2021 Polestar 2

MSRP range: $59,900
(1)
MSRP$66,200
Edmunds suggests you pay$66,200

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2021
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2021 Polestar 2 Review

  • Instant and powerful acceleration
  • Excellent handling and all-wheel-drive traction
  • State-of-the-art infotainment powered by Google Android
  • Stylish and comfortable interior
  • Only pricier models available to start
  • New brand with unknown track record
  • Support infrastructure is still developing
  • All-new all-electric sedan from Polestar
  • Kicks off the first Polestar 2 generation

New cars come out all the time. But how about a new car from an all-new brand? That doesn't happen very often, but our "once in a blue moon" event is here with the 2021 Polestar 2 small electric luxury sedan.

Polestar is a new offshoot from Volvo. In the past, there have been Polestar-engineered performance versions of existing Volvo vehicles. Now it's getting its own vehicle lineup but with a different, more modern take. Instead of throaty exhausts and high-strung turbocharged engines, there's lots of electricity and luxury.

The Polestar 2 is meant to rival the Tesla Model 3. It has more squared-off styling than the 3 and a large rear hatch area in lieu of a standard trunk, as the Model 3 has. Range is certainly decent — the EPA estimates you can go 233 miles on a full charge — but there's no way to upgrade to a bigger battery and more range, as you can with the Model 3.

Inside, the Polestar 2 uses Google's Android to power the infotainment system. It incorporates Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant right into an 11.2-inch touchscreen interface. Voice controls are cloud-based and as advanced as those on your smartphone, allowing you to check the weather or control your seat heater just by saying "Hey, Google" followed by a command. Rest easy, iPhone owners — you don't need an Android-based phone to interface with the system, and wireless Apple CarPlay will be a feature added (via over-the-air update) by the end of 2020.

As with the Model 3, your phone can act as the key, though two key fobs and an activity key are also provided. With your phone you can stay updated on things such as the remaining range and charging status or remotely precondition your cabin temp. You can even send a temporary digital key to someone if, say, you're away and need them to move your car on street-sweeping day.

So how does it all turn out? Is it a Tesla Model 3 killer? Read our Expert Rating below to find out.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Polestar 2 is a significant rival to the Tesla Model 3. It's a great match both in regards to specs and the driving experience. An easy-to-use Google-backed technology interface is also part of the appeal. On the downside, the Polestar 2 is a bit pricey, even when factoring in available tax credits. Interior space and energy efficiency are a bit lackluster too. But on the whole, the Polestar 2 delivers on enough fronts to move close to being in pole position for the best mid-priced EV on the market.
What a time we live in. Electric cars are setting new performance standards and anything accelerating to 60 mph in more than 5 seconds is merely average. Tesla has set a high bar, but the Polestar 2 has the goods to match it. Our Polestar 2 test car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. That's impressively quick but a bit behind Tesla's claim for the Model 3 Performance's acceleration.

Stopping from 60 mph took just 102 feet. That's among the shortest distance recorded for any EV we've tested to date. Both are figures many sports cars would be happy to claim.

But it's not just straight-line performance where the Polestar 2 shines. In fact, the Polestar 2 leads the way through corners and sets the new standard for the class. Its steering may not have quite the quick and immediate snap of the Tesla's, but it grips and moves with natural confidence. When you just feel like cruising, the Polestar is a smooth operator, delivering the effortless acceleration we've come to expect from an EV. It also offers easy one-pedal driving thanks to a generous amount of regenerative braking available.

The Polestar 2 provides a great amount of comfort in such a compact package. For how well it handles, ride comfort is excellent. And if you're so inclined to crawl under the car to manually adjust them, there are 22 available settings in the optional Performance pack's Ohlins adjustable dampers. Noise is also very well isolated, and vibrations and squeaks were nonexistent in our test vehicle.

The seats provide ample cushioning and support over long distances, but we noticed the non-perforated upholstery lacked breathability. The seat heaters, front and rear, work great and have multiple levels of heat. The climate system's power is more than adequate and is easy enough to adjust.
The interior quality and styling in the Polestar 2 are exquisite, but that's not what we're grading here (see the value section). Instead, it's how we interact with the interior. We found the pioneering Google Android interface to be quite user-friendly. If you own a smartphone, you should have little issue getting acquainted with the layout and learning how to control things. And unlike Tesla, you're not entirely reliant on the center screen for functions such as operating the windshield wipers or cruise control. We greatly prefer the Polestar 2 here.

