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7 Reasons to Avoid a Polestar 2 at All Costs

A white polestar 2 parked outside in the fall

7 Reasons to Avoid a Polestar 2 at All Costs

Suppose you’re dabbling in the electric vehicle (EV) market. In that case, you’ve come across the Polestar 2, a Swedish car designed to rival Tesla and other big names in the electric automotive industry. Touted for its minimalist design and purported high-performance capabilities, the Polestar 2 is a good pick at first glance. But before you go ahead and make that substantial investment, there are some reasons to avoid a Polestar 2 to consider.

What Is the Polestar 2?

The Polestar 2 is a five-door fastback electric vehicle meticulously crafted by Volvo’s performance brand, Polestar. With a starting price of approximately $47,200 for the basic trim, it aims to offer a luxurious yet environmentally friendly driving experience. Built on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, the car boasts a sleek, modern Scandinavian design that merges elegance with functionality.

Under the hood — or more accurately, under the floor — it packs a 78kWh battery. This promises a maximum range of around 265 miles on a single charge, according to EPA estimates. With attributes like these, the Polestar 2 is a compelling choice in the ever-competitive electric vehicle market. However, one must ask: does it deliver on all its glossy promises?

Specs

FeaturePolestar 2
Trims AvailableSingle Motor FWD, Dual Motor AWD
Horsepower231 to 408 horsepower
Torque330 to 487 lb-ft
Range240 to 260 miles depending on the configuration
Battery Capacity78kWh
DrivetrainFront-wheel drive or all-wheel drive depending on the trim selected
DCFC Charging RateSupports up to 150 kilowatts from compatible chargers
MSRPStarts at $47,200
a white Polestar 2 in an underground parking lot
The Polestar 2 might not be everything you expect it to be once you own it.

Reasons to Avoid a Polestar 2

Let’s investigate why investing in a Polestar 2 might not be the wisest decision. To help you decide whether or not a Polestar 2 is right for you, we’ll discuss some of the potential drawbacks, organized by category.

Limited Charging Infrastructure

The Polestar 2 boasts DC fast charging capabilities of up to 150kW. However, its Achilles’ heel lies in the sparse charging infrastructure that supports it. Unlike Tesla, which has built an expansive Supercharger network available almost anywhere you drive. Polestar hasn’t established its dedicated charging stations. This glaring oversight complicates long-distance travel significantly.

You may find yourself scouring maps and apps to locate compatible fast-charging stations. Unfortunately, they are less readily available than one would hope. The lack of a robust, dedicated charging network can make road trips stressful. This turns a supposed convenience into a logistical puzzle you didn’t sign up for.

High Price-To-Performance Ratio

The Polestar 2 might be a bargain compared to other high-end electric vehicles. However, a deeper dive into its price-to-performance ratio paints a different picture. Starting at around $47,200, it could be more budget-friendly. When you stack its features and performance metrics against its rivals, the scales often tip unfavorably for the Polestar 2.

Competitors like the Tesla Model 3 or the Ford Mustang Mach-E offer similar or even superior performance, longer ranges, and additional features — all at a similar or lower price point. Therefore, the value proposition of the Polestar 2 comes into question. Thus making it less appealing for those seeking the most bang for their buck.

Software Glitches and Updates

Polestar 2 interior
The Polestar 2 interior has a built-in Google system on its 11.2-inch center display.

The Polestar 2’s integration of Google’s Android Automotive OS initially appears as a powerful selling point. It offers seamless access to Google Maps, Assistant, and the Play Store. Unfortunately, the reality has been far from smooth for many users. Reports have surfaced highlighting various software glitches, ranging from system crashes to laggy touchscreen responses that interfere with the driving experience.

Adding to the frustration, software updates sometimes throw a spanner in the works. Unlike competitors offering over-the-air updates, the Polestar 2 occasionally necessitates inconvenient trips to the dealership to resolve software issues. This adds another layer of complexity and takes a toll on your time, making it yet another reason to think twice before opting for a Polestar 2.

Limited Range

A competitive driving range is essential when investing in a luxury electric vehicle, especially one that sits in the Polestar 2’s price range. Unfortunately, the Polestar 2 doesn’t quite meet these expectations. The high-end trim tops out at a rather unremarkable maximum range of 260 miles. This falls short of the benchmark set by competing cars in similar or even more affordable price brackets — some of which boast ranges well over 300 miles.

This restricted range limits your freedom on the road, making it a less-than-ideal choice for those who prioritize long-distance travel. The limited range, in combination with its sparse charging infrastructure, further amplifies the inconvenience, making it a significant drawback for potential buyers.

Heavy Build Affects Efficiency

The Polestar 2 boasts a robust construction featuring premium materials that lends a certain gravitas to its overall aesthetic. However, this meticulous craftsmanship comes at a price: added weight. Weighing significantly more than many of its direct competitors, the Polestar 2’s heft compromises the vehicle’s agility and has a tangible impact on its efficiency. Specifically, the extra pounds limit the distance you can cover per kilowatt-hour, reducing the car’s miles-per-charge performance.

