Is The Polestar 2 EV Really Better Than Tesla's Model 3? Here's Our Video Review

Is The Polestar 2 EV Really Better Than Tesla's Model 3? Here's Our Video Review

There are two things I’ve always avoided when shopping for a car: unnecessary exterior ornamentation and gaudy interiors. Cheap shiny plastics on the instrument panel; cheezy decals and badges on fenders, bumpers or doors; busy upholstery; cladding — it can all go to hell.

I like my cars simple. And fast.

When the Polestar 2 showed up at Benzinga headquarters in July, I had to rub my eyes and strap on my seatbelt. There was nothing extraneous about this automobile. Everything seemed to be designed into the car for a purpose.

The Details: Its dual-motor arrangement, meanwhile, will pin you into your seat upon 408-electric-horsepower worth of sudden acceleration. The speedometer hits 60 miles per hour from standstill in 4.5 seconds, a hair faster than an Audi A6 with a V-6 mill.

At roughly $60,000, this is a serviceable package for what the company calls “the post-petrol car enthusiast.” While not quite a Tesla TSLA killer, it ranks as one of the only pure-EV Tesla fighters I’ve had the pleasure of driving. It features over-the-air updates and a mega navigation/command screen that rivals the Model 3's screen and is far superior to anything Detroit’s EVs have to offer.

Once upon a time, manufacturers threw in free floor mats or a couple of oil changes with the purchase of a car. Polestar offers three years of internet connection for free.

A recharge, meanwhile, can pack at least 233 miles worth of juice in the batteries.

Currently, buying a Polestar isn’t as easy as buying a Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt or even a Tesla. There are currently 16 stores in the U.S. (mostly run by franchisees), and that number will grow to 25 by the end of the year.

But, really, this car is a premium fastback that is out of the league of those cheaper EVs. Interiors come in total-vegan materials as standard and reconstructed wood. The exterior comes in decidedly Scandinavian tones, including Void (black), Snow (white) and Moon (beige).

Polestar is new to the U.S. market, with plans for more vehicles in the pipeline. Upcoming is a single-motor version of the Polestar 2 that promises more mileage on a charge at a lower price. So, in the near future, buyers will choose between performance and efficiency.

The Reviews: Several Benzinga staffers took the Polestar for a recent spin near our Detroit office, and the jury ubiquitously praised the vehicle’s speed and handling. My gut tells me most Zingers would opt for power over range, but that’s not scientifically tested.

Take your foot off the pedal and you will experience the universe of “one-pedal driving.” Polestar 2, like most electric cars, is outfitted with regenerative braking where the car turns kinetic energy into electricity and slows the vehicle down, sometimes abruptly. The level of regen can be adjusted in three settings so that the slowdown isn’t as abrupt.

Among the key features of the five-seater is the Android Automotive OS assistant, or Google Infotainment System as shorthand, which syncs with your smartphone and Google ID to manage many of the features in the car. To our knowledge, this is the first production car to use this software, and it can make life easier and driving a bit safer.

Tell Google your butt is cold, for instance, and the seat heaters kick on; ask Google to find you a fast charger, and a menu of locations comes up. Ask for the latest headlines from your favorite news platform, and headlines will emerge. Ask Google to tell you a joke. Go for it, but beware if you don’t like dad jokes.

Polestar is rumored to be going public via SPAC merger with Gores Guggenheim Inc GGPI. Bloomberg reports a merger could value Polestar at $25 billion.

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