The Polestar 2 has a little less interior space than the Model 3 does. The front has a cozier feeling, but there's a good range of adjustment for the driver with the exception of a steering column that doesn't quite extend out far enough. Rear seating is generally comfortable, though a battery tunnel running down the middle of the car takes up floor space, and there's slightly less headroom.

Forward visibility is excellent thanks to the large windows and frameless mirrors. The view out back is more narrow, like being in a coupe, and the rear headrests obscure the view even more. The glass roof does help create an airy feel, but it can be a bit too bright at times if the sun is directly overhead. The standard surround-view camera system is great to have, but the rearview camera's fish-eye lens can distort the distances to objects.
No one has been able to challenge Tesla up to this point, but with the help of Google, the Polestar 2 does. Polestar is the first manufacturer to integrate Google's Android OS directly into its infotainment, meaning the 11.3-inch center touchscreen operates much like a smartphone. You're essentially plugged into the Google ecosystem with everything from Maps to Google Assistant, an advanced voice recognition system that allows you to adjust everything from your climate or seat heaters. It can even fire off a decent "Dad joke" on command.

For iPhone owners, Polestar will be adding wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone integration in the near future via an over-the-air software update. Yes, Polestar will be pushing out vehicle improvements of all sorts over the air, something Tesla has led the way on.

All Polestar 2 Launch Edition models come with a comprehensive suite of advanced driver aids as well. Everything from adaptive cruise control with lane centering to blind-spot monitoring system is here, as well as a 360-degree surround-view camera system. Polestar says full self-parking (meaning no driver in the car) is a feature that's on its way.
The Polestar 2's fastback hatch design bodes well for cargo. The rear seats are split 60/40 and fold virtually flat for a generous 38.7 cubic feet of maximum space. There's also a center pass-through, additional underfloor storage and a handy pop-up grocery partition. You'd think it would have a significant advantage over the Model 3, but overall space is very similar.

Small-item storage isn't so great. The center battery tunnel cuts into space that would otherwise be for small-item storage. Cupholders are concealed under a sliding and folding armrest, so you have to choose between drinks or an elbow rest. Most other cubbies are modestly sized. The Model 3's storage may not be that well organized, but its extra storage space has the Polestar 2 beat.

The Polestar 2 is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds. While there are claims the Model 3 can tow as much, there is no official rating from Tesla to validate it.
The EPA estimates a Polestar 2 will go 233 miles on a full charge. It also says the Polestar 2 consumes 37 kWh worth of electricity for every 100 miles driven.

In Edmunds testing, we ran a Polestar 2 outfitted with the Performance pack (larger 20-inch wheels with grippier summer tires) at 80% battery charge on our real-world EV evaluation route. (Polestar recommends charging to 80% for daily use to preserve long-term battery life.) We made it a total of 190.1 miles. Based on our charging data, we calculated a consumption of 35.2 kWh/100 miles.

What does this all mean? Mostly that the EPA's range and efficiency estimates seem to be pretty accurate. As EVs go, however, the Polestar 2 is a little thirsty. On our same test route, a Model 3 Standard Range Plus used 27.4 kWh/100 miles. Remember that the lower the kWh number, the more efficient the vehicle is.
The Polestar 2 is not inexpensive. And while some packages such as a leather interior ($4,000) make it even less affordable, there are some advantages to going with this Swede. Build quality inside and out feels solid, and Polestar's approach to cabin design strikes an excellent balance of elegance and simplicity.

By comparison, Tesla's models look virtually the same on the inside whether you get a base trim or all the bells and whistles. For now, pricing is competitive with a Model 3 Long Range if you factor in the available tax credits, but it becomes a harder case to make without them.

On the plus side, Polestar's warranties are pretty attractive and service centers offer complimentary vehicle pickup within a 150-mile radius. The bumper-to-bumper warranty is a typical four years/50,000 miles, but the electric motors and batteries are covered for a minimum of eight years/100,000 miles, or up to 10 years/150,000 miles if you're in California. Most competitors only cover the batteries under this warranty. The rust-through warranty is also on the generous side at 12 years/unlimited miles, with roadside assistance for four years/50,000 miles.

