2024 Polestar 2 EV Makes a Stronger First Impression

2024 polestar 2
2024 Polestar 2 Makes a Stronger First ImpressionPolestar

Don't call this a refresh. Polestar claims it doesn't do the whole traditional mid-cycle update thing, and given the constant tweaks the Polestar 2 electric hatchback has received since launching, that tracks. Every model year has seen a new variant or adjusted power and range. For 2024, the Polestar 2 gets its most comprehensive upgrade to date, making this EV an even more appealing introduction to the fledgling automaker that specializes in electric cars.

Changes Outside and Under the Hood

The 2 looks a little different now, thanks to a new "SmartZone"—the part of the front fascia that houses most of its forward-facing sensor and camera tech. When painted white, it looks like a single, comically wide tooth.


The tire offerings have changed as well; both single- and dual-motor base variants now come standard with 19-inch wheels and Michelin Primacy 4 all-season tires. The Performance trim upgrades to 20-inchers with Continental SportContact 6 summer rubber, but folks hunting for a middle ground can swap out the lesser trims' 19s for optional 20s with Continental PremiumContact 6 summer tires.

2024 polestar 2

The single-motor entry model—now priced at $51,300, a $1500 bump over 2023—picks up the most notable adjustments. A new electric motor now powers the rear wheels rather than the front. Output rises dramatically to 295 horsepower (up from 228 horses) and 361 pound-feet of torque (versus 243). Polestar estimates a 60-mph time of 5.9 seconds, which would be a big improvement over our test of the 2022 front-wheel-drive base model, which required 6.8 seconds to reach that mark.

Driving the Single-Motor Polestar 2

It only takes a single stab of the right pedal to notice the difference. The RWD Polestar 2's throttle mapping makes it easy to start smoothly, with pickup dramatically improved over last year's model. Passing at highway speeds is easier but still requires some forethought. In nearly any daily-driving situation, the newfound vim is more than ample. Standard twin-tube dampers do a commendable job in corners, allowing just a bit of lean without feeling wishy-washy. The newly standard all-season tires don't throw much noise into the equation—yet another benefit, as the formerly standard summer tires weren't exactly ideal for staying quiet or maximizing range.

Speaking of range, there's a whole lot more of it on the base Polestar 2. A new 79.0-kWh lithium-ion battery from CATL bumps EPA-estimated range from 270 miles to 320 while also increasing the peak DC fast-charging rate from 155 to 205 kilowatts. The dual-motor Polestar 2 and the Performance variant stick with a 75.0-kWh lithium-ion LG Chem battery. Range increases for the dual-motor, too, though; thanks to a newfound ability to disconnect the front motor under certain conditions, EPA-estimated range is up from 260 miles to 276 (the exception is the Performance, down from 260 to 247 miles). DC fast-charging remains at 155 kilowatts for dual-motor models, and AC filling via the onboard charger on all Polestar 2 models is pegged at 11.0 kilowatts.

2024 polestar 2

Driving the Dual-Motor Polestar 2

Dual-motor models—$56,700 for the base, $64,400 for the Performance—pick up some powertrain benefits too. They combine the RWD model's new synchronous motor with a new induction front motor, bumping horsepower to 416 on the base car and, strangely enough, lowering it slightly to 449 on the Performance. Torque rises to a meaty 546 pound-feet for both trims. By Polestar's estimates, the Performance's 60-mph time is 0.1 second quicker than before (4.1 seconds versus 4.2). Our test of a 2023 model produced a 3.9-second sprint, so it'll be interesting to see whether the 2024 model improves on that.

Our dual-motor time was limited to the Performance variant, which was fine by us. The torque injection more than makes up for the negligible horsepower drop; this Polestar 2 feels just as zippy as the old one. The Öhlins dampers at each corner are decidedly firm in their factory setting, but like before, they can be adjusted, and since adjusting the rears is rather difficult, owners get a free annual suspension adjustment through their dealer. When the going gets curvy, the 2's seats don't hug as well as we'd like; a little extra lateral bolstering would go a long way. The relatively gentle nature of the regenerative braking lets you put just a little more weight on the nose without upsetting midcorner balance, making for a slight uptick in dynamic entertainment.

For all Polestar 2 models, steering weight is adjustable, and the stiffer mode adds a bit of artificial heft, but we preferred it in its standard configuration. One-pedal driving is possible with the strongest regenerative braking setting, but it still could stand to be a little more aggressive.

2024 polestar 2

The cabin is largely the same across the lineup, with a too-tall center tunnel that leads to mild claustrophobia and a general lack of storage. The Google-based infotainment system is as easy to use as ever; it's tough to gripe when Google Maps is the standard onboard navigation app.

Polestar 2 New Options Packaging

Polestar also adjusted its options packaging. Single-motor models can pick up the $2000 Pilot package that adds adaptive cruise control, swiveling LED fog lights, and the Pilot Assist suite of active and passive driver aids—this same pack is standard on dual-motor Polestar 2s. The Plus package used to be $4200 but is now $2200, and it bestows both drivetrain layouts with a heat pump, a Harman Kardon sound system, a panoramic glass roof, heating for the rear seats and steering wheel, a power liftgate, and more. The Performance pack now automatically adds both the Plus and Pilot packages, in addition to the slick 20-inch wheels, Öhlins dampers, gold seatbelts, and more.

Sadly, given the Polestar 2's current production and parts sourcing, it is ineligible for Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives—if you finance it; it's still eligible if leased. Thankfully, the wealth of upgrades thrown in the 2's direction for 2024 should broaden its appeal.

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