NEW: Get Updates by Email

First Drive: 2024 Polestar 2 Performance Package – A Sharper EV

by | March 19, 2024

Polestar puts the Polestar 2 under the knife for 2024 and gives it more power, technology, and performance in an attempt to ward off rivals from Tesla, BMW, and Hyundai. 

2024 Polestar 2 is bringing several key updates to buyers as the EV market undergoes major changes

When the Polestar 2 first appeared in 2020 it came during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and it was supposed to bring electrification to a wider dragnet of customers. But while it brought a high level of comfort and technology to customers, it was still rough around the edges with its base front-wheel drive layout impairing the base model’s range and performance. Polestar is out to rectify these flaws and has made some major updates to the model for the 2024 model year. But are all of these updates enough to help the Polestar 2 steal a bigger slice of the EV market? 

Polestar 2’s new face gives it more personality

Polestar 2’s switch from front to rear-wheel drive improves driving dynamics and range.


While the bulk of the exterior styling carries over mostly unchanged, Polestar designers gave the front end a revamp that replaces the grid-themed design for a more streamlined covered look. This new grille panel also gets a suite of sensors and a small camera that’s mounted in the center of the panel. This is part of Polestar’s “Smartzone” system that uses the sensors and camera to operate the car’s advanced safety and driver’s assistance technology

Polestar also changed tire and wheel offerings for the new model year with the base single and dual-motor variants getting bigger 19-inch wheels while the Performance package gets 20-inch wheels standard. These new hoops enhance the car’s profile and they do a good job standing out when the Polestar 2 is cruising through town. However, the large wheels also let in more road noise especially when going over certain types of pavement.   

The exterior changes are also a response to similar updates that were done by rival Tesla on the Model 3 Highland with that model also getting a new front end that not only gets a new grille cover design but also reworked LED headlights as well. The exterior styling also shows Polestar’s family connection to Volvo and we’re glad that Polestar kept some of these reminders intact including the sleek looking LED “Thor’s hammer” headlights.   


Polestar 2 switches to rear-wheel drive for more performance and range 

Polestar 2 still shines in acceleration but falls short when it comes to other aspects of the driving experience.


The bulk of the changes for 2024 are found under the skin with Polestar making big changes to the drivetrain and the electric drive components. The old front-wheel drive layout on the base Long range Single motor model has been pitched with the 2024 model moving the electric motor to the rear of the car. This new layout helps improve weight distribution and sharpens up the 2’s driving dynamics with the EV making the sprint to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds which is a noticeable improvement from the 2023 model’s 6.8-second 0 to 60 time.  

The electric motor itself has been reworked and now produces 299hp with the juice coming from a larger 82-kWh battery pack. Our tester came with the dual-motor setup with these models combining the aforementioned rear motor with an induction front motor that bumps power up to 421 hp with our Performance package equipped example raising that figure even higher to 455 hp. This enhanced power is noticeable when you tap the accelerator and turns the dual motor equipped 2 into a fun straight-line performer. Unlike the base model, the dual-motor variant doesn’t get the bigger battery pack and instead continues to use the carryover 78.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack

Unfortunately, the 2024 Polestar 2 still stumbles a bit when tasked with more challenging sections of tarmac. The steering feel is still too light and the electrically operated steering rack makes you feel disconnected from the road even when the car is placed in its most optimal driving modes. Our tester’s 4,650 lb curb weight also didn’t do much to enhance our confidence when entering and exiting corners and the brake pedal felt a bit too wooden. 

That’s a shame because the updated Ohins dampers were our favorite item here on our tester. These sport focused dampers deliver a firm ride but they help make up for some of the checks that the steering wheel can’t cash especially in precision driving with how well they mitigate bi=ody roll. 

All of this newfound performance does come at the cost of range with Performance models like our tester seeing range dip from 260 miles to 247 miles. The rest of the lineup sees its range figures go up with the single motor getting 320 miles of range when equipped with 19-inch wheels and 307 miles when the bigger 20-inch wheels are installed. Meanwhile, dual-motor models not equipped with the Performance package see their range estimates get bumped up from 260 to 276 miles between charges.   


Polestar 2’s well-appointed interior is tight on space 

Google infused infotainment system improves user experience but still suffers from ergonomic issues

Polestar wanted to create a cabin that was comfortable and luxurious with front seat occupants benefitting from textile appointed seats that have a balanced amount of comfort and support. An upgrade to Nappa leather seats is available but it will cost buyers an extra $4,000 to get it. 

Performance package models get gold seat belt straps but other than this splash of color, the cabin focuses on the essentials and that means the dominant black color scheme can look depressing at times. 

Thankfully, the Polestar 2 gets the latest version of Volvo’s infotainment system with Google Built-In being included. The Google-based software helps make the system easy to use and is an improvement over older Sensus-based systems we have seen from Volvo over the years. However, the screen’s vertical layout causes some of the menus to be cramped too close together and it even pushes the AC controls to the bottom edge of the screen. That forces drivers to look away from the road to perform various functions. 

The back seats in the Polestar 2 are tight and the amount of storage available is low

Our biggest complaint though is the rear seats which are tight for rear passengers. This is due to the large center tunnel and the low roofline which makes the space a tough sell for taller occupants and cuts into the amount of storage the Polestar 2 has too. That’s in stark contrast to other EVs that not only offer more room for their rear passengers but also eliminate some of the compromises that exist when hauling cargo.

 More Polestar Stories

Final Word 

Polestar 2 faces headwinds in EV market due to slowing demand

Polestar’s 2024 updates have done a good job transforming the EV into a more dynamic offering with the base model’s new rear-wheel drive layout helping it become a more enjoyable daily driver. The dual-motor models also continue to be formidable entries in the segment and the Performance package is a must-have for hardcore EV thrill seekers.  Pricing for the 2024 Polestar 2 starts at $49,900 for the base Long Range Single motor model. A recently launched limited-time offer allows the Long Range Dual motor variant match the single motor’s sticker price. That’s a $2100 discount for the dual-motor variant when compared to its pre-offer MSRP which put it over the $55,000 mark  

A prominent part of the Polestar buying experience is choosing which packs to add to your EV with the Polestar 2 having three of these to choose from: Pilot, Plus, and Performance. The Pilot pack is a no-cost add on but buyers looking to add the Plus and Performance packages to their new purchase will pay extra with the Plus adding $2,200 to the price of a Polestarwhile the Performance package adds $5,500 but bundles in the Plus pack and its add-ons into one offering. Add $1,400 in destination fees. 

This pricing ladder puts the Polestar 2 firmly in the race with the Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 6, and the BMW i4. All three of these offerings are formidable benchmarks but it will be interesting to see how the Polestar 2 fares in the face of cooling demand for EVs as a whole. As a result of this softening demand automakers have been forced to begin discounting their EV models with Polestar also being forced to use discount programs of its own to try and move more inventory off dealer lots. 

If you’re looking for an EV that delivers the goods on range and is different from a Telsa we suggest giving the 2024 Polestar 2 a look. It might surprise you with the performance lurking beneath its understated bodywork  


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List is Live!
Get Updates by Email

Get on our list to receive the latest automotive news in your inbox!

Invalid email address
I would like to receive:
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This