- Doors and Seats
5 doors, 5 seats
Perm Magnet, LI
- Engine Power
40h 0m chg
5 Yr, Unltd KMs
- Ancap Safety
5/5 star (2021)
2024 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack review
Polestar’s range-topping crossover has changed the least in the MY24 update, while also proving more isn’t necessarily better.
- Effortless performance
- Optional leather interior
- Improved drivetrain
- Tight rear seat
- Price to range ratio
- Performance pack dampers need twiddling
2024 Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor with Performance Pack
The Polestar 2 arrived just over a year ago to instant acclaim. While the brand was already familiar to Australians as Volvo’s performance brand, it reinvented itself to be Volvo’s electric brand. Just before Volvo decided that it was an electric brand too. Or would be soon enough?
Anyway, now a year later, the mid-sizer has already had a pretty decent technical update, with better efficiency, mild styling tweaks and, in the case of the two-wheel-drive cars, a shift to rear-wheel drive – something that seemed like a no-brainer a year ago.
At the top of the Polestar 2 range is the rocketship Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor with Performance Pack, a 350kW dragster with the same demure sheet metal as the rest of the range, with just the gold brake calipers peeking out from behind its big wheels. What you gain in performance you lose in driving range, so let’s see if it’s just a show pony or something worth considering.
How much does the Polestar 2 cost in Australia?
There are two dual-motor Polestar 2s, one known as the Long Range for $76,400 (a $3000 increase on the MY23) and the Long Range with Performance Pack now retailing for $85,400 (up by $2400).
Starting with the base spec, you get 19-inch alloys, full LED headlights, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, keyless entry and start, heated front seats, powered front seats with memory, auto wipers, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Automotive on the 11.2-inch portrait screen.
Our Snow White car was fully loaded. The Performance Pack – as the name suggests – is a $9000 pack but is included in the drive-away price.
To this was added the Pilot Pack with the very useful Matrix LED headlights. The Plus Pack was also along for the ride with the efficient heat pump heating, a fixed panoramic sunroof (with no cover, annoyingly), and a few convenience features as well as an amusing air quality app. Well, amusing when Sydney is covered in choking smoke from a hazard reduction burning.
The Plus Pack also gives access to the very lovely Zinc nappa leather seats with ventilation, which Polestar says has been animal welfare traced. I personally prefer the vegan interior that comes in the package, but the light ash trim is a nice bonus.
And the Performance Pack adds those lovely forged 20-inch alloys with the gold brake calipers (gripping bigger brakes front and rear), gold valve caps and gold seatbelts. On paper, the gold sounds pretty obnoxious, but it really isn’t. It’s more of an orange with yellow notes that I found quite appealing, especially on the seatbelts.
You also get a 40kW power boost to a whopping 350kW, which is approaching 500bhp in the old money.
Since its launch, Polestar says it has reduced its carbon footprint by switching to low-carbon wheels and aluminium for the battery tray, a factory in China powered by renewables, and improvements in the nickel-manganese-cobalt battery chemistry.
|Key details||2024 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack|
|Price||$85,400 plus on-road costs|
|Colour of test car||Snow White|
|Options||Pilot Pack – $3500|
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane-centring assist
- Pixel Matrix LED headlights with auto high beam
- LED front fog lights
Plus Pack – $6000
- Heat pump heating
- 13-speaker Harman Kardon-branded audio
- Heated rear seats
- Heated washer nozzles
- Hands-free powered tailgate
- WeaveTech vegan seats
- Fixed panoramic sunroof
- Polestar digital key (via phone app)
- CleanZone mode with air quality app
- Tinted rear window
Performance Pack (included in price)
- Performance software upgrade (350kW/740Nm)
- 20-inch forged alloy wheels
- Four-piston Brembo brake calipers and discs
- Gold brake calipers, valve caps and seatbelts
- 245/40 R20 Continental SportContact 6 tyres
- Öhlins manual adjustable dampers
Zinc nappa leather seats with ventilation matched with light ash trim – $6000
Snow metallic paint – $1500
|Price as tested||$100,900 plus on-road costs|
|Rivals||Tesla Model 3 Performance | BMW i4 M50 | Volvo C40 Dual Motor|
How much space does the Polestar 2 have inside?
