Sunday, April 21, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy a 2024 Polestar 2?

Should You Buy a 2024 Polestar 2?


  • The 2024 Polestar 2 starts at $51,300 in the United States and at $57,450 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • More range, more power, good road manners.

  • Tight back seat, could be quieter, distracting on-screen climate controls.


A Swedish electric vehicle brand under Volvo ownership, Polestar is rapidly expanding its product portfolio, as several new models are scheduled to launch in the coming months and years. Meanwhile, its only available model at the moment is the 2024 Polestar 2, which receives some changes and improvements.

The most important change to better rival the Tesla Model 3, the Tesla Model Y, the Hyundai Kona Electric (arguably) and the now-Canada-only Mazda MX-30 (arguably), is the switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive in the base single-motor variant. Not only is said motor is in a new location, but it’s more powerful as well. The base Polestar 2 now develops 299 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, up from 228 hp and 243 pound-feet compared to the 2023 model-year equivalent. The 0-60 mph sprint takes about a second less, at 5.9 seconds, while the 0-100 km/h dash is cleared in 6.2.

In addition, the base car incorporates an 82 kWh battery that allows for a maximum range of 320 miles or 515 kilometres on a single charge. The front-wheel-drive 2023 Polestar 2 offered a range of 270 miles or 434 km with its 78 kWh battery. That’s a considerable gain to reduce our range anxiety, in addition to benefitting from more straight-line performance. Energy consumption is also down from 31 to 29 kWh/100 miles or 19.6 to 18.2 kWh/100 km. Ok, choosing the optional 20-inch wheels instead of the standard 19-inchers reduces range a little, so we’re sacrificing some efficiency for looks.

The 2024 Polestar 2 AWD also gets some mechanical improvements. Its total output rises from 402 to 421 horsepower while torque climbs from 487 to 546 pound-feet, the power split is more concentrated on the rear wheels, and the 0-60 mph dash takes 4.3 seconds. Its range is set at 276 miles, up from 260 miles in the 2023 model, which was already up from the 249 miles of the 2022 edition.

Fuel economy equivalent city/highway/combined (MPGe)Fuel economy equivalent city/highway/combined (Le/100 km)Energy consumption city/highway/combined (kWh/100 miles)Energy consumption city/highway/combined (kWh/100 km)Driving range (miles)Driving range (km)
Polestar 2 RWD (19-inch wheels)124/106/1151.9 / 2.2 / 2.027/32/2916.8 /19.8 / 18.2320515
Polestar 2 RWD (20-inch wheels)119/102/1112.0 / 2.3 / 2.128/33/3017.4 / 20.5 / 18.6307494
Polestar 2 AWD (19-inch wheels)112/100/1062.1 / 2.4 / 2.230/34/3218.7 / 21.0 / 19.7276444
Polestar 2 AWD (20-inch wheels)108/96/1022.2 / 2.5 / 2.331/35/3319.3 / 21.7 / 20.5266428
Polestar 2 AWD (Performance Package)100/90/952.4 / 2.6 / 2.534/38/3521.1 / 23.6 / 21.7247397

 

With so much power funnelled to the rear wheels, is the base Polestar 2 a good choice to confront our harsh winters of Canada and the Snowbelt States? As luck would have it, at least for the evaluation of our test car, a major storm dropped eight inches of snow on our region during of the days it was in our possession. Instead of staying home bundled in a blanket by the fire, we hit the road.

The RWD P2 actually handled itself pretty well. The traction and stability control systems work like a charm, allowing us to accelerate from a standstill without bogging the car down and without any fishtailing. The Polestar 2 is well balanced and the weight the battery pack down low helps it stay planted on its wheels, compared to a car with a combustion engine. We didn’t miss the AWD too much on the slushy street intersections and on the partially plowed highways, but we must drive safely, obviously, and opt for a good set of winter tires. In a nutshell, no worries with the new rear-wheel drivetrain, and during really bad snow or ice storms, we’re just as well to stay home anyway—no matter what vehicle we’re driving.

During our test, we observed an energy efficiency average of 42 kWh/100 miles or 25.9 kWh/100 km. That’s not great, but it’s winter, so that was expected. To maximize efficiency during the cold season, and what we actually didn’t do, is to preheat the car using the on-board computer or the mobile app while it’s plugged in at home. By doing so, we raise the electric system’s temperature, allowing it to optimize its efficiency more quickly. However, the Polestar 2 doesn’t have a start button, and if we step out of the car, it shuts itself off—even if we leave keyfob in it. We can’t just start the car and head back inside the house to wait until it warms up.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: the Polestar 2 can tow up to 2,000 pounds or 907 kilograms.


Why You Should Buy a 2024 Polestar 2

  • The Polestar 2’s standard range is higher than that of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y as well as the Hyundai Kona Electric. The 2024 model is also more energy-efficient, so that’s a plus.
  • The electric hatchback boasts good road manners and straight-line acceleration is improved on the 2024 model. More power without any compromises is always welcome—for us at least.
  • The P2’s interior and exterior design is quite attractive, although that’s a subjective opinion. The infotainment system is generally easy to use and the integrated Google Maps navigation system graphics are crisp.
  • Despite a slight price increase, the Polestar 2 is reasonably priced for an EV.


Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2024 Polestar 2

  • The 2024 Polestar 2’s biggest drawback is the size of its cabin. Classified as a compact hatchback, its interior dimensions are more in line with those of subcompact cars, especially for rear-seat occupants and trunk volume.
  • The P2 offers a volume de 407 litres with the rear seats in place and 1,097 litres with the seatbacks folded down. That’s good, but not great. Under the load floor, there’s a compartment to store the fat and heavy 120V/240V charge cord, while the small underhood storage bin can hold a couple of washer fluid jugs.
  • At first sight, the P2’s interior design reveals its Scandinavian origins, with a minimalist look, warm tones and sustainable materials—according to the manufacturer. While slick, the lack of physical switchgear relegates almost all the climate controls to the lower portion of the central touchscreen, which are distracting to use while driving. Apple CarPlay integration is available, but not Android Auto. The infotainment system runs Google built-in, and in-vehicle apps such as Waze can be added. However, Android phone users may not like that compromise. As a sidenote, the optional 13-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system puts a little too much emphasis on the dashtop speaker.
  • For a car of in this price range, we’d like better sound insulation inside the cabin to filter out road noise, while ride quality suffers a little with the 20-inch wheels.


Final Word

With a starting MSRP of $51,300 in the United States and $57,450 in Canada, the 2024 Polestar 2 is pricier than last year’s edition, but boasts more standard features such as blind-spot monitoring with steer assist, cross traffic alert with brake support, park assist sensors, a 360-degree camera system and auto-dimming outside mirrors. For shoppers in Canada and the northern part of the U.S., we strongly recommend the Plus Package that adds a heat pump, a sound system upgrade, a panoramic glass roof, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, heated washer fluid nozzles, and more.

The 2024 Polestar 2’s bang for the buck has increased compared to previous model years, and the switch from FWD to RWD doesn’t change the car’s appeal at all—driving enthusiasts might even say it’s a blessing. With more fully electric competitors set to arrive soon, such as the Cadillac Optiq for example, and Tesla that’s constantly playing with the price of its vehicles, the Swedish brand continues to improve its compact hatchback year after year, and that’s good news for consumers.

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