2021 Polestar 2 Review

The 2021 Polestar 2 ranks well among luxury hybrid and electric cars because of its peppy acceleration, refined interior, and sleek technology.

Pros & Cons

  • Spry acceleration
  • Sharp and modern interior
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Roomy second-row seats
  • Somewhat stiff ride




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. Its overall score is being calculated without reliability.

Is the Polestar 2 a Good Car?

Yes, the all-new, all-electric Polestar 2 is a good car. Its 275-mile range is a bit less than some rivals, but it’s still a fair amount for an electric car. It’s also fairly engaging to drive, with brisk movements from a stop and confident handling.

The cabin is sleek and modern, and it features a cool infotainment system running Google and Android software. This system lends an air of futurism, and the car also comes loaded with plenty of driver assistance technology. There's enough comfortable seating space for four adults, and a five-door hatchback design gives you decent cargo-carrying ability.

Add it all up, and the Polestar is a standout in the luxury hybrid and electric car class.

Who Makes Polestar?

You might also be asking, "What is Polestar?" The brand originated as a racing company with ties to Volvo, producing performance-brand versions of Volvo cars and eventually becoming a full subsidiary. In 2017, Volvo and its parent company announced the transformation of Polestar into a standalone new brand for alternative-fuel vehicles. The company's first model was the limited-run, high-performance hybrid Polestar 1. The Polestar 2 is the brand’s first mass-market offering.

Why You Can Trust Us: 11 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 11 Polestar 2 reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2021 Polestar 2 is the right new car for you.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Polestar 2?

There's a lot to like about the Polestar 2. However, it's a little late to the game in being a unique, high-tech all-electric vehicle. Its roughly $60,000 price tag may also cause some hesitation. The Polestar 2 goes up against electric rivals like the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, which deliver a longer driving range and better performance. However, while those vehicles can be much less expensive, the Polestar is still eligible for federal tax credits while Teslas are not.

Compare the Polestar 2, Model 3, and Model Y »

2020 vs. 2021 Polestar 2: What’s the Difference?

The 2021 Polestar 2 is an all-new electric vehicle, so there are no older models available.

How Much Does the Polestar 2 Cost?

The 2021 Polestar 2 starts at $59,900. That's about average for the small luxury hybrid and electric car class, which features base prices ranging from about $40,000 to more than $100,000. The Polestar 2 only comes in one trim level and offers few options; pricing comes to around $70,000 with available equipment.

The new Polestar 2 qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, and you may be able to take advantage of other state or local incentives.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Polestar dealer.

Can I Lease the Polestar 2?

Yes, Polestar offers lease options on its vehicles.

Polestar 2 Versus the Competition

Polestar 2 vs. Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 earns a similar overall score to the Polestar 2, and both of these vehicles rank well among luxury hybrid and electric cars. There are some key differences that will likely sway your purchase decision. The Tesla starts at around $38,000, a far cry from the Polestar's $60,000 MSRP. However, the base Model 3 offers up 250 miles of range, 25 less than the Polestar. You'll pay about $47,000 for a Long Range Model 3 that offers up to 322 miles of range, which is hard to beat. The Model 3 Performance costs about $55,000 and gives you around 300 miles of range, but its most attractive aspect is a blistering 3.2-second zero-to-60 mph time. Additionally, the Model 3 has more athletic handling than the Polestar.

The Polestar’s advantages in this comparison include a top-notch interior, a roomier second row, more cargo space, and a friendlier infotainment system.

Compare the Polestar 2 and Model 3 »

Polestar 2 vs. Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y is closer to the Polestar 2 than the Model 3 is in terms of price. For about $50,000, you can get a Model Y with a 316-mile range. There’s also the Performance model, which offers a 291-mile range and comes in at around $60,000. The Model Y, a member of the luxury hybrid and electric SUV class, delivers better performance and much more cargo space than the Polestar. On the other hand, the Polestar 2 has a better interior build quality and a more straightforward infotainment system. Since you'll likely spend a comparable amount of money, you'll have to decide if you prioritize the agility and added cargo capacity of the Model Y or if you prefer the nicer cabin of the Polestar 2.

