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The Polestar 2 is the aptly-named second vehicle from the all-electric brand borne of a joint venture between Volvo and its Chinese parent company Geely. Originally a tuning outfit for Volvo cars and a performance trim level on many of their products in recent years, Polestar relaunched as a standalone electric brand focused on performance.
The Polestar 2 sedan shares its architecture with other products from Volvo like the C40 Recharge and XC40. However, it relies on an individualized design and brand identity to differentiate. Previously available in either front-wheel-drive or dual-motor all-wheel-drive configurations, the 2 switches to a rear-wheel-drive configuration in 2024 for non dual-motor models. Its striking design and power impress, while its range leaves something to be desired.
EVU Hot Take
- Gorgeous inside and out with minimalist Swedish design and attractive touches
- Performance Pack model packs a serious punch of power
- Newer models have Google services and software built in
- Range is below competition from Tesla and other brands
- Minimalist interior can be somewhat spartan for the price in lower spec models
- Reliability concerns have been highlighted by Consumer Reports and other outlets
Polestar 2 Exterior
The Polestar 2 rides on Volvo Car Group’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) Platform, a blend of steel and aluminum construction. It’s assembled in a joint venture facility in Luqiao, China that also produces Volvo, Geely, and Lynk&Co models. The sedan’s design is a fastback shape. While not exactly a four-door-coupe, it still possesses a raised trunk area paired with an overall classic three-box shape.
Polestar 2 fits up to five passengers and has the kind of trunk area/cargo space one would expect from a compact sport sedan. Volvo fans will notice the nod to the brand’s origins in its “Thor’s Hammer” headlights. That said, the Polestar 2 differentiates significantly from its Volvo brethren with a unique faux grille design, unique wheel choices, and a unique rear end design with a continuous bar-style taillight.
For those who aren’t involved car enthusiasts, potential buyers should know that the Polestar 2 is devoid of any Volvo branding and is not marketed as part of such. It’s a truly standalone brand and product that shares parts and so on with Volvo, but is not formally part of the Volvo range. In all trim levels above base, occupants enjoy natural light from a full-length glass panoramic roof.
Polestar 2 Interior
The Polestar 2 is a major electrification moment in the Volvo-Geely conglomerate story, and it shows. The design inside and out boasts one of the most total-minimalist Swedish car designs ever. All surfaces are constructed of textured composites, woods, synthetic leathers and fabrics. The 2 comes equipped with a digital gauge cluster featuring loads of driver and vehicle information. A large, portrait-style screen dominates the dashboard with controls for all vehicle and infotainment functions.
As of 2021, the Polestar 2 has Google Android vehicle infotainment software built in. Apple fans need not worry though, as the system still supports CarPlay too. The seats are firm but comfortable and very ergonomic. Nearly all materials exude a high-quality feel save for some scratchy black plastic in lower parts of the interior. Soft mood lighting with a few different color choices light up the cabin at night. Don’t expect an infinite color wheel or overpowering brightness like you may find in competitors such as Mercedes-Benz.
We found unique touches throughout the EV in our review. For example, contrast seatbelts come in the same orange as the Ohlins shocks for the Performance Pack model and backlight Polestar emblems on the shifter and windshield. The windshield one can be seen from outside the vehicle by passerby, and it’s truly like something from Blade Runner.
Polestar 2 Driving Experience
The Polestar 2 is no slouch in base trim and seriously quick in Performance Pack trim. The latter packs 476 horsepower from its dual motors in a vehicle the size of a Tesla Model 3. Handling is sharp and lively, even if steering feel is muted. Performance lovers enjoy the blistering grip of the Performance Pack model, and those aforementioned Ohlins adjustable shocks provide seriously good ride quality and increased cornering when needed. The switch to rear wheel drive in model year 2024 single motor examples should significantly help dynamics in the base trim.
Polestar 2 Charging and Range
Range in the Polestar 2 presents a middle ground in the competitive set. While not as low as some competitors, the max range of 270 miles in the long range dual-motor Performance Pack leaves something to be desired. This is especially true when benched against the Tesla Model 3 and some newer fighters from legacy brands like Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Front wheel drive models made prior to 2023 utilize a 170 kW single electric motor, generating 231 HP and 243 lb-ft of torque. After the ‘23 switch to rear wheel drive for model year 2024, single motor models utilize a 299 HP motor that is reportedly capable of up to 300 miles of range.
Polestar 2 Battery Capacity
- Long Range single motor (MY24): 82 kWh
- Long Range dual motor AWD: 78 kWh
- Long Range dual motor AWD with Performance Pack: 78 kWh
Polestar 2 Pricing
Currently, the Polestar 2’s pricing per trim level in the U.S. is Long Range single motor at $48,400 and Long Range dual motor at $51,900. The Performance Pack adds $5,500 to the Long Range dual motor’s MSRP, and other additional extras can be had via the Pilot and Plus packs. Find more information on options and pricing on the Polestar website.
Polestar 2 Final Thoughts
The Polestar 2 presents an excellent first all-electric effort to follow the brand’s inaugural (and stunningly beautiful) Polestar 1 sports coupe. In our review, it’s a viable daily driver if range isn’t your biggest concern. Polestar 2 offers significantly increased creature comforts over competitors like the Tesla Model 3. The design inside and out is one we believe will be lauded for years to come and makes the vehicle truly special. Solid performance will entertain first-time EV buyers particularly. Driving dynamics don’t present any challenge in switching from an internal combustion vehicle. Long term reliability and parts supply concerns are likely valid given the vehicle’s unproven history and distant point of final assembly. Interested buyers might have to wait and see how reliability plays out over the next few years. Those concerns aside, the Polestar 2 delivers a compelling and unique sports sedan in the electric vehicle market.