I take pleasure in driving the Polestar 2 greater than the Tesla Mannequin 3. The Polestar 2 is extra snug, seemingly higher constructed, and has a greater infotainment system. In all the standard automotive metrics, it’s a greater automotive, and but I discover it onerous to suggest over the Tesla Mannequin 3.

The Polestar 2 typically excels the place the Tesla Mannequin Three falters. The match and end of the two are on par with something from BMW, Mercedes, or Volvo as Polestar is an in depth companion to the Swedish luxurious model.

Nevertheless, whereas the Polestar 2 is unbelievable, the automotive lacks the interesting Tesla ecosystem. Polestar doesn’t have a community of their EV charging stations, and it’s unknown if the corporate will roll out novel options by way of over-the-air updates. Tesla has a tradition round its model that’s thrilling and engaging and deserves to be thought of when looking for a automobile.


I spent an extended morning within the Polestar 2, navigating suburban site visitors and racing across the grime roads close to Hell, MI. I drove the EV on the freeway, took it procuring, and lived with the automotive. After driving the automotive for a couple of hours, there have been nonetheless 120 miles left on the battery.

The EPA has but to announce the vary ranking on the Polestar 2, however Polestar itself says it could possibly go as much as 275 miles on a cost. I skilled one thing a bit much less — extra like 250 miles. That stated, throughout my brief time with the autos, I drove it onerous and quick. The winding grime roads liked the AWD system and 49/51 weight stability.

The Polestar 2 is a stunning automobile, and the construct high quality is great. The doorways shut with a convincing thud, the seats are supportive and cozy, and the sprint is constructed of a number of recycled materials that’s concurrently upscale however accountable. It seems like a automotive from a mature automotive firm.

I can’t stress sufficient how properly constructed the Polestar 2 feels, and that’s seemingly as a consequence of its shut ties with Volvo.

Began simply three years in the past inside Volvo and Geely, Polestar was shortly spun out as its personal automaker although retains shut ties to each dad and mom. As such, Polestar is taken into account an automotive authentic gear producer (OEM) similar to Volvo, Normal Motors, and BMW. Polestar is unbiased of Volvo and Geely with its VIN numbers, manufacturing services, and government group.

Polestar 2 is the second automobile from the younger automotive startup. The corporate began with the Polestar 1, a $155,000 hybrid grand tourer that’s restricted to 1,500 automobiles with solely 450 coming to North America over three years. I drove a manufacturing Polestar 1 a couple of weeks in the past and located the powertrain to be unbelievable. The hybrid system is tuned in a method that makes it a superb driver’s automotive on the identical stage as one of the best tourers.

Polestar says it’s designing its automobiles to be pleasant to drive, and the corporate is 2 for 2. The hybrid Polestar 1 is gorgeous to drive in a strong, masculine method. The all-electric Polestar 2 is of course totally different from the Polestar 1 and continues to be tuned for the driving force’s enjoyment.

Like stated on the prime, the Polestar 2 is a greater automotive to drive than the Tesla Mannequin 3.

The Polestar 2’s electrical motors ship energy with restrained management. As a substitute of being jerky or fast, the electrical Polestar 2 is clean and refined. When massing the gasoline pedal, the Polestar 2 progressively lays down the ability, beginning slowly and accelerating shortly. Don’t mistake what I’m saying. The Polestar 2 continues to be fast, capable of hit 60 mph in lower than 5 seconds, which is quick sufficient for any household automobile. In my expertise, the Mannequin 3’s electrical energy supply is tuned to ship loads of energy in the mean time of acceleration. The Mannequin Three could be very fast, nevertheless it’s too quick to some, even in normal modes.

The distinction between the Polestar 2 and Mannequin 3’s acceleration is delicate however important. The Mannequin Three can smoke the Polestar 2 in a drag race, and but that’s not related to most drivers. To me, the marginally slower, however nonetheless fast, Polestar 2 is extra pleasant to drive.

The Polestar 2 turns in with confidence and has nary an understeer. It’s controllable like one of the best four-door sedans. This is because of a number of issues. One, the automotive has a virtually good weight stability with 49% within the entrance and 51% within the again. And most of that weight is on the underside of the automotive, the place the batteries are situated, decreasing physique sway. Second, the electrical motors on every axle present unbelievable traction by way of an AWD system.

How is it to dwell with the Polestar 2 and drive it each day? I can’t say. I used to be solely within the automobile for a couple of hours. The backseat appears roomy sufficient for a mid-size automotive, and the ground space feels extra substantial than a Tesla Mannequin 3. The hatch space is giant, and there’s a small storage compartment within the entrance.

The driving vary is a draw back with the Polestar 2. As compared with the Tesla Mannequin 3, the Polestar 2 comes up brief. The Mannequin Three can go as much as 322 miles absolutely charged whereas the Polestar 2’s is round 275 miles. Curiously, the Polestar 2 has a bigger battery pack than the Mannequin 3. Nevertheless it’s additionally heavier because the Polestar 2 is constructed on a Volvo/Geely platform additionally used for gasoline-powered autos.

There are hints of Volvo’s design language all through the Polestar 2. To me, the design is futuristically stylish, and I like it. The Polestar 2 has presence and poise. It’s angular whereas being fluid. Inside is extra of the identical with strong strains and sharp curves.

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath is a very long time automotive designer, and his influences are evident. The design appears paramount to the Polestar expertise. Earlier than Polestar, he was Volvo’s Senior Vice President of Design after holding related positions inside Volkswagen Group at Audi and Skoda.

