Polestar 2: Bold and Beautiful Electric Moves

With constant shifts in the electric car market, how can the Polestar 2 make a splash? Through a perfect storm of engineering, interior design and technology.

Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 with the single motor option seems perfectly at home on the Colorado mountain roads. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Polestar 2 is Making the Electric Car Market Just a Bit Sexier

In just a few short years, electric vehicles have made huge leaps in usability and desirability. I can still remember the long weekend road trip I took not quite two years
ago in a Polestar 2 like it was yesterday. What stood out for me was the improving charging situation (and it’s only gotten better), along with the excited reaction to the then brand-new brand from the valets at the hotel I was staying at in downtown Akron, Ohio.

They had heard of Polestar but had never actually seen one “in the wild.” They were full of questions, and even though I wouldn’t let them park it, I granted them a few minutes to crawl around inside the vehicle to check it out.

Related: Polestar 2: The Best Electric Car No One’s Heard of Yet

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Front Trunk Storage

Check out the storage in the frunk of the Polestar 2. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Big Improvements in the Polestar 2

Even after its provocative 2021 Super Bowl commercial, the Volvo-owned brand still has a ways to go to become a household name. And the excited reactions and questions continued from patrons at a restaurant in Estes Park, Colorado, where a group of journalists, myself included, were test-driving the vehicle. Within a distance of two model years, it’s already improved both in range and charging speed — big important factors when deciding whether an EV can fit your wants and needs.

Polestar 2 can now travel up to 20% further, consume up to 9% less energy, and charge up to 34% faster due to hardware upgrades, including larger batteries and new motors. That’s significant. The 2024 model year brings two engine choices. The range is 320 miles per the EPA for the single motor and 276 miles for the long-range dual
motor. A change to rear-wheel drive for the single-motor version (priced from
$49,900) and a rear bias for the dual-motor version (from $55,300) also means both vehicles have more sports car-like handling. They handled the curvy mountain roads with ease.

Related: Clean, Modern, All-Electric: The Lexus RZ 450e

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Single Motor

The Polestar 2 has had significant improvements within the span of two models. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Polestar 2 Engine and Range Capability

We were able to drive both versions of the from the Polestar dealership in Denver’s tony Cherry Hill neighborhood to Estes Park and back on a single charge. That’s 200+ miles, and we still had a decent amount of battery life upon arriving back at the hotel.

Neither engine lacks power (with 299 horsepower on the single motor, 421 hp on the dual motor, and 455 hp on the dual motor Performance Pack), and I found myself relying on the adaptive cruise control to keep from speeding. Indeed, one of my fellow journalists was pulled over by the sheriff and given a warning for going 15 miles over the speed limit. It’s not hard to do in the Polestar 2; you’ve been warned.

Related: The Volvo EX90 Has Enough Electric Space for Everybody

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Front Seats

View of the front seats in the Polestar 2. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Perks and Innovations in the Polestar 2

Polestar 2 first entered the highly competitive premium EV market in 2019, blending Scandinavian design with fun driving characteristics and a dedication to sustainability. It was the first car in the world to feature a multimedia system powered by Android Automotive with Google built-in, an experience that continues to evolve and lead the industry, the latest of which adds connectivity between personal Google devices such as Google Home products and cars. This unique mix of qualities quickly made Polestar 2 a customer favorite, available in 27 markets globally and having surpassed the 100,000-unit production mark in late 2022.

The built-in Google Assistant is like having a Google Home speaker in your car; you can ask her nearly anything, from the weather outside (hot with a side of humidity) to the nearest Starbucks (not close enough) to the name of Jimmy Buffet’s most popular song (Margaritaville, of course.) However, it’s not like the in-vehicle assistant in some vehicles, such as Lexus, where you can ask her to make adjustments to the temperature wiper speed or other mechanical functions.

If you tell the Lexus assistant you are hot, she will tell you, “Let me turn up the air conditioning for you.” When I told the Polestar 2’s built-in Google Assistant I was hot, she responded, “Maybe you’d like to go swimming?” which made me laugh, but then I still had to reach for the screen to shift the temperature down a few degrees to make the A/C blow harder. It’s ok; the laugh was worth it.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Cargo Divider

Love the cargo divider that keeps grocery bags and potted plants upright while traveling. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Lots of Thoughtful Touches in the Polestar 2

More features have been moved into the “standard” column, including inductive charging for smartphones, the 360° camera plus side parking sensors, IntelliSafe Aware (blind spot information system and cross-traffic alert), and automatic dimming exterior mirrors. A useful feature I didn’t remember in the version I drove two years ago is a subdivider in the floor of the rear cargo area that behaves almost like bookends — it gives you a place to put your grocery bags to keep them from falling over.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Seats Fold Flat

Love that the rear seats fold completely flat in the Polestar 2. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Storage and More in the Polestar 2

There’s plenty of storage room — 38.7 cubic feet with seats folded, including 1.4 cubic feet in that space under the floor. I found the seats (covered in animal welfare traced Nappa leather) to be very comfortable and the controls on the large portrait screen to be intuitive. That 11-inch wide screen seemed huge and novel when I drove the vehicle two years ago, but now it seems pretty common. The cameras have definitely gotten better — the overhead view of the car is downright stunning; it’s like a little piece of art.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Overhead Camera

Improved visibility and great views of the Polestar 2 from the sharp camera system. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Some of the cameras are stored in the SmartZone, the high-tech front end of the car where a grille would rest on a gas-powered engine. Although the term was introduced when the automaker revealed plans for the Polestar 3, the Polestar 2 is actually the first to get it.

A Girls Guide To Cars | Polestar 2: Bold And Beautiful Electric Moves - Polestar 2 Dual Motor

The dual-motor Polestar 2 gives drivers a sporty feel. Photo: Tanya Gazdik

Is the Polestar 2 a Good Fit for You?

Electric cars are still not for everyone. If you live in a part of the country that doesn’t have a growing charging system, it can be difficult to make them work as a single vehicle in a household. However, if you are in a major city or have the luxury of a two-vehicle household, they are definitely worth considering. Just watch your speed around the highway patrol!

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Tanya Gazdik covers automotive, financial services, travel, sports, and pets for MediaPost's "Marketing Daily." She is the chief programmer... More about Tanya Gazdik