When it comes to high-performance EVs, Tesla is usually the first automaker most people think of. However, Volvo is bringing its own line of electric cars to consumers, under the new brand name Polestar. The Polestar 2 is one of the latest cars built to compete with the Tesla Model 3.
Other cars have tried to do this in the past, but haven’t quite been hit the mark. After all, it’s hard to beat an EV that has nearly 300 miles of range and a blisteringly fast 0-60 mph time. The folks at Cars.com believe that the Polestar 2 has a fighting chance if it can overcome two particular hurdles.
Great things about the Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 is fun to drive, working with a dual-electric motor capable of 408 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The automaker claims that it can reach 0-60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. Acceleration is on the leisurely side, but you’ll really feel the power once the motor gets going.
The Polestar 2’s ride quality is a little firm thanks to its sporty suspension, but it can be adjusted manually. It can also be purchased with drivetrain enhancements like sports shock absorbers and Brembo brakes. The electric steering assist and regenerative braking typical of EVs function excellently.
This EV also just looks great from an aesthetic standpoint. Inside, the cockpit looks much more similar to a traditional gas-powered car than a Tesla. The Polestar 2 still has a massive center touchscreen, but all the other design elements make it look less distracting. Since the infotainment system is powered by Google, you can access your Google account from the comfort of the front seat.
The graphics on the touchscreen are crisp and the menus are very intuitive. Cars.com also liked the exterior design of the Polestar 2. It’s definitely boxier compared to other sporty EVs, but the tester felt that this makes the car unique.
Where the Polestar 2 needs improvement
Despite being fans of the design overall, Cars.com criticized the boring exterior paint colors on offer. The review also noted that the interior materials aren’t exactly on par with the Polestar 2’s competition. There’s a good amount of hard plastic bits in the cabin, and the standard vegan fabric feels cheap.
The seats are still comfortable, but feel flat rather than supportive. Drivers riding shotgun may also not appreciate the small front A/C vents, which don’t provide adequate air circulation. Cars.com also found that the Polestar 2 is deceptively small on the inside, especially in the back row.
The Polestar 2’s all-electric range is also disappointing. The 78-kWh battery pack can carry this sedan for 291 miles on a full charge. However, when driving at higher speeds, one test by Ars Technica showed that the Polestar 2’s range is closer to an EPA-estimated 250 miles.
How much does the Polestar 2 cost?
This is where things get tricky. The Launch model of the Polestar 2 retailed for $61,000, which included two packages with some extra tech features. With the addition of leather upholstery and the performance package, it can cost over $70,000. The Performance model of the Tesla Model 3 only costs around $55,000.
The Polestar 2 is eligible for a federal tax credit, which will knock a few thousand dollars off the sticker price. Still, Cars.com felt that there are some unforgivable traits of the Polestar 2 that don’t justify the price. If it had better cabin materials and slightly better range, it might be worth buying over other sporty EVs.