- The Polestar 3 is a fully electric mid-sized luxury crossover SUV manufactured by Swedish automaker Polestar in collaboration with Volvo and Geely.
- The Polestar 3 comes with a larger battery and a range of up to 300 miles.
- Potential drawbacks of the Polestar 3 include a potentially shorter real-life range, limited charging infrastructure, software glitches, a tarnished track record of its predecessors, a wacky warranty system, limited community support, and a hefty price tag.
- Alternatives to the Polestar 3 include the Rivian R1S, the Genesis GV60, and the Tesla Model Y.
Despite Polestar’s tumultuous journey in the United States, most folks looking for a high-performance EV are curious about the brand’s third model — aptly named the Polestar 3. Acclaimed for its compelling features, great power, and acceleration, the model is expected to hit the roads in 2024 and is already available for pre-order. But should you opt for this electric SUV, or would you better focus on one of its solid alternatives?
Before making such a substantial investment, here are some reasons to avoid a Polestar 3 to consider.
What Is the Polestar 3?
The Polestar 3 is a fully electric mid-sized luxury crossover SUV manufactured by Swedish automaker Polestar in collaboration with its parent companies, Volvo and Geely. Together with the all-electric Volvo XC90, the Polestar 3 is the brand’s first vehicle to use Volvo’s all-new SPA2 platform and also the first Polestar vehicle to be manufactured in the United States — a factor that makes it eligible for green vehicle tax deductions.
But it’s more than the tax deductions that have enthusiasts swooning over it. Polestar has left us smitten with the 3’s streamlined design, dramatic wheel arches, and prominent fenders. The 489-horsepower, all-wheel drive powertrain provides ample power to the base model, while the Performance trim can easily satisfy the speed freaks.
Compared to the Polestar 2, the 3 model comes with a larger battery that, at 111 kWh of capacity, boasts a range of up to 300 miles. But are all these features enough to justify the $83,900 starting price? Let’s find out why an alternative could be a better fit.
|Trims||Long-Range Dual-Motor or Long-Range Dual-Motor with Performance Pack|
|Power||489 to 517 hp (360 to 380 kW)|
|Torque||620 to 671 lb-ft|
|Range||270 to 300 miles, depending on the configuration|
|Battery Capacity||111 kWh|
|DCFC Charging Rate||Supports 250 kW DC charging from compatible chargers|
|MSRP||Starting at $83,900|
Reasons to Avoid a Polestar 3
A Polestar 3 can be a substantial but not necessarily wise investment. Let’s break down some of this car’s potential drawbacks.
When buying an expensive car, you would expect its features and specs to be on par with its MRSP. And on paper, the Polestar 3 seems to have an impressive range of up to 300 miles per charge. However, the EPA hasn’t provided any official estimates for this vehicle yet, and if you’ve driven an EV before, you likely know that the real-life range is always shorter than the one claimed by the manufacturer.
We can’t say for sure how far a Polestar 3 will take you, but we wouldn’t be surprised for it to run out of battery after a much shorter distance — especially if you opt for the Performance trim and drive it in less-than-ideal conditions.
Limited Charging Infrastructure
While we must still wait and see how far the Polestar 3 can go, the certain thing is that you’ll have to plan your journey thoroughly if you don’t want to run out of charge and get stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Unlike Tesla, Polestar doesn’t have a wide network of charging stations — in fact, it doesn’t have a proprietary network at all. Currently, you can charge this vehicle at all public DC charging points up to 250 kW, but finding a fast-charging station could be challenging, depending on where you live. For instance, you have few options in Oregon, Montana, and Idaho.
In the absence of a fast-charging station, you can plug the Polestar 3 into a standard wall outlet, but charging the battery can take up to 11 hours.
Both Polestar and Volvo announced that they will equip their vehicles with Tesla Supercharger adapters starting in 2025, but until then, you might be out of luck.
The Polestar 3 was originally announced as a 2023 model, but the automaker has run into some trouble before the vehicle’s release. Due to software glitches that affected both the Polestar 3 and the Volvo XC90, the production has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2024.
According to reports, the first Polestar 3 vehicles are now expected to hit the roads in the second quarter of 2024 if no other issues arise.
So far, the issues seem to have caused potential buyers to lose confidence in the model, causing the automaker to lower its sales target to the delivery of around 60,000 vehicles — around 20,000 units lower than the initial sales goal.
While Polestar will most likely solve the issues that prompted further testing of the electric SUV platform, you might not want to spend a huge amount of money just to see how reliable this model is.
Tarnished Track Records with Its Predecessors
Beyond software glitches before its release, one of the major downsides of the Polestar 3 is the tarnished track record of its predecessors. We can’t really judge the Polestar 1, which is a hybrid vehicle, but the Polestar 2 has been termed as less-than-reliable by Consumer Reports.
