It doesn’t take long at all to get used to just walking up to the Polestar 2, opening the door, climbing in, touching the brake pedal, putting it in drive, and pulling away without having to hit a start button. It also doesn’t take long to get used to the regenerative braking system and perfectly tuned single-pedal driving. It just takes a little practice to become smooth enough for passengers not to realize you’re not using the brakes. Throttle responses are sharp but smoothed out perfectly for daily driving, and smooth is a word you’ll also be using a lot after driving the Polestar 2.
Mash the throttle pedal into the carpet, though, and the Polestar 2 reminds you of its maker’s performance origins. It’s searingly, although not violently, quick off the line. Overtaking dawdling traffic is never a problem, as the acceleration is relentless and always on tap, right up to the 127 mph limiter.
Polestar’s electric car isn’t just a straight line sleeper, though, and despite its weight, it has a wealth of grip to offer through corners and a balance to its handling that makes it more entertaining on a back road than its size and weight suggests. Sport mode eases up the traction control parameters and stiffens the steering, as that’s all it needs to do to make the Polestar 2 even more entertaining. The center of gravity is low courtesy of cleverly packaged batteries, and there’s little to no body roll; then, once it’s ready to exit a corner, the all-wheel-drive Polestar 2 simply hooks up with little drama to hurl itself out the other side. The steering feel is a little synthetic but quickly forgotten about due to its accuracy and the car’s balance.
As advertised, Polestar has delivered a driver’s car and one that is as confident and purposeful in everyday traffic as it is hustling a back road. However, its core joy is in its simplicity for everyday driving. This is made obvious by the fact that the Performance Pack doesn’t vastly improve performance with more power, but rather adds Ohlins Dual Flow Valvedampers and uprated Brembo front brakes, maximizing real-world performance rather than inflating acceleration numbers for the sake of a flex around the BBQ with your friends.
Just as we mentioned the fact that there’s no ‘ignition’ button to get things going, once the driving is over, just selecting Park and leaving the vehicle puts it to sleep. After a week with this level of simplicity, we now have a hint of the joy that early motorists experienced with the invention of the starter motor and button to replace the hand crank.