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First drive: Polestar 2

Date: 26 April 2021   |   Author: Simon Harris

A sister brand to Volvo and Chinese automotive giant Geely has come to market with an all-electric saloon.
Standard equipment:
Electronic climate control, heated front and rear seats, keyless entry with hands-free boot lid opening, electric tailgate with soft closing, panoramic glass roof with projected Polestar symbol, dark-tinted rear window, WeaveTech (vegan) upholstery with Black Ash deco, electrically adjustable front seats, electric lumbar support, 60/40 split folding rear seat, automatic dimming exterior and interior mirrors, LED headlights with active bending and cornering lights, 19in alloy wheels, front storage compartment, adjustable speed limiter with speed sign support, Pilot Assist with adaptive cruise control (switchable to conventional cruise control), blind spot alert with steering support, cross traffic alert with brake support, rear collision warning and mitigation, collision avoidance and mitigation by braking and steering, run off road mitigation, forward collision warning, lane-keeping aid, driver attention alert, road sign information, 360° surround view camera, front and rear parking assist, hill start assist-, Harman Kardon Premium Sound with 13 speakers (600W) including air-powered subwoofer, DAB radio,12.3in digital driver display, 15in centre display, wireless phone charger.
Electric: 408hp 76kWh
Equipment grades:

The name Polestar will have been familiar to Volvo aficionados for many years. It was initially used to identify a more powerful and tauter version of the model with the highest engine output.

Most police Volvos in recent years would have had the Polestar engine upgrades, for example.

A couple of years ago Polestar became a separate brand in its own right, upmarket and only selling plug-in models.

It launched with the high-end Polestar 1, a large two-door coupé too expensive for most company car choice lists, but 2020 witnessed the arrival of a fully-electric four-door 'fastback' saloon.

If Volvo had produced a new S40, the Polestar 2 might well have been its twin.

The Polestar is targeting drivers of electric cars costing between £40,000 and £60,000, with sales currently dominated by models produced by an American tech company. 

Although electric cars priced higher than £35,000 no longer qualify for the plug-in car grant in the UK, this range taps into a rich vein of user choosers seeking to minimise their tax liability on their company car.

The Polestar 2 launched with a 300kW/408hp electric motor with a 78kWh battery, giving the car a range close to 300 miles on the WLTP cycle.

We're likely to see less powerful versions and a shorter range entry-level variant as Polestar seeks to capture the people seeing something more upmarket than a Peugeot E-2008, but can't stretch to the costs of the high-output version.

The Polestar has an elegance missing from saloon/hatchback rivals, and while clutter-free, big-screen interiors are becoming common, this one looks and feels of quality far superior to a Tesla.

Seats are super-comfortable and supportive with a good range of adjustment - a trait borrowed from Volvo, perhaps - and the interior is more spacious than you might expect. The Polestar 2's wheelbase is longer than that of a Ford Focus.

This 408hp Polestar 2 has two motors and all-wheel drive. Performance is supercar-fast, with 0-62mph dispatched in 4.7 seconds, and there is a setting to maximise energy regeneration when lifting off the accelerator, so most of a journey could be done without even touching the brake pedal.

The Polestar 2's dashboard touchscreen is powered by Google and the car's systems are capable of over-the-air updates. As with any entirely new system, it takes a while to get used to it, but a few times the on-screen map displayed the incorrect location for the car and made using it for navigation impossible.

But, otherwise, the Polestar 2 is the slickest and one of the most desirable entrants to the EV market yet. We can't wait to try less powerful and more accessible versions as they become available.

Polestar 2 

P11D: £45,845

Residual value: 51.5%

Depreciation: £22,230

Fuel: £2,688

Service, maintenance and repair: £2,928

Cost per mile: 46.1p

Range: 292 miles

CO2 (BIK %): 0g/km (1%) 

BIK 20/40% a month: £8/£15

Luggage capacity: 405 litres

Battery capacity/power: 78kWh/408hp


  • Well equipped
  • Handsome
  • Performance
  • Glitchy Google infotainment operating system