Polestar 2 Long Range review: Does rear-wheel drive mean more fun?

The Polestar 2 is now available with rear-wheel drive - how does that drive?

It has a new grille. Or better said: it has no grille at all, just an aerodynamically friendly, shielding panel. It is just, just enough to let you know that the Polestar 2 has received a facelift after three years on the market. We already know its trump cards. The 2 looks good, is well constructed, is practical and easy to drive.

But we also knew what it was not: economy and a long range were not exactly its strongest points. That is much more than its appearance, what this upgrade focuses on; and they are quite substantial changes too. Which may also cause some confusion among interested parties, because you can now choose from two battery packs that produce four different amounts of power.

The range of the Polestar 2 Long Range is greater

Here are the main changes: the Single Motor versions have gone from front to rear wheel drive and the Long Range battery is now larger. The aim of this change is not so much sharper driving dynamics, but better efficiency and a greater range.

The version you probably want – the 299 hp Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor with an 82 kWh battery – now claims a range of 654 kilometers, a nice chunk more than the 551 kilometers of before. And it's a little spicier too. That story actually applies to all versions: a little more power, a lot more range.

There is now also a 'real consumption meter', with which Polestar recognizes that there can be quite a difference between measurements in perfect laboratory conditions and the influence that the driver's skills and driving style have on consumption. The AI-driven calculations tell us upon departure that we have a range of 354 kilometers, while given the load it should be 533 kilometers. Hmm. Less than ten minutes later, the expected range has already increased to 402 kilometers.

Does the Polestar 2 drive differently with rear-wheel drive?

As with the previous Polestar 2, the engine is smooth, the body hardly leans and there is actually little difference between the three driving modes. Whether you'll notice the difference from switching to rear-wheel drive depends on how fast you drive.

You especially notice it when accelerating out of bends, where the steering wheel of the old one sometimes wanted to start wagging. It is much calmer now and you have more control over the situation. It's still fairly well-sprung, but light on its feet, and snappier and more fun than just about any comparable rival. The main exception to this: BMW's impressive i4.

Polestar believes that the 2 has become more comfortable, but on the moderate road surface we encounter, it is still quite stiff. Enough to even become a little uncomfortable on a long drive, although it would make a difference if they would make a little more effort on the condition of the road surface in Great Britain - the question is to what extent you can blame that on the Polestar .

The Polestar 2 has taken a step in the right direction

It is a lot quieter inside. The materials and finish are of that typical Scandinavian, clean and almost minimalist cut. The Polestar 2 Long Range may not be the largest in its class, but in terms of equipment it can compete with anyone. More important than that: it is still a very desirable device, which can now travel further and requires fewer electrons to do so.

Specifications of the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor (2023)

Engine 1 electric motor 299 hp 490 Nm 82 kWh (battery) Rear wheel drive continuously variable Performance 0-100 km/h in 6.2 s top 205 km/h Consumption (average) 12.9 kWh/100 km A Label Range (statement) 654 km Charging time