2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor review (video)

Brett Davis

It’s often tempting to go straight to the flagship variant of any electric vehicle, not only because they offer exciting acceleration and power but also because they sometimes offer the longest range. That’s not the case with the Polestar 2. The Long Range Single Motor model goes the furthest.

The Polestar 2 range has gone through a number of updates since it originally launched in Australia during the first half of 2022. The MY23 version brought in tweaked styling and updated tech, and just recently the MY24 update saw some significant changes including a switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive for the single motor models. This, however, is the 2022 model.

Polestar is off to a flying start with the 2, recording impressive sales in its first year on the market in 2022. According to VFACTS data, the local arm sold 1524 units last year. It competes in the same mid-size premium segment as the BMW 3 Series and, more critically, the Tesla Model 3. Even so, it managed a respectable fifth place in the 18-vehicle class. That’s a cracking effort for a relatively unknown brand fighting in a well-established category.

Prices have moved around a bit since its launch. This 2022 model was available from $64,900 when it launched, but now it’s moved up t0 $68,400. The entry-level Standard Range Single Motor starts from just $63,900 and the flagship Long Range Dual Motor kicks off from $73,400 (all excluding on-road costs).

We think these are very reasonable prices. When you take a look at what some rivals companies are doing, making people pay serious coin for an EV – and some of their products are based on existing models, with a portion of development costs likely already accounted for – the Polestar 2 suddenly becomes a very tempting bargain.

2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor – THE SPECS

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Motor: Single AC synchronous permanent magnet, Valeo-Siemens
Battery: 78kWh lithium-ion
Output: 170kW / 330Nm
 Single-speed auto
Drive type: Front-wheel drive
Wheels: F & R: 19×8.0, 245/45
ANCAP: Five stars
Weight: 1994kg
Power-to-weight: 11.73:1 (kg:kW)
Official range: 540km
Max charging capacity: 11kW AC, 150kW DC[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]0-60km/h: 3.94 seconds*
0-100km/h: 7.51 seconds*
60-110km/h: 4.78 seconds*
1/4 mile: 15.58 seconds at 150.9km/h*
Max acceleration: 0.687g*
100-0km/h braking: 2.81 seconds at 35.97 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.301g*
Decibel at idle (on standby): 22*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 70*
Priced from: $68,400[/column][end_columns]

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor – THE PACKAGE

Let’s not forget this is genuine luxury car. The interior reflects this immediately. You’ve got fine quality materials covering most surfaces, a very relaxed and mood-friendly design, with wood trimmings adding a Swedish flavour – perhaps inspired by a sauna? It’s all quite cosy and relaxing as well, and it feels like a conventional car and not a futuristic spaceship, with an intimate driving position and regular layouts for most controls.

Almost all of the car’s functions are accessed through the 11-inch portrait-orientated touch-screen on the centre of the dash. We adore the simplicity of the colour themes and menu layout, and the graphics are really sharp. The system runs on an Android Automotive OS, running built-in Google service (free for three years) with Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play Store. It also includes a crisp rear-view camera system, as well as digital radio.

As standard the LRSM version comes with all the kit you could need from a modern car, including over-the-air updates, twin USB-C ports front and rear, a 12V power outlet in the boot, hands-free boot opening, dual-zone climate control, and a 250W eight-speaker sound system. Just like other premium brands, there are options available, too. But Polestar packages them together into convenient packs. The Plus Pack ($6000) is likely to be the most desirable as it brings in a panoramic glass roof, Harman/Kardon sound system, wireless phone charging, an energy-saving heat pump, special interior lighting, and an advanced air filtration system fo the cabin.

There’s also the Pilot Pack Lite ($3400) which adds a heap of driving assistance tech, along with a surround-view camera, LED headlights with active high-beam, and autonomous emergency braking in reverse with cross-traffic alert. We feel as though some of these items should be standard, especially coming from a prominent safety-conscious brand like Volvo. A special Performance Pack is also available for the dual motor model, adding Brembo brakes and Ohlins adjustable suspension, among other things.