The main complaints about the Polestar 2 range from simple issues with the basic features to the recall of various 2021 and 2022 models due to problems with the BECM microprocessor. Other common issues include propulsion system errors and other minor problems with the backup cameras and the sound system.
Calling the Polestar 3 unreliable by association might not be fair, but these failures can impact the brand’s reliability and trustworthiness.
Wacky Warranty System
Most electric vehicles in the USA come with solid warranties that cover a period of around 10 years or 150,000 miles. However, that’s not Polestar’s case. The automaker only offers a basic warranty that covers any manufacturing issues and faults for up to three years or a measly 60,000 miles.
The only exception is the battery warranty, which covers eight years — but only because it is mandated by the Federal government. There is a caveat, though. Polestar’s battery warranty only covers eight years if you don’t exceed 160,000 kilometers, which is under 100,000 miles.
Considering the vehicle’s price point, the wacky warranty is definitely a point against the Polestar 3.
Limited Community Support
Unlike Tesla, Polestar doesn’t brag with a wide fan base, and this is another point against the 3 model. The absence of community support translates to a lack of user-generated guides, online forums, and third-party accessories. Aftermarket customization options are also sparse, even though they are not truly needed, considering that Polestar offers an array of features as standard.
Nevertheless, the lack of community support could impact your ownership experience, especially when it comes to choosing a repair shop.
Hefty Price Tag
While the Polestar 3 is a remarkable vehicle overall, one of its major downsides is the eye-watering price tag. The standard trim has an MRSP of $83,900, which is way above its competitors. The Performance trim has a starting price of around $89,900.
Customizations can easily drive prices up. For instance, opting for a different paint color can add an extra $1,300 to the total. Switching from engineered fabric to a Napa leather interior will cost you $5,500, while the Pilot Pack with advanced LiDAR system can add another $5,000.
With all optional add-ons, you can expect to pay over $105,000 for a Polestar 3, which is a truly hefty price considering the limited warranty and the vehicle’s potential problems.
Alternatives to the Polestar 3
The Polestar 3 is a promising vehicle, but some potential issues may dampen your enthusiasm when it comes to buying one. You have options, though. Here are some of the best alternatives to the Polestar 3 you should consider.
With an MRSP starting at $78,000, the Rivian R1S is the best Polestar 3 alternative if you need an off-road capable SUV. You can choose from three trims, including a jaw-dropping Quad-Motor AWD that impresses with 835 horsepower and a rock crawl driving mode that allows you to climb vertical walls. Other highlights include racing car-fast acceleration (it gets to 60 mph from a standstill in only 3.0 seconds) and three rows of seats that accommodate up to seven people.
The Dual-Motor trims might not be as powerful, but they are more capable than the Polestar 3. You can expect between 533 and 665 horsepower, depending on the trim, and up to 400 miles of range. With a top speed and acceleration comparable to the Polestar 3, the standard Rivian R1S trim could bring more excitement at a lower price point.
An ambitious crossover SUV, the Genesis GV60 is one of the best alternatives to the Polestar 3 if you want a luxury vehicle. Despite being slightly less powerful than the Polestar 3, this vehicle impresses with its compelling design elements, such as a thoughtfully designed central console gear selector that has the appearance of a crystal sphere and flips upside down when in park.
Beyond design elements, you can also expect performance. The vehicle boasts up to 483 horsepower and gets to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds — which is actually faster than the Polestar 3. The range is not exactly promising, but the battery charges in just 18 minutes at a fast-charging station, and you can use an adapter to charge the vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger.
With an estimated MRSP of $62,000, the Genesis GV60 definitely delivers more bang for the buck compared to the Polestar.
Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y doesn’t excel in terms of operational range or power, but it costs a fraction of the price of the Polestar 3 and offers a third row of seats — a feature that gives it an advantage point, especially for families with small children.
Performance-wise, the Model Y delivers up to 534 horsepower, depending on the trim, and gets to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. These specs alone give it an edge over the Polestar 3, which is slightly slower and less powerful than the Model Y.
Tesla’s minimalist interior is another highlight if you don’t like clutter, but the true selling point is the fast charge time and the solid network of Tesla Supercharger stations you can find all across the United States. With an MRSP of only $32,890 and eligibility for up to $7,500 Federal tax credits, the Tesla Model Y is a good alternative to the Polestar 3 if you need a capable crossover SUV on a budget.
The Polestar 3 looks like a promising electric vehicle at first glance, but its not-so-impressive range, less-than-stellar warranty, and hefty price tag make it a less enticing investment. Its predecessors’ tarnished track records and the absence of a solid community may also cause buyers to look elsewhere. Luckily, the rapidly evolving electric automotive landscape offers more balanced and value-oriented options, such as the Rivian R1S, the Genesis GV60, and the Tesla Model Y.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock.com.