The Volvo S40 could also be useless, but it surely lives on within the Polestar 2.
First previewed because the Volvo Concept 40.2 again in 2016, the jacked-up sedan was initially tipped to be the rebirth of the Volvo S40 sedan alongside the all-new (on the time) XC40 SUV.
Volvo would then go on to maneuver away from smaller passenger segments – killing the V40 hatchback within the course of – and some years later the blocky Concept 40.2 design was tailored to create the Polestar 2.
As its title suggests, the 2 is Polestar’s second car providing, and was the primary all-electric product to be launched by the electrified efficiency subsidiary of Volvo and the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
It stays very true to the Concept 40.2 that previewed it, if with some delicate design adjustments to the entrance and rear fascias to tell apart it as a Polestar – that mentioned, the Polestar 1 was just about a Volvo S90 PHEV with the rear doorways chopped off.
Anyway, I digress. The 2023 Polestar 2 has began arriving in Australia, bringing some delicate adjustments and value rises to the in-demand Tesla Model 3 competitor.
On check we now have the Long Range Dual Motor model, which slots the 300kW twin-motor electrical drivetrain from the XC40 Recharge Twin underneath a lower-slung sedan physique, and goals to take the battle to the Model 3 Performance.
Prices are up by $3500 for this variant, and our check automobile was fitted with nearly each possibility, that means it’s over $100,000 in your drive-way, not less than based mostly on a Melbourne postcode. Is it well worth the spend?
Pricing for the 2023 Polestar 2 vary kicks off at a comparatively attainable $63,900 plus on-road prices, which must also fall underneath most States’ and Territories’ EV incentive thresholds as nicely – offered you don’t go wild with choices.
However, on check we now have the top-spec Long Range Dual Motor (from $73,400) decked out with each obtainable possibility; together with the Pilot Lite Pack ($3400), Plus Pack ($6000) and Performance Pack ($8000), in addition to premium paint ($1500). We’ll element the inclusions somewhat additional down.
All up, the automobile you see here’s a far exxier $92,300 plus on-road prices; which is pricier than the faster Tesla Model 3 Performance which was lately decreased to $89,900 earlier than on-roads.
It’s additionally not far off the positioning of the bigger and extra premium BMW i4 eDrive40 ($99,900); and is in the identical ballpark because the additionally bigger Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD ($87,590).
2023 Polestar 2 pricing:
- Polestar 2 Standard Range Single Motor: $63,900
- Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor: $68,400
- Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor: $73,400
Prices exclude on-road prices
If you’ve sat in a Polestar 2 earlier than, not a lot has modified right here.
The cabin attracts closely upon the Volvo design and elements catalogue, although the 2 has its personal distinct flavour which can also be considerably typical – if not with out its flaws.
Up entrance there’s a Volvo steering wheel, in addition to reskinned variations of the Volvo instrument cluster and infotainment system. Polestar has a really minimalist philosophy throughout the board, and that is mirrored within the interface.
Compared to the associated C40 and XC40 Recharges, the Polestar 2 doesn’t provide digital dials in its instrument cluster; quite settling for simply numbers and bar graphs or a pure map show. The infotainment system could be very easy in design and format too, which in most methods is an efficient factor.
Smartphone mirroring is wired, which generally is a little fiddly to arrange given the restricted storage within the centre console, thought even bigger telephones match into the wi-fi charging slot which doubles as a holder when the cellphone is hardwired, although the cables don’t actually have wherever to go.
The touchscreen itself presents good decision and respectable response to inputs, although we encountered moments when the system would lag and sometimes I couldn’t use the steering wheel controls to skip songs when linked to Apple CarPlay; requiring me to disconnect and re-connect my iPhone 14 Pro Max on the subsequent alternative to cease.
Running Google’s Android Automotive software program means you might have a linked infotainment system proper out of the field, permitting for “Hey Google” voice prompts to make use of the Google Assistant, linked navigation by means of Google Maps, and connectivity with on-line streaming companies like Spotify. It’ll even learn out your textual content messages and allow you to reply utilizing voice inputs.
I discover the Volvo interface somewhat extra refined if convoluted, nonetheless, and it’s a disgrace there’s no wi-fi smartphone mirroring but. The non-obligatory 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio presents good sound although, however I’d like to have seen the wonderful Bowers and Wilkins premium audio obtainable in most Volvos supplied right here.