The Polestar 2 comes with an 11-kW onboard charger and the usual assortment of portable charge cord options, including a standard 120-volt household adapter and a 240-volt SAE public charge equipment adapter. On a proper home wall charger, it'll charge to full from empty in about 8 hours. It also has a DC fast-charging capability of up to 150 kW, which can theoretically get you from empty to an 80% battery charge in about 40 minutes.
The Polestar 1 is gorgeous. The Polestar 2 ... is not ugly. While there are definitely some good angles, some are a little less flattering. One thing that isn't up for debate is that the Polestar 2 is fun to drive. Perhaps its unassuming style is part of the charm because you'd be hard-pressed to know it's packing over 400 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. Our Performance pack car delivers Tesla-beating handling despite a hefty weight penalty, yet it doesn't punish you on the ride home.

Tesla's Performance models still deliver more pop in a straight line, but if you decide to go with the Polestar 2, you'll hardly be disappointed.

Which 2 does Edmunds recommend?

The Polestar 2 is currently only offered in the Launch Edition trim, which comes very well equipped with Polestar's Pilot package, a comprehensive suite of advanced driving aids, and the Plus package, a bundle of luxury amenities including a panoramic glass roof, LED lights, heated power seats and a premium sound system. If you don't want to pay for all of that, you'll likely be waiting a while for the entry-level models.

Polestar 2 models

The Polestar 2 debuts as a generously equipped trim aptly called the Launch Edition. There will eventually be more basic trims offered, but no details have been announced.

Launch Edition
Comes loaded with:

  • Dual electric motors producing 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque
  • 78-kWh battery
  • DC fast charger port (up to 150 kW DC fast-charging capability)
  • Polestar digital key (lets you use your phone as a key)
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • 11-inch touchscreen
  • Four USB-C power ports
  • Hands-free liftgate

The Plus package, which is also standard, adds:

  • Panoramic glass roof
  • 13-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system
  • Adaptive LED headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
  • High-pressure headlight-cleaning nozzles
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel and wiper blades
  • Wireless phone charger

It also comes with the Pilot package, a comprehensive suite of advanced safety aids that includes:

  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Polestar 2 and the car in front)
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Polestar 2 and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while you're in reverse) with automatic braking
  • Fully automatic (driverless) parking
  • Road sign recognition
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Polestar 2 back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)

But wait, there's more! The optional Performance package adds:

  • Sport-tuned suspension with Öhlins performance dampers
  • Brembo front brakes
  • 20-inch forged alloy wheels with summer tires
  • High-gloss black roof panel
  • Gold-colored seat belts

Stand-alone options include:

  • Ventilated Nappa leather upholstery with reconstructed wood trim
  • 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Polestar 2.

Average user rating: 4.0 stars
1 total reviews
5 star reviews: 0%
4 star reviews: 100%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

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    Most helpful consumer reviews

    4/5 stars, A Rocket
    John Pape,
    Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD)
    Acceleration is great. People turn heads. Electric is roughly half the cost of gas with home charging 90% of the time. Although at some point the battery has to be replaced. Have over three thousand miles and no problems. Not a lot of room in the back seat. Rear seats fold down lots of room for hauling stuff. App is not up and running yet.

