Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Polestar 2 (2020) cornering

  • Available as a single- or dual-motor
  • Dual-motor has plenty of power, sports car punch
  • Porsche-slaying acceleration on tap

There are three models to choose from – the 408hp dual motor model with 78kWh battery pack is the top-of-the range, and the one that was available from launch. In April 2021, it was joined by two front-wheel drive single motor variants – available with the same long-range battery or a smaller, standard-range battery (64kWh).

Both single-motor models have a claimed 0-62mph time of 7.4sec with the cars feeling pretty brisk on the road. Initial acceleration is strong enough to get the steering wheel twisting in your hands with performance tailing off as you reach motorway speeds. If you’ve stepped out of a conventional petrol or diesel car you’ll be pleased with the performance, but even base Tesla Model 3s and many plug-in hybrids such as the BMW 330e are quicker.

Polestar 2 dual motor version

Grey 2020 Polestar 2 model designation detail

This Polestar 2 has a startling 408hp and 660Nm of torque thanks to two electric motors - expect 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 127mph (though the battery will discharge incredibly quickly if you attempt speeds like this in an electric car). This is a very fast car on paper and feels it in real life, with performance to rival Porsche sports cars.

All EVs are quick at the traffic light grand prix from 0-30mph, but the Polestar's trick is how urgent acceleration is available even at higher speeds. Prod the accelerator on a motorway to overtake uphill, and the 2 will surge forwards on a wave of silent, electric thrust. It's utterly captivating.

Yet this car is very easy to drive in day-to-day conditions and that performance potential is never daunting. It's a very easy car to thread around town, although you should be aware there is a shallow rear window which presents what looks like a daunting blindspot at first glance. In reality, large mirrors, blindspot indicators in the frameless door mirrors and a very good 360-degree parking camera mean that it's never really a problem in daily duty.

There aren't any driving modes as such, but you can adjust the power steering for finger-tip-light or heavier assistance, and you can also tweak the regenerative braking, which can be set to coast or claw back maximum charge with one-pedal driving. Once you're used to it, you'll rarely have to prod the brake pedal at all; a mere lift of the accelerator will do all the deceleration for you.

Handling

  • Easy car to drive, sophisticated manners
  • Well judged steering and handling
  • Ride is firm on Performance cars

Stick with a front-wheel drive single motor model and there’s only one choice of suspension although you can get 20 inch wheels. You’ll find plenty of grip in the bends and plenty of traction when accelerating, even though the steering wheel does writhe in your hands as we mentioned earlier.

The relatively soft springs, hefty weight and the fact the 2 is higher than most saloons means versions without the Performance Pack don’t feel particularly agile and do have a little bit more body roll than a Model 3. It’s not a car you drive quickly for fun.

If you’ve chosen the dual motor, you can add the Performance Pack that brings special Ohlins dampers that can be tuned to your preference, larger wheels and tyres, and better front brakes. Be aware that most punters won't be able to adjust the suspension with its 22 steps of damper softness (it involves a toolkit and removing the rear wheelarch liner, so most owners are expected to rely on a mechanic).

So equipped this is a car with an enormous amount of grip and a nicely balanced feel, giving you lots of confidence to push towards its limits, which on the road seem largely unreachable. Even without the Performance Pack, the dual motor has lots of traction and doesn’t feel as unruly as the single motor, even though it’s much more powerful.

While it inherits Volvo steering hardware, the software and tuning is very much Polestar's, and that means it has a well judged weighting to it. You won’t feel particularly connected to the front tyre’s activities, but it’s not like the Model 3 is involving, either.

There aren't any driving modes as such, but you can adjust the power steering for finger-tip-light or heavier assistance, and you can also tweak the regenerative braking, which can be set to coast or claw back maximum charge with one-pedal driving. Once you're used to it, you'll rarely have to prod the brake pedal at all; a mere lift of the accelerator will do all the deceleration for you.