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The Tesla Model 3 isn’t just the best-selling electric car any more, it was the third best-selling car overall in 2022. That’s saying a lot about the adoption of electric cars, and now manufacturers are looking to steal some of those sales from Tesla. The new Polestar 2 from Volvo’s performance division is the most likely candidate. Should Tesla be worried about the Polestar 2?

The Polestar 2 is a Tesla 3 rival

In many ways, the Polestar 2 seems to go right at the Model 3, and improve on the Model 3s shortcomings. It’s all-wheel drive, it has more storage, it sits a bit higher for better visibility, it’s stylish and, most of all, it’s cooler.  It has a 400-horsepower motor, a 235-mile range, and it starts at around $60,000.

But, the Tesla has some significant advantages. It’s cheaper, about $5,000 cheaper in the Model 3 Performance trim. It has more power, with two motors making 455 horsepower.  And, critically, it has a much longer range of 325 miles.  While the Polestar 2 can hit 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 seconds, the Model 3 Performance can do that trick in a scant 3.1. But it does outperform the Model Y.

What is the Polestar 2?

A grey Polestar 2 on a road at high speed
A 2023 Polestar 2 | Polestar

Like the Toyota Crown, this is a Sedan that has a bit of an SUV look to it. It’s tall, and it has proportions that say “I’m all wheel drive.”  It also has a hatch in the back, instead of a trunk. That hatch means that it as 38.7 cubic feet of space with the seats down. This is one area where the all-electric Polestar 2 beats the Model 3. The Tesla Model 3 has just 23 cubic feet of space with the seats down.

Other than that, much of what you expect on a $60,000 car comes standard on the Polestar2. Like many cars in this class, you can get a giant glass roof. Unlike others, though, it doesn’t have any crossbars.  The 2023 Polestar 2 has a large screen that kind of mimics Tesla’s idea of a giant screen that does everything. It uses Google Maps for navigation. All of the controls for the car are on that center stack. Like a hidden surprise, if you swipe up or down on the screen it opens more car features.

In the screen, you can access driving modes, climate, and your driver’s aids like adaptive cruise control. It also has a digital gauge cluster that shows control functions, and your navigation map. The 2 is Polestars first sedan after the Polestar 3 and 4 SUVs.

What is Polestar?

The interior of the Polestar 2
The interior of a Polestar 2 sedan | Polestar

It’s Volvo’s luxury brand. So, that means you get the some Volvo stuff, like the Volvo key. The steering wheel, door switches,  and more come from Volvo. Interestingly, if you look for the Polestar logo on the car, you won’t find one. Instead, the exterior is simply full of Polestar’s star-shaped logo. But, it’s not winning fans everywhere. J.D. Power does rate the Model 3 higher.

Polestar is trading on the cool factor. But, is that coolness enough to capture sales from the Tesla Model 3 which has more range, more power, and a smaller price tag?


What Is Polestar and What Does Polestar Make?