The lack of bodily local weather controls grates considerably as nicely, even when the touchscreen-based toggles are extra intuitive than different manufacturers’ implementations. Seat heating, likewise, is managed through contact. Unlike the Volvo setup, the house button for the infotainment system can also be a digital line on the base of the show, like a smartphone.
There’s no starter button both, as an alternative you simply hop in and interact Drive, or conversely press Park and open the door to show it off. Volvo does an identical factor with the C40 and XC40, and it’s a little bit of a love-it-or-hate-it factor.
Up entrance consolation and house is sweet, with good adjustment within the seats and steering wheel and a pleasant ethereal really feel aided by the plentiful glasshouse. Our check automobile’s Plus Pack brings full electrical entrance seat adjustment with reminiscence – as an alternative of partial electrical adjustment for the bottom spec – in addition to the fastened panoramic sunroof.
Said glass has no shade, and whereas tinted you’ll be able to really feel the warmth radiating off the glass in direct daylight.
Likewise, storage leaves a bit to be desired too. There’s one fundamental cup holder between the entrance seats, with a further one hidden underneath the front-centre armrest. The door bins are an okay dimension, however nothing to journey dwelling about.
At least it presents fairly good construct high quality, even when a few of the supplies are simple to mark and scuff. Our tester was specified with the Slate-coloured WeaveTech vegan and waterproof upholstery mixed with Black Ash wood-look trim inlays. WeaveTech a snug and pliable materials if not tremendous breathable – again sweaters beware.
One spotlight for me, if a bit trivial, is the Swedish Gold seatbelt end. Call me fundamental or tasteless however I really like the pop of color that’s distinctly totally different to the rest obtainable available on the market proper now.
Hop into the rear and it’s a little bit of a blended bag. If you’re a taller particular person like me (6’1) sitting behind a taller driver, second-row passenger lodging is cosy at greatest. That mentioned, the Tesla Model 3 is equally tight within the second row.
Main points are an absence of knee room for leggy folks like myself, although regardless of the non-obligatory fastened glass roof headroom isn’t that compromised. Foot house can also be compromised by the big centre hump regardless of the shortage of a centre driveline, a product of its ICE-based structure.
The Swedish Golf seatbelts proceed into the rear, and facilities embrace rear air vents, map pockets behind the entrance seatbacks and two USB-C cost ports on the rear of the centre console. There’s additionally a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders.
For the kidlets, there are ISOFIX and top-tether anchors within the rear, although not the quirky built-in booster seat you’ll discover in quite a few Volvos.
Behind the 60:40-split second row is a 405-litre boot, accessed through the liftback tailgate. By comparability, a Tesla Model 3 presents 425L.
It’s bought a helpful adjustable flooring that may compartmentalise the world, and the house itself is good and sq., if a bit shallow.
There’s a ski port for stowing longer objects, and there’s netting and an elastic strap to carry smaller issues in place.
Up entrance there’s additionally a 50-litre ‘frunk’, which is sweet for storing cables or different objects that you really want out of sight, however once more it’s trumped by the Model 3 for quantity (224L).
We have the Long Range Dual Motor on check right here, which is essentially the most highly effective variant obtainable.
A pair of electrical motors – one on every axle – mix to output 300kW of energy and 660Nm of torque, in addition to facilitating all-wheel drive.
Polestar claims the flagship 2 can speed up from 0-100km/h in simply 4.7 seconds, on its technique to a prime velocity of 205km/h. Customers also can add a performance software upgrade to the Dual Motor variant for $1600, which bumps outputs by 50kW and 20Nm (350kW/680Nm) and drops the 0-100 declare by 0.3 seconds (4.4s).
The aforementioned pair of e-motors are hooked as much as a 78kWh lithium-ion battery, good for a claimed driving vary of 487 kilometres on the mixed WLTP cycle. The Long Range Dual Motor quotes a mixed power effectivity score of 19.4kWh per 100km.
It may be charged at a price of as much as 155kW at a DC quick charger, which may replenish the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in as little as 35 minutes. Using an AC three-phase 16A dwelling wallbox, Polestar claims a cost time of 8.0 hours for the Long Range battery.
For those that tow, the Polestar 2 is rated to haul as much as 1500kg braked.
Sharing its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) with mentioned Volvo fashions, in addition to feeling and looking very very like a Volvo inside and outside, the Polestar 2 will probably be properly acquainted for many who benefit from the Swedish model’s fashions.
