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In-depth reviews

Polestar 3 review

The Polestar 3 is a fascinating addition to the premium SUV sector with a classy interior and strong equipment levels

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£69,900 to £88,800
  • Spacious cabin
  • Excellent interior quality
  • Standout looks
  • Slightly dull drive
  • Not as quick as you’d expect
  • Annoying technology
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Quick verdict

The dramatic-looking new Polestar 3 wades into the premium SUV segment with a fantastic, minimalist interior and a class-leading 350-mile range. But as you might expect of a two-and-a-half-tonne family car, it falls short of Polestar’s sporty claims – especially in dual-motor Performance Pack guise. We think it might be worth waiting for the more sensible, cheaper, two-wheel-drive version due on sale next year. 

Key specs 
Fuel typeElectric
Body styleSUV
Powertrain107kWh battery dual-motor
SafetyN/A
Warranty3yrs/60,000 miles

Polestar 3: price, specs and rivals

Polestar was well-known in motorsport circles as a racing team, but in 2017, it became a standalone brand looking very much ahead to electrified vehicles. The Polestar 1 arrived first, followed by the Polestar 2 in 2020, and now, in 2024 the Polestar 3 will launch - closely followed by the Polestar 4. Polestar has an alphanumeric naming system, so there will never be another Polestar 3. 

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An all-electric large SUV, the Polestar 3 goes up against the likes of the BMW iX, Audi Q8 e-tron, Mercedes EQE SUV and even the Volvo EX90. A ‘Launch Edition’ will be offered to begin with at around £75,000, and has the option of a ‘Performance Pack’ which adds more power and some exterior tweaks. The Polestar 3 will also be only offered with a dual-motor from launch, although Polestar has confirmed a single-motor ‘Long Range’ will arrive in 2025, presumably undercutting the Launch Edition’s price tag. 

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The Polestar 3 will be the largest vehicle in the Swedish firm’s range with a 4.9-metre length, a height of 1,614mm and a width (including mirrors) of 2,120mm. The wheelbase is almost the exact same length of the iX’s at 2,985mm. 

The dual-motor powertrain of the Polestar 3 is fed by a 107kWh battery - sitting within the new SPA2 architecture that’ll also underpin the new Volvo EX90. Those two motors combine for a total power output of 483bhp and 840Nm of torque in the regular Launch Edition and 510bhp and 910Nm of torque with the Performance Pack. 

Engines, performance & drive

The Polestar 3 delivers a mature but largely forgettable driving experience
ModelPower0-62mphTop speed
Polestar 3 Long Range Dual-motor483bhp5.0 secs130mph
Polestar 3 Long Range Dual-motor Performance Pack510bhp4.7 secs130mph

The Polestar 3 sits on the same SPA2 architecture as the new Volvo EX90 - the all-electric replacement for the XC90. During our time with the Polestar 3, Polestar reiterated its intention of creating a dynamic, driver-focused experience - certainly in contrast to Volvo. 

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It might be a hulking great electric SUV weighing in at 2,670kg, but the Polestar 3 has the same centre of gravity as the sleek Polestar 1 coupe, and there’s certainly enough shove with 483bhp and 840Nm of torque in the regular Launch Edition and 510bhp and 910Nm of torque with the Performance Pack version we drove. 

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Setting off in the Polestar 3, there’s no getting around the fact you’re in a large car. At slow speeds, bumps and ruts in the road are rounded off by the standard-fit, self-levelling dual-chamber air suspension with adaptive dampers. It seems like the standard set-up is very soft and floaty, which makes the Polestar 3’s weight noticeable around town, with a bit of pitch and tilt resulting from the quick and light steering. It’s not bad in built-up areas, though; it’s easy to place on the road thanks to ridges on the outer edges of the bonnet, and front visibility is excellent, although you’re acutely aware of how far back that rear window is through the rear-view mirror. The turning circle of 11.8 metres isn’t bad, especially considering there’s no rear-wheel steer technology. 

