The Car Connection Polestar Polestar 2 Overview
The Polestar 2 represents the second model and first electric vehicle from Volvo’s dedicated electric brand, and foreshadows subsequent electric crossovers. The fastback sedan travels up to 270 miles on a single charge, and competes with other luxury-leaning electric vehicles such as the Tesla Model Y, Audi E-Tron GT, and the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
It shares a platform with the latter, which is based on the XC40 small crossover with a gas engine. The battery pack conforms to the transmission tunnel running down the center of the vehicle, with packs under both rows of seats and limiting the passenger and cargo volume of other, roomier electrics.
MORE: Read our 2022 Polestar 2 review
Yet the distinctive style, performance prospects, and brand’s commitment to sustainability throughout the production process give the Polestar 2 an edge.
The new Polestar 2
Shaped like a crossover but riding low like a sedan, the five-door Polestar 2 has a squat profile and masculine ends that reflect its sporty character. Inside, recycled materials on the doors and dash, as well as vegan upholstery uphold the brand’s goal of climate neutrality in its cars. Elements such as the steering wheel, 11.2-inch touchscreen, and diamond gear shifter could be mistaken for Volvo if not for Polestar’s unique badging.
The Polestar 2 comes with a 78-kwh battery pack powering a single motor in front-wheel drive or dual motors for all-wheel drive. Instead of rear-wheel drive, however, the single motor model is mounted to the front axle. Its output of 231 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque provides brisk acceleration to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, but its front-wheel bias leads to understeer.
The fastback feels more in character with a permanent-magnet motor on either axle for an output of 408 hp and 487 lb-ft; it launches the Polestar 2 to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds. The ride is firm, and the tightness is exacerbated by the cramped cabin. This can be an advantage for spirited driving, but less charming while cruising on the highway.
The battery pack stretches under the seats and down the middle of the car in an I shape, so even though it seats five, it shouldn’t. The wide console up front squeezes knees, and the fastback shape in back trims head room. Cargo room is limited to 14.3 cubic feet, plus another foot in the frunk.
The layout helps with safety, as does standard active lane control and automatic emergency braking. Other standard features include heated front seats, an Android-powered infotainment system, and 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with scheduled maintenance for 3 years or 30,000 miles. Options such as a heat pump, adaptive cruise control, or Brembo brake calipers come with certain packs.