Polestar EV: the full review of a luxury vehicle

Updated

The Polestar brand is a relatively niche electric vehicle (EV) automaker, originally expanded from the Volvo car. Both Volvo and Polestar are technically owned by China's Geely and manufactured within Chinese plants, but the Polestar cars are designed in Sweden.

As of late 2021, Polestar is attempting to expand its market share and brand awareness. With a smooth Swedish design, Polestar brings a sleek European look to the American EV market.

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The Polestar EV is branded as a collector's item, and rightfully so – the starting price for the Polestar 1 starts at $155,000. Clearly an EV for the luxury market, it is available for purchase online and throughout various Polestar Space showrooms. But as the brand expands, buyers can expect more locations to open throughout the U.S.

Read on to find out if a Polestar car can satisfy your need for a luxury EV.

Key takeaways

  • Unlike the Polestar 1, the Polestar 2 is an all-electric option with a mileage range starting at 249 miles on a single charge.
  • The Polestar 2 starts at $45,900 and comes with a warranty of 8 years or 100,000 miles.
  • Since Polestar is relatively new, there are only 4 service stations nationwide, hindering the convenience of owning one.

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    What Polestar models are available?

    Polestar 1 EV in white

    The Polestar 1 offers a sleek design for a hybrid car model. Image source: Polestar

    There are two models of the Polestar available: the Polestar 1 and the Polestar 2.

    The Polestar 1

    In the U.S, drivers can choose between two trims of the Polestar 1: the Long Range Single Motor and the Long Range Dual Motor. The Polestar 1 coupe comes with a 2-liter gas engine and a 34 kWh battery pack. The Polestar 1 has an electric range of 52 miles but coupled with gas, the total range is 470 miles.

    While we're bigger fans of all-electric cars, the Polestar 1 does have exciting features. Couple the 619 horsepower rating with the fact that only 1,500 have been produced worldwide and you've got a rare vehicle on your hands. If you can afford the cost and are looking for a collector's item, the Polestar 1 might be for you. For those just looking for a less expensive luxury EV, the Polestar 2 is a more practical option.

    The Polestar 2

    Polestar 2 EV in black

    The Polestar 2 dazzles as an all-electric model. Image source: Polestar

    To appeal to the growing all-electric market, Polestar recently debuted an all-electric model, the Polestar 2. The Polestar 2 is now available for order and ships within weeks or months, depending on which trim option you choose.

    There are two trim options, defined by their electric motors, for the Polestar 2 sports sedan. The Long Range Single Motor, equipped with front-wheel drive, and the Long Range Dual Motor, equipped with all-wheel drive.

    The single motor will get you from 0-60 in 7 seconds while the dual motor can be as fast as 4.5 seconds. The MSRP pricing starts at $45,900 for the single motor and $49,900 for the dual-motor vehicle.

    The good news is that the Polestar is still eligible for the EV tax credit which can help reduce the overall cost. Aside from price, the most important thing that consumers want to know about an EV is the battery life and mileage, so let's dig into the details of the Polestar 2 trims.

    Range, charging, and battery life of the Polestar 2

    We're going to focus on the Polestar 2 because it is the all-electric option and, in our opinion, the best option. The Polestar 2 is more affordable than the Polestar 1, and if you are going to go with an EV, you might as well go all-in with an all-electric car rather than a hybrid.

    Going forward, we will refer to the Polestar 2 trims as single motor and dual motor. The single motor car has an EPA estimated range of 265 miles while the dual motor has an estimated range of 249 miles.

    Both offer plenty of miles for your day-to-day life as well as the occasional road trip. You can charge your Polestar at any traditional public charging station as well as at home with a charger of your choice.

    The lithium battery is 78 kWh for both the single motor and dual motor model. Great news, because that battery size qualifies you for the highest Federal EV tax credit amount of $7,500, reducing the upfront cost considerably.

    Read more about the EV tax credit.

    What is the Polestar warranty?

    Like most EVs, there is a separate warranty for the car and the battery within it. For the car, the warranty covers manufacturing defects and faulty components of the car. You can have your car repaired at a Polestar Authorized Service Point, guaranteed for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.

    Currently, though, there are only service locations in 4 U.S. cities: Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. If you live within 150 miles of a service location, Polestar will pick up your car at no charge. Owners who are further than this mileage will need to pay an additional cost and Polestar will provide an alternate car while you wait.

    The battery warranty will cover you for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The battery can also be serviced free of charge at an authorized service point. The warranty also covers battery capacity reduction if your battery reaches below 70% of its original capacity within the first eight years of you owning the car.

    There are two unique warranty offers from Polestar, a 12-year corrosion warranty, and certified maintenance. The corrosion warranty covers the metal that is used to build the car in case of rust as well as corrosion due to faulty construction or materials.

    As for the maintenance guarantee, the Polestar 1 comes with a one-year/10,000 miles of certified maintenance while the Polestar 2 comes with a three-year/30,000 of included maintenance costs.

    How does the Polestar compare to similar EVs?

    Compared to car manufacturers on their level, like Tesla or the Jaguar I-Pace, the Polestar holds its own.

    The Jaguar I-Pace includes a slightly larger battery at 90 kWh and a 222-mile range on a single charge. The starting price is slightly higher, at $69,900, meaning the Polestar comes out on top in both price and range.

    Tesla has the upper hand in this battle. They offer more EV models than Polestar, and they have a more affordable model, the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 starts at $40,690 with a mileage range of 267. In this case, even the most basic Tesla beats out the Polestar if mileage range and price are the most important factors to you.

    Is the Polestar worth the price tag?

    Polestar is a newer car brand and there are currently only 4 service locations within the U.S. This puts it at a disadvantage because it might be challenging to get your car serviced and you might be one of the first people to deal with any unforeseen issues with the car. Polestar is increasing their fleet with an all-electric SUV crossover, the Polestar 3, coming out in 2022, so it is only a matter of time before they become more popular.

    Unless being an early adopter and the collector's aspect of the Polestar is important to you, we recommend waiting until the Polestar is more dominant in the U.S. This way, the company can work out the kinks in maintenance availability and the car itself will become more common.

    The Polestar is a great EV on paper, the real test is if it will live up to the expectations once it becomes more common. The sleek design and attention to detail make it an appealing luxury car, but the newness of the brand makes it risky to be one of the first people to buy one.

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     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Ana Almerini

    Web Content Specialist

    Ana is a content specialist at SolarReviews. She uses her experience in marketing and knowledge from her master's in climate communications to research and review the solar industry.

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