Polestar 2 ‘Performance’ review


The Nordic EV carmaker Polestar is coming to Ireland with its Polestar 2 fastback. The Volvo/Geely owned electric car brand is based in Gothenburg Sweden at Volvo’s HQ. Irish cars will be built in China with first deliveries to customers due mid summer, just in time for the registration plate change. The saloon-like 5-door hatchback was originally launched in 2020 but is only coming to our shores now as the young firm opens up new markets. Its a handsome and quite compact beast that is sure to do well that is pitched at premium cars in the €50K+ bracket.

The Polestar 2 is a smart, sturdy and quite conventional looking five seat car. Inspired by a Volvo concept car (its’ designer is now in charge at Polestar) the Polestar 2 has a ‘boxy but good’ appearance. Although a bit of a squeeze in the back seats, up front the car is a comfortable fit. The exterior design reveals more detail the longer your eyes linger and this is always a good sign. The rear wheel’s arches flare out in a very pleasing way and its neat light signature are among many classic design elements that trigger a smile of approval. The front end is beautifully simple in design (I know its a cliche about Scandi design). Inside the cabin is relatively cosy, well built and good quality materials abound. The switchgear and lots of other bits will be very familiar to anyone who’s spent time in a modern Volvo. The boot holds a relatively modest 405 litres. The 2 is also certified to tow up to 1,500kgs (braked) so good news for caravaners and horse owners who want a practical EV. Polestar says its next generation models will be more sustainable , and they will be, with seat fabrics made from recycled fishing nets and the like. Polestar is its parent’s child with a strong ethical backstory and a firm commitment to 100% carbon neutrality in the not too distant future. You will be able to play top trumps with other electric car owners and even Tesla owners at dinner parties and win with your Polestar. For now the Polestar 2 is the gateway starter EV from the newest premium electric car brand.

Three variants of the Polestar 2 will be available this summer: a standard range, 68kWh battery, single motor, with up to 470km of driving range from a full battery, a long range 78kWh battery, single motor, with up to 540km and a long range (78kWh) dual motor (mounted front and rear), with up to 480km and all wheel drive. Power output is 228hp/330nm and 408hp/660nm from the dual motor version. Acceleration is brisk and as low as 4.7 seconds rising to a GTi-like 7.4 seconds 0-100km/h. Built on the same electric platform that Volvo uses in its smaller EVs the Polestar 2 is very well equipped as standard with only a few optional packs to choose from e.g. Plus Pack and €6,420 Performance Pack (dual motor version only). Good news for winter range and comfort – a heat pump is fitted as standard.

We took the high performance Polestar 2 Dual motor with the optional Performance Pack out for a test on a mixture of Irish roads. The pack adds 20 inch alloys, Brembo sports brakes, adjustable Ohlins DFV shock absorbers/dampers, and for a touch of bling ‘Swedish gold’ coloured seat belts. All wheel drive courtesy of dual motors and manually adjustable sports suspension ensured a spirited driving experience that put a smile on our face. 660nm of torque goes on to the road effortlessly and the car feels incredibly taught and sure-footed under power. With the dampers set to a middle setting of 11 clicks (manual adjustment) we found the Polestar 2 to be firm, sporty and utterly liveable with on B roads. The car couldn’t be simpler to use. Walk up to it and get in using your smart phone or the key fob as the access point. A sensor in the driver’s seat turns on the car’s electrics. Belt up and select D and off you go. Similarly at the end of a journey there’s no parking brake to put on as you simply select P on the gear selector and hop out for a quick and easy exit. One pedal driving (2 settings) is joyous and on twisty roads a great aid to brisk, safe progress as the level of motor braking is significant and instant. Its steering lacks feeling but not in an overly noticeable way, and there are three power assistance settings – light and firm were the two I used least. 

Polestar will operate in Ireland much as Tesla does without dealers. Polestar is a ‘Digital first’ brand and this means it will be sold online without a dealership network, also its cars can avail of over the air with software updates from time to time. Polestar in many markets has inner city shops that showcase its cars and where specialists can interact with customers on a non commission basis to assist in potential sales – sadly these will not be found in Ireland initially. We do however get a single ‘Polestar Destination’ showroom / delivery centre and it will be South Dublin in Sandyford.

The Polestar 2 is a chunky premium car with excellent EV credentials. Pricing in Ireland starts from €49,500 (net of SEAI grant). Our Perforance Pack AWD range topping model is a brilliantly steatlthy version.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 20 years (& more recently a Van of the Year judge). Michael has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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