Review: The Polestar 2 Embodies Swedish Sense and Sensibility

We’ve featured the Polestar 2 in Gear when it was launched in Singapore a couple of months ago, and back then we reckoned it was quite akin to the Apple iPhone of the current generation of Electric Vehicles – like the iPhone, its a product made in China (at Volvo’s megafactory in Luqiao, China), marketed in the ‘premium mass market’ category, and like an iPhone, it is simple to use.

The Polestar 2 is a small executive liftback created for the same market segment as the Tesla Model 3, and during our test drive, we actually saw four Tesla 3s, with that model currently dominating Singapore’s nascent EV market. EVs now comprise 4% of vehicles on Singapore’s roads and that number will definitely grow exponentially as the government continues to offer EV incentives while imposing greater restrictions on petrol-engined cars.

The Polestar 2 and upcoming 3 are both based on Volvo’s Common Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, and this does result in a certain family familiarity with the Volvo XC40, though there’s plenty of upstyling, though externally the car appears ‘safe’, sedate and normal, without excessive styling or flair.

Internally things are a little different, there’s a definite Swedish industrial design style that is both plush and minimalist and surprisingly airy thanks to its panoramic sunroof. Seat materials are vegan, and comfortable. About the only aspect that I didn’t like was how chunky the central console separating the front seats seems, which is a little superfluous in an electric car, though it does contain a wireless charger for your phone.

Oh and then there’s the 11.5-inch central touchscreen, which makes parking or driving in tight carparks easy, especially as the 2 has a host of external sensors, and anyone who has used an Android device will find the car’s Android Automotive OS familiar and easy to use, though there currently aren’t many apps.

What surprised me the most about the Polestar 2 was the driving experience – it is just such an easy car to drive, with plenty of power – the Long Range Dual Motor version we tested has an impressive 300 kW (408 hp) that gets the car from 0-100kmh in an exciting 4.7 seconds, while the 19-inch wheels provide plenty of road holding, so the car always felt planted.

This is simply an unfussy car, nowhere near as spectacular as the Audi e-tron GT RS I drove in the last issue, but if I had to choose a car for daily driving and chores, it be the 2, as it is just comfortable and pleasant to drive – the right size for urban driving, with plenty of boot space for when you head to Ikea Tampines to pick up a new shelving unit before CNY (I tried to recharge there, but they only had two slow chargers which were already occupied). The car also adapts to your driving preferences, so if you aren’t comfortable with the one-pedal style, simply turn down, or turn off, regenerative braking.

The Long Range Dual Motor version we tested comes with a 78kW battery pack that Polestar claims are good for 480km, and over the course of a busy three days we clocked up about 300km without any range anxiety.

The gist of the Polestar 2 EV? It is a lovely upmarket compact executive liftback grounded in its Scandinavian roots, and is a pleasure to drive, and a pleasure to live in.

Technical Specifications:

Electric Motors Two
Drivetrain All wheel drive
Power 300 kW (408 PS)
Torque 6600 Nm
Acceleration (0-100kmh) 4.7 seconds Top Speed 205 kmh
Battery 78kWh
Range Up to 480km

We say:
Swedish design and sensibility encapsulated in one EV that’s as comfortable to drive as it is to live in.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Long Range Dual Motor version: S$246,000 (inclusive of COE)