Getting up to speed on the motorway and the damping continues to provide a comfortable ride, even on 22-inch wheels and Pirelli P Zero tyres. It’s not just the road imperfections that is softened, because despite the width of those Pirelli tyres, there’s precious little road noise that enters the cabin, and wind noise is kept at bay, too. The dampers can be set in three modes - ‘Standard’, ‘Nimble’ and ‘Firm’. There didn’t seem to be much differentiation between Nimble and Firm, but we certainly felt like the Polestar 3 was more settled with these modes on, and felt it required less steering input when cruising. 

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The steering also has three modes: ‘Standard’, ‘Firm’ and ‘Light’. It feels over-assisted in Firm, so if you’re pushing on, it might be best to leave it in Light to make the most of what is typically a relaxed driving experience. There’s not much communication done via the steering in the bends, which is a shame because the front end is quick, and there’s a clear overall balance to the Polestar 3, but it’s a struggle to throw it around in the bends. There’s an option to turn the traction control to ‘sport’ mode which allows a slight bit of slip from the rear if you boot the throttle - a good thing because any more and the steering might struggle to keep up. What the Polestar 3 does deliver is grip, and while there’s a lot of weight on board, provided you’re smooth with your inputs, you can make progress rather quickly. 

It’s worth noting that while the Polestar 3's driving position is excellent for a sporty SUV, we counted five touches of the central touchscreen to change the steering wheel position, which is far too many. During our drive, we also experienced an issue with the rear motor becoming disengaged, making the car front-drive only. We were told this won’t be an issue on UK launch cars, however. 

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There’s not much adjustability to the brakes. There’s a one-pedal mode called ‘High’, a less aggressive brake regeneration mode called ‘Low’, or you can switch off brake regeneration in ‘Off’ and coast. The pedal feel is better with the brakes in the Off mode, but the change between coming off the accelerator and the regeneration kicking in feels pretty smooth. There’s an impressive amount of stopping power available with Brembo four-piston calipers and 400mm drilled and ventilated discs up front, with 390mm discs in the rear. 

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

Just one powertrain is available on the Polestar 3 - a dual-motor set-up powered by a huge 107kWh battery. The standard car has 483bhp and 840Nm of torque, which provides a 0-62mph time of five seconds flat. The Performance Pack increases this to 510bhp and 910Nm of torque output, cutting the 0-62mph time to 4.7 seconds. The top speed for both versions is 130mph.

Range, charging & running costs

The Polestar 3 isn’t a class leader for range or charging, but it’s not far off
ModelBattery sizeRangeInsurance group
Polestar 3 Long Range Dual-motor107kWh390 milesN/A
Polestar 3 Long Range Dual-motor Performance Pack107kWh349 milesN/A

The Polestar 3’s design is dictated in many ways by aerodynamics. Just like the Polestar Precept concept from 2020, the rounded front end features a low nose which integrates some channels in the body to send air onto the bonnet and over to the rear spoiler, which has vortex generators (like the roof of a Mitsubishi EVO IX) on the underside. Polestar did look at adding digital wing mirrors to reduce the Polestar 3’s aerodynamic drag of 0.29CD further, but decided against it. We’re told the technology could be added during the car’s lifespan if there is demand. Polestar claims four over-the-air updates are planned each year of production for the Polestar 3, which will include improvements to the powertrain’s efficiency. 

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Polestar claims its SUV will return an efficiency rating of 2.9 miles per kWh. That’s not particularly amazing, especially considering the Mercedes EQE SUV is rated at 3.3 miles per kWh. 

The electric range stands at 390 miles for the Long Range Dual-Motor Launch Edition, with the Performance Pack reducing this to 349 miles. The Polestar 3 features a virtual torque vectoring system with a dual-clutch for the rear motor, meaning it can decouple the rear motor for efficiency gains. During our drive we saw a figure of 2.4 miles per kWh, which would’ve returned a range of 256 miles based on the useable battery capacity. 

