags.

The Drive – Specs & Experience

Unlike most electric vehicles, Polestar 2 offers different drivetrain layouts matched with different battery packs. You can choose the rear wheel drive option with a single motor, and an all-wheel drive option with dual motors. The single-motor RWD Polestar 2 comes with a larger 82 kWh battery pack, which can go up to 515 km per charge, according to EPA. The total range goes much lower if you choose the AWD version, especially with the performance pack, as you not only have two motors to feed but have the smaller 78 kWh battery which reduces the total range drastically.

Polestar 2 offers a new larger battery pack with an updated rear motor, our tester with the RWD and long-range version generates 299 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque that moves it from 0 to 100 in around 6.2 seconds. The power level is not just more than enough for any sort of daily driving, but the way that the electric motor delivers the power contributes to the overall refinement and offers a much smoother driving experience.

The new battery pack not only offers more horsepower but it can be charged faster. With the DC charging, you need to wait 28 minutes to charge from 10 to 80%, and Level 2 home-style fast charging takes around 8 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. The great thing about the whole experience is that now Google Maps shows how much battery you would have when you reach your destination, and plans the whole trip for an electric vehicle. It is nowhere close to having a Tesla supercharging system, but it is finally usable for longer trips.

The Polestar 2 is a terrific daily driver, especially considering the softly sprung suspension, I just wish it came with electronic dampers as it already offers highly adjustable driving settings, it would have elevated the level of refinement as a premium entry. For most road conditions, the Polestar 2 handles road imperfections quite well. The 20″ wheels with thin sidewalls aren’t helping with the overall refinement, especially over the big bumps.

Despite having softly sprung suspension, the handling character is pretty fun. As it only sends power to the rear wheels, the Polestar 2 tends to oversteer quite easily. There is some amount of body roll, but it happens in a very controlled fashion thanks to the low center of gravity due to the battery pack located underneath the car. The chassis is very communicative, but the Polestar 2 can do snap oversteer if you push it too hard. It would allow the driver to have fun to a level, but stability control cannot be fully disabled.

The Verdict

Even though it feels, drives, and looks similar to a Volvo, the Polestar 2 offers a unique package backed by Volvo’s engineering, research and development. The updates for the 2024 model year make the Polestar 2 much more appealing to electric vehicle shoppers, as it not only provides more power but significantly more range with a premium driving experience.

EnginePermanent-magnet, synchronous AC
Battery Pack82-kWh lithium-ion, 400V
TransmissionDirect-drive 1-speed automatic
Max power299 hp
Max torque361 lb-ft
0-100 km/h6.2 sec
Curb Weight4400 lbs – 1995 kg
Range (observed)270 mi – 435 km
Price (As tested – CAD)$67,000 CAD

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