The first thing to know about the Polestar 2 is that it has a snug back seat. Not tiny or unaccommodating, it’s just that once you’re in, you’re in.
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Leg room for me at 180cm is fine behind my driving position, but you’re aware of being a little hemmed in by the side header rail being quite close to your head, the small size of the window, the high beltline, and the heavy transmission tunnel. That last thing is a hangover of its ICE/hybrid/EV platform roots, and something the Polestar 3 won’t have.
The back seat is probably the only real 'might have a stop and think about this' moment of the car if your kids or regular passengers are taller than 150cm or have limited mobility as getting in can be a tricky thing. The seat itself is comfortable and supportive, and you have an armrest with cupholders, rear air vents and two USB-C ports.
Up front, you have a wireless charging pad, two USB-C ports, an open cupholder and a second hidden under the armrest. As with the rear, the bottle holders are rubber-lined for low noise but they’re on the smaller side, maxing out at about a 750ml bottle size.
The seats are very comfortable, particularly the optional nappa leather, which doesn’t get hot even with the coverless sunroof wide open to the sun the whole time.
|2024 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack|
|Boot volume||405L seats up|
1095L seats folded
Does the Polestar 2 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
The Polestar 2’s portrait-oriented 11.2-inch touchscreen has seen a healthy software update to improve the appearance, performance and utility of Android Automotive. The screen layout itself looks a heck of a lot better and is much more responsive to your fingertips. I’d like to see more standard apps, though, and a more engaging interface. It took me a while to gel with it, but it’s better than before.
You get FM and DAB+ digital radio, all of which are easy to navigate and use. Built-in apps include YouTube, Spotify, TuneIn, Waze and EasyPark. Apple CarPlay wasn’t available for the initial cars but arrived as part of an over-the-air update last year and is now standard. It looks great on the screen as it fills the space and one imagines Android Auto does the same. Connectivity is via USB-C.
You can also sign in to the car with your Google account (e.g. your YouTube account), and you can also sign in to Spotify directly in the car rather than via your phone. If you have an Android phone, you’ll have more integration options than you do with iOS devices, but it’s nothing like a deal-breaker as the built-in software is largely phone agnostic.
A 12.3-inch digital instrument display provides crucial driving and vehicle info as well.
Is the Polestar 2 a safe car?
The Polestar 2 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2021. At the car’s launch, the fur flew a little bit as some advanced safety features were part of an expensive option pack that made life difficult for you if you wanted to land in some states’ incentive schemes. Polestar Australia quickly rectified that with a small price rise to include extra standard features.
It scored well in all areas, with 92 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 80 per cent for vulnerable road users, and 82 per cent for safety assist systems.
What safety technology does the Polestar 2 have?
Standard across the range are eight airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, blind-spot monitoring, forward AEB, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rear AEB, traffic sign mitigation, road-departure mitigation and post-impact braking. A lot of this stuff wasn’t in the original MY23 cars, and their addition to the basic spec is very welcome even if it has been added to the price. It seems to be better value than the $5000 pack.
The Pilot Pack adds adaptive cruise control, lane-centring assist and emergency stop assist.
Polestar 2’s forward AEB has vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian detection, and the new grille-less nose hosts what the company calls a SmartZone, which is a camera and upgraded mid-range radar.
There are two ISOFIX and three top-tether child seat restraints. The safety systems all behaved themselves in my time with the car.
How much does the Polestar 2 cost to maintain?
The Polestar 2 comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre vehicle warranty and an eight-year/160,000km battery warranty. The latter covers you for abnormal battery degradation, which Polestar says is up to 30 per cent.
Servicing is free for the first five years or 100,000km, which is mighty generous. Polestar says you only need to go in every couple of years because the number of moving parts is just 0.25 per cent of a petrol or diesel car’s. I personally think two years without someone looking over your car is too long, but then again, I’m old-fashioned like that.