Compare the Polestar 2 and Model Y »

Compare the Polestar 2, Model 3, and Model Y »

Polestar 2 Performance: Shockingly Fast

Polestar 2 Powertrain

The Polestar 2 is powered by two electric motors, and the setup is rated at 408 horsepower. As with most electric vehicles, you access all the torque instantly, so acceleration is incredibly swift. However, it doesn’t throw you back in your seat like a Tesla does.

It's easy to modulate the throttle as you're cruising around town. With only a single-speed transmission, power delivery is smooth and linear as you get up to higher speeds.

Polestar 2 Mileage

The Polestar 2 has not been evaluated for the efficiency of its electric powertrain, measured in MPG-equivalent. MPGe is a metric used to compare energy consumed by alternative-fuel vehicles to that of gas-only cars. For more information, check out What is MPGe?

What Is the Driving Range of a Polestar 2?

According to the EPA, the 2021 Polestar 2 can go up to 275 miles on a single charge. That estimate beats out the driving range of the Chevy Bolt, Audi e-tron, and Jaguar I-Pace. However, it's less than the current claimed ranges of Tesla's lower-priced vehicles such as the Model 3 and Model Y.

How Do You Charge the Polestar 2?

The Polestar 2 comes standard with a 23-foot AC charging cable that can connect to normal household-style power outlets. You can also buy a 15-foot AC cable that allows you to charge with an at-home 240-volt connector or public charging stations that are often found in shopping centers or parking garages. There are also DC fast charging stations across the country that provide the quickest method of juicing up the Polestar.

How Long Does It Take to Charge the Polestar 2?

Charging the Polestar 2 can take up to 72 hours, using the most basic charging method at the lowest amperage. With a 240-volt Level 2 connection, it takes approximately eight to 10 hours to obtain a full charge. Polestar claims that a fast charging station can replenish the battery from 10% to 80% capacity in about a half-hour.

Where Can I Charge the Polestar 2?

There are nearly 25,000 public charging stations across the United States. The Polestar 2's charging cable is J1772 specification, meaning that it's compatible with any charging port of the same spec. You can utilize the infotainment system to find the nearest charging station by saying "Hey Google, where is the closest charging station?"

How Long Will the Polestar 2's Battery Last?

According to Polestar, the battery will last as long as the entire car does.

Polestar 2 Ride and Handling

The Polestar 2 generally takes corners with enthusiasm and keeps body roll in check. Steering requires little effort, but there's not very much feedback from the road. In all, handling is more composed than sporty.

Ride quality is on the stiffer side. The car can handle smaller and less offensive imperfections in the road, but you'll notice larger bumps or potholes. Polestar offers the 2 with adjustable Öhlins shocks that have 22 settings, with the most comfort at one end and a much stiffer, sportier ride at the other. Brembo four-piston brakes that provide impressive stopping power are another performance option.

The Polestar 2 also comes with a regenerative braking system. This setup is used in hybrid and electric vehicles to capture energy spent by braking and using it to recharge the battery. There are three adjustable levels to the brake system's performance. The most aggressive allows for essentially one-pedal driving; as you lift off the accelerator, the regen brakes kick in to slow down the car.

How Fast Is the Polestar 2?

Polestar claims a zero-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.

Is the Polestar 2 Available with All-Wheel Drive?

Yes, the Polestar 2 comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Read more about performance »

Polestar 2 Interior: Refined, flashy, and comfortable

Polestar 2 Cargo Space

With its rear seats upright, the Polestar 2 has 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space. That's about average for a car of this size, but a hatchback design results in additional utility. You can fold down the second row to access a maximum of 38.7 cubic feet of space. The Polestar 2 also has a small front cargo space where the engine would typically be: This area measures just 1.2 cubic feet.

How Many People Does the Polestar 2 Seat?

The Polestar 2 seats five people. Both rows of seats are comfortable, and the back seat impresses with enough room for taller adults. The driving position is a source of contention. Some critics argue that due to the placement and layout of the battery pack, you feel like you're riding too high off the ground, and ergonomics suffer. Other reviewers maintain that the driver enjoys a welcoming seating position unhindered by the extra EV hardware.

