New 2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor review

Rory White

22 Nov 2021

1/8
The Polestar 2 is now available as a cheaper model with one motor rather than two. Is it the one to buy? We've been finding out.

YesAuto Score:

80/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Competitively priced

+ Lovely interior

+ Great infotainment system


CONS:

- Feels firm to drive

- Rear headroom

- Tesla's charging is better


Verdict: The cheaper single-motor Polestar 2 is undoubtedly the one to buy, plus retains the 2's head-turning looks and great cabin. It's still firm all of the time, though, and there are more practical EV options at this price.


2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor review: the five-minute read


Elon Musk might publish dodgy tweets while smoking dodgy substances, but nobody can deny that Tesla is selling lots of its Model 3s in the UK.


The Polestar 2 came along last year to take it on, although initially looked expensive in twin-motor form. Now it's available in this cheaper single-motor flavour with a price and range competitive enough to see Elon sit up and stub out his doobie.


But more on that later. For now, what hasn't changed is the way the Polestar 2 looks – in fact, there are no visual changes between models. That's a good thing because the Polestar 2 looks stoutly modern with its boxy lines, teeth-gnashing grille and Thor-hammer daytime running lights.



You also get the same brilliant interior, which features lots of bits and bobs from Volvo, which again is no bad thing. It's smartly designed and built solidly, plus you get a great infotainment system thrown in too.


It comes with digital driver's dials and a pin-sharp portrait screen that runs a Google Android system for its native menus and built-in Google Maps sat-nav. It's all very easy to use and with Google Maps on hand negates the need for smartphone mirroring unless you prefer another app such as Waze. Of course, Apple CarPlay is standard (from Spring 2022) if you prefer.


The Polestar 2 is a bigger car inside than it appears from the outside. Certainly, two tall adults have a generous amount of space and the driver has a good range of seat and wheel adjustment. But while knee room in the back is good, taller adults will find their heads brushing the ceiling, plus the 2's boot ('frunk' and back combined) is smaller than those in a Tesla Model 3.



There are now three Polestar 2s to choose from. The previously released twin-motor Long Range Dual Motor, or the new front-wheel-drive Single Motor, in Standard or Long Range guises. The Dual Motor has a massive 407hp, while the new Single Motor Standard gets a more sensible 224hp and Single Motor Long Range 231hp.


Naturally, the electric ranges differ too. With its smaller 68kWh battery, the entry-level Standard model officially goes 275 miles, while the Single and Dual Motor Long Range models both have a larger 78kWh battery but go 299 miles and 336 miles consecutively.


Happily, you get the same charging capability for the Single Motor, though. With a maximum charge rate of 155kW across the range, Polestar quotes a 10-80% charge as taking 35 minutes via a 150kW charger. However, a 10-80% charge at home via a wall box takes seven hours for the smaller battery versus eight for the larger.



Both Single Motor models get to 62mph from a standstill in 7.0 seconds, which is a decent bit slower than the Dual Motor's 4.5 seconds. That said, at urban speeds, it feels similarly punchy threading through traffic and sprinting away from lights. It's really only above 50mph that you feel the difference, such as overtaking on the motorway.


Polestar offers a Performance Pack on all its 2 models for £5000, which amongst other things adds larger 20-inch wheels, upgraded brakes and trick adjustable dampers for a sportier drive. Cars with this fitted felt firm to drive, so we hoped our Single Motor test car without it would be more comfortable.


It is, but only marginally. The Polestar 2 Sing Motor remains a firm car at all times, but especially at low speeds in town. It is at least well-controlled with it and doesn't crash and thump over potholes and the like.



The trade-off is, despite it weighing a good chunk more than two tonnes, the Polestar 2 still feels decently agile in Sing Motor form. Its steering is quite light but nicely precise and the car feels eager to change direction with a confidence-inspiring level of grip despite no rear motor helping out.


On the motorway, the Single Motor without Performance Pack does become more comfortable, but still transmits a fair amount of road noise into the cabin at 70mph. It's also a bit rich asking buyers to pay an extra £4000 for a pack that comes with adaptive cruise control and lane-keep tech. Still, it does work well once it's fitted.


So, a Polestar 2 Single Motor or Tesla Model 3 then? Well, the cheapest single-motor Model 3 goes an official 305 miles on a charge and costs a snip under £43,000. The cheapest Single Motor Polestar 2 costs a snip under £40,000 but is slower with a shorter range.



As such, you're better off comparing the single-motor Model 3 with the Polestar 2 Single Motor Long Range, which costs nigh on the same as the Tesla, goes slightly further on a charge (on paper), but is still a good bit slower in a straight line.


It's worth pointing out that the Model 3 is also slightly more practical inside and has the advantage of Tesla's superior charging infrastructure. The Polestar returns with a nicer cabin and a slightly better infotainment system.


Ultimately, if we were talking about the dual-motor versions of both cars, the Tesla Model 3 inches it for us. But in this battle of the single-motor models, the margins are so fine that it'll largely come down to your preference. Test drive both, make your choice and rest assured you won't be buying a bad car either way.



For great Polestar deals click here


Read more


Buy a new or used car with YesAuto

Configure your perfect car with YesAuto

WATCH: Ford Fiesta ST-Line video review

Rory White

22 Nov 2021