cgrCTMie 2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 1
2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 1

Polestar 2: The Tesla alternative?

Riley Riley

2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 3

What is it?

Polestar 2 is the first model to be offered by the company in this country.

The brief is clear, to take the fight up to Tesla which has had the run of the country for way too long.

The Polestar brand is an offshoot of Volvo and has been positioned as a standalone, electric range of performance vehicles.

Polestar 2 is not just a new car, or even new electric vehicle but the vanguard of a whole new brand. That’s exciting even for an old hand who has driven literally thousands of new cars over the years.

2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 2

What’s it cost?

At launch the price of one of these cars was $59K but as is often the case the price has gone up.

The single motor, standard range, front-wheel drive model is now priced from $69,335 driveaway.

The long range single motor version is $74,060 driveaway while the range-topping long range, dual motor model, all-wheel drive is $79,310 driveaway.

Metallic paint is standard and all models start with the same basic range of equipment.

You can take it up a notch or two with the addition of various option packs.

Standard kit includes embossed, textured leather upholstery and two-zone climate air conditioning.

Driver and front passenger seats are heated and partly power adjustable, with four-way power lumbar adjustment for the driver.

The angle of seatbacks must be adjusted manually however.

There’s also 19-inch alloys, LED headlights with active beam, adaptive rear LED lights, retractable frameless mirrors, auto lights and wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, front and rear park sensors and a foot-operated tailgate.

Additional features can be added to single motor models with the $3400 Pilot Lite pack or $6000 Plus pack.

Pilot Lite Pack adds Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist, auto dimming for side mirrors plus a further four parking sensors and 360 degree birds eye view.

Plus adds a heated steering wheel, full power seat adjustment, an energy-saving heat pump, air filtration system, wireless phone charger, 600 watt 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio plus full-length panoramic glass roof.

Our test vehicle was fitted with the Plus and Pilot Lite packs as well as ventilated Nappa leather which adds another $6000 to the price.

Like many manufacturers Polestar has not escaped the global shortage of electrical semi-conductors.

The car we drove was fitted with LED pixel headlights with adaptive high beam.

It’s been forced to replace these with less sophisticated LEDs with active high beam (minus cornering functionality).

Welcome and farewell light sequences have been replaced with fade in/out animation.

All of this puts the car a fair way up the food chain, far from the entry level model we had anticipated and taking the grand total to $83,800 plus on-roads.

Infotainment is dominated by a huge Tesla-like 11.2-inch portrait style touchscreen.

High Performance Audio delivers 250 watts through eight speakers, including a bass-boosting air woofer mounted under the bonnet — just below the windscreen.

Polestar 2 is the first car to come with a built-in Google infotainment system.

It includes Google Assistant, Google Maps, with charging options and Google Play Store, which offers optimised in-car apps for seamless integration. 

iPhone users have not been forgotten, with Apple CarPlay/Siri now included.

The system is connected to the net and receives over-the-air updates like a phone.

Polestar 2 even makes automatic emergency calls in the event of an accident or if the car has been stolen.

There are two USB Type-C connections in the front and two more in the rear of the car.

You can use them to charge your compatible devices, but they do not offer a data connection.

Safety is surprisingly something of a grey area.

Polestar 2 gets a full five-star crash rating from ANCAP, with a rear-view camera and seven airbags including a centre airbag.

There’s also autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car, Vulnerable Road User and Junction Assist) as well as a lane support system with lane keep assist (LKA), lane departure warning (LDW) and emergency lane keeping (ELK), and an advanced speed assistance system (SAS).

What you don’t get as standard is blind spot warnings, cross traffic alert with brake support, rear collision warning and mitigation, nor adaptive cruise control which are all part of the $3400 Pilot Lite pack.

Just as surprisingly, there’s no head-up display for the windscreen either.

Guess the brand doesn’t share Volvo’s approach to safety?

Buying a Polestar is a bit different too. The whole process takes place online from ordering to payment.

What about  a test drive, I hear you ask? You can book a test drive here, either at a designated ‘space’ in each capital city or at a location requested by you.

Polestar offers a 5-year five warranty, along with 5 years complimentary servicing and roadside assistance.

The battery is covered by an 8-year/160,000km warranty.

2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 7

What’s it go like?

Polestar 2 is described as a fastback, but liftback is closer to the mark with a sloping tailgate that rises to reveal a long but shallow luggage area, with a hidden area underneath.

No spare tyre though because for that a puncture repair kit is provided.

Polestar 2 was designed by Thomas Ingenlath alongside the Volvo Concept 40.1 which later became the basis of the XC40. 

In hindsight the decision to incorporate a radiator grille of a kind was a good one, because it avoids the goofy look some EVs project.

