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Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor 2024 Review

The Polestar 2 has switched from front to rear-wheel drive, resulting in improved grip and handling, along with an official electric driving range of up to 406 miles.

  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
  • Polestar 2 2024
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 379 – 406 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate: 150 kW

Summary

  • Polestar 2 switches from front to rear-wheel drive
  • Improved grip and handling
  • Impressive driving range up of up to 406 miles
  • Firm ride and some road noise

BACKGROUND

The Polestar 2 is based on a Volvo platform, which means that up to now it has been front-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive) – but, along with Volvo, Polestar has now changed to a rear-wheel drive layout. Switching from front to rear-wheel drive is not unusual in the world of electric cars; a number of manufacturers have done this, including the Volkswagen Group and Hyundai/Kia. So is the rear-wheel drive Polestar 2 a better car?

Polestar 2 2024

Polestar 2 2024

DESIGN & ENGINEERING

The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor has an 82 kWh battery with a usable capacity of 75 kWh. The rear electric motor now produces more power and torque (295 hp and 490 Nm) than the motor in the previous front-wheel drive model.

People seem to like the ‘fastback crossover’ styling of the Polestar 2, and it’s more practical than a Tesla Model 3 because it has a hatchback, with a decent boot capacity of 405 litres, but the boot isn’t that deep (although there’s also 41 litres of space under the floor). If you fold down the rear seats, you get 1,095 litres of space. There’s also a 35-litre ‘frunk’ (a front storage compartment, under the bonnet). Both of these extra storage compartments can accommodate two sets of charging cables.

The dashboard is minimalistic, with the central touchscreen being the main feature. The cabin has a centre console which is sufficiently wide to dig into the driver’s left knee, yet its main feature is only a gear selector, and it doesn’t offer much storage space, apart from one cup holder, with a second cup holder under the central armrest, which can’t be used as an armrest if a drink is underneath it.

Polestar 2 2024

Polestar 2 2024

POLESTAR 2 DRIVING EXPERIENCE

All you need to do is to jump into the Polestar 2, select a gear, and you’re off – like a number of other EVs, there’s no start/stop switch.

As well as the overall refined driving experience, the normal responsive EV acceleration is evident, and the 0-62 mph time of 5.9 seconds is faster than the 7.4 seconds of the previous front-wheel drive model.

During normal driving you may not even notice the difference that the switch to rear-wheel drive brings, but the key improvement is more grip than a front-wheel drive EV chassis can provide. And if you’re lucky enough to be driving on flowing country roads, you’re likely to find that the new rear-wheel drive layout offers improved handling.

However rear-wheel drive doesn’t transform the Polestar 2 into a rewarding driver’s car; the chassis still feels more secure than agile and fun – not helped of course by the 2-tonne kerb weight.

And two issues from the previous model still remain: the ride quality is quite firm, so uneven road surfaces transmit bumps into the car, and there can be a lot of road noise. The large 20-inch wheels and low profile tyres won’t help with this.

The Polestar 2 doesn’t have any drive modes, which is unusual compared to most rivals, although you can select Sport mode via the touchscreen, but this only reduces the intervention of the traction control system. You can also adjust the level of brake regeneration via the touchscreen, and the steering feel, with the ability to choose between light, standard and firm.

The Polestar features a decluttered dashboard, with a large, 11.15-inch Tesla-like central touchscreen as the main feature. However unlike a Tesla Model 3, the Polestar thankfully also has a 12.3-inch digital display directly in front of the driver, which can show satnav directions.

Virtually all car controls are accessed via the touchscreen, with climate controls located at the bottom of the screen. The home screen features four boxes; there are some shortcut buttons, but not enough, and ‘home’ and ‘back’ buttons would really help when navigating around the different screens and controls. The result of all this is that you usually end up having to go back through the four home screen boxes, and so there’s too much button-pressing; better, conventional shortcut buttons (such as for nav, media/radio, and phone) are needed.

The central screen provides an overhead view when reversing; although this can sometimes work well, at night it would be more useful to have a view from a rear camera.

And although a trivial detail, the Polestar’s key is all black, meaning that it’s impossible to see the buttons in the dark.

The Polestar 2 has ‘Google built in’, including apps and services in the infotainment system such as Google Play, Google Maps and Google Assistant integrating directly with the car; Google Assistant aims to help access features via voice control.

Polestar 2 2024

Polestar 2 2024

POLESTAR 2 ELECTRIC RANGE AND CHARGING

The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor has an impressive WLTP combined range of 379 – 406 miles (depending on wheel size). During a week on test, the average real-world range was 330 miles, which is good.

The Polestar 2 can rapid charge at up to 150kW DC, which should give a 10% to 80% charge in 35 minutes. AC charging is up to 11kW.

A heat pump is only available as an option.

Electric cars do not charge at their maximum charge rate for an entire charging session – their charge rate typically starts off high with a battery with a low state of charge, then the charge rate decreases as the battery charge increases. See the charge curve for the Polestar 2 from Fastned:

Polestar_2_LongRange_78kWh_Chargecurve

How to charge an electric car

Polestar 2 2024

Polestar 2 2024

PRICE AND MODEL RANGE

The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor costs £48,950. Our test car had optional equipment of metallic paint (£900), 20-inch alloy wheels (£900) rather than the standard 19-inch wheels, and Pilot Pack (£2,000), taking the price as tested to £52,750.

The Polestar 2 is available as Standard range Single motor, Long range Single motor, Long range Dual motor, and Long range Dual motor with Performance pack.

Prices and specifications correct at time of review

Polestar 2 2024

Polestar 2 2024

Conclusion

The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor does what it says on the tin: it offers a long range, officially 379 – 406 miles, and a very respectable 330 miles in our real-world test. It delivers the normal benefits of an electric driving experience, which means refinement and responsive acceleration. The switch to rear-wheel drive is an improvement, as it eliminates any risk of front-wheel drive wheelspin, and the handling is improved. However the Polestar 2 isn’t transformed into an agile, sporty driver’s car, and the firm ride and considerable levels of road noise remain. The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.

Car facts and figures Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor 2024 Review

  • Test range: 330 miles
  • Electric energy consumption combined: 3.63 miles/kWh
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):    £0 year 1
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2023/24): 2%
  • Price:    £48,950
  • Insurance group:    TBC
  • Power:    295 hp
  • Torque:    490 Nm
  • Max speed:    127 mph
  • 0-62 mph:    5.9 seconds
  • Weight:    1,994 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor