Polestar 2 review - Electric motor, drive and performance
The Polestar 2 is quick and precise, but it’s too firm for most UK roads
While efficiency boosts and extra range were a big part of the Polestar 2 updates, every variant also got more power, and Single Motor variants were switched from front to rear-wheel drive. Dual Motor models now have a greater rear bias as well.
Polestar claims the changes have made the 2 “even more fun to drive”, and we can't argue with that statement much. We got to drive the updated Long Range Single Motor variant and found it comes close to matching the pinpoint precision of the BMW i4 – high praise indeed. Although we did notice the driving position in the Polestar is slightly raised compared with the BMW’s; it’s less sporty, but that isn’t necessarily a criticism.
The steering is well weighted and we like the progressive quality of the regenerative braking system as it feels more conducive to a faster driving style. The Polestar 2 has three levels of regenerative braking: off, low and high. Using the most powerful setting enables you to drive for periods without the need to touch the brake pedal itself and the system can bring the car to a complete stop during low-speed town driving.
The biggest issue we’ve had with the Polestar 2 since it launched has still not been addressed – the Tesla Model 3’s archrival is still too firm for most UK roads. Encounter any kind of broken road surface and the car will start to bounce about, causing it to fidget constantly and become rather uncomfortable. It’s even worse in the back, which is bad news for those with children prone to motion sickness.
Car group tests
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Ride comfort is no better around town, where we found the unforgiving damping causes the car to jump about quite a bit at low speeds. After experiencing the updated Polestar 2 with the optional 20-inch rims, we’re curious to find out if the standard 19s could help the ride, but we’ve not had a chance yet.
The Polestar is probably at its best on the motorway, where everything seems to flow more smoothly. It’s relatively quiet and it feels nicely tied down at 70mph, which is especially good now the 2 has such a long range.
0-62mph acceleration and top speed
The Standard Range Single Motor Polestar 2 produces 268bhp and 490Nm of torque; enough to go from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 127mph (the same as all Polestar 2s). The Long Range Single Motor only gets a slight power bump up to 295bhp, though torque stays the same and its larger battery means it takes 5.9 seconds to complete the same benchmark sprint.
Even in Single Motor guise, the updated Polestar 2 is quick, thanks to instant throttle response and plenty of power for effortless overtaking.
Upgrading to the Long Range Dual Motor variant adds an extra motor on the front axle for all-wheel drive that yields a total power output of 416bhp with 740Nm of torque. If that’s not enough get-up-and-go for you, then you’ll need to add the Performance Pack. Available exclusively for the Dual Motor variant, this bumps the power up to 469bhp and cuts the range-topping Polestar 2’s 0-62mph time down from 4.3 to 4.0 seconds.
In this review
- 1Polestar 2 reviewThe stylish, all-electric Polestar 2 oozes quality and is a decent alternative to a Tesla, but it’s held back by an overly firm ride
- 2Electric motor, drive and performance - currently readingThe Polestar 2 is quick and precise, but it’s too firm for most UK roads
- 3Range, charging and running costsThe Polestar 2 now offers one of the longest ranges of any EV, white running costs remain low
- 4Interior, design and technologyPolestar has engineered plenty of quality, style and great tech into the 2
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceA comfortable cabin and a practical hatchback body style are plus points for the Swedish fastback
- 6Reliability and safetyPolestar includes a great level of safety kit for the 2, and has delivered impressive results in the latest Driver Power customer satisfaction survey