Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Android infotainment system is a world-first
  • Integrates seamlessly with any smartphone
  • Clean design to the cabin looks smart and classy

The Polestar 2 is the first car in the world to feature Google's new Android infotainment system, set on an 11-inch, freestanding portrait touchscreen. Once you’ve logged in to your Google account, it works just like your phone or tablet, with all your regular apps and contacts already saved to the car.

As well as large and easily jabbed virtual buttons, this system has been designed to be as easy as possible to use on the move (not something we can say about every touchscreen in a car).

The sat-nav uses Google Maps, with live charging station availability if you need a top-up on the way. The maps have a specific skin with reduced on-screen information to help you read them while driving. We've now used the navigation in the UK and it works really well, which is no surprise considering how effective Google Maps is on your computer or phone.

The new operating system takes the functions of Android Auto and adds voice control that can talk to the car's various systems, like climate controls and a driver profile linked to your Google account. You can even use the 'Hey Google' command and ask it to tell you a joke. The kids will love some of these features.

A Bluetooth antenna in the driver’s door picks up a signal from your phone in your pocket when you approach, setting the car up for you before you've even sat down.

So by the time you open the door, the car has already started moving the seat and mirrors for you, selecting the steering weight you prefer and configuring the various safety systems to your liking. It's a really clever system and means that a couple sharing the car won't have to spend 30sec adjusting everything when they swap drivers.

There’s no subscription for this and the Polestar 2 comes with its own connected sim card onboard with Polestar picking up the tab for Spotify streaming and maps usage for three years. Over-the-air updates are free for the lifetime of the car, but Google services are only covered for the first three years in the UK.

We were really impressed with the interior quality and design - unlike other high-end cars, the Polestar 2 manages to make the cabin feel luxurious without the need to cover everything in leather. In fact unless you pay extra for leather seats, the interior is completely vegan, which is very zeitgeisty.

The choice and fit of materials is one area where we rate the Polestar 2 higher than the Tesla Model 3, which while modern and trendy, doesn't have the depth of quality that the Polestar offers. The ambience onboard is cool and calm, and the cabin is bathed by natural light from the full-length sunroof.

Comfort

  • Suspension is surprisingly supple
  • Excellent Volvo-sourced seats
  • Quiet, refined cabin at all speeds

We've only driven the Polestar 2 with the Performance Pack so far - and this option brings adjustable suspension, larger 20-inch alloy wheels and uprated Brembo brakes. Considering the sporting intent of that set-up, it proves comfortable most of the time, only broken back roads setting the ride quality a-jitter. We would recommend sticking to the standard 19-inch wheels if you prioritise comfort over cool streetside posing.

Although this is a unique Polestar cabin, some of the Volvo provenance is visible from the interior: the steering wheel and electric window switches are borrowed from its Swedish siblings, and Volvo seats - among the best in the business - are super-comfy, resisting backache even on a long drive.

Being an electric car, the Polestar 2 is blissfully quiet in the cabin thanks to a lack of engine noise. Wind noise is well suppressed and there's only a little bit of wheel and suspension thud at higher speeds. Again, the standard car on smaller wheels should be even quieter. This refinement is a real boon when so many services on the Android operating system are operated by voice control.