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Tesla Model 3 Takes on Polestar 2: The Star of the Showdown

by Eva Fox August 03, 2020

Tesla Model 3 Takes on Polestar 2: The Star of the Showdown

Volvo Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3 have been compared many times. However, What Car? undertook a comprehensive testing of the cars for a more robust comparison. The verdict? Tesla Model 3 is the best electric car you can buy.

What Car? is the UK's biggest car-buying brand and has been helping Britain's car buyers make purchasing decisions for more than 40 years. Their tests are widely regarded as the most trusted source for new car advice.


This video compares the Model 3 Performance and the Polestar 2 + Performance Pack. The cost of the cars is about the same, but Model 3 is slightly more expensive and does not qualify for the purchase incentives that apply in the UK. Therefore, Polestar 2 can save around £4,500 per purchase. But when you take into account depreciation, maintenance, and charging costs, the difference becomes smaller.

In terms of the car itself, the only area that What Car? believes Polestar 2 edges out Model 3 is on interior quality. Polestar 2's infotainment system runs on Android has a modest appearance compared to Model 3.

The Volvo-made car's interior also received some less desirable remarks. Adults in the back seat will be uncomfortable as the headroom is low. Also, there is a large central beam running along the floor from underneath the front armrest towards the boot. This is a common occurrence in petrol and diesel-powered cars, but should not be for EVs. This is absent in Teslas; therefore, Model 3 is both easier to get in and out of, and offers superior comfort for backseat passengers.

Polestar 2 | Autocar

Although Polestar 2 has a glass roof, the beam in the middle breaks up the open and airy feel Model 3 owners absolutely love. The Model 3 also wins in the storage space comparison, with a much larger trunk.

According to tests done by What Car?, the Polestar 2 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds but cornering is not a strong suit. Even with the Performance Pack, despite improved traction, the car experienced significant body-rolls. The steering feels numb and lacks connection. When you want to stop the car,  braking distance is longer than Model 3, which for some may be a deciding factor. Furthermore, the brake pedal is stiff, making it hard to accurately estimate the pressure needed to achieve the stopping force you want.

Meanwhile, Model 3 accelerates (in their test) from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. Model 3 is much better at cornering, with a lower ride height, better grip, and precise steering. This is an extremely powerful, sporty car that also prioritizes driving comfort.

Top speed also matters: Polestar 2 can reach a maximum of 127 mph, while Model 3 Performance can hit 162 mph.

Polestar 2, we learn, is tough on bumps and potholes, while Model 3 is much is more refined. Even on the freeway, the Tesla offers a smoother ride, whereas more vertical gyrations are noted on the Volvo.

Model 3 sports a range of 329 miles, while 292 miles for the Polestar 2. In the test, Model 3 was much more efficient and definitely drove farther.

When it comes to charging, the Tesla Model 3 again wins by leaps and bounds. You get access to the Supercharger Network. With Polestar 2, you are completely dependent on different providers. Finding chargers that will give you a speed of 150 kilowatts is quite difficult. In most cases, you will only find a 50 kilowatts charging point.

Considering all aspects of what was tested, it is clear that Model 3 remains untouchable. And you might have noticed we didn't even mention Autopilot. “Overall, on the road where it counts, the Model 3 Performance is better in every department."

If price is a deciding factor for you, it is worth considering the Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive Long-Range variant of Model 3. It still bests the Polestar 2 with a 4.4 second 0-60 mph time, offers the largest range of Model 3, and pricing starts at just £46,990 before purchase incentives.

Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter

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