We take a look at the reasons why you should buy a Polestar 2 2023, specifically the entry-level Long Range Single Motor front-wheel drive version.
The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor version was introduced last year as the new entry-level model in the Polestar 2 family. In the process, Polestar significantly revised the pricing of its Polestar 2 model, offering the all-wheel drive version for under $60,000 and ensuring that a fully-loaded version topped at roughly the same price you paid for a base Polestar 2 back in 2021.
As frustrating as that must have been for Polestar 2 first adopters, it was necessary. The first Polestar 2 was way too expensive compared to what you could get in a Tesla Model 3. More importantly, the 2 wasn’t eligible for the revised federal and provincial EV rebates in its previous form.
The 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor starts at $53,950, making it eligible for the maximum amount in every rebate program in Canada. Even if you tick every options box, you will pay under $60,000. If you are in a province that offers its own rebates alongside the Canadian iZEV program incentives, you will pay around or under $50,000 for your Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor.
The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor has 434 kilometres of range from a 78-kWh battery, the most range of any 2023 Polestar 2 model. The difference isn’t all that significant as the Dual Motor versions offer 418 kilometres. The entry-level Polestar 2 is also front-wheel drive, having only a single motor powering the front axle, as its name implies.
The performance is the most significant difference between this version and the Dual Motor AWD trims. Taking away one electric motor slices output to 231 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque for the Single Motor version. That translates into a 0-100 km/h time of over 7 seconds. The AWD versions deliver significantly more oomph. Both deliver over 400 horsepower and reach 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and 4.2 seconds for the Dual Motor AWD and Dual Motor AWD with Performance Pack versions, respectively.
You will pay $5,000 less for a Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor FWD model, but is that enough to justify the dip in performance? If you care first and foremost about range, it may be. This is what we look at below, first by looking at why you might want to buy a 2023 Polestar 2 Single Motor FWD.
Why should you buy a 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor?
Here we look at what the 2023 Polestar 2 Single Motor FWD does best and why it’s worth buying.
Unique and different
The Polestar 2 has been around for a few years, but it is still not a common sight on Canadian roads. While the Tesla Model 3 is as ordinary as a Honda Civic now, the Polestar 2 remains unique and distinct, giving its owners a vehicle we don’t see every day. This may or may not matter to you, but for anyone looking for an EV that’s different, the Polestar is essentially the only option left in this price range.
The most impressive element of the Polestar 2 is the comfort it provides. The DNA and personality of Volvo are evident on the road. The 2 is quiet and does a great job at absorbing potholes and bumps on the road, even with the larger wheels. Inside, the quality of the materials stands out, as is the design of the dashboard. There’s a definite premium feel inside the cockpit, and once you head on the road, the luxury continues.
Compared to the Tesla Model 3, the Polestar 2 feels more luxurious and upscale. It’s on par with the BMW i4 in that area and more comfortable than the Tesla and BMW on the road.
Decent range for the price
The 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor gives you 434 kilometres of range. That’s more than enough for most buyers. In winter, the range remains over 300 kilometres which is as good as expected for an EV in this segment. Moreover, the Polestar 2 offers charging at up to 150 kW, giving you 80% range in about 35 minutes. You can charge at home at up to 11 kW and get full range back in about 8 hours.
In other words, the range is appealing, and the charging capability is fine. The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor stands out in both areas, giving EV buyers the freedom they want and the charging capability they need.
Front-wheel drive beats RWD
An all-wheel drive vehicle will always give you the best performance when stuck in a snowstorm or driving on snowy or icy roads. However, a front-wheel drive vehicle like the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor with good winter tires will do just fine. We’d take its drivetrain over a RWD Model 3 or BMW i4 any day, at least when driving in winter.
Why shouldn’t you buy a 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor?
Now let’s look at a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to buy a Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor, starting with its performance.
Performance is mediocre at best
The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor is not a quick EV. It’s not even that quick when compared with some gas-powered, run-of-the-mill compact sedans. The 231 horsepower under your right foot seem asleep most of the time, a stark contrast with most electric vehicles that jump off the line when you accelerate. The Single Motor version isn’t just slow compared to the Dual Motor trims; it’s slow compared to a Chevrolet Bolt or Hyundai IONIQ 5. You’d be right to want a more dynamic electric vehicle for what you are paying.
The performance of the Single Motor version is even more disappointing when you consider that for an extra $5,000 you can get a Polestar 2 with 408 horsepower that reaches 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. This leads us to our second point.
Not enough of a rebate over the all-wheel drive version
There isn’t enough of a price gap between the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor FWD and the AWD versions offered by Polestar. Not only is the performance significantly lacking in the entry-level model, but you are just $5,000 away from the extra stability, confidence, and driving pleasure of all-wheel drive. Ultimately, the Single Motor version is slow, and when you get stuck on a hill in February, you will undoubtedly question why you didn’t fork out the extra money.
Frustrating infotainment system
This point applies to all Polestar 2 models. The infotainment system is based on the Volvo Sensus technology, and like in every Volvo model, it’s frustrating and difficult to use. Even once you get used to where everything is, you still have to navigate multiple menus to adjust functions you use every day like climate and audio. And forget about using the system with gloves on; that’s a no-no. Overall the system is all form and little function.
The Polestar 2 does provide decent room upfront, but the rear seats are cramped and certainly not child-seat-friendly. The low roofline means getting a kid back there is a chore, and there’s minimal legroom for teens or adults. Despite its decent cargo space, the Polestar 2 isn’t a family vehicle.
The 2023 Polestar 2 has a lot to offer, but most of the benefits of this model are found in the all-wheel drive versions. The entry-level Single Motor model doesn’t give you enough financial incentive or enough added range to justify the compromises on performance and all-weather stability.