Many automakers try to spice up their EVs with glitz and glam, but some brands prefer to keep it simple. That’s the case with the Polestar 2, a complex car with a simple, elegant design. Though it might not be the best EV of the year, the latest Polestar model offers something unique to the segment.
The Polestar 2 was a contender for 2021 Car and Driver EV of the Year
Unfortunately for the brand, the Polestar 2 didn’t win Car and Driver‘s EV of the Year award. That distinction went to the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, and it won for many reasons. Not only do its numbers stack up well, but it’s also a fun car to drive and ride in. For those reasons and more, the Mach-E won because it’s the model that can convert consumers to EVs right now.
That said, the Polestar 2 didn’t perform poorly in C/D’s contest. After all, the EV marketplace has plenty of competition nowadays. You’ll find cheap options like the Nissan Leaf, luxury models like the Audi e-tron, and, of course, beloved Tesla EVs. In fact, after intensive testing, Car and Driver gave the Polestar an accolade for being the “simple machine.”
The 2021 Polestar 2: Simple on the outside, powerful on the inside
Car and Driver summed up the Polestar 2’s design by saying that it “seemingly draws from modernist architecture, with a palette dominated by gray tones reminiscent of concrete and steel.” This “clean design” essentially makes this EV look like “tomorrow’s Volvo.” Furthermore, by boasting a uniquely simple design, the new Polestar easily separates itself from the EV pack.
That said, the Polestar 2 shares something with many other EVs, and that’s performance. Thanks to its two electric motors, this model makes 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque. Those impressive specs allow the Polestar to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and it also handles well.
What it doesn’t do too well, however, is travel far. Its 75-kWh battery gives it a max range of about 233 miles, but Car and Driver got a lower range during its 75-mph highway fuel-economy test. In that evaluation, the Polestar 2 went only about 200 miles on a full charge — a disappointing number.
Stiff competition abounds
But the Polestar 2 is still a worthy choice for many drivers. “By combining otherwise strong performance with clean design, Polestar offers a practical alternative to its more audacious electric competitors,” C/D said. Indeed, there are quite a few audacious rivals, and Car and Driver tested many of them.
For example, C/D also tested the Porsche Taycan 4S, which starts at over $110,000 and delivers the numbers to justify the high price. It can zip from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and has a max range of about 227 miles. But, of course, the Polestar 2, starting at $61,000, is more practical than the Taycan 4S.
In addition to testing three Tesla models, Car and Driver also evaluated the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Volvo owns Polestar, so the 2 was essentially the second Volvo that C/D tested. But unfortunately for the premium Swedish automaker, Car and Driver didn’t like the Recharge much, especially compared to the Tesla Model Y.