The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor delivers what it says: a long electric driving range, with an official combined figure of 335 miles, and a single motor, ie. front-wheel drive, rather than all-wheel drive – and a price reduction compared to the AWD model.
We’ve already tested the Polestar 2 with twin electric motors, ie. all-wheel drive; the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor model is another option, with a longer range, front-wheel drive rather than all-wheel drive, and a lower price tag. So is this model worthy of your consideration?
The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor is essentially the same car as the all-wheel drive model, but with just one rather than two electric motors, delivering front-wheel drive rather all-wheel drive. The battery is still 78 kWh in size (with a 75 kWh useable capacity), and the electric motor produces 231 hp of power and 330 Nm of torque (compared to 408 hp and 660 Nm for the AWD model).
The Polestar 2’s ‘fastback crossover’ styling still turns heads, and unlike the Tesla Model 3, the Polestar has a hatchback rather than a boot, making it more practical. The boot is 405 litres in size, which includes 41 litres under the boot floor, with an additional 35 litres in the front storage compartment under the bonnet – both of these extra storage compartments can accommodate two sets of charging cables. The boot is quite long, but the space isn’t that tall due to the fastback design.
The dashboard, like other aspects of the Polestar, is evidently Tesla-inspired, being minimalistic, with the central touchscreen being the main feature. There’s a large centre console, but despite the size, there’s only one cup holder on offer, although there’s a second cup holder hidden under the central armrest.
Polestar is an EV-only brand with close links to Volvo, and Volvo influences can be seen in the exterior styling and in the interior, as well as under the skin.
Another Tesla influence is the fact that there’s no start/stop switch in the Polestar – you just get in, put it in gear, and drive off. The normal EV qualities are there, including refinement and instant torque. Even though the front-wheel drive model has less power and torque than the AWD variant, there’s still enough performance (0-62 mph takes 7.4 compared to 4.7 seconds). However when you set off from standstill the acceleration feels quite muted, and you have to press the pedal hard to override what feels like resistance if you want to start making decent progress.
The all-wheel drive Polestar 2 model ultimately delivers more grip than the front-wheel drive model, but in everyday driving there isn’t a huge amount of difference. The traction control system is effective in stopping the front wheels spinning, but it seems to intervene in the area of driving enjoyment.
There’s no drive mode switch on the dashboard, but you can go into the touchscreen and select Sport mode, which reduces the intervention from the traction control system. It does feel as though it needs a further drive mode option to loosen up the car and make it more responsive. In general the Polestar 2’s handling feels secure rather than agile; the 1,994 kg kerb weight is a factor in this.
The steering also feels as though there is an element of resistance or intervention, preventing it from feeling natural and communicative. Again, there are options to adjust the steering feel in the touchscreen.
There’s no ‘B’ setting on the gear selector or steering wheel-mounted paddles to change the degree of brake regeneration, although again you can change settings if you delve into the touchscreen.
Ride quality on our test car is best described as firm, so avoid large bumps in the road. This ride quality won’t have been helped by the optional 20-inch wheels – and this wheel and tyre combination was presumably also a factor in a substantial amount of road noise on some motorway surfaces.
One thing that some drivers will notice is that the centre console is very large and wide, and the trim can dig into your left leg when driving.
There are also no vents in the centre of the dashboard, so apart from vents at the top of the dash, fresh air can only be sourced from the vents at either end.
The infotainment system will be familiar to Volvo drivers. There are permanent buttons at the bottom of the screen for climate controls, and as per most touchscreens, in general there’s a lot of button-pressing – more shortcut buttons would help to avoid this. You can view a map in the instrument display in front of the driver, but there’s no head-up display.
Polestar says this is the first car with ‘Google built in’, including apps and services on the infotainment system such as Google Play, Google Maps and Google Assistant integrating directly with the car – which should help with, for example, finding charge points. Google Assistant should mean that features can be accessed via voice control.
The official combined WLTP electric driving range of the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor is 335 miles. The real-world displayed range during a week with the car was 270 miles every single time after a full recharge, which did seem to be accurate, even with lots of motorway driving.
If you can access a 3-phase 11kW AC charger then a full charge could take 8 hours. The Polestar 2 can also rapid charge at up to 150kW DC which translates to a time of 35 minutes for a 10-80% charge.
The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor costs £42,900. Our test car had the options of metallic paint (£900), Pilot Pack £3,000, Plus Pack (£4,000) and 20-inch alloy wheels (£900), taking the total price for our test car to £51,700.
There’s also the Polestar 2 Standard Range Single Motor (£3,000 cheaper), and the Long Range Dual Motor (£6,000 more expensive).
The Polestar 2 offers zero emission motoring in a good-looking, practical package, with the options of standard range or long range, and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Long Range Single Motor model tested is cheaper than the AWD model, and the official 335-mile range (or 270-mile range in the real-world) is good. The normal EV benefits such as refinement and instant torque are there, but our test car certainly suffered from a firm ride and substantial road noise, presumably with the 20-inch wheels being a key contributor to this. And there are rivals that offer a more engaging and rewarding driving experience. The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.