    2021 Polestar 2 video

    SPEAKER 1: So this feels strange. This is actually my car. Back in March, we leased a Tesla Model 3 because he wanted an EV big enough to serve as a family car and because we wanted a bit of luxury to make my wife's commute just about tolerable. Back then, the Tesla was the only option that was reasonably affordable. But that's about to change with the launch of the Polestar 2, which, by chance, just happens to be lined up perfectly next to Edmund's own Tesla Model Y. Now, you might reasonably be asking, who are Polestar? Well, they began life as a sort of works operation, running Volvo's racing teams and developing some of their high-performance derivatives-- kind of like a Swedish MPower or AMG. But now, they're a standalone EV brand focusing on performance and technology. Now, if you'd gone back 10 years and told me that the most important EVs of 2020 would be a Porsche; a Tesla, that funny little Californian startup building electric Lotuses, and a Polestar, a spin-off of Volvo, which is now owned by a Chinese Geely, and frankly, you'd have thought I was mad. But here we are. Polestar's first offering was the Polestar 1, which was expertly reviewed on our channel by our very own Kurt Niebuhr. But that was a $150 grand super-luxury hybrid coupe. This, the Polestar 2, is their first proper car, and it's aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3. The one we have here is the first edition, which costs a smidgen under $60,000, and it's lined up against either the Model 3 Long Range or the Model 3 Performance. Or you might even consider the more SUV-focused Tesla Model Y, like our Performance Performance edition that we have nestling here. Our Polestar also has a $5,000 performance package, more of which later. Now, regular watchers of Edmunds will recognize that we've done endless tests on Tesla models, so we're not going to get too deep into the Model 3 and Model Y here. But there are lots of links sort of round here and down below if you want to catch up on all things Tesla. Here, we're going to focus on the Polestar. But before we get into it, please subscribe to our channel and check out a new feature on Edmunds, where we'll make you a cash offer for your car. Go to edmunds.com/sellmycar. Edmunds.com/sellmycar. Check it out. It's actually really good fun. Now, if you're looking at the Polestar 2, thinking it kind of looks like a Volvo, then you'd be kind of right. It's actually based on a Volvo concept car and these signature force hammer daytime running lights are also straight out of Volvo's parts bin. Underneath, there's also a lot of Volvo XC40 in its construction. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is a very handsome car, which in our experience, gets an almost universally positive reaction. It also benefits from being different. If like me, you live here in LA, than Model 3s are kind of like a Toyota Prius. They are utterly ubiquitous. This isn't. And the other advantage of buying a Polestar is that you don't necessarily look like you belong to the Cult of Elon. And believe me, that was almost enough to put me off leasing a Model 3. The performance park fitted to our car adds at rate of suspension, some black detailing, and these 20 inch rims, complete with more aggressive Continental tires. You also get gold calipers to match the gold seat belts, and even these gold tire valve caps, which definitely won't get stolen. [DRAMATIC MUSIC] Inside, this simple elegant cabin is also very Volvo-esque, but with one significant difference. This centrally-mounted screen is actually powered by Google. And I don't mean Android autorun from his smartphone. I mean a full interface designed by Google that works with any smartphone, even my slightly battered iPhone. We've been talking about this a lot in the Edmunds office. Why do manufacturers continue to invest millions and millions of dollars developing their own interfaces when companies like Apple and Google have so much more expertise and so much more data to work with? This is Google's first attempt at an integrated system, and to be honest, it's really good. What really appeals to me is the simplicity of the UX and the UI-- the user experience or user interface-- it really feels like it's been designed for human beings and not just for tech nerds. You can download things like Spotify from the Google Play store and you have Google Maps. That's all integrated. Also like the fact that this screen here talks to this digital dashboard display, which is beautifully designed, so you can look at the map and the navigation and your speed and the range left without really taking your eyes off the road-- much better than just focusing on a centrally-mounted screen like you do in the Tesla. I also like the fact that the screen is combined with real controls for real functions, like the wing mirrors and these air vents. So to change the air vent, you simply twiddle this little knob and point it in the direction you want. You don't go up, press, right, left as you do in a Tesla. Believe me-- so much easier. [MUSIC PLAYING] To be honest, Tesla's voice command system is also a bit rubbish for now. But the Polestar uses Google Assistant technology, so you