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2024 Polestar 2 Goes From Really Good to Super Great

A major face-lift enhances range, performance and efficiency in big ways

  • It offers up to 320 miles of range.
  • Rear-wheel drive replaces the front-wheel drivetrain as standard.
  • More power and quicker charging are on top.

Polestar is the all-electric offshoot brand from Volvo, and the 2 shares much of its EV tech and underpinnings with the Volvo XC40 Recharge SUV. As a "liftback" — the sophisticated alias for a hatchback that looks like a sedan — the Polestar 2 is the brand's smallest car and has served as a viable alternative to the Tesla Model 3 since it debuted for 2020.

For 2024, the Polestar 2 got a host of updates that have the potential to move this stylish EV closer to the top of many buyers' shopping lists. More range, quicker charging and drastic powertrain changes were exactly what the Polestar 2 needed to better stand out against the Model 3 as well as other popular EVs such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6.

2024 Polestar 2 front three-quarter

How much power does the Polestar 2 have?

Changes to the 2024 Polestar 2 are big, and the biggest one of all is under the hood ... or more accurately, the trunk. Just like before, the Polestar will be offered with two powertrain configurations: single-motor and dual-motor. Only now, the single-motor version will have rear-wheel drive (RWD) instead of front-wheel drive (FWD). The switch from FWD to RWD should give the single-motor Polestar 2 a sportier feel when driving around corners.

There's also more power for 2024. The single-motor Polestar 2 makes 299 horsepower and produces 361 lb-ft of torque. That's more than last year's output of 231 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Next, sacrificing a bit of range for driving dynamics and performance, the dual-motor all-wheel-drive Polestar 2 ramps up to 421 hp and 546 lb-ft. For the true thrill-seekers, the Performance pack is available for the dual-motor all-wheel-drive variant, boosting horsepower to 455 hp and torque to 546 lb-ft.

What about range and charging?

Polestar says the single-motor 2 will be good for an EPA-estimated range of 320 miles on a full charge, which is a big jump from last year's 270-mile estimate. Dual-motor versions get a bump to 276 miles from 260 miles last year.

The Polestar 2 can use AC Level 2 charging points up to 11 kW. Both single- and dual-motor versions will take about eight hours to charge back to 100% using this method. Single-motor variants can go from 10% to 80% capacity using up to a 205-kW DC fast charger in just 28 minutes, and the dual-motor versions will take 34 minutes using up to a 155-kW DC fast charger to do the same. These times are decent, though the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Tesla Model 3 are all capable of quicker DC charging.

2024 Polestar 2 in profile, on the road

How does the Polestar 2 drive?

The Polestar 2 has always been sporty, the new updates for 2024 further solidify its status as a driver's EV. As you'd expect, the new rear-wheel-drive configuration has changed the feel behind the wheel significantly, but the surprise is in its refinement and maturity. Most EVs have plenty of power, but the Polestar 2 delivers it in a delightfully unique, mature and measured way.

Mature? Yes. Dull? Absolutely not. It's quick, but far from irresponsible. If you really want to fall in love, swipe right and check out the dual-motor all-wheel-drive version. It's an exhilarating car to drive and sure to hold your attention, especially when you spring for the optional Performance pack. Its handling and performance chops will satiate an enthusiast's appetite in a way most cars don't, and there's something intangible about the driving experience that the numbers just don't communicate. Simply put, it's pure pleasure to drive.

How comfortable is the Polestar 2?

Comfort isn't lacking whatsoever, but it won't be among the first associations with the Polestar 2. The Polestar 2 was never intended to be a cushy sedan, and its performance-associated firmness may take some getting used to. In particular, the cockpit feel of the driver's seat is tight; the large center console is tall and bulky and can make things feel a bit claustrophobic. But after putting in several hours with the car, I found the tightness melted away and the cocoon of the cockpit actually began to feel comforting. I loved the seats, especially the ventilated seats available with the Plus pack that kept me cool under the massive sunroof.

How's the Polestar 2's interior?

The Polestar 2's interior is textbook Scandinavian — modern, clean, minimal and stylish. It feels upscale, without the fussiness. The full-length panoramic roof is particularly key in keeping the cabin feel open and airy (it will cost you extra, though). A pleasing combination of buttons and knobs still exist in the Polestar 2 for various controls even though a sleek tablet-style display can be found in the center stack. A separate driver's display screen also exists in the instrument cluster with driving information.

2024 Polestar 2 front interior

How's the Polestar 2's tech?

Although abundant, the wonderful thing about the Polestar 2's tech is that it's not overwhelming. Akin to its simple, clean interior, the infotainment and safety technology is straightforward and intuitive. Polestar's tech game has always been strong — this was the first car to feature Google built-in, which seamlessly integrates your car's environment with the familiar Google interface we've all come to know and love. (Don't worry — if you're not a fan of the Android OS, Apple CarPlay is still available.) You can access all of your Google Maps, Assistant, music and more while navigating a familiar interface. But the Polestar 2 also has heaps of driver assistance aids and safety features as well.

Standard safety tech includes the Polestar 2's SmartZone. This front grille area houses a camera and radar to help mitigate dangerous situations on the road, detect other cars and pedestrians, and assist in bad weather or compromised visibility conditions. Lane keeping assistance and blind-spot detection are also standard. However, most advanced driver safety tech features have been reserved for the Pilot pack. To take advantage of adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and a rear collision warning and mitigation system, you'll need to pony up for the $2,000 upgrade.

Edmunds says

The updates to the 2024 Polestar 2 are significant. Already an attractive EV with loads of tech and driving personality, the Polestar 2 now goes further, charges quicker and is more efficient than before. We think these updates were definitely worth the wait and this is the Polestar 2 to get.