Photo Credits: Car and Driver, TopGear, Polestar.com
Uniquely Progress, Progressively Unique
2021 Polestar 2
Base MSRP: From $59,900
Tax Credit: Up to $7,500
Battery Size: 75 kWh
EPA Range: Up to 233 pure-electric miles
Charging Acceptance Rate: 7.4kW
Performance: Two electric motors, 408 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 92 mpge
Price estimate: From $59,900
Warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Roadside Assistance: 4 years / unlimited
Corrosion Warranty: 12 years / unlimited
2021 Polestar Review
Considering the competition and their historical longevity, an all-new automobile brand can be a risky endeavor. Yet that hasn’t deterred Polestar from diving into a field of competitors that all have an eye on the future: green transportation.
Formerly a division of Volvo, Polestar now stands on its own as it focuses on sustainable electric performance. Polestar jumped into the fray with both feet. Its first vehicle – Polestar 1 – is a plug-in hybrid coupe that debuted in 2017.
Polestar has wasted no time in delivering a follow-up, the 2021 Polestar 2, a new all-electric five-passenger hatchback. As the name suggests, the 2 is Polestar’s second vehicle. It’s situated amidst some heavy hitters that include the Tesla Model 3, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Audi E-Tron, and Porsche Taycan.
Polestar is a Sino-Swedish automotive brand that’s jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and Geely, its parent company that’s headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. It seems a bit odd here that Polestar production is taking place in Chengdu, China.
The Polestar 2 is setting its sights clearly on the Tesla Model 3, a tall order for a new brand with no history of success. While it has some great credentials, the edge would go to the Tesla 3 in a head-to-head comparison.
Starting price for the Polestar 2 is just under $60,000. And like many new electric vehicles, that price tag can be reduced by as much as $7,500 with federal and state incentives.
Recognizing the Polestar 2 as a Volvo product from a visual standpoint would not be a stretch because it has that signature minimalistic Volvo design. Not that the Polestar design is poor, yet making it more special would have been a good idea, considering the stiff competition. It resembles something between a sedan and an SUV crossover.
Seating is comfortable and roomy, so the Polestar 2 is conducive for taking long trips. Cargo space isn’t as roomy, only 14.3 cubic feet, yet that space expands to 38.7 cubes with the split 60/40 back seat down that includes a center pass-through. There’s an additional 1.2 cubic feet of storage up front in the “frunk.” There are also four USB-C power ports and an excellent Harman Kardon speaker system.
Battery and Charging
The Polestar 2 has a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that enables the vehicle to travel an estimated 233 miles before a charge is required. It comes standard with an 11-kW onboard fast charger that will restore a depleted battery to 80 percent in a mere 40 minutes using a Level 3 charger, which are found in commercial spaces. Charging a depleted battery from a typical home outlet (Level 1) takes about eight hours. Charging with a Level 2 charging station would take just a few hours.
Performance and Speed
Performance of the Polestar 2 is significant and something to brag about. The all-wheel-drive Polestar 2 has twin electric motors – one up front and another in the back – that provide considerable quickness and excellent acceleration. The dual electric motors generate 408 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque, enabling the Polestar to go 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds.
There’s a strong feeling of confidence when driving the Polestar 2. It grips the road well on challenging roads and effortlessly cruises smoothly and quietly in freeway situations. It’s equipped with plenty of safety features, including forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keeping assist, and fully automatic (driverless) parking.
Like many electric vehicles, the Polestar 2 makes good use of its regenerative braking, which is done by simply taking one’s foot off the accelerator. The Polestar has three levels of regenerative braking and coming to a complete stop can be done without touching the brake pedal.
A sensible, well-thought-out interior is another Polestar 2 plus. The straight-ahead look for the driver is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and to the right is an 11.2-inch iPad-like touchscreen that incorporates Google play, Google assistant, and Google maps. Voice controls are cloud-based and allow one to do things like check the weather or adjust the seat heater simply by saying “Google, change the temperature.”
We don’t expect the 2021 Polestar 2 to become instant competition for the Tesla Model 3. However, there’s much to admire about this new entry into the EV landscape, and down the road Polestar could become a legitimate Tesla rival.
Media First Look Video: 2021 Polestar 2
Recommended Charging Stations = HCS-40
Recommended Power Level of Charging Station = 32A
Vehicle Acceptance Rate: 7.4kW