Polestar test drive and experience

svensktoppen

RMS Regular
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32,627
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FK2 CTR
Polestar are putting on "test drive experiences" in England in August and September:

Free to book. Events at Farnborough, Banbury and Salford. I nabbed a spot in Banbury in September just for the craic. Might do a wee write-up if anyone is interested.

Places going fast!
 

Dave..

RMS Regular
Messages
10,037
Polestar are putting on "test drive experiences" in England in August and September:

Free to book. Events at Farnborough, Banbury and Salford. I nabbed a spot in Banbury in September just for the craic. Might do a wee write-up if anyone is interested.

Places going fast!
Too far away for me but I would be interested in a video review?
 

impact

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3,347
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GT86
Seems to be getting great reviews, looks the part and does what it needs to very well.
 

svensktoppen

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OP
svensktoppen
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32,627
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FK2 CTR
Went out to the Polestar test drive event on Sunday in Banbury. It was all well organised as you would expect, plenty of information and everything well presented. A brilliant sunny day helped too.

So what is it like? As a real world car, for me, a million miles ahead of any Tesla. And it's not just the Polestar either - I haven't been in an ID.3 yet, for example, but I have a feeling it will be similar.

Tesla do have the charging infrastructure though that the others currently lack and that is a massive plus for real life electric car use.

Polestar have partnered with "PlugSurfing" to try and make things easier. I have no idea how well that works or not.

The basics (launch model):
From £46.900 (OTR, including grants)​
Twin motors​
292miles WLTP range​
300kW​
78kWh batteries​

Price includes 3 years of servicing and road side assistance.

There will be other models along the way, including single motor and smaller batteries at more affordable price points.

The car itself is basically a hatchback, think Golf rather than Passat, based on the Volvo XC40 platform.

The launch model is fully loaded, from panoramic roof to Harman Kardon stereo and all driver aids and tech options anyone could think of.

The "Pilot" package (included) adds everything from adaptive cruise to lane keep assist.​
The "Plus" package (included) adds adaptive bendy LED lights, Harman Kardon stereo, panoramic roof, heated front and rear seats, inductive phone charging, etc.​
The "Performance" package (optional, £5000) adds Ohlins dampers, big Brembo front brakes, 20" wheels, and some gold highlighting.​

I played around on the configurator, and with some nice paint ("Midnight"), standard 19" wheels, and no performance pack, it came out at £47.800, or around £550-600 per month on a Polestar lease.

Inside

It's snug inside. You sit low, wrapped around by a high centre console and high window lines. Very much a cockpit feel.

The interior uses "vegan" materials and is really very nice indeed. Somewhere between a posh cloth interior and full leather in feel and textures. Quality in general feels very good.

It is all very Volvo, as you would expect. Seats are firm and supportive, and very comfortable. You could spend a lot of time in here no bother at all.

The good:
Proper side mirrors 😎
All important controls are around the wheel, and work as you would expect​
Nice materials and quality is good​

The bad:
Adjusting aircon or the radio means messing with the screen... Adjusting regen too...​

The centre console is dominated by a big touch screen, running Android with all-Google car services - from Google Maps to Google Assistant (shout "Hey Google" to do stuff...) and Google Play.

I found the interface a bit confusing. For example, I never managed to work out how to change the temperature during the test drive. Even finding Radio 2 was a chore. And messing with touch screens while driving can get hairy, lol.

Outside

You can all make up your own minds on this one.

To me it's pretty generic EV. Shape somewhere between saloon and hatch. Riding a little higher to accommodate the batteries. A little awkward perhaps. Not sure I'd call it pretty, lol.

Definitely looks best in darker colours. Avoid white :innocent:

To drive

I drove the "standard" launch model.

It has regen brakes which can be adjusted (off/low/high, plus coast or stop). Around town I thought high + stop worked really well, basically no need at all for the brake pedal. Out on open road I found low + coast more smooth, and still only needed the brake pedal to come to a stop.

The steering is best described as "disconnected". There are a lot of computers between the steering wheel and the actual wheels, and you can tell. Even with most "driver aids" turned off.

You need to mess with the touch screen to change the regen mode, which is a bit ... ludicrous ...

Performance wise it's what you would expect from an EV. It does 60mph in around 5 seconds, instant power from the go. Around town it's brilliant.

Out on the motorway it cruised along nicely. Quite a lot of road noise, but the M40 around Banbury is horrendous. Plus there is no other noise so road noise becomes more prominent.

On the backroads back to Banbury it was good fun, you can really tell the weight is low down. And I'm sure there is some clever torque vectoring going on, the way it shoots around corners under throttle, but I haven't been able to confirm that.

The standard suspension is on the softer side, but with the low centre of gravity it's pretty much spot on down real life roads. Only a fast direction change will induce a bit of wobble.

For me, I'd go with the standard package and save the 5k on the performance pack. Unless you really want the bling of course.

Summary

I really liked it. It has all the performance any EV would ever need in the real world. It is a really nice place to be inside.

In fact, it is the first EV I might actually want to buy.

Though I did take the B4525 out from Banbury to the A43 on the way home, and I smiled a lot more in the V60 Polestar with the banshee howl of the I6! Better steering too than the P2, and much better suspension with the Ohlins underneath the big estate.

So maybe get that 5k Performance Pack for the P2 after all 😎😁
 
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