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In-depth reviews

Polestar 4 - Electric motor, performance & drive

The Polestar 4 has a quiet, well-rounded driving experience with the Dual motor model packing plenty of punch

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Electric motor, performance & drive Rating

3.5 out of 5

  • Neat interior
  • Rapid dual-motor version
  • Excellent range
  • Technology won’t suit all
  • Expensive to buy
  • Not engaging to drive
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ModelPower0-62mphTop speed
Polestar 4 Long range Single motor268bhp7.1 secs124mph
Polestar 4 Long range Dual motor536bhp3.7 secs124mph

We had previous experience of the Geely group’s new SEA platform in the Smart #3, Volvo EX30 and in the Zeekr X, not to mention in upgraded EPA (Electric Premium Architecture) guise in the Lotus Emeya. It certainly has shown potential to provide a solid driving experience, although the Polestar 4 sits in a different bracket to those cars and thus uses a new iteration of the platform called SEA1. 

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We’ve tried the Polestar 4 on a variety of road surfaces, from smooth, winding Spanish roads to the less forgiving stuff we have here in Britain. Something you’ll immediately notice wherever you drive the Polestar 4 is that the driving position is spot on and so are the seats - providing ample support and comfort. Should you wish to change the position of your seat you’ll find a message pop up on the infotainment screen asking if you’d like to confirm the position. At first we thought this to be incredibly unnecessary, but if you have a driver profile then this message won’t come up because you’ll already have your driving position. 

The kerbweight of the Polestar 4 in Single motor guise stands at a chunky 2,230kg with the Dual motor adding an extra 25kg. At low speeds this weight is slightly noticeable in the way the Polestar 4 rides over rougher roads. Our Single motor car had the larger 21-inch wheels, which most likely didn’t help with ride quality, but it felt a little fidgety. Large potholes and speed bumps are well suppressed, however, with enough travel in the suspension to cope. 

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At higher speeds the Polestar 4 settles down well, becoming a capable cruiser. One small gripe against refinement would be the funky wing mirrors which sit on plinths and cause some wind noise, the overall level of sound deadening is impressive, though.

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We tried the Dual motor version, too, and while there was no audible difference to refinement, it comes with adaptive dampers (not an option on the Single motor). There are three settings to the dampers, ‘Standard’, ‘Nimble’ and ‘Firm’. In Standard the Polestar 4 delivers more comfort than the regular car, rounding off bumps and ruts in the road. Nimble and Firm felt pretty similar to us and while there was a degree of more dynamism to these modes, we’d recommend keeping it in Standard mode most of the time. 

There are also three modes to the steering wheel weight - ‘Light’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Firm’ with a good amount of differentiation between them. Firm is best for more spirited driving, adding some reassuring resistance to the wheel, it’s not too stiff around town either. 

Chuck the Polestar 4 into a corner and you’ll be reminded again of the car’s weight and its SUV suspension travel. The front end isn’t rapid to respond to steering inputs so smooth actions are required so as not to unsettle the car’s mass. Do this and you’ll find plenty of grip - especially with the Dual motor powertrain, around longer bends - twistier stuff can upset the Polestar 4’s balance. 

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The Single motor’s 268bhp and 343Nm of torque will be perfectly fine for most, especially considering there’s little drop-off in power as you get towards higher speeds unlike in many electric cars. The power delivery is slightly delayed from your throttle pedal inputs, but it all feels linear enough during acceleration. 

Those looking to make more of a straight-line impact will need the Polestar 4 Dual motor, which ups power to a supercar-like 536bhp with a meaty 686Nm of torque. It feels more responsive too, not to the point where you can confidently adjust power mid-corner, though. Both versions feel pretty similar in terms of the feel you get back from the driven wheels, the car doesn’t seem obviously rear-driven in Single motor form or all-wheel drive in Dual motor guise and there’s precious little lift from the nose once you’ve planted your right foot. 

As impressive as the performance of the Dual motor is, the brakes deserve a mention. Our car had the ‘Performance Brakes’ which get larger discs and calipers made by Brembo. They offer tremendous stopping power, but they don’t feel too grabby - despite having not much pedal travel before they kick in. 

There are three brake regeneration settings - ‘Off’, ‘Low’ and ‘One-pedal’. Low seemed to have the best balance - essentially providing the same amount of deceleration as traditional engine braking. One-pedal is strong enough to actually offer one-pedal driving, with the option of ‘Creep’ mode being turned on or off to ensure the car comes to a complete stop. 

0-60 acceleration and top speed

The Polestar 4 in Single motor form will go from 0-62mph in a sprightly 7.1 seconds while the Dual motor’s extra power and traction allows it to complete the same sprint in 3.7 seconds. Both cars top out at 124mph, however. Polestar has refrained from piping fake engine noises into the cabin, there’s a slight hum from both powertrains but otherwise it’s very quiet in the cabin. 

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