Polestar is younger in Australia, however it’s making an influence.
With greater than 1500 gross sales in 2022 it’s already greater than Jaguar or Genesis, and that’s with only one mannequin in its vary. That mannequin is the Polestar 2, a high-riding electrical sedan aimed squarely on the market-leading Tesla Mannequin 3.
Below the pores and skin, the Polestar 2 shares its CMA platform with the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electrical.
Since arriving in Australia it’s been up to date to function new wheels and a brand new color palette, and can once more be tweaked later in 2023 with a brand new nostril, longer customary gear checklist, and rear-wheel drive.
The 2023 Polestar 2 kicks off at $63,900 earlier than on-roads, though the Lengthy Vary mannequin on check right here begins at $68,400 earlier than on-roads because of its greater battery pack.
It’s price taking into consideration, to have a fully-equipped automotive you’ll want so as to add at the very least the Pilot Lite Pack ($3400) to achieve a full suite of lively driver assists.
Our tester was additionally fitted with the Plus Pack ($6000), for a sticker value of $77,800 earlier than on-road prices and incentives. That places it straight into line with the Tesla Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary ($76,900).
There aren’t many different electrical sedans on the market, however price-wise the PS2 additionally aligns with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 Techniq ($79,500) and Kia EV6 GT-Line RWD ($79,590).
2023 Polestar 2 pricing:
- Polestar 2 Customary Vary Single Motor: $63,900
- Polestar 2 Lengthy Vary Single Motor: $68,400
- Polestar 2 Lengthy Vary Twin Motor: $73,400
All costs exclude on-road values
The Polestar 2 appears and feels very fashionable behind the wheel, however performance hasn’t fallen by the wayside looking for that aesthetic.
There are some fascinating supplies and design touches that give the Polestar 2 a personality of its personal behind the wheel. It’s nonetheless a part of the identical household tree, however it’s not a carbon copy of the Volvo XC40 or C40 behind the wheel.
Like on the surface, it appears like a spotlight has been positioned on making the two really feel nearly like a muscle automotive, with a rising central tunnel, low seating place, and pinched glasshouse. It wraps round you in a method the sunshine, open Tesla Mannequin 3 doesn’t.
The seats are wonderful. They’re fairly to take a look at, and supply extra padding and help than their slim form would recommend.
Headroom is stable up entrance regardless of the panoramic glass roof, and the low driving place hasn’t come at the price of ahead visibility. Little drivers gained’t have hassle seeing the entrance corners of the automotive, though the sloping roofline and pinched glasshouse means there’s a fairly hefty over-the-shoulder blind spot.
On the centre of the cabin is an 11.2-inch touchscreen working Android Automotive software program from Google.
Not like Android Auto, which is pushed by a related telephone and runs excessive of a carmaker’s in-house software program, this technique is Google from the bottom up, proper all the way down to the voice assistant.
It’s an enormous step ahead from the gorgeous (however clunky) Sensus system that’s featured in Volvo merchandise for the reason that present XC90 launched in 2014, and doesn’t depart you wishing for old school buttons like some touch-only setups.
The graphics are fashionable, the menus are straightforward to navigate, and responses to inputs are each bit as fast as you’d hope within the iPad period. Hey Google voice inputs are extra helpful than Hey BMW or Hey Mercedes, given the automotive is related to the world’s greatest search engine.
Google Maps are nonetheless the trade finest, and having Spotify constructed natively into the automotive is nice. Additionally nice is over-the-air replace functionality, which ought to preserve the system contemporary (and might even unlock extra energy) as driver calls for evolve.
The driving force is confronted with a easy, clear show that exhibits pace, vary, energy, and mapping. You aren’t bombarded with battery readouts and vary predictions, which makes it simpler to drive quite than worrying about your battery – particularly within the Lengthy Vary on check right here, with its 540km declare.
There are a couple of oversights up entrance. For one, storage is frustratingly restricted. There’s a small bin underneath the armrest, however it’s not sufficiently big for sun shades or snacks, and the rising transmission tunnel doesn’t have house for baggage beneath it.
One good thing about going electrical is the liberty afforded to inside designers by flat-floored platforms, however the 2 is constructed on a transformed internal-combustion chassis. In consequence, it feels a bit compromised.
