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The 2024 Polestar 2 review: This refined EV now has more power and range, with a minimalist vibe

Aug 06, 2023

By Colin Ryan

The Polestar 2 is even better for 2024. Pricing starts at $49,900.



What's new?

The Polestar 2 electric vehicle distinguishes itself with a unique mix of understated luxury, rich build quality, and hatchback versatility. And it's been made even better for 2024. Pricing starts at $49,900.

The Polestar 2 (PSNY) has been something of a niche player among mid-tier electric vehicles, but it continues to grow increasingly competitive and compelling. For 2024, max range grows to 320 miles, 0-60 mph drops to as low as 4.1 seconds, and single-motor versions are now rear-wheel drive.

2024 Polestar 2 pricing

The 2024 Polestar 2 starts at $49,900 for the single-motor model. The dual-motor, AWD model begins at $55,300.

For comparison, the Tesla (TSLA) Model 3 has a 2023 starting price of $44K with 272 miles of range. Which is the same financial ballpark as the new Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan (range: 361 miles) The BMW i4 sedan can also reach 300 miles; its 2023 starting price is $52K.

These figures are manufacturer's suggested retail prices and do not include the destination charge of $1,400.

Before buying a new Polestar 2 luxury electric vehicle, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to know what you should be paying.

Also see:The 2024 BMW i4 review: The electric compact luxury sedan has all the cool tech and driving poise of every BMW

Will the 2024 Polestar 2 qualify for the federal tax credit?

The Polestar 2 is manufactured in China, which currently disqualifies it from eligibility for the $7,500 federal tax credit available to some buyers of some electric vehicles. But that credit might be accessible when leasing a Polestar 2. New rules went into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, with price caps, income requirements, and surely more changes to come. See if you qualify.

What's new for 2024

With more range, more power, and quicker charging, the 2-wheel-drive version shifts its motor from the front to the rear. All versions gain a new front end, replacing the more traditional-looking grille with a "SmartZone" panel that houses a camera and radar components. Wireless phone charging becomes standard across the lineup, while the Long Range Dual Motor model gains the Pilot Pack of driver assistance features as part of its standard equipment.

Range, charging, and performance

A new electric motor and an upgraded battery improve the Long Range Single Motor variant, which is now claimed to have a range of 320 miles -- 50 more than last year and 48 more than the entry-level Tesla Model 3 can manage. The Long Range Dual Motor with all-wheel drive has an estimated range of 276 miles.

Actually, there isn't a Standard Range Polestar 2, so we'll just refer to them as Single Motor and Dual Motor.

Charging the lithium-ion batteries of either model from 10% to 80% on a DC fast charger used to take about 30 minutes. With the Single Motor's DC charging capability raised from 155 to 205 kilowatts, it should be quicker, but Polestar has yet to announce any times.

A 240-volt home setup could achieve a full replenishment in eight hours or so and we don't expect that to change much.

The new electric motor in the Single Motor has more output than before, now making 299 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque. Its location has been moved from the front to the back -- rear-wheel drive has a sportier feel than front-wheel drive.

That same motor also goes into the all-wheel-drive Dual Motor version, so output here is boosted to a substantial 421 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque when the front motor is factored in as well. The Performance Pack (also available as an over-the-air update) pushes horsepower to 455.

Polestar has balanced the two motors so there's more of a rear-drive feel and configured them so the front unit can cut out when not needed, yet activate in a fraction of a second if necessary.

Sprinting from 0-60 mph takes 5.9 seconds in the Single Motor. Brisk, but not stunning. The Dual Motor does it in a more entertaining 4.3 seconds, or 4.1 seconds with the Performance Pack.

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Driving the 2024 Polestar 2

Climb in and the 2024 Polestar 2 is ready to roll. Just put it in gear and away you go (after securing the seat belt and checking the surroundings, of course).

The Single Motor version now has 299 horsepower going to the rear wheels. Which is a welcome improvement, since last year's equivalent was underwhelming and didn't provide that instant, giggle-filled acceleration typical of electric vehicles.

