My thoughts after Polestar 2 Test Drive (Alexandria, Sydney)

I did a test drive of the Polestar 2 electric car today and my thoughts about it are below. The staff at the showroom were friendly, knowledgeable and not pushy about your buying intentions.

Which is good because this car is priced at a level out of my league to purchase, I wanted to test it out before I rented one from Hertz for a few days on holiday.

The Polestar 2 is a very good car that happens to be electric powered so it shouldn’t be as much of a transition shock for drivers used to internal combustion cars.

Whereas the Tesla Model 3 which is similarly priced is quite different, it feels like a software and tech gadget that happens to be car shaped.

Two areas where the Polestar 2 beats the Tesla Model 3 are storage and instrument panel.

The Polestar has a very useful Instrument Panel that contains gauges, indicators, monitoring and warning symbols. It has two modes that you can switch between depending on whether you want to see your map route or not. The Tesla Model 3 has no instrument panel behind the steering wheel which is a major weakness from my point of view.

In terms of storage the Tesla Model 3 has a bigger front truck storage under the bonnet whereas the Polestar 2’s is quite small, just enough for charging cables. Totally though the Tesla Model 3 has 425 litres of boot space when both front and rear storage areas are added together whereas the Polestar 2 has 440 litres in total.

The Polestar 2’s central tablet running Android Automotive deeply controls much of how the car works. I liked the Standard regenerative braking one pedal setting and familiarity of the Android interface.

Two possible weaknesses are:

  1. That the car uses an Optus eSIM whose data use is included for the first 3 years of ownership. After that you can switch to Telstra for better coverage if you live or want to go on holidays in parts of Australia where Optus has no coverage. At any time you can stop and hotspot your phone so the car uses it’s data instead.
  2. Android Automotive runs directly on the car hardware whereas Android Auto mirrors your phone. Some people may prefer the deeper integration of Android Automotive and others may want their car to be able to use the apps and settings already on their phone or their partners.

Overall the test driving experience was fun as soon as I got used to the instrument panel and one pedal driving.

I sat in a few of the Polestar 2’s in the Alexandria showroom and was glad to find that seating is comfortable and there’s plenty of headroom as well as leg space for a 1.91 metre tall driver, whether you get a variant that has s sunroof or not.

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