can say things like, Hey, Google, turn the fan on, please. DIGITAL ASSISTANT: OK, turning on fan. SPEAKER 1: Yeah, nice. And you could even say things like, Hey, Google, how's my new hairstyle? DIGITAL ASSISTANT: I was just about to see how good it looks. SPEAKER 1: Who doesn't like that? What I do miss, though, is some of the fun stuff that you get in a Tesla. I'm told that Netflix is coming to this system, but it's still not going to work as well on this portrait screen as it does in the Tesla's larger landscape screen. And I do miss things like the fart machine, which always makes my 16-month-old daughter laugh. Everybody needs a fart machine. Overall, I think Polestar has done a great job with this cockpit. The fit and finish and the choice of materials is definitely a step above Tesla, and like the Model 3, it's all vegan. Although, to be honest, if you want to kill some cows, you can pay an extra $4,000 and have everything covered in leather. The only thing that's troubling me is it's a bit small. It's three inches shorter, overall, than a Model 3, but the wheelbase is actually five inches shorter. So we're going to check out what that means for rear-seat passengers. What I'm going to do is set up my driving position in this, the Model 3, and the Model Y. Then, we're going to compare and contrast all three. So let's get cracking. So we're starting in the Tesla Model Y. Now, just the usual caveat on every review I do. I'm six foot four, so everything's a little bit exaggerated because my height. But as you can see, this is set up for me, and I can pretty much get my knees in behind the seat in front. There's also plenty of space underneath the driver's seat for my toes. So yeah, this is pretty good. Swapping to the Model 3, you can instantly see the difference. You sit much lower in the sedan, and because the batteries are under the floor of the Tesla, it kind of forces my knees up towards my chin. And there's also less space for my feet below the driver's seat. But you've still got enough room-- just about-- for my knees and plenty of headroom, too. Jumping into Polestar 2, you can instantly see that I've got less knee room here than I had in the Tesla Model 3 and especially, the Model Y. Although, to be fair, my knees are marginally less close to my chin than they are in the 3. I also haven't got a lot of room under the driver's seat for my toes. But then, to be honest, I always have my driving station pretty low down. What you might notice in here is that it has a transmission tunnel, which is odd because it certainly doesn't have a drive shaft. What this actually is is a legacy of the Volvo XC40 underpinnings. And it's used in this car to store some of the batteries. Now, that helps lower the floor and gets my knees away from my chin, but it's obviously bad news for the central passenger. The other thing I should note in the Polestar is that the headroom is OK, but only just. Like the Tesla, there's a couple of air vents here. You also get a couple of USB-C ports and physical controls for the rear seat heaters. Being a product of what is effectively Volvo, you won't be surprised to hear there's a pretty impressive lineup of safety kit, too. As you'd expect, ISOFIX mounting points for child seats on either side in the back and no fewer than nine airbags, including side airbags built into the front seats that actually hold you in place should there be an accident. On our test drive, the Polestar recorded 0 to 60 in just 4.3 seconds. That's 0.6 of a second slower than our Model Y Performance Performance, but a full second faster than my Model 3 Standard Range Plus. So the Polestar is properly rapid, but to be honest, I don't really care. I mean, don't get me wrong. I spent the last 20 years testing fast cars and sometimes racing them, too. I love fast cars, but this is supposed to be a family hatchback. Let me just demonstrate to you what 0 to 60 in four seconds-- in 4.3 seconds, I should say-- actually feels like. So here we go. [LAUGHS] Honestly, if I did this with my wife and baby daughter in the car, I'd be speeding very quickly to the divorce courts. I just don't need this level of performance in a family hatchback I really don't. What I care much more about is-- yeah-- a good level of performance, but then what's the range like, and how does that deliver in everyday driving? We put all three cars through our exclusive Edmunds EV range test. According to our results, the Polestar's maximum range is a competitive 238 miles, versus 232 miles-- my Model 3-- and 278 miles for our Model Y. Fast charging is available through Electrify America, but of course, you don't have access to Tesla's Supercharger network, which remains Tesla's trump card. All this performance comes from two identical motors, mounted at the front and the rear, to provide all-wheel drive. It develops 408 horsepower and 487 pounds feet of torque. Now, Tesla doesn't quote the power and torque figures of its cars. But I'll give you some sort of context-- Porsche 911 Carrera offers 379 horsepower. So this has more than a 911. As we talked about earlier, this car has the optional performance package, which introduces uprated springs and stabilizer bars, and also debuts Ohlins