Preferences and conditions will vary, but we found that setting brake regeneration to Low and steering response to Standard created a good basic setup for general driving. Set the brake regeneration to its maximum, though, and the Polestar 2 brings one-pedal driving to the mix.

The vehicle will slow down and even come to a complete stop, just by lifting off the accelerator. Great for in-town driving or getting into a nice flow through a series of corners. Extra punch and the enhanced traction of all-wheel drive is the preserve of the Dual Motor model.

Both versions have well-tuned suspensions balancing comfort with composure and control.

Depending on a driver's height, the front edge of the roof might come down a fraction too much, obscuring things like overhead traffic lights. It's looking out the back that could really use an improvement, though.

The rear window is quite small and the headrests on the back seats are always in the rearview mirror. If there was a camera-based mirror, it would show a clearer and more comprehensive view behind.

You might like:The 2024 Acura ZDX: Acura's new electric SUV has striking looks, GM platform

Ethical interior

Polestar makes a point of offering vegan-friendly interiors. But fine Bridge of Weir real leather is also available. This Scottish company obtains its hides from grass-fed, responsibly raised cattle and does not use chrome in its tanning processes. Other clients include Aston Martin and Jaguar, so it's top-notch stuff.

Size-wise, the Polestar 2 is on the compact side. That results in plenty of space up front, but rear legroom of 34 inches is not that generous. And a cargo area going from 13 to 38.7 cubic feet is similarly unimpressive.

The Polestar 2 also has a storage area under the hood of 1.2 cubic feet, plus some under-floor space beneath the cargo floor of 1.4 cubic feet.

An optional heat pump doesn't sound particularly exciting, but this detail points to a bigger picture of how Polestar operates. A heat pump can help maximize range by collecting warm air from the drivetrain and sending it into the cabin, easing the burden on the climate control system.

Check out:The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge offers a stylish, smooth ride and packs a punch of power, too

Our favorite features and tech

Digital driver information displayThis 12.3-inch instrument cluster is standard in both Polestar 2 models, showing information like battery levels and potential range, as well as speed.

Infotainment touchscreenThis standard, vertically-oriented 11.2-inch display has crisp graphics controls a Google-based system that responds to commands given in natural speech, and offers Apple CarPlay integration as well as Android Auto.

Replaceable battery cellsIf an individual lithium-ion battery cell fails, it can be swapped. No need to replace the whole thing.

Carbon footprint consciousnessRenewable energy is used in the manufacture of aluminum for the battery casing and wheels.

Harman Kardon audioThis 13-speaker/600-watt system was designed specifically for the Polestar 2 and is part of the optional Plus Pack.

Performance PackThis optional bundle adds Öhlins adjustable shock absorbers and upgraded Brembo brakes. Both of these third-party companies have forged strong reputations through motorsport. The pack also includes new-design 20-inch alloy wheels and gold-colored seat belts.

Engine and transmission

A new motor in the 2024 Polestar 2 Single Motor model drives the rear wheels (as opposed to last year's front-drive arrangement). Output rises to 299 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque and range hits the 300-mile mark.

The Dual Motor variant also gains that sparky new motor at the rear while retaining a forward unit to drive the front wheels for all-wheel drive. Output here is 421 horsepower (or 455 with the optional Performance Pack) and 546 lb-ft of torque.

Polestar 2 Single Motor299 horsepower361 lb-ft of torqueEstimated range on a single charge: 300 miles

Polestar 2 Dual Motor 421/455 horsepower (Standard/Performance Pack)546 lb-ft of torqueEstimated range on a single charge: 270 miles

Read next:18 new EVs to watch for in 2024

4-year/50,000-mile warranty

Polestar's basic warranty is for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever happens first. This is typical for the luxury sector. The battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. Four years or 50,000 miles of roadside assistance is also included.

KBB's car review methodology.

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-Colin Ryan

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08-28-23 0501ET