Polestar 2 2024 long-term test

Polestar 2 2024 long-term test



Sensing déjà vu? Yes, the 2 is back on our fleet, but now a much different prospect

*Why we’re running it: *A switch from FWD to RWD brings better range, efficiency and drivability – but what about everyday appeal?

-Month 1 - Specs-

-Life with a Polestar 2: Month 1-

*Welcoming the Polestar 2 to the fleet - 29 May 2024*

Sometimes in this job, we go on drives in cars that we don't end up writing about because we've told you everything you need to know about it already.

I had one such drive late last year in a Polestar 2 - a car then recently facelifted and a few weeks earlier subjected to a full Autocar road test. I had some time in it before a flight home following the inaugural Polestar Day in Los Angeles, where the Swedish electric car maker unveiled its future model plans and strategy.

What I had thought would be a chance to fill my knowledge bank and to catch up with my road test colleagues turned into one of the most memorable drives that I had all year - and not just for the rather lovely Californian autumn sun and scenery.

The 2 was as little as I remembered. Pre-facelift, this 4.6m-long fastback was likeable but not an automatic choice in a market ever expanding with choice. While a creditable first effort, it wasn't outstanding and felt alternative in its positioning and execution.

Its mid-life facelift brought with it most of the customary changes, like some updated visuals and extra kit, along with the 'usual' for EVs of more range and improved battery and motor technology.

Yet it also brought with it a switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive - something practically unheard of but which we might yet see more of in the future, as such changes are now very much technically feasible in the electric era.

The 2 felt much more substantial as a result, with better rolling refinement, driver engagement and acceleration.

The switch to rear-wheel drive had obvious dynamic benefits but was mainly done to boost efficiency at a steady cruise (more mass is over the back axle now, so more torque is being used for forward motion), and the pre-facelift 2's real-world range of 200 or so miles became closer to 270 miles when we road tested it.

A 2 is now back with us for an extended stay, and after my memorable first experience, I'm excited and delighted to be running it. We've had a 2 on our fleet before: Matt Prior ran a range-topping Long Range Dual Motor with the Performance Pack, complete with the fancy Öhlins dampers that you need a spanner to adjust.

This time, we've got a Long Range Single Motor, which feels like the sweet spot in the range. There's just one model below it, the Standard Range Single Motor, with a 69kWh battery instead of an 82kWh one and a 268bhp motor instead of a 295bhp one.

The Dual Motor version remains in the line-up as well, featuring the 82kWh battery. It has 416bhp as standard or 469bhp if you add the Performance Pack, which retains those Ohlins dampers.

I am keen to see how that top-rung model has evolved at some point over the next few months and will make sure I pop over to Prior's to borrow his spanner and see what he thinks of the progress made.

As is typical with new cars these days, options are grouped into packages. Two are offered - Pilot and Plus - and my test car has both. The former features all the assisted driving technology and costs £2000 on top of the base car's £48,950.

The latter costs £4000 and includes quite a few bits, from what's fast proving to be essential on EVs, such as a heat pump, to the added theatre of a panoramic roof and a Harman Kardon premium sound system, to clever features like the lid-in-lid' pop-up bag holder in the boot, which stops things sliding around.

The colour of our 2 is as nice as I've seen in the metal on any car for a long time. It's called Jupiter and costs £900. The interior trim looks great and feels good too, and for the record is called Slate Weavetech with Black Ash deco by Polestar.

One question that has remained pre- and post-facelift concerns the 2's ride, which is firm. This again was shown in our road test on 20in wheels, but this car has 195, and so far the ride is better than I remember it being. That back-to-back comparison with the range-topper will be revealing for more than one reason, then.

One big part of the appeal of the 2 is its range, or more precisely its efficiency. The official range is a remarkable 406 miles, which as ever should be taken with a pinch of salt, yet in early testing I'm routinely passing the magic 300-mile barrier and pushing 330 miles on occasion.

This is a car with huge visual appeal inside and out and, my early experiences suggest, increased levels of driver appeal and even better efficiency.

I was apprehensive the day the 2 arrived for fear of it not being as good or as memorable in a soggy British spring as it was in a glorious Californian autumn, but it has already put those worries to bed.

*Second Opinion*

I thought the updated 2 was great when I first drove it: fast, frugal and pretty cool looking. Then I sat in the back of it and thought it was less great. I’m really interested to see if Mark’s rear-seat passengers find sitting virtually on the rear axle as grating and as nausea-inducing as I did, or if I was just being a typically fussy road tester.

*Murray Scullion*

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-Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor specification-

*Specs: Price New* £48,950 *Price as tested* £55,850 *Options* Plus Package £4000, Pilot Package £2000, Jupiter paint £900

*Test Data: Engine* Single front-mounted electric motor *Power* 268bhpbhp *Torque* 316lb ft *Kerb weight* 2490kg *Top speed* 99mph *0-62mph* 7.4sec *Fuel economy *4.2mpkWh (WLTP) *CO2* 0g/km *Faults* None *Expenses* None

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