Passenger space is adequate for four adults in here, and in saying that, the room is about average for the mid-size premium market it competes in. Rear passengers get their own climate vents and charging ports, which is great, and legroom is decent except in the middle seat. We’re not sure why there is such a large transmission tunnel considering this is front-wheel drive – albeit soon-to-be RWD. The rear doors are quite small, leaving a narrow opening towards the bottom.

Up at the back the boot floor is at a good height for easy access, and it presents 405 litres of storage space. The rear seats also fold down completely flat to open up 1095 litres, and there is a rather large cavity under the floor which is perfect for the charging cables and whatnot. A flip-up divider can help separate smaller items from bouncing around. Under the bonnet you’ll find a shallow 41-litre storage tub. Again, a handy spot for the charging cable.

2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor – THE DRIVE

It’s always pleasant driving an electric vehicle. It is peaceful silence as it glides up to speed. Compared with the dual motor performance model, we think this variant is a superior luxury car, in that, it does smooth and relaxing, better. Without the Ohlins suspension (although we love it) the ride quality is also significantly more calm and tolerant to road imperfections. In that sense, this drives more like a traditional luxury vehicle.

Power is progressive and uninterrupted when setting off at the lights. Polestar claims 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds and we clocked it in 7.51 seconds with around 90 per cent battery level. However, it feels quicker than that, particularly when scooting off from, say, 40-80km/h. It suddenly pounces with no time to wait for engines to rev, making brisk overtaking not only a quick exercise but a safe one as well.

There are a few different driving modes to play around with, including settings for the brake regeneration severity. At its maximum it can generate up to 100kW of power during braking. This ‘one-pedal’ style of driving is a new art to learn, and it’s actually supportive of spirited driving up in the hills. Because it kind of works like left-foot braking, with no time wasted jumping off the accelerator and onto the brake; it does it automatically, as soon as you lift off the power.

We also think the handling and body control is commendable. Sure, this spec does weigh in at a hefty 1994kg, which is very heavy compared with petrol-powered rivals in this segment. But for an EV, it feels predictable, solid, sure-footed, and engaging. Grip levels are huge, thanks to the 245/45 Michelin Primacy 4 tyres, with the rigid CMA platform no doubt helping with precision and sharpness in tighter corners. Let’s not forget Polestar used to be Volvo’s official motorsport partner – it knows a thing or two about chassis dynamics.

Even without the optional (on dual motor) Brembo brakes, these standard ones are excellent. We clocked 100-0km/h in just 35.97 metres. That’s the sort of stopping distance we usually see from a proper sports car.

As for recharging, the Polestar 2 takes both a Type 2 socket and CCS2, with AC at up to 11kW and up to 150kW with DC rapid charging for the 78kWh battery. It takes around 8 hours to charge using a 3 phase 16A home charger (up to 11kW), or about 37 minutes to go from 10-80 per cent at its maximum DC rate. With a full charge the official WLTP range is listed at 540km. We achieved an easy 400km from a full charge during our test, and we didn’t let the battery go right down.

2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor – THE VIDEO

2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor – THE VERDICT

This is one of our favourite electric vehicles on the market right now. We love the suave and understated design, the packaging, and the fun yet soothing driving characteristics. We also think the price is very attractive compared with like-minded vehicles.

If it were our choice we’d go for the dual motor version, just because, why not? It’s also not that much more expensive. But as a luxury vehicle, if you’re not fussed on break-neck acceleration, this Long Range Single Motor variant is a superb take on the up-and-coming EV market, especially from an up-and-coming vehicle brand.

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]PROS:
– Cool, understated design
– Interior fit and finish
– Premium drive quality with engaging handling when you want it
– Very attractive price range
– Excellent brakes
[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]CONS:
– Relatively unknown brand could turn some away
– Some safety tech is optional[/column][end_columns]

As always, if you’re thinking about buying a new car don’t forget to click here to speak with our car buying specialists.

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