Polestar 2 Car Review: electric car car review

Polestar 2. North Star

I have driven many electric cars in recent years. Most of these are what we call “compliance cars,” which legacy manufacturers make because the law – and market pressure from Tesla – forces them to. The result is a lot of competent but uninspired vehicles that car companies, at least in the US, are hiding; almost as if they are ashamed of it.

And then there is Polestar. This is an electric emblem from Volvo, which today is largely owned by Geely, a Chinese manufacturer. Polestar doesn’t just comply; it is actively challenging Tesla for its dominance in electric cars and is making a big push into the US market, with several dozen retail locations across the country and US production set to begin in South Carolina later this year.

A few weeks ago I hopped into the Polestar 2, the company’s all-electric sedan. It was my first time in the Polestar and it was a revelation.

Polestar 2. Polestar 2

Most electric vehicles feel like an uninspired rearguard action, overtaking the market. The best feel like driving a car in the present. But the Polestar gave me a rare glimpse into what it might feel like to drive the car future. It was a feeling that only three other cars have ever given me: the Tesla Model S, the BMW i3 and, to some extent, the Ford F150 Lightning. As far as I’m concerned, the Polestar 2 belongs on the Mount Rushmore of the early days of electric cars, next to the other three. It’s a quiet – very quiet – revolution on America’s shores.

I recently renewed my driver’s license, which now has an expiration date of 2032. That feels like an impossible year from a sci-fi future, but the Polestar 2 felt precisely such as 2032; a Black mirror car without a dark twist. It wasn’t exactly luxurious; the press materials have a ‘completely vegan interior’, which I think is a nice ambition, with something called ‘WeaveTech’ fabric and recycled wood. But it was comfortable enough.

It wasn’t crazy fast either. The two electric motors produce 408 horsepower and go from 0 to 60 in 4.45 seconds. Twenty years ago, that would have been a sports car. Now it feels standard. The driving dynamics weren’t the main draw for me either. It rode smoothly enough.

In the driver’s seat. Stefan Isaksson

I liked the Polestar 2 not because it was high-end or because it was a racing machine. Instead, it had something that most cars don’t: it was incredibly relaxing. In an era of absolutely enormous cars, it is modest in size, like a human-scale metal glider on wheels. Everything about the Polestar seems designed to take the guesswork out of a stressful driving experience.

Its most notable feature, which I hope I never take for granted, is that it doesn’t have a power button. And I didn’t even realize that at first. When I first got in the car, I put it in gear and backed out of the driveway. It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t have to start the car. When I got to the poker club (I only drive to three places: the poker club, the movie theater, and the grocery store), I spent five minutes looking around the dashboard to find the power button. I ended up having to do a Google search, during which I discovered that there is no power button. You simply put the car in park. Without the remote control it will not drive away.

In between, I just took a cruise while Sirius XM’s “Chill” station played on the radio. So many cars are loud, hyperbolic, wasteful and annoying. But the Polestar 2 was pure cold; a float among the pothole-strewn roads in my neighborhood. It’s the first vehicle that comes close to what Tesla has been getting all along. If you want to know what mid 21’s isT century will look like, step into it, and it might just lower your mood of apocalyptic despair.

Polestar 2. Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 starts at $59,900. Once you factor in the tax credits for electricity, that’s less than your average Lincoln or Acura. Even if you take on all the upgrades, opt for leather instead of vegan, and a “performance package,” you’re still looking at around $70,000 out the door. If I had the money – and even if I didn’t – I would think hard about getting a Polestar for myself. Suddenly, when I think about the future, I feel very relaxed.

Polestar 2 electric car review: A relaxing drive from the future

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