Polestar 2 long-term review

Already, the Scandicool EV is a hit. We will be shaking ours before they part.

Car makers, particularly those who make posh cars, have a tendency to complicate matters. You can’t help but be impressed by the technology and features they offer. The Polestar 2, a Volvo-owned company, is refreshingly simple.

The Polestar 2, is a pure EV, and it’s the second car in its range after the wild hybrid Polestar 1. This car is our daily driver until the middle of this year. It measures 4.6m in length and 1.8m across the body. There are five seats inside and a 78kWh (useable) battery pack underneath. You can have four-wheel drive with two permanent-magnet synchronous motors that produce the same output. It has one at each axle and makes 402bhp/ 487lb ft.

It is a compact executive car that can be categorized as a sport hatchback or a small family hatch at this size. The 0-62mph speed time is 4.7sec. Although the top speed is only 127mph, I doubt I’ll ever go that fast.

The base price of the 2 is PS49,900. However, this model has two options: metallic paint at PS900 which I like but doesn’t look too metallised, and the PS5000 Performance Package. This adds 20in wheels to the 19in model, larger front brake discs with 4-piston brake calipers, Ohlins manually adjustable dampers, and gold-painted brake brake calipers.

The 2020s offer many options, but they don’t stop at the point where the car reaches you. Polestar announced recently that it will be offering an over-the-air update to the PS1000. This update can add 67bhp, increase the torque to 502lbft and reduce the time from 0-60mph to 4.2 seconds. Polestar has already sent it, so I am waiting for it to contact me to let me know that it is available.

The 2 I believe is quite handsome, too. Polestar’s gaffer Thomas Ingenlath is a designer. He probably gets to decide who wins all the “engineer versus design” arguments that we are told occur in car companies.

The 2 features a narrow beltline, narrow windows and thick pillars. It looks fantastic from the outside. It is, however, harder to see through. It’s a compromise I am willing to accept until I lose sight behind the A-pillar of another car.

You will find even more of the simplicity that I described in my opening paragraph. It is easy to drive, and the steering wheel has normal buttons. The large, upright touchscreen uses an Android Automotive and Google system instead of a car manufacturer’s custom software. Although I prefer the heater controls to be on physical buttons, each icon is clear and large. It’s also easy to use and not too complicated with features I wouldn’t use while driving.

The Google map is fast and thorough. For once, the car’s voice control understands me. Although it will sync with an iPhone, it won’t use CarPlay. However, it will receive audio from the iPhone’s screen but not be able to control apps via the car’s screen. It’s still as simple and intuitive as any car system.

Although the official WLTP range for the 2 is 292 miles, its 78kWh battery has me doubting that. The car estimates range at 250 miles at full charge. However, a secondary “range assistant” is more accurate and pessimistic, and can predict 200 miles when fully charged. My fagpacket calculations show a return rate of 2.6 miles perkWh for a typical journey. This puts 200 miles just short of its limit.

It suggests that you keep your battery life at 90%. If you’re looking for a public charger, it will go deep into single figures. The battery’s usable range is also very limited. It can charge at speeds of up to 150kW but it doesn’t tend to. It’s simply not good enough.

I was unable to charge the car at home for the first few weeks. This made my life difficult, but I have a lot of writing so I didn’t feel that I wasted too much time charging. Once I have more time and consumption records, I will be able to elaborate on this in another report. I am now PS930 lighter, but I have an AC charger attached to the wall of my home. This means that the 2 is always fully charged and I only need to top it up occasionally.

The 2 to drive is a joy. You can use the one-pedal mode, which is very easy. However, it has low-speed creep and retardation that can be adjusted. Although there are a few weightings to the steering, it is still confident and surefooted, even if it’s a little firm in town.

However, to adjust the Ohlins dampers you will need to place your car on a ramp. Bonkers. It’s not something I could imagine many owners doing, but it’s something I have coming up for my downtime. Perhaps I am weird, but this is the level of complexity that I accept.

Second Opinion

The Long Range Single Motor Version of the 2 was tested recently, without the Performance Pack. It made me wonder what more an owner might need. It will be interesting to see if Matt’s long-termer offers a reason to spend more.