adjustable dampers. That's right-- adjustable dampers on a family hatchback. Imagine that. Sorry, darling. Can't quite take you to school just yet. Just got to put an extra click in the dampers. Honestly, I think it's a bit mad. Polestar tell us that they've set this car for what they believe is the optimal setup. So we're not going to fuff around with adjusting the dampers here. We're just going to get on with it. Now, before we get too deep into ride and handling, the thing that I can't quite get over is just how heavy this car is. On our scales, it weighed 4,719 pounds. Now, that's 300 pounds more than our Model Y Performance Performance SUV and a whopping 1,000 pounds more than our Model 3 Standard Range Plus. It's pretty porky. To be honest, it actually does a pretty good job of hiding all that mass. That's because the batteries are actually mounted low in the car, and that helps lower the center of gravity and hide that feeling of inertia that you get in really heavy cars. Now, Polestar is determined to establish themselves as a sporty brand-- a slightly more fun alternative to Volvo. And this thing really does handle with some aplomb. It doesn't quite turn in as sharply as a Model 3. But extremely sharp turning is very much becoming a Tesla trademark. And the trade off is firm springs, and at times, a pretty lumpy ride quality. The Polestar takes a slightly different compromise. It doesn't turn in quite as keenly, but then the ride quality's actually better than the Tesla's. It's still quite a sporty ride. You still feel quite a lot of what's happening with the road surface. But at the same time, you get a bit more compliance than you would in a Tesla. So it's no luxury car, but it's perfectly tolerable day-to-day. And personally, I actually quite like a more sporty feel. If you mess around with the settings, you actually have three different steering setups, from super lightweight, at which point it feels like one of those old-fashioned American cars from the 60s where you've got zero idea what the front wheels are doing. Then there's a standard setup, and then there's a more firmer setup, which, to be honest, is my preference. You've also got a sport mode for the stability control. Honestly, it feels pretty secure. I wouldn't say it's massively sporting, but it could certainly hold its own with something like a BMW 3 Series, for example. Now, the brakes on most EVs aren't the best. And that's certainly a weak point of the Tesla, simply because there's so much going on with the combination of regeneration and then actual old-fashioned pistons and calipers. But the reality is on the roads, you'd barely use the brake. This is like the Tesla. It's a one-pedal car. So you're actually just lifting off the throttle and letting the regenerative braking take care of the retardation. On a test drive like this, then, if you're pushing on a bit, you do use the brakes. But as I say, on the road, you're barely going to touch them. What this car does give you is a lot of confidence. It feels pretty taut and secure. A little bit of push, but-- obviously, the Model Y Performance Performance that we have is faster against the clock. And it-- subjectively it-- it also feels faster. You don't get that neck snap of acceleration that you do in the Tesla. It's more of a-- progressive here, but it's fun-- genuinely fun. They've done a pretty good job with this. The other thing I'd say on the road is that it feels extremely refined. On highway speeds, it's super quiet, like luxury car quiet and it's just generally a nice place to be. The Harmon Kardon hi-fi is great. As I say, the ride quality is better than the Tesla's, even if it's still, at times, feels quite firm. It's a nice everyday car. As long as you're not sat in the back. I think you could embarrass a lot of sports cars in this. I really do. It should be pretty clear by now that we really do like the new Polestar 2. In many ways, it improves on the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. The dashboard and infotainment system is a big improvement, as is the perception of quality. It's handsome, rapid, and desirable. For now, at least, it also qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, which isn't available to Tesla-- they've sold too many cars-- but will be offered on the new Mustang Mach E. Apply $7,500 off the price of this car, and it ends up cheaper than a Model 3 Performance. But now comes the big caveat. Although cheaper versions of the Polestar 2 with less equipment are on their way, what we won't see is a single-motor version to take on the Model 3 Standard Range Plus. My Tesla starts at under $40,000. And that really is my biggest gripe with this car. I don't need or even want a family EV with over 400 horsepower. Frankly, I'd much rather have a bit more rear room and an extra $10,000 to $15,000 to spend on diapers. For me, the conclusion is really simple. If you're in the market for a Model Y or a Model 3 Performance, then you really should take a look at the Polestar 2. But if like me, you just want a family-friendly EV with good performance at a more reasonable price, then you really can't look past my Tesla, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus.

