Polestar 2 parked on top of hill
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Read time of 8 minutes.

Is the Polestar 2 better than the Tesla Model 3? 

The Polestar 2 has made no secret about its ambitions. It's a direct rival to the largely unchallenged Tesla Model 3 – an EV that has long been viewed as the best on the market. Polestar are ready to change that.

The Polestar 2 is available at a similar price bracket to the Model 3 and offers a high-quality, premium finish with an impressive range to match. Some of its other rivals include the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Jaguar I-Pace and the Ford Mustang Mach-e.

In this latest Carparison review, we’re testing out the Polestar 2 to see just how quick it is, what its real-world range is like and how it compares to the high bars previously set by Tesla.

Polestar 2 driving past tree

What did we drive?

Model Line: Long range Dual motor

Transmission: Auto

Power: Electric - 408hp/660Nm

Colour: Thunder

Wheels: 20" 4-V Spoke Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel

OTR from: £39,900

Price of model-driven: £46,800

*Prices correct at the time of publication

Price

Prices for the Polestar 2 start from £39,900 for the entry-level Standard range with the Single motor, meaning it is no longer applicable for the Government Electric Car Grant.

Long range Dual motor editions cost at least £45,900 before any optional extras, which is just over £2500 less than what a Long Range Model 3 would cost. 

If you would like to save even more money, a Polestar lease through Carparison creates one cost-effective fixed monthly payment that will reduce the overall cost over the duration of your lease term.

Polestar 2 driver's display

Motor Options & Electric Range

When you’re configuring your next Polestar 2 lease, there are two battery and motor options to choose from. 

You can have Standard or Long range editions, with select models coming with a Single motor and a 64 kWh battery. However, you can have the improved Long range edition, which comes with a Dual motor and a 78 kWh battery (like the one we’re driving today).

The full details available within each edition are outlined below; 

  • Standard range Single motor – 64 kWh battery – 221hp – 276 mile range
  • Long range Single motor – 78 kWh battery – 228hp – 337 mile range
  • Long range Dual motor – 78 kWh battery – 402hp – 300 mile range

The claimed range on this Dual motor variant is just over 300 miles. We tested this in a variety of conditions, from motorways to long, windy countryside lanes. 

We have to say, the real world range was still largely competitive. However, because of the sheer size and weight of the Polestar 2, it is naturally going to eat into that range at a quicker rate than the Tesla, which is considerably lighter. 

Polestar 2 driving up ramp

Drive

The Polestar 2 offered one of the most complete driving experiences I have ever had. 

Thanks to that Dual motor, the power…oh my, the power. You feel all that 400 plus horsepower the moment you put your foot down as the Polestar slings you forward. 

‘Quick’ doesn’t do it justice. 

Performance variants of the Model 3 will just marginally edge the Polestar 2 for out-and-out pace, but the latter will pip both Standard and Long Range versions. 

As that speed and instant torque unfolds around you, the Polestar remains completely unfazed in its handling, which is pin-sharp at all speeds.

The handling is so responsive and effortless - the amount of grip it maintains through every corner is nothing short of exceptional. Polestar have struck a perfect balance between the steering not being too light or overly weighty. 

One of the most noticeable aspects of its drive is Polestar’s One-Pedal Drive system, which allows the driver to customise (something that isn’t available in entry-level Model 3s) how much regenerative braking the car uses, from a choice of 'None', 'Low' or 'Standard'.

Polestar 2 driving rear shot

I recommend starting on Standard and seeing how you find it before adjusting if necessary. When you first experience it, it feels incredibly sharp - the slightest lift feels like it will bring the vehicle to a halt on first use. Turn off the ‘Creep Mode’ and it will do just that eventually.

It quickly becomes second nature and once you get to grips with the force, it offers a great sensation for fans of one-pedal driving.

It also has undeniable benefits that come with not having to use your brakes anywhere near as frequently as you’d think, which will save you money in the long run.

Compared to other EVs we’ve driven, the Polestar 2 had the best cabin noise, or lack of, that we’ve experienced. Noticeably, the lack of tyre noise in the cabin - a common problem with EVs due to the lack of an engine – was impressive, even with our upgraded 20-inch wheels. 

The entire experience driving the Polestar was effortless, incredibly fun and generally, just easy. It’s a car you won’t tire of driving, nor will it ever fail to put a smile on your face. 

Polestar 2 front and rear design

Design & Interior 

The design from Polestar is a real statement. It’s bold, muscular and a real head-turner. It can’t help but command attention. It feels both unique, but also very familiar thanks to its Volvo connections. 

It looks like it takes elements from the Polestar 1Volvo XC40 and a touch of the Ford Mustang

The Polestar 2 is built on the same platform as the XC40 and although this means it's nothing new - for me, it's this that gives it a unique element. The size of the vehicle means it offers that saloon-like body shape, but it comes with hatchback levels of practicality, while also still managing to offer that raised driving position that so many crave from an SUV. It's a perfect hybrid of three body styles. 

Polestar 2 Interior design

Perhaps the biggest statement from Polestar is the rear of the vehicle, where the headlights run across the body in one narrow strip. They also do a satisfying dance as you lock and unlock the vehicle. 

The same rear headlight strip also couldn’t help but remind me of Robocop – a real bonus if you’re fans of 80s sci-fi films!

As a rival to the Model 3, you won’t be surprised to see what might be considered as a Tesla influence throughout the interior. The cabin is dominated by the large touchscreen.