There’s a stable, sure-footed really feel in any respect speeds, and regardless of our check automobile’s array of performance-focused choices, the Polestar’s dealing with isn’t essentially geared in the direction of tearing up tight B-roads – it feels somewhat heavy for that.
With a base kerb weight of 2113kg, the Polestar 2 offers off grand tourer vibes than quite than feeling like a BMW 3 Series sports activities sedan. For reference, a Tesla Model 3 Performance quotes a tare mass of 1844kg – 273kg lower than the chonky Polestar.
As we’ve skilled with CMA-based EVs prior to now, efficiency in regular driving might really feel a bit dulled at first, given the lengthy throttle pedal journey in the usual drive mode which takes a little bit of getting used to.
It stops you from by chance doing a full ship in a suburban road, nonetheless, some might discover it to really feel laggy and unresponsive until you actually stab it.
When do you do actually stab it although, the Polestar 2 rockets together with that instantaneous torque response we’ve turn out to be accustomed to with high-performance EVs, and the dual-motor AWD powertrain will get its immense grunt to the bottom with out placing a toe – or tyre – out of line.
And, it does this all in relative silence, save for the faint whirr from the e-motors beneath.
Steering response feels very Volvo, in that it’s somewhat on the heavier aspect however nonetheless properly correct if somewhat devoid of really feel. It’s one more reason why the Polestar 2 doesn’t really feel significantly sporty, regardless of its spectacular straight-line efficiency.
You’re additionally coping with a heavy automobile normally, and you may really feel the load shift has you deal with sooner corners.
Our check automobile’s non-obligatory Öhlins Dual Flow Valve (DFV) dampers aren’t electronically-controlled adaptive models, however provide 22 totally different suspension settings, adjusted manually like efficiency coilovers. You can do that your self or have it achieved at a Polestar service level – you get one free adjustment with buy.
The car we examined was clearly in a extra balanced setting, as whereas erring on the aspect of agency nonetheless did an inexpensive job of ironing out the lumps and bumps of Melbourne’s city and metropolis roads. I used to be truly impressed.
From a refinement perspective, the Polestar 2 did an honest job of protecting street and wind noise at bay, however sampling this Performance-spec Dual Motor back-to-back with a regular Single Motor with smaller wheels demonstrated the influence the 20-inch wheels and 245/40 Continental SportContact 6 efficiency tyres have on inside refinement.
The upgraded Brembo brakes of the Performance Pack present good stopping energy too, however in regular driving you’re not often going to must name upon the improved functionality of the Swedish Gold-painted, four-piston calipers and cross-drilled discs (versus the two-piston customary models). I spent most of my time with the automobile utilizing the one-pedal driving mode.
Overall it’s a reasonably agreeable factor to drive day by day even on this extra targeted specification, although you’d most likely be higher off not ticking the Performance Pack field and pocketing the money until you actually love the look.
Our check car was additionally specified with the Pilot Lite Pack, that means it featured the total suite of help options obtainable.
As we’ve come to count on from Volvo merchandise, the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous freeway assistant labored fairly nicely, although at instances I felt it wasn’t doing the most effective job at following curves on Melbourne’s M3 Eastern Freeway. Further, I had a few events the place it phantom braked even when there wasn’t one other car main forward.
Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assists work as you’d count on and are good to have – although I’d argue like adaptive cruise they need to be customary at this value level – whereas the 360-degree parking digital camera brings a welcome bump to visibility when parking this boxy sedan, although the ultra-wide viewing angles can distort the image on the upright infotainment show – I’ve the identical problem with Volvos, if that issues.
For the time being, we additionally now not get Pixel LED matrix-style headlights with the Pilot Pack, therefore the Lite tag. Given our check automobile is over $90,000, it’s a bit disappointing to not have this headlight know-how obtainable given you may get Matrix LEDs customary on a Volkswagen Polo. You do get auto high-beam, although.
