2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Plus
Class: Premium Compact Car
Miles driven: 431
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B|
|Power and Performance||A|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Type||Electric motors|
Battery capacity: 78.0 kWh
EPA-estimate MPGe: 105 city/96 hwy/100 combined
EPA-estimated driving range: 260 miles
Consumer Guide range estimate (ideal conditions): 260 miles
Snow Performance: N/A
Base price: $51,900 (not including $1400 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Special paint ($1250), Pilot Package ($3400), Plus Package ($4200), Nappa leather seating ($4000), 20-inch alloy wheels ($1300)
Price as tested: $67,450
The great: Attractive and modern design, long-trip comfortable, reliable battery-range estimates
The good: Stylish accents and up-market material choices
The not so good: Weird cup holder locations, wireless charger overheats phone, unintuitive infotainment system.
When you’re leaving for the airport and your husband says: Have a nice trip, I’ll miss the Polestar–not I’ll miss you–you know you’ve just driven something worth writing about.
The Polestar 2 is the first volume seller from the nascent Polestar EV brand. Like Volvo, Polestar is part of the China-based Geeley family of brands, which also includes Lotus, Smart, Proton, and Zeekr.
The 2 has the shape of a sedan, with a liftback for the trunk. Polestar’s relationship with Volvo is evident in the vehicle’s general design–inside and out–from the “Thor’s Hammer” headlights to the vertical stack of the infotainment system.
From the moment I slid behind the wheel, and the car turned on automatically, I was enamored.
The clean design and well-textured materials are minimalist chic, and the firm but bolstered seats are comfortable for three-hour stints–for both petite people like me as well as more-stout folk like my husband.
The Polestar 2 is currently offered in two configurations: front-wheel-drive Long Range Single Motor, and AWD Long Range Dual Motor, each of which can be had in standard and Plus trim. Both are fitted with a 78.0-kWh battery which provides an EPA-estimated 260-270 miles of range respectively. A limited-production BST Edition 270 model boasts additional torque, but sees it range estimate drop to 247 miles.
The Single Motor models make do with 170 kW of power (231 horsepower), while Dual Motor 2s boast 300 kW (476 horsepower). And, 300kW translates to aheckuvalottafun.
One of the things I really appreciated about the Polestar 2 was the fact you could adjust the “electricness” of the drive with whether or not you wanted the one-pedal drive option. For those who aren’t familiar, this is the ability to throttle and brake the vehicle using just the accelerator pedal. Though odd at first, once acclimated one-pedal driving generally adds to an electric-vehicle’s sporty character. And, as an electric car, you might expect some road noise or wind noise to creep into the cabin, but the “2” was refreshingly and peacefully quiet.
Passing, merging and taking off from a start were all a gleeful experience – as long as you didn’t need to be concerned about range. Which I did. I’ll admit that when I took the loan, knowing I was taking a 400-mile round-trip road trip, I was a bit nervous. I even reached out to my Polestar PR person to verify that he thought I’d be able to make it, since I’d have to go at least 167 miles before I hit my first public charging station. After my winter experiences with the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Kia EV6–both of which suffered nearly 50-percent cold-weather range drops–I thought my trepidation was warranted. Thankfully, the temperate Midwest spring-time weather, and the accurate on-board range estimator, kept me well within the promised limits of the Polestar 2’s range.
I will say, even though the estimated range goes up to 260 miles, I was seeing closer to 200 on a charge. That is largely due to the fact that I was driving between 75 and 80 mph for most of my highway time. EPA Range estimates assume more moderate highway velocities. The on-board navigation system is powered by Google, as such, you have access to Google Maps and the Google Assistant. The maps work in conjunction with the range estimator, and when you add in your destination, it’ll not only provide you the trip distance and estimated arrival time, but also how much remaining range you’ll have left once you arrive. This was hugely helpful when planning my long drive.
While I liked the Googleness of the maps, the infotainment system itself is a little quirky and unintuitive. It took me several touchscreen stabs and pokes to figure out how to turn on the radio, and to figure out where the trip information was located. I’m sure an owner would get used to the system over time, but its general clunkiness seemed out of character with minimalist nature of the dashboard and console.
Speaking of clunky, let’s talk about cup holders. I know Europeans couldn’t care less about them, but Americans tend to live and die by them. And the cup holders in the Polestar 2 are weird. The first one is located behind the gearshift, which is awkward when shifting or doing anything with the info screen. The second one, for your passenger, is located in the space under the armrest. So, if you want to use it, you have to keep the lid of the armrest up. It’s weird.
I also need to add couple notes on ease of entry as this car is best suited for people who don’t have mobility issues. My mom, who uses a walker, had a hard time getting in and out of the front seat because it sat too low for her. My dad, with declining flexibility, had a hard time ducking down to squish himself into the back seat. But, on the plus side, mom’s walker did fit in the cargo area no problem.
Quirks aside, I really liked the Polestar 2. In fact, when my husband and I were discussing the EVs that have parked in our garage, we put this one toward the top of the list – second only to the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
I liked the black-on-black exterior treatment on the test vehicle, even if the Space paint is a pricey color option, and the interior materials (another pricey option) were light and airy–a nice contrast to the dark exterior. The ride and handling were sporty and fun, and with accurate range estimates, the range anxiety was nearly nil.
If you are looking for an EV and don’t need the space afforded by an SUV, the Polestar 2 in Dual Motor trim is a must-test–along with the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 6 ($46,615).
2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Plus Gallery
Click below for enlarged images