    New Polestar 2 Review & First Look — 2021 Polestar 2 EV Price, Release Date, Interior Vs. Tesla


    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    $59,900
    Battery & Range
    EPA KWh/100 mi.: 37
    Time To Charge Battery (At 240V): 8.0 hr.
    EPA Electricity Range: 233 mi.
    Seating
    5 seats
    Drivetrain
    Type: all wheel drive
    Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
    Basic Warranty
    4 yr./ 50000 mi.
    Dimensions
    Length: 181.3 in. / Height: 58.2 in. / Width: 71.2 in.
    Curb Weight: 4680 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.5 cu.ft.

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    • $59,900starting MSRP

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite 2 safety features:

    Pilot Assist adaptive cruise control
    Maintains speed and preset distance from the vehicle in front, providing braking and steering support at speeds up to 80 mph.
    Blind-spot warning with steer assist
    Alerts drivers of vehicles in their blind spot and helps avoid potential collisions by steering the car back into its own lane.
    Oncoming lane mitigation
    Helps drivers avoid oncoming collisions at up to 37 mph by automatically steering the car back into the lane if the marking is crossed.


    Polestar 2 vs. the competition

    2021 Polestar 2

    2021 Polestar 2

    2020 Model 3

    2020 Model 3

    Polestar 2 vs. Tesla Model 3

    The Model 3 is a standout electric vehicle. It has a minimalist interior and a user interface that Tesla can improve over time by beaming updates to the car over-the-air. Driving-wise, Model 3s range from quick to holy Toledo. Tesla offers more affordable versions of the 3 (unlike the Polestar 2),  but in general these two EVs are pretty evenly matched. Edmunds has owned a couple Model 3s so if you'd like to read about our experiences living with a Tesla Model 3 check out our long-term road test.

    Compare Polestar 2 & Tesla Model 3 features 

    Polestar 2 vs. Tesla Model Y

    The Polestar 2 may directly compete with the Model 3, but it's hard to ignore the other Tesla in the room, the Model Y. The Model Y is a Model 3 whose proportions have been stretched into a small SUV. There's more passenger and cargo space in the Y, but much of it resembles the experience you get in the Model 3. Tesla doesn't currently have plans to produce a base-trim Model Y, so its pricing and specifications are much in line with the Polestar 2 Launch Edition. Edmunds owns a Tesla Model Y so if you'd like to learn more about what it's like to live with, check out our long-term road test.

    Compare Polestar 2 & Tesla Model Y features 

    Polestar 2 vs. BMW i3

    If you're looking for a smaller, less expensive alternative to the Polestar 2, there's the BMW i3. It doesn't have nearly as much range or performance as the Polestar 2, but it's still a fun city runabout that makes efficient use of interior space. You can also get it with a small gasoline engine that serves as a range extender in case you run out of battery power.

    Compare Polestar 2 & BMW i3 features 


    2021 Polestar 2 First Impressions

    2021 Polestar 2 First Look

    The Electric Landscape Is About to Get a Little More Stylish

    While the electrified automotive landscape continues to fill up with compact hatchbacks and luxury SUVs, there's still only one midsize sedan, and that's the Tesla Model 3. With nearly 150,000 units sold in under two years, Tesla has no doubt enjoyed the head start. And while major manufacturers likely have cars under development, a relatively new brand will debut its first volume-production car as the Model 3's first direct competitor. Slated to go on sale in the summer of 2020, the 2021 Polestar 2 looks to steal some of Tesla's limelight.

    Which Star?

    For a bit of background, Polestar has technically been around since 2005, starting out as a racing team that specialized in preparing Volvos for touring car racing. From there, it expanded into modifying Volvo street cars with both performance and cosmetic enhancements before it was bought and incorporated into Volvo in 2015. Polestar turned out a few hot versions of Volvo's S60 sedan and V60 wagon, but its mandate has changed.

    Gone are the throaty exhausts and high-strung turbocharged motors, replaced with electricity and luxury. Polestar was once a bit like Mercedes-Benz's AMG, but now it's a stylish and environmentally friendly sub-brand focused on pushing the technological envelope.

    The Hardware

    Unlike the limited-production hybrid Polestar 1, the Polestar 2 will be a fully electric midsize car produced in volume. Aimed squarely at the Model 3, it not only shares the Model 3's fastback body configuration but it should also have a similar range, with Polestar aiming for 275 miles on a charge. Power comes from a 78-kWh battery pack and two electric motors driving all four wheels. Volvo estimates power output at 408 horsepower, and a typical electric tidal wave of torque at 487 pound-feet. That should see 0-60 mph times come in under 5 seconds.

    Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture forms the basis for the chassis, and the 27-module battery pack has been integrated into the floor, not only increasing chassis rigidity but also helping to lower noise and vibration levels in the cabin. We expect handling to be on par with other European luxury sedans, and Polestar will offer performance upgrades in the way of special Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels, likely wrapped with stickier rubber than the standard setup. Visually, the optional performance pack will get you gold brake calipers and gold seat belts. We're going to need to see everything in the flesh before we pass final judgment on the gold bits.

    The Software

    Inside, the Polestar 2 uses Google's Android as the basis for the infotainment system, incorporating Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant into an 11-inch touchscreen interface. As with the Model 3, it's anticipated that your phone will be the key for the Polestar and will keep you updated on things such as the remaining range and charging status when plugged in. Furthering the push toward environmental consciousness, the interior will be vegan with a mix of textiles and materials, and no doubt appeal to the more eco-conscious buyers Polestar is courting.

    We'll be very interested to try out the Polestar 2's upgraded and more integrated in-car tech, as the automaker has said these features will be baked into future Volvo models as well. Voice assistants are becoming a thing in luxury cars, with both Mercedes and BMW premiering their own versions. We are eager to find out if going with Google gives Volvo and Polestar an advantage or if bespoke systems prove better suited for automotive applications.

    Pricing and Release Date

    The Polestar 2 went into full production in spring 2020. Should you want to order one, you'll need to do so online, and pre-orders are being accepted now. Pricing starts at $59,900 before destination or government rebates. Options are limited to the Performance package ($5,000), upgraded leather upholstery ($4,000), 20-inch wheels ($1,200) and metallic paint ($1,200). Subscription pricing, which is a curious idea Volvo continues to push, will be available at a later date, assuming that's still a thing.

    Although the range, performance and avant-garde design of the Polestar 2 should give Tesla some cause for concern, it's the production capacity of Polestar's parent company — Volvo — and Volvo's parent company — Chinese automaker Geely — that could see the Model 3 struggle to keep up on a global level. No doubt another solid fully electric sedan will be a welcome addition to the market. We'll be passing on our driving impressions just as soon as we can get behind the wheel, so stay tuned to Edmunds for more news about the 2021 Polestar 2.


    FAQ

    Is the Polestar 2 a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 2 both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.1 out of 10. You probably care about Polestar 2 energy consumption, so it's important to know that the 2 gets an EPA-estimated 92 mpg-e. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the 2 has 15.5 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Polestar 2. Learn more

    What's new in the 2021 Polestar 2?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Polestar 2:

    • All-new all-electric sedan from Polestar
    • Kicks off the first Polestar 2 generation
    Learn more

    Is the Polestar 2 reliable?

    To determine whether the Polestar 2 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the 2. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the 2's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2021 Polestar 2 a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Polestar 2 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 2 and gave it a 8.1 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 2 is a good car for you. Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2021 Polestar 2?

    The least-expensive 2021 Polestar 2 is the 2021 Polestar 2 Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $59,900.

    Other versions include:

    • Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD) which starts at $59,900
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Polestar 2?

    If you're interested in the Polestar 2, the next question is, which 2 model is right for you? 2 variants include Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD). For a full list of 2 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Polestar 2

    2021 Polestar 2 Overview

    The 2021 Polestar 2 is offered in the following submodels: 2 Hatchback. Available styles include Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD). The 2021 Polestar 2 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive. The 2021 Polestar 2 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

    What do people think of the 2021 Polestar 2?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Polestar 2 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 2 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 2.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Polestar 2 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 2 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Polestar 2?

    2021 Polestar 2 Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD)

    Which 2021 Polestar 2s are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Polestar 2 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Polestar 2.

    Can't find a new 2021 Polestar 2s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Polestar for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $10,654.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    What is the MPG of a 2021 Polestar 2?

    2021 Polestar 2 Launch Edition 4dr Hatchback AWD (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel
    92 compined MPG,
    96 city MPG/88 highway MPG

    EPA Est. MPG92
    Transmission1-speed direct drive
    Drive Trainall wheel drive
    DisplacementN/A
    Passenger Volume115.0 cu.ft.
    Wheelbase107.7 in.
    Length181.3 in.
    Width71.2 in.
    Height58.2 in.
    Curb Weight4680 lbs.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Polestar 2?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Polestar lease specials