There is also an array of quality materials used in high-touch areas and everything feels very premium. It feels very Volvo. You have to go quite low to find something that doesn’t feel expensive.

Polestar 2 boot space

Space and Practicality

Whether you’re using the Polestar 2 to commute or as your family car, you'll enjoy exceptional comfort levels. 

The seats are made from award-winning vegan materials and everyone at Carparison HQ complimented the comfort levels. You can add leather as an optional extra, but the Zinc Embossed Textile with 3D Etched deco interior that our vehicle came with would come highly recommended.

The Polestar 2 benefits from having a decent boot space, as well as a front storage compartment. Polestar have been wise to use the wasted space where an engine would be, creating a 35L compartment for your charging cables. This is a great way to get them out of the way and not eat into your boot space and, if you wanted to, you do have space to store a few extra smaller items alongside your cables. 

At the rear, there’s 405L of space, which also comes included with the same flexible boot floor that we see in other Volvo cars. There’s a large and wide opening with just a small load lip, so overall, it's a very practical and useful space.

Polestar 2 award-winning vegan materials

Headroom in both the front and the rear of the vehicle is competitive, as is the legroom on offer. You can carry three passengers in the back, but perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls of the Polestar 2 is the space available to the middle seat. 

Because it’s placed on the Volvo XC40 platform, you have a large transmission tunnel, meaning your middle passenger is going to be sitting very unnaturally and probably playing footsie with those on either side of them! 

When it comes to storage, the door bins and glovebox are competitive but not class-leading. There is smart storage on either side of the centre console for your keys or phones – a nice touch that I’m sure the front passenger will enjoy just as much.

You also have a tray for your phone along with two cupholders. There isn’t too much space if you wanted to store something away out of sight, which is perhaps where the Polestar 2 falls short of its rivals. 

Polestar 2 touchscreen

Technology 

The 11.2inch touchscreen felt worlds ahead of most EVs and, in my opinion, pips what is available in the Model 3. 

Polestar boast that they have the first built-in Android system and you instantly feel the benefits of this. 

Compared to the Model 3, the Polestar’s system is easy to use, everything is well laid out and easily accessible. There are fewer sub-menus than what you might find in the Model 3 and while some may see this as lacking in detail, it does make it far easier to use, both while stationary and on the move. 

Not only through the size of it, but also because of how it operates, it feels like you have a tablet in front of you. Like Tesla, the system uses over the air updates, so it is going to continuously improve, including an Autumn ’21 update that will ensure Apple CarPlay comes as standard. 

Safety

The Polestar 2 comes packed with safety features and driver assists as standard, to name just a few; Collision Avoidance and Mitigation, Run-off Road Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Aid and Post Impact Braking among others.

The useful features don’t stop there, with front and rear parking assists and a rear parking camera. 

The Polestar 2 also has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, with a 93% score for adult occupants and 89% for a child occupant. Rivals like the Model 3 and IONIQ 5 also score five stars, though the latter’s score ranks below the Polestar 2. 

Polestar 2 badge

Model Lines and Equipment 

Unlike some of their rivals, the Swedish manufacturer doesn't offer traditional different trim levels for the Polestar 2. 

You have the choice of different motor options, as outlined below,  but each edition of the vehicle comes with the same generous amount of kit as standard. 

Motor Options:

  • Standard range Single Motor - from £39,900
  • Long range Single motor - from £42,900
  • Long range Dual motor - from £45,900

Standard Equipment:

  • Steel roof
  • LED headlights
  • Adaptive rear LED lights
  • Frameless interior automatically dimmed mirror
  • Embossed Textile seats (Charcoal or Zinc) with 3D Etched deco
  • Power seats with mechanical backrests (memory on driver seat), 4-way power lumbar support
  • Heated front seats
  • Infotainment powered by Android including Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google PlayStore
  • Polestar app
  • Polestar Digital Key
  • Polestar connect
  • Over-the-air updates
  • Safety assistance, standard level ADAS including Collision Avoidance and Mitigation, Run-off Road Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Post Impact Braking, Ready to Drive notification, and more.
  • High Performance audio
  • Digital radio DAB +
  • Apple CarPlay (autumn 2021)
  • Park Assist front and rear
  • Rear Park assist camera
  • Alarm System including rear door power child locks
  • Key fob + activity key
  • Handsfree power-operated tailgate (*)
  • 12V socket, rear luggage compartment
  • 19" 5-V Spoke Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel
  • Retractable exterior frameless mirrors
  • Rain sensor
  • Interior Mid Level Illumination
  • 2-Zone Electronic Climate Control (ECC)
  • 4 USB-C connectors (2 in front and 2 in rear)
  • 4 cup holders (2 front and 2 rear)

You can add optional packs (Pilot, Plus & Performance pack) for an additional cost. 

*Standard equipment correct at the time of publication

Verdict

Well, that was a lot of fun. 

The Polestar 2 is a car I could drive for hours on end and it will still be just as fun as the first time. You get an instant sense of its quality. 

While it feels very new and futuristic, there is a comforting sense of familiarity from its Volvo connections, so you know quality is guaranteed. 

Earlier in the review, I had described it as a complete driving experience. Its design will turn heads on the street, its performance is exceptional and with one of the best ranges on the market, I’m not sure you can’t ask for much more.

Interested in a Polestar 2 lease deal? Browse our latest personal contract hire deals or our Polestar business lease offers.