At launch, the Polestar 2 didn’t function Apple CarPlay. A latest software program replace added the performance, though it’s wired as a substitute of wi-fi. I discovered myself utilizing CarPlay regardless of how good the native system is due to how straightforward it’s to ship messages on the transfer.
It’s a combined bag within the second row. Rear legroom is accomodating sufficient for average-sized adults, however it’s a bit tight again there behind taller drivers. Headroom is best than anticipated given the panoramic glass roof and there’s house for teenagers or tall-ish youngsters, however adults will really feel a bit cramped.
The center seat is a complete write-off, with a slender cushion and no foot room because of the internal-combustion legacy hump on the ground.
With a slim windowline and sharply-raked roofline, it feels a bit darkish and claustrophobic again there, and the rear door opening is fairly tight. On the plus facet, there are air vents and two USB-C ports again there. You additionally get heating with the Plus Pack.
A Mannequin 3 is extra accomodating within the rear, thanks in no small half to its longer physique and wheelbase.
House beneath the powered hatchback is first rate, though it’s not standout. The load bay is flat and broad, and there’s a good cubby beneath it for cost cables or valuables. You solely get 30L of house underneath the bonnet, which is one other nod to its internal-combustion origins.
The rear seats fold 60/40, and there’s a ski port within the center for longer objects. Boot house with the seats in place is 405 litres. There’s no spare wheel, only a puncture restore package underneath the bonnet.
Energy within the Lengthy Vary Single Motor comes from a 78kWh battery pack, mated to a motor on the entrance axle making 170kW and 330Nm. The 100km/h dash takes a claimed 7.4 seconds.
The Polestar 2 has power consumption of 17kWh/100km within the single-motor variant on check right here, and a claimed vary as much as 540km.
Polestar has confirmed the two might be making the change to rear-wheel drive, however these fashions (which additionally function a barely totally different design, and a few gear modifications) gained’t begin arriving in Down Below till the third quarter of 2023.
Polestar says you possibly can cost at as much as 150kW on a public DC quick charger, good for a 10-80 per cent enhance in 35 minutes. It’s price noting, that peak cost pace is just accessible up till round 20 per cent, earlier than it regularly tapers off.
In keeping with EV Database, it’ll preserve round 130kW between 20 and 40 per cent, dropping to round 100kW between 40 and 55 per cent, after which tapering to round 70kW between 55 and 80 per cent.
You don’t flip a key or press a begin button to get the Polestar 2 rolling, you simply sit down and choose drive with the important thing (or a smartphone working the Polestar app) in your pocket.
Not like the Lengthy Vary Twin Motor, to not point out a couple of of its rivals, the Lengthy Vary Single Motor doesn’t have a 100km/h dash declare that’ll blow your thoughts. In the true world it’s nonetheless sizzling hatch fast, with sufficient grunt on faucet to get the entrance wheels spinning once you mat the throttle within the moist.
There’s even a touch of torque steer to be careful for, though that can solely be the case till the rear-wheel drive PS2 touches down regionally within the third quarter of 2023.
With no gears to fret about, and no revs required to unlock peak torque, it’s easy to shoot into gaps in visitors at quick discover beneath about 80km/h.
The appropriate-hand pedal is kind of heavy, and has a protracted journey that makes it straightforward to mete out precisely the correct amount of torque at low pace. There’s no excuse for jerky, lumpy metropolis driving within the Polestar 2, as a result of the throttle is fantastically calibrated.
Likewise the regenerative braking, which feels each bit as easy and complex as that of the Tesla Mannequin 3. There are three modes (off, lowered, customary) however the default setup is ideal, permitting for one-pedal driving after a short acclimatisation interval.
Even with regenerative braking switched off the left-hand pedal doesn’t have the identical wood, useless feeling you get in some electrical automobiles. Realistically although, we anticipate most homeowners will simply depart the system switched on.
Journey high quality is fairly good, however it’s clear Polestar is chasing a sporty feeling with the way it’s arrange the two. It does a great job maintaining the worst of town out, isolating occupants from potholes and growth joints, however there’s a way of objective to the experience even in non-performance oriented fashions.
After all, that pay dividends within the corners. Physique management is superb over dips and crests, the place the two doesn’t exhibit the identical springy, floaty feeling you get in some rivals.
Electrical automobiles are heavy, and maintaining all that mass in examine with out ruining the experience is hard. Polestar has managed.
