War of the siblings: Polestar 3 vs Polestar 2 compared

The Polestar 3 has finally been unveiled. With beauty, brains and brawn in a single package, we’re excited by the depth and energy this sustainable new SUV brings to the EV space. But the Polestar 3 builds on the already-impressive capabilities of its older siblings. In particular, the Polestar 2 remains one of the most complete electric cars on the market – and it has a budget-friendly lease price to match.

But like for like, how does the Polestar 3 compare to the Polestar 2?

Polestar 2

Long Range, Dual Motor

  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Power: 300 kW (408 hp)
  • Torque: 660 Nm
  • 0-100 km/h: 4.7 s
  • Top speed: 205 km/h
  • Battery: 78 kWh lithium-ion
  • WLTP range: 487 km
  • DC fast charge time: 10-80% in 35 mins
  • Seats: 5

Polestar 3

Long Range, Dual Motor with Performance pack

  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Power: 380 kW (517 hp)
  • Torque: 910 Nm
  • 0-100 km/h: 4.7 s
  • Top speed: 210 km/h
  • Battery: 111 kWh lithium-ion
  • WLTP range: 560 km
  • DC fast charge time: 10-80% in 30 mins
  • Seats: 5


Grille or no grille?

In terms of look and feel, this war of the siblings is about much more than grille or no grille. The Polestar 3 is a sporty, tech-forward SUV that clearly signals its Scandi heritage. Its designers have done away with the fake grille, playing up the Thor’s hammer headlights and adding a new SmartZone feature on the front instead. Impressive 22-inch wheels and ground clearance of up to 25cm put the Polestar 3 head and shoulders above the pack. Its aerofoil wings at the front and rear boost improve its aerodynamics to make it a true performance warrior. Inside, an animal welfare-certified interior comfortably seats five.

Meanwhile, there’s reason enough to think about the Polestar 2. The two cars share the same Scandi DNA – visible in touches such as the futuristic rear light bar and the uncluttered, vegan cabins. But the Red Dot-winning Polestar 2 has its own design purism that concentrates on the essentials while exuding an expensive and powerful appeal. The five-door fastback shape gives this all-electric sedan an aerodynamic lift that sees the car hold its own on the lot, including against the Tesla Model 3. And although just three years out the door, it has already seen recent design, range and sustainability updates for 2023.


The tech test

Given Polestar’s future-forward brand identity, both cars come with plenty of features to thrill any tech fan. The Polestar 2 was the first car to use Android Auto and its infotainment system is a step up from Volvo’s set-up. Voice recognition, integration of charging point information and its ability to turn your smartphone into a key fob have even won over Tesla fans.

The Polestar 3, by contrast, is ready for autonomous driving and is packed with up-to-the-minute tech advances. The SmartZone below the front aero wing features forward sensors, a heated radar module and camera, raising the bar on tech for this and upcoming new Polestar models. These input points feed the Polestar 3’s centralised artificial intelligence “brain” – courtesy NVIDIA DRIVE – for ultimate safety and driver monitoring. In addition to its older sibling’s tech characteristics, there’s immersive entertainment thanks to the Snapdragon Cockpit Platform. Both now feature over-the-air updates, saving you time and money while prioritising your safety.


Performance compared

The Polestar 2 is Volvo’s first battery EV with serious range. With a full 78-kwh battery, the Long Range variant delivers a WLTP-certified 540km. Under perfect conditions, that could take you from Paris to Amsterdam before you’d need to fuel up again. The Polestar 3 raises the bar with an impressive WLTP range of 610km on an 111kWh battery – ahead of the Tesla Model X. Coupled with unparalleled suspension, it’s a scope that puts attractive propositions such as Bordeaux or Geneva within reach of Paris.

Both models do 0-100km in 4.7 seconds at the top end. At the lower end, however, the Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor accelerates to 100km in 5 seconds, while the Polestar 2 goes the distance in 7.4 seconds on both the Standard Range and the Long Range single motor variants. The Polestar 3 wins in terms of torque: with the Long Range Performance Pack, you’d be looking at a staggering horsepower equivalent of 517PS and 910Nm of torque. An SUV for the electric age, indeed.


The verdict: Polestar 2 or Polestar 3?

The Polestar 2 has won friends and fans on range and performance, if not on looks. The fastback takes the battle to Tesla and competes with other combustion-engine sedans at pocket-friendly lease prices. Side by side in the showroom, its brash SUV sibling steals the show, thanks to its new design language and future-focused tech aimed at autonomous driving enthusiasts, but those features come at a higher price.