The decision made to go electric, but which EV to choose? My choice was being driven by budget and price of the car. Initially I had eyed the Audi e-tron or Jaguar iPace, but was soon put off by the ticket prices. A non-sensical response, and highly irrational response to all things Tesla precluded the Model 3 (I have the same blind spot when it comes to Apple products), but there was still enough variety to keep me bamboozled.
The first thing I did do though, was to seek out advice. This came from someone much more versed in this area than I. In fact, most of the initial conversations about getting whichever EV didn’t feature techs and spec, but moreover, focused on the type of driving that I would ultimately end up doing. Long before having a single % battery charge to obsess over, I seemed to have been gripped by a “phantom range anxiety”, having set myself the benchmark of completing a round trip from North Belfast to Dublin airport on a single charge. In hindsight, this is a little ludicrous.
This range anxiety led to the exclusion of the Lexus UX 300e (I had previously had a Lexus NX300h) and the Mini electric based on their reported ranges.
After much toing and froing, it came down to the Polestar 2 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, with the Polestar 2 coming out on top. To be honest, once I started down the Polestar 2 rabbit hole, the Mustang Mach-E didn’t have too much of a look in against the foregone conclusion.
The main event
And with that on December 8th, 2020, I took delivery of my Polestar 2. I opted for the Long-Range Dual Motor version. A single motor version has recently been launched and makes for an interesting option too.
|Electric motors||2 electric motors (rear and front axle)|
|Power||300 kW / 402 bhp|
|Torque||660 Nm / 487 lbf|
|Batteries||78 kWh in 27 modules|
|0 to 60 mph||4.7 sec|
|WLTP range*||273 miles|
*Highly ambitious. To the point of delusion.
- Eye of the Beholder
I do think it is a handsome thing both inside and out, but then again, I am biased. I opted for the “Midnight” colour, quite a grown-up Navy metallic, with the 19″ 5-V Spoke Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels. It does get second glances and comments.
The boot sensor, where you can open the boot by swinging a foot under the sensor, also works every time too.
- Inner Beauty
I chose the Charcoal WeaveTech with Black Ash deco interior. Everything feels well put together and reassuringly solid. The electric seats are great, and the high driving position makes it feel almost SUV-like.
The only leather option was with cream seats. As this didn’t suit, I have inadvertently also seemed to have got the “vegan” version, as no animal products were used in the car’s production. Extra smug points / bragging rights, I suppose.
The main plus point on the interior is the central display and car “brain”. It’s apparently the first car to be developed with native Android Automotive operating system to control everything from the radio to heating and air conditioning to navigation. It’s incredibly intuitive and easy to operate.
- The Drive
Quite importantly, the driving experience with the Polestar 2 us very good. The acceleration is very punchy and instantaneous. The driving around town is hassle free. For me, one pedal driving is a revelation. It’s also not the biggest car, so parking is much easier than the Lexus I had previously. The whole driving experience is so intuitive, I can see how automated cars could be a thing in the not so distant future. It’s all very refreshingly straight forward and drama free.
- The Range
The range on a 90% charge seems good. With sensible driving, I have achieved north of 230 miles. I have also seen 205 miles for the same driving and wondered what went wrong. Somewhere in between the two the truth lies, I suppose.
I haven’t experienced too many downsides to living with the Polestar 2 as yet. But there are some minor irritations:
- The Key
When everything else with the car shouts quality, the build of the key stands out like a sore thumb. It looks and feels conspicuously cheap. Almost like Polestar farmed its production out to another company that didn’t quite read the brief… There are plans to do away with the (very cheap looking) physical key and control the car wholly via the app. Which leads onto
- The Polestar 2 App
The Polestar 2 app is OK. Merely OK. As with the key, perhaps I expected more, but it just seems somewhat “less”.
After 2 Over The Air (OTA) upgrades, which had to be done at a Volvo dealership (I assume the air in Belfast’s Boucher Road is more conducive to software updating than that further up north in the city) I can now operate the heating remotely. The digital key functionality will be along imminently, I believe.
So, what’s the verdict? I think the Polestar 2 is a wonderful machine. Some niggles around the edges aside, it’s a solidly built, very good-looking car. Throw in the driving experience, range, charging times and vegan bragging rights, and I feel like I’m onto a winner.
I really wouldn’t mind a test drive in the Ford Mustang Mach-E though, just to be 100% certain of my choice.
Photography by ReinisB Photography