The Polestar 2’s inside is extra minimalist than most autos however nonetheless busier than the Mannequin 3. There are few bodily buttons: hazard lights, radio energy, rear defrost, entrance defrost, and a knob for quantity (quantity ought to all the time be on a spinning knob). The 2 stalks on the steering column management their regular capabilities, and the steering wheel is sourced from Volvo’s newest automobiles and options media controls and cruise controls.

The massive heart display screen is simple to learn and is in a terrific location. I didn’t expertise an offensive glare throughout my few hours with the Polestar 2. Please be aware, within the image right here, the middle display screen is dim as a result of as quickly because the entrance seats are empty, the automotive dims the display screen to avoid wasting battery.

Ultimately, the construct high quality speaks to confidence. The Polestar 2 doesn’t really feel dangerous, like a Mannequin 3, which has had numerous design and manufacturing points. The Polestar 2 doesn’t really feel like a startup’s second automobile.

Android Automotive (not Android Auto)

Polestar is the primary firm to supply Android Automotive. Completely different from Android Auto, Android Automotive is the first interface for Polestar 2. It controls every little thing from the radio to local weather to automobile settings and maps, apps, and related providers.

Android Automotive is spectacular. The interface is clear and as responsive as one of the best smartphone. To benefit from all of the options, customers should be signed in to a Google Account. Some customers may decide to register to their major account or create one other only for the Polestar 2. Both method, as soon as signed in, the system connects maps, apps, and the remainder of the particular person’s providers, together with units related to a Google Dwelling account.

Android Automotive can nonetheless be used with out signing into Google. By skipping this step, customers could have entry to most related options, however some personalization choices are unavailable.

Google Assistant is constructed into Android Automotive, and it’s the primary in-car voice service I’ve used that labored properly. Simply say, “Okay, Google, activate Spotify,” and it activates Spotify. Say a location, and it pulls up the place. Ask it to alter the temperature, and it’ll change the temperature since Android Automotive additionally controls the in-vehicle local weather management. Some options depend upon a knowledge connection, whereas others, most in-car settings, work and not using a knowledge connection.

Android Automotive impressed throughout my time within the Polestar 2. It has a logical structure and is simple to make use of. The system is coming to different autos quickly. Polestar is simply the primary automaker to deploy the system.

Android Automotive works with iOS units, too. The Polestar 2 will quickly acquire CarPlay by way of an over-the-air replace, and iPhone customers can pair their units to Android Automotive by way of a Bluetooth connection, too.

Polestar or Tesla?

I walked away from the Polestar 2 impressed, but it’s onerous to challenge a whole suggestion. To me, even with a shorter vary, the Polestar 2 is a greater automobile than the Mannequin 3. However the Mannequin Three has one thing lacking from the Polestar 2: The Tesla issue.

For all its quirky faults, Tesla has a historical past of daring innovation that’s resulted in a nationwide community of chargers, fixed new options delivered from over-the-air updates, and enjoyable quirks that delight and impress. Like Pet Mode. After a suggestion on Twitter to Elon Musk, Tesla shortly rolled out a mode that lets customers preserve their pets protected whereas displaying an informative message on the middle display screen. It’s a small however telling element in regards to the Tesla expertise, and it’s unclear (and unlikely) that Polestar will provide the identical expertise.

Polestar isn’t promoting towards the Mannequin Three however relatively promoting towards Tesla. When an individual buys a Tesla, they’re shopping for into an ecosystem of providers that complement the automobile. Tesla is aware of higher than most {that a} automotive is commonly a life-style alternative, and the corporate constructed a formidable tradition.

Polestar executives appear to know they’re combating an uphill battle.

On one facet, the corporate is battling Tesla’s ecosystem, and tradition and Polestar is seemingly following in Telsa’s footsteps. The automotive firm is forgoing promoting automobiles in supplier’s heaps and is opening storefronts like Tesla’s firm shops. These places are in excessive profile areas like marque procuring areas alongside luxurious manufacturers. Like Tesla showrooms. Nevertheless, to assist get autos in purchaser’s fingers faster, these places can be owned by Volvo dealerships who will facilitate gross sales and repair.

Polestar sees itself promoting towards luxurious mid-size autos from European manufacturers relatively than Tesla itself. At the very least that’s what the corporate says publicly. It is smart to some extent. The construct high quality of a Polestar automobile is superior than that of a Tesla and on the identical stage as one of the best from Europe.

So is the Polestar 2 higher than a Tesla Mannequin 3? Sure. However deciding which one to purchase is an advanced query.

The Tesla Mannequin Three can drive farther on a cost and is seamlessly built-in with Tesla’s Supercharger community. That’s a major issue that patrons ought to contemplate. Tesla’s dedication to proceed rolling out new options also needs to be a consideration for patrons because it retains the autos contemporary and thrilling.

The Polestar 2 carries a better worth than the Mannequin 3, however they’re in the identical vary. Nicely geared up Polestar 2 autos begin round $60,000 whereas similarly-spec’d Mannequin Three automobiles go for round $50,000. In america, each automobiles are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit score.

Tesla, apart, Polestar constructed a unbelievable automobile within the Polestar 2, and that ought to be applauded. The automotive firm is three years outdated, solely has 800 staff worldwide, and has but scaled to the purpose of constructing world-class autos. Few different automotive firms could make these claims. And the corporate has huge plans for the longer term. Polestar says it’s on observe to ship the SUV Polestar Three in 2022, which can function an all-new platform and quite a bit longer vary.

Polestar constructed the automotive, now it must get the phrase out.

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