There’s no getting away from the very fact it’s a small-ish automotive that weighs round 2000kg, and the fluid, direct steering provides no sense of connection to the highway, however as soon as dialled into what’s required you possibly can level and squirt the Polestar 2 fairly successfully on fascinating roads.
Whenever you’re in much less of a rush, the Polestar 2 is a refined cruiser. The motors are easy and silent at low speeds, and there’s no wind or highway noise at metropolis speeds. I really like a loud engine, and I really like a handbook transmission… however each time I commute in an electrical automotive the advantages of easy, silent one-pedal driving are bolstered.
As is widespread in European (and electrical) automobiles there’s a little bit of tyre roar on coarse-chip highways, though it’s nothing that may’t be solved by turning up the stereo. The Polestar 2 is quieter than similarly-priced Mercedes-Benz petrol crossovers, and comfortably places the BMW 2 Collection Gran Coupe within the shade for freeway refinement.
The advantage of Polestar’s hyperlink to Volvo is obvious once you activate the adaptive cruise management and steering help. It’s one of many smoothest, smartest radar cruise management techniques on the market, and the lively steering does an ideal job maintaining you between the white traces.
All Polestar 2 fashions come customary with the next gear:
- 11.2-inch Android Automotive touchscreen infotainment
- Apple CarPlay (wired)
- 8-speaker 250W sound system
- Heated entrance seats
- Semi-electric entrance seats (manually-adjustable backrest)
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Twin-zone local weather management
- Keyless entry and begin
- Ambient lighting
- Embossed textile seats
- Polestar Digital Key (phone-based locking and unlocking)
- Energy tailgate
- LED headlights with lively high-beam
- Cruise management
- 7m Mode 2, Kind 1 dwelling charging cable
- 19-inch alloy wheels
Pilot Lite Pack ($3400) provides:
- Adaptive cruise management
- Pilot Help
- Encompass-view digital camera
- Aspect parking sensors
- Blind-spot help
- Rear cross-traffic help
- LED entrance fog lights
Plus Pack ($6000) provides:
- 3-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
- WeaveTech vegan upholstery or Nappa leather-based
- Black Ash deco panels or Mild Ash deco inlays
- Full-electric entrance seats with reminiscence
- Heated rear seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated wiper nozzles
- Warmth pump
- Mounted panoramic glass roof
- Wi-fi telephone charging
- Ambient lighting
- Air high quality cabin sensor and filter
- “Excessive-level” inside illumination
Efficiency Pack ($8000, LR Twin Motor solely) provides:
- Solid 20-inch alloy wheels
- Brembo brakes with Swedish Gold calipers
- Swedish Gold seat belts
- Adjustable Öhlins dampers (22 settings)
It acquired an grownup occupant safety rating of 93 per cent, a baby occupant safety rating of 89 per cent, a weak highway consumer safety rating of 80 per cent, and a security help rating of 86 per cent.
Customary security gear contains:
- 8 airbags
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Bike owner detection
- Steering help
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Lane preserve help
- Oncoming Lane Mitigation
- Run-Off Street Mitigation
- Site visitors signal recognition
- Entrance and rear parking sensors
- Reversing digital camera
The Polestar 2 is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee with an eight-year, 160,000km battery guarantee.
All fashions include free servicing and roadside help for 5 years.
Not like most rival premium manufacturers, nonetheless, Polestar doesn’t throw in a complimentary subscription to the Chargefox public charger community, nor does it appear to supply a house charger set up answer.
The Polestar 2 stays a compelling various to the strong-selling Tesla Mannequin 3, particularly when you crave a barely extra typical expertise.
It’s enjoyable to drive, good-looking to take a look at, and comes with top-of-the-line infotainment techniques on supply for the worth, and the cool issue that comes with the Polestar model is plain.
However the truth it is advisable pay for a full suite of lively driver assists as a part of choices packages is difficult to defend, given the two is supposed to be from a technology-forward model with a fame linked to safety-focused Volvo. Including packs additionally undermines the worth equation.
Whereas we’re complaining, the inside and boot are tighter than you may anticipate, and realizing the front-wheel drive automotive is being changed with a rear-drive model later this yr will make some individuals need to wait.
Even with all of that thought-about, the Polestar is a robust entrant in Australia’s fast-growing electrical car house. It’s not exhausting to see why Polestar is promoting each automotive it could get.
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