The Polestar 3’s SPA2 platform uses 400V architecture instead of an 800V architecture that’s used in electric cars like the Porsche Taycan. At 107kWh, it has a large battery to recharge, but it can handle up to 250kW of DC charging, meaning a 10-80 per cent top-up takes 30 minutes. Utilising a typical 7kW wallbox charger at home is likely to take 17 hours to fully recharge a Polestar 3 from 0 to 100 per cent.

Interior, design & technology

The Polestar 3 is a technologically advanced offering and features a quality interior design

There’s no getting away from the fact that the Polestar 3 is heavily influenced by the Precept concept from 2020. It certainly stands out in the luxury SUV segment with interesting details and surfacing. Polestar proudly states “aerodynamic elements are integrated into the exterior design, working together to enhance handling and efficiency”. The most poignant being the front and rear aero wings directing airflow around the car. The flush side windows also help with aerodynamics, as do the flush-fitting door handles. 

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Speaking to the Senior Exterior Designer for the Polestar 3, Nahum Escobedo, we were told the side profile was inspired by planes, with the rising window line on the rear pillar acting like a plane’s tail fin. Other neat touches include the auto-dimming wing mirrors (which are frameless and sit on plinths) and an intricate full-width LED rear light design. The LED headlights are made up of two sections, with the smaller outer piece seated within the front wings to accentuate the car’s width. 

You’ll notice Polestar has added a few exterior labels to the Polestar 3, indicating some of the car’s technology. Up front, there’s a ‘SmartZone’ badge on the nose, sitting next to an eight-megapixel camera. The Performance Pack has an equally small badge here, although, in both cases, the badging can be removed at no cost. The same applies to the side labels identifying the car’s battery capacity - something that appears on Polestar 2 as well. 

There are six colours to choose from, including a couple of greys, a white, a black, and a dark blue. However, the standout colour choice for us was certainly the gold ‘Jupiter’ metallic. 

Inside the Polestar 3 you’ll notice the overall minimalist layout is reminiscent of the Polestar 2, but it’s obviously a lot more spacious and feels more premium too. It doesn’t have the eye-catching chintz of the BMW iX’s cabin, nor the massive screens of the Mercedes EQE SUV, but the Polestar feels well-built throughout. 

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Pretty much every surface has a quality feel to it. In comparison to the Polestar 2, the headlining is softer, the man-made leather seems more cushioned, and things like the centre console and doors card feel well-screwed together. Polestar has also teamed up with Bridge of Weir to offer the option of a Nappa leather interior. Selecting this option also gives you ventilated front seats with powered side supports and a massage function. There’s also the option of having a Black Ash dash. Our car in Performance Pack trim featured a few extra details like ‘Swedish Gold’ for the seatbelts. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The central screen is an interesting point of contention for us because while the Google-based infotainment looks simple enough, we found it to be too integral to the car’s functionality. There are precious few physical buttons inside the Polestar 3, with the climate controls, driving modes, and pretty much everything controlled by the 14.5-inch screen. It’s pretty easy to navigate, though, and the option of having customisable shortcuts on the home screen is a good idea. We tried the Google voice assistant, and it seemed to work perfectly fine. The driver’s 9-inch display has a neat layout though, with a crystal-clear resolution.

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Less good are the steering wheel buttons, which aren’t lit up and have no markings on them whatsoever, so you’ll have to memorise the job of each button if you plan to drive your Polestar 3 at night. A rotary dial on the centre console allows you to flick between the menus on the screen, but it isn’t as responsive as we’d like. 

Polestar has also copied Volkswagen’s electric window switch design. There are just two physical switches, with a touch-sensitive ‘button’ to flick between controls for the front and rear windows. This design doesn’t work well in VW Group cars, and it isn’t any better here, either. 

Our car had a Dolby Atmos and Bowers and Wilkins sound system. Although it featured noise-cancelling technology and 25 speakers, it felt very front-biased and didn’t sound particularly impressive. 