The finished product just looks classic and classier.

Inside, it’s very Swedish. Very minimalist, with wood veneer trim and a cabin that has a light airy ambience.

But it’s not all peaches and cream.

My feet kept get tangled under the pedals getting in and out of the car and my wife who spent a bit of time in the back tells me there’s not much room back there.

With a 78 kWh Lithium-ion battery, 75 kWh of which is useable, the electric powertrain in this particular model produces 170kW of power and 330Nm of torque, with drive to the front wheels through a single reduction gear transmission.

The dash from 0-100km/h takes 7.4 seconds and power consumption is listed at 17.1 to 18.6 kWh per 100km.

The standard range, single motor model has a range of 478km (WLTP), the long range model we’re driving gets 551km and the long range dual motor is good for 487km.

Charging takes as little as 35 minutes using a public, high-powered DC fast charger or eight hours with a home wallbox — that is if you have three-phase power.

No word on an ordinary 10A power point.

That’s the basics.

An extra long seven-metre charging cable helps along with the option of Mode 2 and Type 1 connectors.

Although the range is 551km, in reality the most we saw was 440km even when the car was fully charged, considerably less than promised.

It’s easy to get hung up on range, but bear in mind those 551km are not real world kilometres, just what it achieved on the test cycle.

If it was a petrol-powered car, you wouldn’t start looking at the remaining range until the tank was getting close to empty.

To put this in perspective, a trip into Sydney to see the brother-in-law, a distance of about 160km return, used about 30 per cent of the charge — which in theory means you could do it three times before needing to recharge.

Maybe that’s a better way of looking at it?

Like the XC40 Recharge we drove recently, there’s no key or start button.

You just hop in, put your foot on the brake, put it into drive and off you go.

Acceleration is quick, but not lightning quick. It’s fast enough however to make you think your behind the wheel of something a bit special.

Helping keep the battery topped up is regenerative braking, which reclaims power when the car is travelling down hill.

You can choose between two levels of regenerative braking and adopt a one-pedal form of driving where there’s no need to apply the brakes.

Just lifting off the accelerator brings the car to a stop.

It takes some practice, but may not be to everyone’s liking.

Because of the weight of the batteries, the car weighs over two tonnes, but has a low centre of gravity which helps it sit flat in corners.

Pushed too hard however and it will have a tendency to run wide.

The ride is sporty or in other words a little on the firm side, but can be jarring on poor roads.

The weight gives it a big car feel in the way the suspension responds, taking a little longer to respond to bumps.

At this point I should mention a major hiccup we experienced while driving the car.

Waiting for the lights to change at a major intersection, it took two rotations of the traffic lights before we could get through.

When the lights finally turned green and we hit the accelerator, nothing happened.

The car had turned itself off, or at least had gone into park mode while waiting.

The guy behind wasn’t too impressed, let me tell you, and it took a bit of quick thinking and a couple of false starts before we were able to get moving again.


Not big fans of Google Maps either?

I prefer the more user friendly Waze, which is basically Maps with a different interface.

Waze also supports speed camera warnings.

Unfortunately, this version of the Google OS in the car does not support Waze.


2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 6

What we like?

  • Not a Tesla
  • Unique style
  • Cabin ambience
  • Very long charge cable
  • Impressive range
  • Rear air vents

2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 4

What we don’t like?

  • Having to constantly charge the car
  • Catching my foot under the pedals
  • No head up display
  • Rear legroom limited for tall people
  • No shade for the glass roof
  • Skinny door pockets
  • Doesn’t support Waze
  • Not all safety features are standard

2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 8

The bottom line?

In the electric car world, it’s all about price and range.

The Polestar 2 looks the goods and ticks both of these boxes, but you might want to consider this.

Until electric vehicle infrastructure catches up with petrol, you’ll always be planning your life around the car. When and where it can next be charged and how long it will take.

Even if you shell out for a wallbox at home, it is still going to take several hours and to keep ahead of the curve, you need to top it up as frequently as possible.

Even fully charged the car reports a projected range of 430km, a long way short of the 551km promised for this version — that’s a huge difference.

In real terms, however, Polestar 2 could easily replace that petrol powered car in your driveway.

Polestar estimates a six-month wait for delivery (more if you option the 19″ 5-Double Spoke Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheel).

Just saying.

2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor 5


CHECKOUT: Polestar 2 Twin: Two for the road

CHECKOUT: Latest Polestar a dream come true

Polestar 2 Long Range (Single Motor), priced from $68,400
  • Looks - 7.5/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 7.5/10
  • Thirst - 7.5/10
  • Practicality - 7.5/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 7.5/10

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