Polestar 2 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats.

Polestar 2 Interior Quality

Clearly taking cues from its Volvo parent company, the Polestar 2 serves up a minimalist yet refined interior. Materials are top-notch, even the standard fabric seat upholstery. That textile is made of partially recycled materials, and it's handsomely featured in other parts of the cabin.

Polestar 2 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Polestar 2 features a flashy infotainment system. A vertical 11.2-inch touch screen is designed to give off a floating appearance. It's easy to dive through the menus to find the functions and features you want, and all the graphics look crisp.

Unlike nearly all other automakers that use proprietary infotainment software, the Polestar 2's system is built off an Android platform and employs native Google services, including Google Assistant. In test drives, reviewers praised the responsiveness of the voice recognition system; it allows you to say "Hey, Google" and address the car conversationally to access functions such as navigation.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 11.2-inch touch screen, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, four USB ports, wireless device charging, navigation, and voice recognition
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a universal garage door opener, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a panoramic glass roof
How Is the Polestar 2 Software Updated?

The Polestar 2 is able to receive regular over-the-air updates to its Google and Android software, including the native Google apps. Polestar has announced future features to be added via an OTA upgrade include Apple CarPlay, the Digital Key (which lets you use your phone to unlock the car), and Connected Safety (a vehicle-to-vehicle advanced communications and safety system).

Read more about interior »

Polestar 2 Reliability

Is the Polestar 2 Reliable?

The 2021 Polestar 2 does not yet have a predicted reliability rating.

Polestar 2 Warranty

The Polestar 2 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for the battery and electric motors.

Read more about reliability »

Polestar 2 Safety

Polestar 2 Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2021 Polestar 2.

Polestar 2 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Pilot Assist (controls speed and distance between vehicles and centers the car in lane)
  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Forward and reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Front- and rearview cameras
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Read more about safety »

Polestar 2 Dimensions and Weight

The Polestar 2 is 15.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,680 to 4,750 pounds, and its gross vehicle weight rating is 5,735 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Polestar 2 Built?

The Polestar 2 is built in China.

Which Polestar 2 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Polestar 2 only comes in one trim. The only major options are upgraded upholstery and a performance package with sturdier brakes and an adaptive suspension.

The 2021 Polestar 2 retails for $59,900. Standard features include power-adjustable and heated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, a hands-free power liftgate, a universal garage door opener, driver's seat memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a panoramic glass roof.

The infotainment system includes an 11.2-inch touch screen, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, four USB ports, wireless device charging, navigation, and Google Assistant voice recognition.

The Polestar 2 also comes with a long list of active safety features, including Pilot Assist, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a surround-view parking camera system, front- and rearview cameras, front and rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

For $4,000, you can upgrade the standard WeaveTech cloth upholstery to Nappa leather. That price also gets you ventilated front seats and different wood interior trim. The $5,000 Performance package includes adjustable Öhlins shocks, Brembo front brakes, unique wheels, a gloss black roof, and gold seat belts.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Polestar dealer.

See 2021 Polestar 2 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Polestar 2 is a compelling entry in the luxury hybrid and electric car class. It’s a well-rounded electric vehicle that delivers an admirable combination of range, driving engagement, luxury, and space. However, there are several rival options available, at a wide range of prices, so you may want to shop around.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Polestar 2's clean interior design, athletic driving demeanor, and intuitive infotainment system make for a chill EV that's low stress to operate and easy to live with. Polestar’s second car might not shout 'Look at me!' but it definitely deserves to be noticed." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you’re a futurist gear-head, well-off hippy, trying to simultaneously save the planet and destroy the pavement, than this car is definitely for you. For everyone else, it’s at least worth a test drive." -- Autoweek
  • "Polestar’s first attempt at a mass-production car – and an all-electric one at that – is something the company should be immensely proud of. … The interior is cleverly designed, and the Android infotainment system is a lesson for the entire industry to follow. The car has all the performance you’ll ever realistically need, with sufficient range, plentiful seating for four (three in the back might be a squeeze), and ample storage." -- Forbes

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