2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance (car review)

Once considered the Godfather of EV, the hype around Tesla may well be fading. Among the newer kids of the block is the Polestar 2, and in this case, the long range dual motor version, fitted with the shiny performance package.

It delivers an extra 50kW and 20Nm to the already high-output dual-motor powertrain for a total of 350kW and 680Nm. Additional responsiveness also produces a sportier driving experience overall.

The 0-100km/h sprint time has therefore been reduced to 4.4 seconds. The additional power and torque is available as a ‘boost’ between 70 and 130km/h too. This results in even more rapid acceleration in the mid-range.

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Accelerating from 80 to 120km/h takes just 2.2 seconds, half a second quicker than in the standard car. That makes it a more than suitable rival for the Tesla Model 3 Performance variant, but more on that later.

First, some background. Polestar used to be the tuning arm of Volvo, like what M is to BMW or AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. Following the purchase of the Volvo and Lotus brands by Chinese automotive giant Geely some 12-odd years ago, it became it’s own brand.

2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance
2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance

Now back to the car at hand. With its aggressive, yet elegant and sophisticated looks, there is no doubt that the Polestar 2 turns heads. It’s styling props aren’t hurt any by the fact that Volvo‘s former head of design works there either.

From its Mjölnir inspired matrix LED headlights to its continuous rear light bar that spans the width of the vehicle, the Polestar 2 delivers an exciting presence on the road. We’re particular fans of the way the grille has been used to deliver function over form too.

Throw in the Performance Pack additions of gold 4-piston Brembo brakes, with drilled and ventilated discs, 20-inch alloys with gold valve caps, Öhlins dual flow valve dampers with 22 settings, and gold seat belts inside, and this car is a proper sight to behold.

It’s not all perfect in terms of overall exterior design though, with old-fashioned door handles, a rather large slab of black plastic on the rear bumper, and these weird little stickers on the front doors that tell you the power output of the vehicle.

Inside, there’s plenty of Volvo-inspired design too, from the steering wheel to the seats, and even the air vents. That’s not a bad thing. It ups the quality and luxury ante for Polestar, giving it a classy Scandinavian feel.

dash
Inside the 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance

From the exquisite eco-friendly materials that only a vegan could appreciate, to the stunning yet traditional dash layout, it’s impressive. You won’t find a massive tablet screen either, just a proper driver’s display and infotainment system.

The car’s functions are controlled through the latter’s 11.1-inch screen, that separates the driver to the passenger. Unlike most EV’s though, the operating system used in the Polestar 2 comes from Google, and it’s an Android lover’s paradise.

It also means you can download all your Google accounts directly to the car, making life and navigation a lot easier. Polestar has also kept the central arm rest and middle console too, allowing a home for wireless charging, the gear selector and a bunch of other buttons.

The downside to all that is the fact there isn’t much storage space when you compare to that rival with Model 3 in its name. You only get one cup holder and if you want a second one, it’s hidden under the central arm rest. Likewise, the door bins are relatively small.

There’s an abundance of piano black used throughout the interior too, which might look good, but marks easily and doesn’t withstand scratches at all. What we can’t fault though is the full-length panoramic sunroof that has the Polestar logo embedded in it.

2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance
2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance

The Harman Kardon sound system is excellent, and the incredibly comfortable and beautifully upholstered seats are mint. All this isn’t standard of course, and to add most of the goodness, you’ll need to pony up for the Plus Pack and Pilot Lite Pack.

The former costs $6,000 and includes the sound system, heated steering wheel and rear seats, an energy saving heat pump, air quality control, weave tech eco-friendly seats, ambient interior lighting, tinted rear windows, phone charging and the rear floor lid.

The latter costs $3,400 and includes blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert with braking support, rear collision warning, adaptative cruise control, pilot assist, 360-degree camera, automatically dimmed exterior mirrors and park assist.

All these extras do add up and fully optioned, you’ll need to spend $102,115. That compares fairly well to the Tesla Model 3 Performance at $114,591. Those are drive away prices too.

Staying with the interior, the Polestar 2’s rear seats are comfortable and the seating position is improved thanks to the use of the existing transmission tunnel, which now houses most of the batteries. This allows for a deeper footwell and more leg room.

2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance
2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance

The same can’t be said for rear headroom, as the sloping roofline does it no favours, limiting some of its practical capabilities. Boot space, with the seats up, is 405-litres.

On the road, the Long Range Dual Motor version of the Polestar 2, complete with the Performance add-on, has a 78kWh battery, with twin motors providing a claimed range of 455km. We couldn’t manage better than 400km in real world testing.

It does its best with the optional Ohlins dampers to mimic the feeling you’re driving a performance sedan when you hit a windy road, but no matter how good the suspension is you cannot avoid the weight you feel in the corners.

At 2,113kg there’s some heft to it, and we’re almost tempted to suggest opting to not go with the add-on that gives you the dampers, as they do feel like they spoil the ride comfort a little, and aren’t electronically adjustable.

It’s worth noting, both the battery and the claimed range are lower than its Tesla rival. The Polestar 2 will take about 40 minutes to recharge from empty to full on a DC supercharger, if you can find one. At home on a standard wall socket – 40 hours.

2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance
2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance

All-in-all, the 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor variant fitted with the Performance upgrade, Pilot Light and Plus packages is a great looking car inside and out. It does lots of things really well, just none quite as great as its competition.

The $12,000-odd price difference aside, the decision on whether to grab this or the Tesla Model 3 will come down to what you want from it. If you’re looking for adrenalin-pumping performance and range, then the latter wins, no question.

If it’s a stylish, sleek and beautifully designed electric vehicle that does a good job in the performance stakes and has the get up and go for overtaking you want, then the Polestar 2 is more than worth a look.

Available in six colours, including Snow (as tested), Magnesium, Thunder, Jupiter, Space, and our personal favourite, Midnight, it comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, 5-years roadside assist and a 5-year or 100,000km service plan.

You can find out more on the Polestar Australia website. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Polestar Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance, contact your local Polestar dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7
Exterior styling
9
Interior look and feel
9
Technology and connectivity
8
Family friendliness
7
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros - Scandinavian inspired design; connectivity with Google; quality on part with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Cons - slow for a performance EV; heavy in corners due to weight; rear head room questionable; slow recharge time.
Salvatore Gerace
Salvatore Gerace
Salvatore is an avid car enthusiast. His passion for European cars is thanks to his Italian heritage, but it’s the German marques that excite him the most. Having owned everything from a BMW e46 325i to a Mitsubishi Evo 6, he’s a fan of exotic performance cars. When he’s not driving, you’ll find him at the gym, or sampling some of Sydney’s fine burger fare.

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<strong>Pros -</strong> Scandinavian inspired design; connectivity with Google; quality on part with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> slow for a performance EV; heavy in corners due to weight; rear head room questionable; slow recharge time.2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance (car review)