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First drive: 2024 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.

First drive: 2024 Polestar 2
Can a series of mid-life updates ensure the Polestar 2 retains its place among the best electric executive saloons?


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2023 Polestar 2

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Although Polestar itself admits there's work to do before it becomes a well-known car brand, the Volvo spin-off has done pretty well for itself. In just a few short and Covid-struck years, the brand has achieved solid sales figures, almost entirely because the '2', its executive electric saloon, has done so well. Now it has been updated with new tech and an altered image, but will that be enough to keep it competitive?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor
Price: From £48,950
Motor: 220kW rear-mounted electric motor
Battery: 82kWh lithium-ion
Transmission: single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power: 299hp
Torque: 490Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 406 miles
0-62mph: 6.2 seconds
Top speed: 127mph
Boot space: 405 litres plus 41-litre 'frunk'


Although Polestar claims the 2's styling has changed noticeably, the only real difference is to the front grille. The new faired-in design is more in keeping with sister firm Volvo's electric models, and it provides a useful mounting point for all the car's safety sensors and cameras. That's all well and good, but the aforementioned sensors break up the cleanliness of the design, and leave the update feeling a little flat. The fact of the matter is the old Polestar 2 looked great, and the changes have done nothing to improve any of that.


As with the exterior design, the Polestar 2’s interior is still much the same as before. It’s still a clean, minimalist environment with just one central touchscreen and a digital instrument display, and not a lot else. There isn’t even a starter button – the car just knows when your bum is on the seat.

The tech is, by and large, very good indeed, with a Google-powered touchscreen infotainment system providing sharp responses and a very intuitive operating system. It isn’t perfect by any stretch, but it works a bit like a smartphone, and that at least makes it relatively easy to get your head around.

Quality, too, is first rate, and though the Polestar borrows some of its key components from sister brand Volvo, that does at least mean it all works well and feels premium. We’re particularly fond of the flowing wood trim around the dash and centre console, which gives the car a bit of Scandinavian class.


Because so little about the Polestar's body shell has changed, there's no difference in practicality between the outgoing car and the new model. With a 405-litre boot, the Polestar isn't quite as practical as a BMW i4, but it's still roomier than your average family hatchback. And with 41 litres of capacity in the front storage area, that space won't be eaten into by charging cables and the like. Interior space, meanwhile, is also adequate. You can seat four adults quite happily, although taller passengers might find the leg- and headroom a little marginal.


The biggest changes to the Polestar 2 range can be found under the skin, where there’s a selection of new electric motors and some new battery technology. That means the basic ‘Single Motor’ versions now have their new motors at the rear, driving the back wheels, while the batteries can be charged more rapidly than before.

The basic option, then, is the Standard Range Single Motor car, with 272hp heading to the rear wheels and a 69kWh battery providing a range of 330 miles on a single charge. But perhaps the most compelling option will be the Long Range Single Motor we tested, which has an 82kWh battery and 299hp, allowing a range of 406 miles between charges.

For many, that will be more than enough – the 0-62mph time of around six seconds will be ample and a real-world range of just under 300 miles should also be sufficient – but those who want more power or the extra traction of all-wheel drive will prefer the Long Range Dual Motor model. That gets a chunky 421hp and the same battery as the Single Motor car, so the range falls to 367 miles. And it falls further still if you opt for the Performance Pack, which ups the output to 476hp but cuts the range to 352 miles. That said, it will get from 0-60mph in four seconds flat.

Ride & Handling

Polestar has made much of the switch from front- to rear-wheel-drive in its Single Motor variants, but for much of the time there's no perceptible difference. The car is still as smooth and as easy to drive as ever, with ample acceleration when the mood takes you. However, with a wet road under the tyres and lashings of accelerator, the 2 will become a bit twitchy at the rear end.

Even then, though, the car is easy and intuitive to drive. The steering doesn't feel too light or disconnected, and the body roll is well controlled despite the Polestar's height above the road. But the trade-off for that is a slightly stiff ride. We were rather hoping Polestar would have tweaked the car's suspension for improved comfort, but no dice. Instead, the car feels a tad brittle over short and sharp bumps, and that's true at any speed. That said, the ride never gets too jagged, and our car was riding on the larger 20-inch alloy wheels.


Polestar 2 prices start at just under £45,000, which isn’t bad for an executive electric saloon. Not when the BMW i4 comes in at just under £50,000. Of course, the cheapest Polestar has a smaller battery than the Long Range model we tested, but it still comes with most of the same kit, including the Google navigation system and Android-style touchscreen, as well as wireless phone charging and keyless entry and start. Top-of-the-range Dual Motor cars are more expensive – you can spend well over £60,000 – but even that isn’t outrageous for a car with more than 400hp.


Although the changes to the Polestar look drastic on paper, the difference on the road is not that great. Yes, there's a bit more range and faster charging, both of which have plenty of appeal, but this is still the same competent and likeable electric saloon it always was. It has been successful for a reason, and this new version only strengthens its credentials.

James Fossdyke - 3 Jul 2023

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2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.

2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.2023 Polestar 2. Image by Polestar.


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