Software updates arrive over the air, and most owners I’ve spoken to said that all went very smoothly with just one or two glitches that were swiftly solved.
Volvo offers the same five-year free servicing deal. Tesla doesn’t quote servicing because who knows what you’ll be paying.
Annual insurance came out at a slightly surprising $2957 per year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.
|At a glance||2024 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack|
|Warranty||Five years, unlimited km|
|Battery warranty||Eight years, 160,000km|
|Service intervals||24 months or 30,000km|
|Servicing costs||Free (first five years)|
Is the Polestar 2 energy-efficient?
The driving range is up due to bigger batteries but also a range of improvements to the driveline. Polestar says you use as little as 17.2kWh per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle (WLTP), which might be a stretch, but not because I only recorded 21.4kWh/100km.
That figure was down to some, er, enthusiastic driving that understandably drained the battery. If you stick to driving like a normal person and not seeking as many corners to fire out of, you’ll easily get under 20kWh/100km.
Before shenanigans ensued, the car was cheerfully delivering 19.5kWh/100km. While it’s not Tesla Model 3 efficient, it’s an improvement on the previous car, eking out another 40 or 50km per charge. Maximum regen under braking is 100kW.
I charged it once on a 50kW charger and it held 50kW for the entire top-up from 46 per cent to 85 per cent.
The Polestar battery is an 82kWh, 400-volt lithium-ion battery from CATL (the standard range uses a 69kWh LG Chem pack) with nickel-manganese-cobalt chemistry.
Energy Consumption - brought to you by bp
|Energy Efficiency||Energy Stats|
|Energy cons. (claimed)||17.2kWh/100km|
|Energy cons. (on test)||21.4kWh/100km|
|Driving range claim (WLTP)||568km|
|Charge time (11kW)||8h 00min|
|Charge time (50kW)||1h 51min (estimated)|
|Charge time (85kW max rate)||28min (claimed 10–80%)|
What is the Polestar 2 like to drive?
The first thing you’ll notice about this car is that it’s quite firm. The two-wheel-drive cars have a more compliant ride, but the Performance Pack Öhlins dampers have been set somewhere in the middle of the range so you will feel lumps and bumps.
For me, that’s not a problem. I like cars to be reasonably firm as long as they deliver on handling. And this thing really does, up to a point. Being a crossover, it sits higher than a sedan but not quite as high as an SUV. A kind of trick to fool SUV buyers that they are, in fact, getting an SUV.
Body roll is kept well in check in the corners, and Polestar is one of the few brands to crack the code on how to make an EV ride properly without resorting to air suspension.
It will eventually understeer, which is no bad thing, and the electronics sort out any hamfistedness without embarrassing you in front of any passengers.
The acceleration is quite vivid, which would be quite terrifying if a lot of work hadn’t gone into ensuring the two motors spoke to each other on a regular basis. The big tyres bite the road as long as you’re not too brutal on the throttle pedal out of corners, but in a straight line you’ll win just about every go-for-the-gap battle.
Firing out of corners is a trick you’ll want to try time and again, even more than demonstrating the very brisk standing start (0–100km/h in a claimed 4.2 seconds, if you’re interested).
With the Performance Pack comes bigger brakes and four-pot Brembo calipers to haul you back from the big numbers you’ll see on the dash if you’re imprudent with the accelerator. As before, the transition from regen braking to physical braking is smooth and according to the paperwork it happens at 0.3g of braking effort. The regen is pretty serious business across both motors, so it’s best to have it off when travelling at higher speeds because a lift-off is the accelerator version of a steering sneeze.
Steering is well weighted if not especially communicative, but you know enough about what’s going on underneath when you fancy a bit of fun. Torque steer seems largely absent, and that in itself is an achievement given the amount of power pouring through the front axle.
You do get a bit of road noise from the Continental tyres, but the trade-off is impressive grip and no scrabbling when you plant the boot.