Boot space, comfort & practicality

The boot is slightly small for a car this size, but there’s a bright and airy cabin with plenty of space
Dimensions 
Length4,900mm
Width2,120mm
Height1,614mm
Number of seatsFive
Boot space484 litres

The Polestar 3 is a big car with a wheelbase of 2,985mm (the same as the new Volvo EX90), so you’d expect the interior to offer plenty of space. It might have a lower roofline than the Volvo, but there’s plenty of headroom available (thanks in part to a standard-fit panoramic roof on launch models). No one will have any issues with the space up front, and we found the seats to be pretty comfortable and supportive. 

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Rear passengers have almost Mercedes S-Class levels of legroom, and it doesn’t feel claustrophobic thanks to a low window line. There’s a decent amount of storage space inside the Polestar 3, with a 32-litre compartment in the centre console, and large door bins. A hatch to the boot can be found by dropping the armest for the rear passengers. Four cupholders are in the cabin, with the two in the rear popping out from that central armrest. 

The boot is an interesting design because while there’s a massive spoiler on top and a thick rear pillar, natural light will find its way in through an almost secret window on top, which you would never notice from the cabin. There’s 484 litres of luggage capacity back there (597 litres measured to the ceiling) with 1,411 litres with the rear seats folded down. The removable floor means there’s no lip to the boot, but to make loading heavy items even easier, the Polestar 3 can lower the rear by 50mm thanks to self-levelling air suspension. The buttons to operate this are in the boot, as you’d expect, although they do feel a bit flimsy. Sitting next to them is a button to extend the Polestar 3’s tow bar from under the rear bumper. The towing capacity for the Polestar 3 is an impressive 2,200kg. 

Reliability & safety

Reliability has been iffy for Polestar, but the 3 feels like a quality item
Key standard safety featuresEuro NCAP safety ratings
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Collision avoidance
  • Driver attention alert
  • Rear collision warning
  • Euro NCAP safety rating - NA
  • Adult occupant protection - NA
  • Child occupant protection - NA
  • Vulnerable road user protection - NA
  • Safety assist - NA

In 2023, Polestar came an impressive second in the Driver Power Brands Survey, just behind Porsche. These results ar based on the Polestar 2, which allowed the brand to rank first in the running costs, safety features, and powertrain categories, and it scored well in road handling and driving pleasure. However, we’re hoping the 3 (and future models) will fare better in terms of reliability, because a worrying 69 per cent of owners reported having faults with their car in the first year.

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Euro NCAP hasn’t tested the Polestar 3 yet, although we’d be surprised if the bigger Polestar 3 wouldn’t score the same as the Polestar 2 (five stars out of five in 2021), especially with its vast amount of safety systems. Polestar wants to retain parent company Volvo’s strong safety image, as shown with touches like ‘since 1959’ on the seat belts which denotes when the company patented the three-point seatbelt. More modern safety equipment includes a suite of nine exterior cameras, two infrared cameras with eye-tracking cameras inside for driver monitoring, and a LiDAR system incorporated in the Pilot Pack, which adds acceleration, braking and steering support up to 93mph, parking assist and lane change assist. We tried out the lane keep assist and found it to be one of the best systems out there, with gentle movements of the steering wheel. 

Other standard system systems include adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, forward collision warning, road sign recognition, a speed limiter, rear cross-traffic alert and hill start assist. 

Warranty

The Polestar 3's warranty is an industry-standard three years or 60,000 miles. The battery has a separate warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles - whichever comes first. If the battery’s state of health drops below 70 per cent during the first eight years, it will be replaced at no cost. In comparison, the Mercedes EQE SUV has a three-year warranty with unlimited miles and an eight-year warranty for its battery. 

Servicing

The Polestar 3 comes with free, scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 31,250 - whichever comes first. The service schedule for the Polestar 2 (we expect the same for the Polestar 3 after the first three years) is every two years or 20,000 miles. There are 93 Polestar service points in the UK. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Three years or 60,000 miles with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty for the battery.

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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