Polestar 2 highlights:
- 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
- Dual-zone local weather management
- Keyless entry and begin
- Ambient lighting
- Embossed textile seats
- Polestar Digital Key (phone-based locking and unlocking)
- Power tailgate
- LED headlights with energetic high-beam
- Cruise management
- 7m Mode 2, Type 1 dwelling charging cable
- 19-inch alloy wheels
Pilot Lite Pack: $3400
- Adaptive cruise management
- Pilot Assist
- Surround-view cameras
- Side parking sensors
- Blind-spot help
- Rear cross-traffic help
- LED entrance fog lights
Plus Pack: $6000
- 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
- WeaveTech vegan upholstery or Nappa leather-based
- Black Ash deco panels or Light Ash deco inlays
- Full-electric entrance seats with reminiscence
- Heated rear seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated wiper nozzles
- Heat pump
- Fixed panoramic glass roof
- Wireless cellphone charging
- Ambient lighting
- Air high quality cabin sensor and filter
- “High-level” inside illumination
Performance Pack: $8000 (Long Range Dual Motor)
- Forged 20-inch alloy wheels
- Brembo brakes with Swedish Gold calipers
- Swedish Gold seat belts
- Adjustable Öhlins dampers (22 settings)
The Polestar 2 has a five-star ANCAP security score with 2021 date stamp.
It acquired an grownup occupant safety rating of 93 per cent, a toddler occupant safety rating of 89 per cent, a susceptible street person safety rating of 80 per cent, and a security help rating of 86 per cent.
Standard security gear consists of:
- 8 airbags
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Steering help
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Lane hold help
- Oncoming Lane Mitigation
- Run-Off Road Mitigation
- Traffic signal recognition
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Reversing digital camera
Annoyingly, to get options like adaptive cruise management with semi-autonomous freeway help, blind-spot help and rear cross-traffic help, you need to spend $3400 so as to add the Pilot Lite pack which additionally brings LED entrance fog lights, aspect parking sensors and a 360-degree parking digital camera.
The Polestar 2 is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee, in addition to an eight-year, 160,000km battery guarantee. All variations additionally include free servicing and roadside help for 5 years.
The service plan covers as much as 100,000 kilometres, and represents a not-insignificant saving in comparison with another producers that may cost wherever between $1500 and $3000 for 5 years of upkeep.
Unlike some premium opponents, 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 resolution.
As a information for working prices, I took the Polestar 2 to the Ultra Fast 350kW DC charger at Airport West in north-west Melbourne, and recharged 59.98kWh in 55 minutes for $35.99; charged at a price of $0.40 per kWh. I noticed the cost velocity peak across the 130kW mark, somewhat down on the quote 155kW peak.
Over 440 kilometres throughout every week of testing in blended circumstances, I noticed an indicated effectivity price of 20.1kWh per 100km, towards the producer’s 19.4kWh/100km declare. Not unhealthy, however a bit up on what you’ll get out of a Model 3 Performance (approx. 16.3kWh/100km).
That power consumption would point out to a real-world vary of just below 400km, which is sort of a bit off Polestar’s 487km declare.
The Polestar 2 is an EV for those who need one thing that appears and appears like a ‘regular’ automobile, and that appeals to me.
While devoid of Volvo badging, the Chinese-made sedan appears and appears like an electrical trendy tackle the Volvo S40 of a long time previous, and has a pleasing air of familiarity about it whereas additionally being a bespoke design within the Volvo/Polestar steady. If you need an EV however can’t abdomen a Tesla, that is most likely the closest factor to a Model 3 obtainable proper now.
In Long Range Dual Motor guise, it’s foolish fast regardless of not with the ability to match a Model 3 Performance, presents respectable vary (not less than on paper), appears the products with its gold-themed Performance Pack, and has a well-built cabin. It additionally presents a aggressive aftersales bundle, giving peace of thoughts for the not less than the primary 5 years of possession.
However, ticking choices turns into a dear train, and it’s one of many much less environment friendly EVs of its dimension and physique kind which ends up in a much less spectacular driving vary going by our achieved power consumption figures.
Additionally, the rear seat is a bit cramped for knee room and foot room, and cargo capability isn’t nice for the category, largely because of facets carried over from its ICE platform.
Personally, my decide of the Polestar 2 vary is the mid-spec Long Range Single Motor, which may theoretically journey over 550 kilometres between expenses, and is a complete $5000 cheaper than the Dual Motor mannequin on check.
If you need the efficiency of the Dual Motor but additionally need the best-value spec, don’t tick the $8000 Performance Pack as in real-world phrases you’re unlikely to essentially need or want any of the go-fast add ons, as good as they might look.
All instructed the Polestar 2 stays a stable contender within the compact EV market. It’s extra conventionally understated than most ground-up EVs, drives nicely, presents vary of variants, and represents respectable worth when you’re good with choices. Then once more, the associated XC40 Recharge presents the identical drivetrain, extra space and extra options for much less.
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