It’s probably in the city where the Performance Pack makes less sense, unless you’ve got a hoist at home and the ability to faff about with the dampers yourself. And then take notes as to whether that’s the setting you want. Broken tarmac adds a lumpy but controlled ride to the tyre noise, just as you might find in a tightly sprung hatchback.
Most of the time, it’s very composed and reasonably quiet in there. But it had me thinking: the 19s of the single motor and the promise of front wheels whose duties are restricted to steering might produce a more pleasing experience more of the time. Just a bit slower.
The shorter range of the dual motor is less of an issue around town, and even less again if you have access to charge at home, with fast charging really only restricted to longer trips. The in-built Google Maps software is smart enough to work out if you’ll need to charge and will mostly steer you in the right direction to get a charge.
It sent me to the local Bunnings, but predictably it was occupied where the map app said it wasn’t, and it didn’t offer me the one 600m away in a servo. A bit more finesse there will calm the range-anxiety-ridden mind, but that’s more Google’s fault than Polestar’s.
|Key details||2024 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack|
|Engine||Dual electric motors|
|Drive type||All-wheel drive|
|Spare tyre type||Tyre repair kit|
|Tow rating||1500kg braked|
Should I buy a Polestar 2?
For a while, I was genuinely on the fence with the Dual Motor with Performance Pack. I’m not sure it’s worth having the Öhlins shocks, but then again I haven’t adjusted them for obvious reasons. It’s undeniably fast, though, which a lot of people are keen on, myself included.
It’s a very appealing car, but I couldn’t help wondering if the rear-wheel-drive Long Range might be money better spent for most buyers. Given the choice, I’d take the Dual Motor and live with the shorter range, but I’m not most buyers.
The Single Motor Long Range is probably the best overall value, because it might be slower but has a good 200km of range over the Dual Motor, is rear-wheel drive, and even if you just use it in the city, it’s more convenient because of that longer range. It’ll save you many thousands. As lovely as this car was, I’d skip everything but the Pilot Pack, and even then it’s just for the headlights.
If you want to look further afield, there’s the Tesla Model 3 or Y Performance, but against the Polestar 2 they can really only offer more space, the Y more than the 3. They’re not as well equipped, the brakes aren’t upgraded, and in my eyes the Y is not a particularly attractive car. Volvo’s C40 is basically the same car, based on Volvo and Geely’s CMA platform, but you can’t specify it the same way and it’s not as quick.
How do I buy a Polestar 2 – next steps?
If you want this MY24 model with more power, mild visual tweaks and, of course, the bragging rights of having a MY24, the Polestar website says you’ll get this particular model in January 2024, even with all the options. A number of Polestar buyers in my social media feeds report getting cars earlier than expected, so you can probably consider that a worst case.
You can specify a new car on the Polestar website at home or use the exact same website at a Polestar Space. Polestar doesn’t do dealerships as such, the staff are just there to talk you through things. There’s also no haggling but they can organise a test drive, so if like me you’re not sure about the Dual Motor’s range, drive both types.
If you’re looking for the absolute sweet spot of the range, it’s probably the Long Range Single Motor for just over $65,000 before options. It’s still pretty quick at 6.2 seconds to 100km/h but has a claimed WLTP range of up to 655km on a single charge.
Keeping the dutiable value under $68,750 also qualifies you for the NSW incentive scheme, which wraps up in January 2024 with just a third of the value of the scheme exhausted at the end of August 2023. Victoria’s is dead and you have to think that Queensland and the ACT will follow.
If you need a Polestar 2 now, you can also check through the website what’s in stock for immediate delivery and in the next few weeks, all of which are MY23 cars.
As you buy these cars via the website, you can organise your own finance or use Polestar’s. Either way, you can drop a $1000 refundable deposit to secure your slot.
You may also find Polestars for sale here at Drive.com.au/cars-for-sale or find a Polestar Space here. If you want to stay updated with everything that's happened to this car since our review, you'll find all the latest news here.