The choice is refreshingly simple.
Once you’ve decided you want a pole star, choosing the right one for you is pretty simple.
The standard model costs less than $70,000 by car. If you want a little more range, you can bump it up another 70km for an extra $4,500. That will give you a claim of 515 km to 551 km between charges.
If it’s performance you’re after, an extra $9500 gets you the twin-motor four-wheel-drive version with a lot more grunt. Power jumps from 170kW to 300kW and torque doubles to 660Nm.
Those numbers are good for a 4.7-second sprint to 100 km/h, compared to 7.4 seconds for the standard model.
There is a ‘gansta’ package
Our test car was equipped with the performance package, which will set you back another $8,000.
It includes 20-inch high-performance rubber-wrapped wheels, perforated and ventilated front discs with gold Brembo four-piston calipers, with matching gold seatbelts, and Ohlins manually adjustable shock absorbers.
The shocks have 22 settings that can be adjusted at home, as long as you have a jack, as the rear wheels need to be off the ground to make the adjustment. You can also download a $1600 software upgrade for more performance.
It will increase power to 350kW and torque to 680Nm, reducing the 0-100km/h time to 4.4 seconds. Includes a launch control feature.
it’s fun to drive
Unsurprisingly, all those numbers add up to a lot of fun for the person behind the wheel.
Put your foot down on the throttle and the Polestar will push you back in your seat as it picks up speed quietly but quickly.
It’s a smoother, less brutal experience than Tesla’s performance version, but between 80kph and 110kph (highway overtaking speeds) it’s truly impressive. Nor is it a blunt instrument.
Precise steering, grip at all wheels, and well-tuned suspension make the Polestar a wonder around corners.
The big brakes do a solid job of hauling about two tons of fast-moving metal.
The cabin is Scandinavian chic.
The Polestar’s interior design is undeniably Swedish, which is understandable for this Volvo spin-off.
The clean, simple lines pair nicely with the tablet-like center display and digital controller display. The gray cloth seat material feels a bit like wetsuit material, but it looks sleek and tough.
A compact shifter in the center console is easy to operate, while there’s a single dial for audio controls.
The rear seats are cozy bordering on claustrophobic, while rear vision for the driver is severely limited.
Nils Bohlin would be turning in his grave
Nils was the Volvo engineer who invented the three-point seat belt, one of the most important safety innovations in motoring history.
He was instrumental in making the Volvo brand synonymous with vehicle safety around the world.
The product folks at Polestar have let poor Nils down by charging extra for safety tech that’s standard on many $30,000 hatchbacks.
If you want blind spot warning, active cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alert, on all three models, it’ll set you back $3400.