A Polestar 2 parked near a beach on sand.

Polestar 2 review after +2,000 miles: The 7 things to know before subscribing

My thoughts about this EV after driving it for three months. 
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This is the second subscription car I drove from elmo (you can read my review about the first one, a Peugeot e-2008 GT here). 

This isn't yet another car review, but I will share my experience of running it on a subscription and the things about that may be interesting to point out. I'm going to share what I liked and disliked.

The model I picked was the Polestar 2 Standard Range SM, with a 64kWh battery.

This review is part-sponsored by elmo, who were kind enough to give us a discounted rate.

How did the car swap go?

Technically I had a Tesla Model 3 for a couple of weeks while waiting for the Polestar to become ready, so this was the second car swap with elmo for me. 

With each swap, elmo arranged the car delivery and was given the option to pick either a morning or an afternoon drop-off. Having been through three subscription cars, every delivery driver was helpful and ensured I was happy with the vehicle and its condition.

After each swap, I was sent a detailed vehicle inspection report from BCA outlining key insights about the condition - from the mileage and tyre tread depth to any noticeable scuffs and marks. 

Each inspection and swap took about 45mins to an hour. This is because the person doing the vehicle swap had to inspect both cars. 

Servicing was easy and smooth. 

While the Polestar 2 was with me, the service light came on, so I had to arrange this through elmo. The car being electric, I was given the option to have it serviced at home, which was very convenient! 

I could pick a date using their portal and didn't have to do anything else. The beauty of a car subscription is that this type of work is included in your monthly car payment, so I didn't have to give any payment details. 

The actual servicing took about 50 minutes, and the person who carried it out was very helpful. They changed the air filter, and off they went! Easy! 

Now, let's move on to the things I liked and disliked about this stylish EV! 

1. The driver's area wasn't spacious enough for me

The Polestar 2 is slightly smaller than the Model 3, but you can't really tell from the outside. If anything, the raised suspension makes it look weirdly like a small SUV, but I know this may be a stretch. 

I was surprised to feel quite cramped in the driver's seat. The centre console just gets in the way every time - it's so bulky and angled to the right, so it eats into your legroom.

Funnily, I didn't feel that way in the Peugeot e-2008 GT, and the Model 3 felt even more spacious in comparison.

2. Good range and efficiency

Being the standard model and not the long-range, I never really had range anxiety. It was comfortably doing more than 200 miles on a single charge. A thing to keep in mind is that I had in Spring and Summer time, so the range will definitely take a hit in Winter. Some YouTube reviewers are reporting sub 180 miles range in cold weather! 

The estimated real-world mileage is about 28 kWh per 100 miles, and mine averaged slightly more. 

While I had it, Tesla opened up a few Superchargers to non-Tesla vehicles, so I took advantage of those a few times. 

Polestar 2 using a Tesla Supercharger in the UK.

3. Boot size and opening are handy.

The fact that it's hatchback meant that access to the boot was super easy! We did a few long trips where we had our luggage, and we never felt we lacked room. 

The Polestar 2 also fit our two surfboards (6.7" and 7.6") comfortably, which was nice! It saved us from having to buy a roof rack and bars. 

I didn't even attempt to strap the boards on the panoramic roof, but I did reach out to Polestar to find out what they would recommend and whether they had any thoughts about using soft roof racks. 

Their support team said the panoramic roof and windows could take about 75kg of weight. However, even though the surfboards are light, as you drive faster, the wind will push them up and down (increasing their weight). This meant the soft roof racks won't be very stable. 

Sounded risky, so I was glad I could fit them inside the car.

Two surfboards fitted inside a Polestar 2.

4. So much fun to drive!

The Polestar heritage is apparent here, as the car is super responsive and drives pleasantly. It may feel a bit firm at times, but I feel like it's better at dealing with potholes than the Model 3. 

The car's build quality is highly praised (and I agree with that sentiment), and it's designed to work seamlessly without relying on gimmicks.

I'd like to see more driving modes, as there's only one. The steering has three different modes, and ESC can be switched off (I guess useful if you plan to take the Polestar to a race track).

5. Infotainment is lacking but probably the best among non-Teslas from this price range

The Polestar 2 supports CarPlay (the infotainment system itself runs on Android). It seems to be designed with a focus on functionality rather than gimmicks, and you won't find any fancy features. 

It does the job well, and the Google Maps integration comes very close to what Tesla has. 

One thing I found annoying was that if you have enabled CarPlay but using the built-in maps, every time you get a notification on your phone, it will switch the display to CarPlay. I ended up just plugging in and setting it to use Bluetooth only to avoid this rather than enable CarPlay. 

6. Don't expect reliable OTAs updates

During the subscription period, Polestar released two updates, but none actually reached the car. I could see the latest release notes from the settings, but I couldn't do anything to force install the update. 

That was a bit frustrating, and when I did some digging online, I found quite a few people needed help with the same problem.

The only solution was to book another service, but it felt like too much hassle. Tesla is still a leader in this.

7. Cruise control goes over the speed

This may be my own experience, but in my opinion, the cruise control on mine (Standard SM, not Standard SM Pilot) would always exceed the limit I set by about 10%-20%.

I don't know if it's a factory setting, but if I had it set for 50 miles, it would always go up to 52 and not really control the speed when downhill, so it easily went over it. I found myself watching the speed closely, which isn't ideal when I want the car to maintain one speed. 

Also disengaging the cruise control would always feel abrupt if I wasn't already pushing the accelerator to ease into it. For comparison, the Model 3 controls its speed much more smoothly when engaging and disengaging and follows the speed you set! 

Exterior photo of the Polestar 2.

Should you subscribe to a Polestar 2? 

Polestar 2 is a complete, well-built electric car with decent performance and a cool, futuristic exterior (probably my favourite thing about it!).

It's designed with a focus on quality and practicality, and it's easy to see why it has established itself as a strong player in the EV market. I can highly recommend that you subscribe to it! It's overall a better car than anything else for the price range where the Standard SM stands in, and the SM Pilot too. 

But the more expensive trims enter the Tesla Model 3 price range, and when you're there, you should probably just subscribe to that one instead! 

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