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2025 Polestar 3 First Drive: The Brand's Best Effort to Date

The PS3 SUV is a new dawn for Polestar

2025 Polestar 3 profile
  • The Polestar 3 is the brand's new five-passenger, two-row electric SUV.
  • A standard dual-motor setup and 107-kWh battery put out as much as 517 horsepower.
  • EPA-estimated range of 315 miles is competitive, as is its 250-kW charging power.

This is where life really starts for Polestar. The Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe and Polestar 2 electric sedan introduced the world to Volvo's spinoff EV brand, but the Polestar 3 hits the heart of the market: It's a two-row, five-seat premium crossover. And with as much as 315 miles of EPA-estimated range plus a heap of tech, the PS3 certainly has what it takes to be competitive.

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2025 Polestar 3 rear 3/4

Impressive driving chops

The Polestar 3 rides on SPA2, the Volvo Group's new dedicated electric vehicle architecture. It's the same platform that will eventually underpin Volvo's new flagship, the EX90. For the Polestar 3, SPA2 has been shortened slightly since it only needs to accommodate seating for five, rather than the EX90, which offers three rows of seats.

That platform houses a 107-kWh lithium-ion battery that sends power to two electric motors, one at each axle. Maximum output for the standard PS3 is 489 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque, but get the Performance pack and those numbers increase to 517 hp and 671 lb-ft. Performance pack or not, though, this thing hustles. Polestar quotes a 4.8-second 0-to-60-mph time for the standard PS3, or 4.5 seconds with the higher output.

The way the Polestar 3 moves and flows is silky smooth; this EV is chock-full of composure. It breathes with the road instead of crashing over lumps and bumps because of its weight. Rather than having classic eco, normal and sport driving modes, the Polestar 3 allows you to fiddle with each of the vehicle's settings individually. The steering, suspension, stability control system, and electric motors can all be adjusted on their own.

There is an accuracy to the way the PS3 goes, stops, steers and handles that previous Polestars haven't been able to match. You immediately have faith in the SUV's front end, and despite not providing much in the way of usable steering feedback, the Polestar 3 turns in beautifully. It also shuffles its way out of bends thanks to a limited-slip rear differential. You can honestly feel the rear end shuffling torque to the outside rear wheel from the seat of your pants — even if you’re a passenger.

Polestar has always wanted to straddle the line between being luxurious, forward-thinking, and fun to drive. Its previous efforts have been a you-pick-two scenario of those three things, but the PS3 lets you have, well, three. On the road, it’s Polestar's most complete vehicle.

2025 Polestar 3 interior dash

A special interior for a swanky Swede

The interior won’t look totally new to fans of the Polestar brand; there’s clearly a common vibe between this car and the PS2. That said, there are refinements all over the user interface. The infotainment display is now quicker to respond to every command, whether it’s loading maps, changing settings or switching songs. Bonus: Wireless Apple CarPlay finally runs without crashing the whole system.

The interior is almost eerily quiet. Polestar made the deliberate choice to not add some sort of propulsion sound the way Mercedes and BMW have. At first that choice seemed like a welcome break from the norm, but after a while we missed the auditory cue that comes with the brisk acceleration we get in other EVs. Sometimes the rapid wooshing of air over the fixed glass roof isn't quite enough to impart a sense of genuine speed. Luckily the PS3 can receive over-the-air updates, so if Polestar ever changes its mind it can simply upload sounds straight to your car.

Sustainable materials might not sound as luxurious or lush as their brand-new counterparts, but they've come a long way in a short time. Despite going to impressive lengths to fill the interior with sustainably sourced materials, everything inside the Polestar 3 feels like it’s of an extremely high quality. If all recycled textiles are going to be this nice in the future, there are very few cases where I'd prefer actual leather — everything in the Polestar 3 is perfectly luxurious.

Cabin space is ample for all passengers. Though the PS3 sports more of a wagon-like body, there’s plenty of knee, head and shoulder room in the second row. Cargo space is plentiful, too, and there’s a false floor that opens up to reveal even more storage. A family of four won't be wanting for space should they take the PS3 on a road trip vacation, but they'll likely pack this thing to the brim.

A special highlight of the PS3's interior is its seats (this company is an offshoot of Volvo, after all). They support you without being too aggressively bolstered, like a fancy set of Aerons. Sleek, light, and heated or cooled, they’re great places in which to spend time.

2025 Polestar 3 front 3/4

But the coolest part of the seats? The little squircle you use to control its positioning. Press the middle of the controller to cycle through lumbar, height and side bolster adjustment — it’ll tell you which position you’re in on the infotainment screen — and then rotate the squircle until you’re where you want to be. It’s hard to understate how neat this little detail is. Polestar did not have to reinvent something that’s been on nearly every car since power seats became commonplace, but the company did it in a thoughtful, interesting way that is genuinely an improvement over what we're used to. That’s how you innovate, even if it’s minuscule in the grand scheme of it all.

Lots of tech, but something's missing

When Polestar introduced the 3, it also announced a partnership with Luminar, a U.S.-based lidar company. Polestar believes lidar is key to getting its vehicles to full autonomy, and while the company might be right, I can't tell you how well it works just yet. The test cars I drove in Europe weren't equipped with Luminar’s tech, so you'll probably have to wait a while to see if it truly leap-frogs the industry or simply joins the pack chasing Tesla.

But there are still driver aids aplenty. Polestar’s Pilot Assist system isn't one of the best out there, but in the PS3, this software feels more complete. It quickly recognizes changes in speed limit, and it leaves a reasonable gap between the PS3 and a lead car. It also keeps the SUV in the middle of a lane without ping-ponging between the lines.

Another cool new feature is the PS3's 25-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system with Dolby Atmos built in. If you’re an audiophile, it’s safe to say this will be a must-have option (it comes in the Plus pack). This stereo offers a totally immersive experience, one that I can't get enough of. The highs are crisp, the bass is feel-it-in-your-chest deep, and there’s minimal distortion anywhere across the audio range.

2025 Polestar 3 hard front

Right on the money

The Polestar 3 starts at $74,800 including destination and goes up from there with the various Pilot, Plus, Pro and Performance packs. (It'll be $80,800 for that last one.) That puts it right in line with competitors like the BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV. The PS3 will go on sale later this year, and trust me, it's worth more than just a look. This isn't just good for a Polestar, the PS3 is one of the most complete, compelling and worthwhile vehicles to enter this class.

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