2021 Polestar 2 Electric Vehicle Review

Keith Barry
·2 min read

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Before we share our initial thoughts about the Polestar 2 we just bought for Consumer Reports’ car testing program, it might be helpful to answer a simple question: What, exactly, is a Polestar? It’s a new car brand from Geely, the parent company of Volvo, Lotus, and a few other brands that aren’t sold in the U.S. The Polestar 2 is the company’s first all-electric offering, and it went on sale in the U.S. earlier this year.

The Polestar name comes from a Swedish racing team that started customizing sporty trim levels on Volvo vehicles. It became part of Volvo in 2015. Geely spun off Polestar as a stand-alone all-electric brand in 2017. Its first car—the very limited-edition Polestar 1—was a handsome plug-in hybrid coupe with a six-figure price.

The brand shares engineering and design with Volvo but sells cars through its own dealer network. At the same time, Volvo also offers multiple hybrids and its own all-electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge. Polestar versions of existing gas and hybrid Volvo vehicles are still sold at mainstream Volvo dealers (kind of like how you can get a high-performance AMG version of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle). Confused yet?

Well, the Polestar 2 was designed in Sweden by Volvo engineers but built in China, where Geely is based. Polestars may be purchased online but can be serviced only by specific Volvo dealerships. (Read "Who Owns Which Car Brands?")

The whole enterprise seems like an attempt to emulate the look and feel of Tesla—down to the unique sales model and over-the-air updates that add new features to existing vehicles—all while remaining under the well-funded wings of a major automaker. But how does this startup-that’s-not-a-startup stack up in the eyes of our testers? We purchased our own Polestar 2 to find out.

We’re currently in the process of adding break-in miles before we put it through our rigorous standardized tests. Our full report will be available soon. In the meantime, CR members can read our initial thoughts about this unique vehicle.

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