A Hugely Positive Experience with the Polestar 2 Fully Electric Fastback

A Hugely Positive Experience with the Polestar 2 Fully Electric Fastback

Polestar, the Swedish Electric Vehicle manufacturer, is making positive steps towards cleaner motoring with its Polestar 2, a 100% electric model offering a practical range within a smart-looking luxury package. During a brief respite from the wind and rain, Jeremy Webb took the opportunity to explore what this cutting-edge vehicle has to offer.

The Golden hue of the Polestar 2 caught the sun’s rays as it rose above dark clouds on the morning it arrived. The glow captured the beautiful lines of the car perfectly. It is a lovely-looking car that generates attention and compliments. Make no bones about it; externally, Polestar has hit the mark when it comes to the body design, and it’s the same case with the interior.

At first glance, the Polestar 2 looks like a saloon. However, it could also be described as a five-door hatchback, or as Polestar refers to it, a Fastback. It is a very practical car with decent space and comes in three versions, with the entry-level Standard Range Single Motor priced at just under £45,000, powered by a 69kWh battery producing a range of 339 miles.

The Long Range Single Motor models house a larger 82kWh battery, and the range increases to an impressive (in electric terms) 406 miles, which I feel is outstanding given its list price. The Long Range, Dual Motor version has a motor at the front for all-wheel drive, increasing the power output to 416bhp and 740Nm of torque, but you lose out on the range, down to 368 miles.

A photograph of the front part of the cars interior

The Polestar 2 has no trim levels; you can choose from three additional packs built on the bountiful standard equipment list. You get an 11.2-inch touchscreen featuring Google-powered infotainment software, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, Apple CarPlay, a wireless charging pad, over-the-air (OTA) update capability, an extensive suite of safety systems and a 360-degree parking camera.

The Pilot pack had an additional autonomous safety kit and Pixel LED headlights, while the Plus pack has a heat pump, heated steering wheel, Harman Kardon audio system, and fixed panoramic sunroof. The Performance pack is only available on the Dual motor models pushing bhp up to 469, and you get upgraded Ohlins dampers, Brembo brakes and 20-inch alloy wheels.

The Polestar 2 lacks the visceral sounds and feel of a powerful combustion-powered car but is still gratifying to drive and has scorching acceleration, which is always a buzz when you put your foot hard to the ground. Electric vehicles, known as EVs, don’t stimulate some senses but fully engage others when you choose to make the most of the powerful motors. It is certainly one reason to buy an electric vehicle over a conventionally powered car.

A side view of the car being driven through the English countryside

Another reason many opt to buy an electric vehicle is the efficiency benefits and clean, green credentials of an EV. People choose electric power to save on running costs over petrol and diesel, and an EV has no nasty emissions. The range on the Polestar 2 is not an issue as it has 330 plus miles. Depending on how you drive, you can easily do an average week’s use without charging the car.

On the test, the Polestar 2 was delivered with 320 miles of range showing on the driver’s display, and despite the car being thoroughly put through its paces at all speeds, on all types of roads and a runway, the range did not drop significantly quickly.

Handling-wise, the steering is well-weighted, and the progressive quality of the regenerative braking system enables you to push harder and still feel in control and confident of the road holding. 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.

A side view photograph of the car being driven through an English village next to a river

The Polestar 2 has a niggle in the hardness of its suspension which bounces over rougher road surfaces rather than cushion and dampen. It needs addressing because it becomes annoying on longer trips, and sadly, the UK’s roads seem to be worsening, which accentuates the issue. The car is better on motorways, where it feels extremely composed and quiet.

Charging is becoming less of a concern as more sites are created worldwide and home chargers are improved. A typical 7kW home wall box takes roughly ten hours to fully recharge the 69kWh battery in Standard Range Polestar 2’s and approximately twelve hours to do the same for Long Range versions with their 82kWh batteries. But, if your house has a three-phase energy supply and you get a home charge of 11kW, times are cut down to seven and eight hours, respectively.

The car being charged via an Ohme charging unit

The Polestar 2’s rapid charging capabilities allow base models to reach 135kW, meaning a 10 to 80 per cent top-up takes just 34 minutes. The rest of the range tops at 205kW, with the same charging session taking just 28 minutes if you find a suitably fast ultra-rapid charger.

You can choose different upholstery/interior trim combinations and add the Pilot, Plus or Performance packs at extra cost. The respective packs bring many extra safety kits and luxury items or equipment to improve the driving experience. However, one downside to this method is that you can’t personalise your car by selecting individual options.

Polestar 2’s 11.2-inch central touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital driver’s display offer crystal-clear graphics and plenty of functionality. Polestar allowed Google to handle the infotainment system and user interface in the Polestar 2 so the system loads quickly and efficiently.

A photograph showing the display, which is divided into four main quarters

The home screen display is divided into four quarters, with Google Maps, Google Search, phone and media controls. Functions like drive settings and external cameras are accessed through shortcuts at the top. Climate controls are adjusted at the bottom of the screen.

A photograph of rear seats with yellow seatbelts

The rear seats have a good amount of legroom plus foot space under the front seats. A set of air vents and two USB-C charging ports are in the back, handy when travelling with passengers who want to use tablets and smartphones. Even the tallest occupants should find the headroom sufficient for a comfy journey. But the transmission tunnel in the centre doesn’t leave much space for anyone forced to take the middle seat. Three seats have Isofix mounting points hidden behind plastic covers on the front passenger seat and outer rear seats.

A photograph of the boot area with one of the seats folded down almost flat

Polestar 2 has 405 litres, offering good luggage carrying space, and can be extended to 1,095 litres with the rear seats folded down. The hatchback tailgate opens up much wider than most rivals, making load-carrying less of a faff. Forty-one litres of space is in the car’s nose or ‘frunk’, front trunk, although it can basically just store the charging cables.

Polestar 2 has a collision mitigation system, using front and rear-facing radars linked to the brakes, which are applied if a crash is likely and the driver doesn’t react quickly enough. The standard kit includes rear collision warning, blind-spot information with steering support, and a 360-degree parking camera.

The optional Pilot Pack has even more technology, with LED headlights, LED front fog lights with cornering function, Pilot Assist lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control.

Swedish cars are minimalistic and refined, providing everything drivers and occupants need in a simplistic design. No clutter and pure, clean lines allow for plenty of room and ergonomic features. Polestar makes all their range with these design cues in mind and the Polestar 2 benefits from this ethos.

A photograph of the car parked on a beach in Hampshire

It is a driver’s car in terms of performance and handling, so if you want to be sporty and push along at pace on country roads, you can, but like the parent company Volvo, the Polestar puts safety first. The company has added all the latest driver assistance packages, which subtly work while you enjoy the drive. If you are looking for a fully electric car with great range, you must get behind the wheel of a Polestar 2.

Polestar 2 – Where and How?

The Polestar 2 range starts at £44,950 and comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with a separate eight-year/100,000-mile warranty covering the battery. In addition, the Polestar 2 includes free servicing for three years (up to a maximum of 31,250 miles) at an authorised Polestar service partner, along with three years of roadside assistance.

For more information on the Polestar 2, visit www.polestar.com.

Photographs courtesy of Polestar and Jeremy Webb.

A photograph of the rear of the car by Jeremy WebbA Hugely Positive Experience with the Polestar 2 Fully Electric Fastback 2

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