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Expert Rating

Polestar 2

Our unique Expert Ratings combine scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

Summary


The Polestar 2 is a mid-sized electric car and the first volume production vehicle from Volvo’s EV spin-off brand. Unlike the limited-production halo model Polestar 1, the 2 is a regular production model aimed at the hotly contested executive saloon market.

Inevitably, the Polestar 2 has been drawn into comparisons with the Tesla Model 3, which is broadly similar in price and size – and, of course, also powered by an electric motor supplied by batteries. General media consensus has been that the two cars are very evenly matched, but that the Tesla currently has a significant advantage in its comprehensive nationwide Supercharger charging network.

In terms of design, this Polestar is an unconventional blend of saloon, liftback and SUV, making it even more of a crossover than a regular crossover. It sits slightly higher than a conventional car, but doesn’t have the heavy plastic cladding of most SUVs to bulk up its styling.

The Polestar 2 has received many positive reviews from the UK motoring media, as well as from lifestyle and technology titles that we don’t include in our Expert Rating index. As of August 2021, its Expert Rating of 78% is several points behind the Model 3 and the BMW 3 Series but a few points better than other premium saloons like the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The 2 has been particularly praised for its design, both internal and external, as well as for its performance and outstanding Euro NCAP safety scores. Like most electric cars, it is more expensive to purchase than a conventional petrol or diesel rival, although running costs will inevitably be cheaper.

Polestar 2 highlights

  • Blends saloon and crossover design themes
  • Class-leading interior environment
  • Plenty of range from battery pack
  • Build quality visibly better than Tesla Model 3

Polestar 2 lowlights

  • Initial purchase price is high
  • Lacks Tesla’s Supercharger network
  • Inexplicable lack of Apple CarPlay
  • You’ll have to keep explaining what Polestar is

Key specifications


Body style: Mid-sized liftback
Powertrain: electric motor and batteries
Price: From £39,900* on-road
* price includes £2,500 government plug-in car grant

Launched: Autumn 2020
Last updated: Spring 2021
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

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Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Company Car Today

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Daily Mail

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Daily Mirror

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DriveNation

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Eurekar

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Evo

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Fleetworld

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Green Car Guide

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Honest John

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Safety rating


Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: March 2021

92%

ADULT OCCUPANT

89%

CHILD OCCUPANT

80%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

86%

SAFETY ASSIST

Eco rating


No eco rating

The Polestar 2 has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic before resuming later in the year.

The Green NCAP programme measures exhaust pollution (which is zero for an electric car) and energy efficiency. Electric cars are much more energy-efficient than combustion cars, so the Polestar 2 is likely to score very highly in Green NCAP testing whenever it ever takes place. Check back again soon.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Polestar 2 has received

2021

  • Auto Trader New Car Awards – Best Premium Electric Car
  • Fleet World Awards – Best EV Compact Executive Car
  • edie Sustainability Leaders Awards – Product Innovation of the Year
  • Top Gear Electric Awards – Best All-Rounder
  • DieselCar and EcoCar Top 50 – Best Electric Compact Executive Car
  • Fleet News Awards – Best Zero-Emission Car

2020

  • Sunday Times Driving Awards – Motoring Innovation of the Year

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Polestar 2, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi A4 | BMW 3 Series | BMW iX3 | Ford Mustang Mach-E | Hyundai Ioniq Electric | Hyundai Kona Electric | Jaguar XE | Kia e-Niro | Mercedes-Benz C-Class | Mercedes-Benz EQC | Tesla Model 3 | Volkswagen ID.4 | Volvo S60 | Volvo XC40

The Polestar 2 is a bit difficult to pigeonhole compared to most cars. It rides a bit higher than a regular saloon/liftback like the BMW 3 Series, but not quite as high as an SUV/crossover vehicle like the BMW iX3. As such, it has plenty of indirect rivals but none that are directly comparable. That includes its own in-house rivals from Volvo – the Polestar 2 shares its electric drivetrain with the XC40 Recharge.

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites

Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites