polestar
polestar

Polestar 2 Twin: Two for the road

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What is it?

I must admit to having a soft spot for anything Swedish.

I’ve had several business trips there with Volvo and Saab and on a couple of occasions have stayed on at my own expense.

Sweden is at the forefront of thinking when it comes to global warming and is working hard on reducing emissions from its vehicles.

Polestar is a sub brand of Volvo and shares some components with the Volvo XC40 Recharge that we tested recently.

The Swedish Polestar 2 is a pure EV, running on batteries without any internal combustion engine to back it up.

Three variants are offered: Standard Range single motor, Long Range single motor, and Long Range dual motor (our test car).

Polestar quotes expected range of 474km, 542km and 482km respectively

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What’s it cost?

It’s a five-door hatchback and, in the Swedish style, is neat without being ostentatious.

When we road tested the Polestar 2 in our home area on the Gold Coast those who we asked to comment liked the shape thought it was stylish, with a semi-sporty look.

The front has a sort of radiator grille, perhaps to suit potential buyers who aren’t keen on a car that looks different from the norm.

At each side of the grille are the famed ‘Hammer of Thor’ shaped lights as used in all Volvos.

The Polestar uses Google-sourced Android Automotive infotainment software.

It works very well around town.

The Hey Google voice assistant can control some of the car’s functions as well as the infotainment and navigation features.

If you log in with your Google account, you can search for things on your phone and have them available in the car seamlessly.

Polestar is closely related to Volvo and that company has had safety built into it’s vehicles for many decades.

Polestar 2 has a five-star safety rating, with dual front, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags are standard.

A centre airbag which provides added protection to front seat occupants in side impact crashes is standard on all variants.

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) are standard on all variants.

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What’s it go like?

The Polestar 2 we tested is the “big gun model” had dual electric motors and long-range batteries.

Its official range is 480km, but more on that in a minute.

When we got into the car we looked in vain for a Start-Stop button, only to find it doesn’t have one.

Put your foot on the brake pedal and select either Drive or Reverse and the Polestar is ready to go.

It’s a bit spooky at first because there’s no noise, but the brain soon adapts to it.

The seats are large and comfortable.

But foot space in the front isn’t as wide expected, probably due to the fact that it’s based on the similar platform as the smaller
Volvo XC40.

The panoramic roof is huge, there’s even an illuminated Polestar logo, but you can only see it from the back seat.

The roof is tinted, but there’s no blind or electro-chromatic setting to lessen the amount of light and heat that can be come through on a sunny day.

This wasn’t a problem when we tested the Polestar 2 in winter here on the Gold Coast.

We will try to get another one in summer to see how it feels then?

There’s a real look and feel of upmarket luxury inside, with soft-touch fabrics and other materials around the cabin, well-mated in a blend of high-quality minimalism.

Handling is generally neutral as the centre of gravity is lower than in a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle.

It’s a fairly heavy vehicle because batteries have a lot of mass and weighs in at 1900kg.

This does give it a slight reluctance to change direction.

Country running on twisty roads is good but you wouldn’t put it in the sports coupe category.

The excellent instant acceleration that we love in all pure electric vehicles is a major feature.

It will beat anything off the line that’s powered by a V8 or hot six-cylinder petrol engine.

Around town and in the suburbs there’s little noise inside.

On the motorway section of our road test the noise did penetrate more and disturbed the serenity.

There’s some tyre bump thump when crossing bridges.

Energy consumption is officially rated at 19.4kWh per 100 kilometres.

We averaged 16.8kWh during testing as we did a fair bit of suburban running and the vehicle charges itself when slowing down.

Indeed, on our run over the high Gateway Bridge it’s indicated range increased when we freewheeled down the slope.

I do drive economically and have a Guinness Book of Records entry for the greatest distance travelled on a single fuel fill.

Perhaps I should try for an electric vehicle Guinness Record, let me think about it and get back to you.

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What we like?

  • Swedish minimalism
  • Links to Volvo
  • Five-star safety rating
  • Decent electric range
  • Sporty looks
  • Excellent instant acceleration
  • Google infotainment works well

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What we don’t like?

  • Limited front foot space
  • No blind for sunroof
  • Slight reluctance to change direction

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The bottom line?

Polestar 2 gives us a strong insight as to what motoring will be like in the future.

It’s low running costs and strong performance are impressive.

Will we replace our Volvo XC40 with a Polestar 2? Not at this stage, we will wait until prices come down and charging times are shorter.

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CHECKOUT: Latest Polestar a dream come true

CHECKOUT: Compelling Polestar coming soon

Polestar 2 Long Range dual motor, priced from $73,400
  • Looks - 8/10
    8/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Safety - 9/10
    9/10
  • Thirst - 8/10
    8/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
    8/10
  • Comfort - 7/10
    7/10
  • Tech - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 8/10
    8/10
Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10