This trade-off can translate to increased operating expenses over time, as you’ll need to frequent charging stations more often than you’d like. Therefore, the car’s overall value proposition may be a significant factor for eco-conscious or budget-focused consumers.

Uninspiring Design

While the Polestar 2 aims for a minimalist, Scandinavian aesthetic, this design philosophy has garnered mixed reviews. Some critics and industry insiders find its exterior and interior design “uninspiring” when stacked against the eye-catching curves and modern flair of rivals like Tesla and the Audi e-tron.

The car lacks the “wow” factor many consumers seek in a luxury EV — those groundbreaking design elements immediately grab attention and make a statement. Its linear, straightforward architecture and less-than-adventurous palette choices might not resonate with everyone, particularly those looking for an EV that is as much about style as it is about function.

Limited Aftermarket and Community Support

Unlike brands such as Tesla, which have built a thriving community of enthusiasts and a robust aftermarket for customization and upgrades, Polestar 2 lags in this area. The brand has not yet achieved the kind of cult following that encourages vibrant online forums, user-generated guides, and a plethora of third-party accessories. If you’re a driver who loves to tweak, personalize, or even discuss your car in detail with a like-minded community, you may find yourself somewhat isolated as a Polestar 2 owner.

The limited community and aftermarket support could impact your ownership experience, from finding repair shops familiar with the vehicle to sourcing parts or modifications. This deficit could also mean less pressure on the company to address issues that the user community identifies rapidly, which brands with active user communities often benefit from.

Alternatives to the Polestar 2

Now that you’re aware of the drawbacks, here are some alternatives that might better meet your needs. These are also all EVs, but in our opinion, these do a much better job of scratching that EV itch.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla-Model-3-Performance
Relatively affordable as electric cars go, the Tesla Model 3 accelerates from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds.

The Tesla Model 3 distinguishes itself with range options exceeding 350 miles on a single charge, a feat rarely matched in the market. This advantage is further complemented by Tesla’s expansive Supercharger network, ensuring convenience on long journeys. Priced competitively at around $39,990, the Model 3 provides exceptional value. One of its most compelling features is its advanced Autopilot package, which includes reliable self-driving capabilities such as lane-keeping, traffic-aware cruise control, and automated parking, placing it leagues ahead in the autonomous driving sphere.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

evs in connecticut
The IONIQ 5 was triple-crowned in the 2022 World Car Awards.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 captivates with its cutting-edge design, which is both unique and modern. It offers a refreshing contrast to the Polestar 2’s more subdued look. It comes with a range that surpasses 300 miles in optimal conditions and offers 800V rapid charging capabilities. This can get you to 80% charge in just 18 minutes! It also comes with a reasonable starting price of around $43,650. Therefore making it a compelling choice for those seeking a balance between performance, style, and affordability.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mach-E vs Hyundai Ioniq 5
The Ford Mach-E is an all-electric SUV that was first introduced in 2019.

Embracing the iconic legacy of the Mustang brand, Ford’s first all-electric SUV, the Mustang Mach-E, serves up an engaging blend of performance, style, and practicality. Its muscular design and sports car-inspired cockpit testify to Ford’s commitment to transition its legendary prowess into the EV market. The Mustang Mach-E is positioned to be a game-changer with various trims offering different performance metrics, including a GT variant with an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Its brand recognition and solid build quality make it a formidable contender in an increasingly crowded market.

Closing Thoughts

The Polestar 2 makes a commendable attempt to break into the competitive EV market. However, it needs to catch up in several key areas that must be considered. Its restricted charging infrastructure, somewhat inflated price-to-performance ratio, and other drawbacks make it less enticing as a long-term investment. In this rapidly evolving automotive landscape, consumers may find that other options, such as the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 5, or Ford Mustang Mach-E, present a more balanced, value-oriented package that better suits their needs and expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Polestar 2 different from other EVS?

The Polestar 2 distinguishes itself with its Android Automotive OS, a five-door fastback design, and its lineage as Volvo’s performance-oriented EV brand. However, it has limitations such as a limited charging network and a high price-to-performance ratio.

Is the Polestar 2 worth the investment?

While the Polestar 2 offers a premium experience, drawbacks include a restricted charging infrastructure and software glitches. It may not be the best value for your money compared to other options in the EV market.

How does the Polestar 2 compare to the Tesla model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 offers advantages like a more extensive charging network and better range options. Tesla also has a more reliable self-driving package, making it a formidable competitor to the Polestar 2.

What are the Polestar 2’s software capabilities?

The vehicle runs on Google’s Android Automotive OS, integrating Google Maps, Assistant, and the Play Store. However, users have reported several glitches, including system crashes and delays in touch response.

Is the Polestar 2’s design unique?

While the design quality can be subjective, some industry experts find the Polestar 2’s design “uninspiring” compared to sleeker competitors like Tesla or the Audi e-tron. Its minimalist design may not cater to all aesthetic tastes.

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