What's the best EV to rival a Tesla? | Top Gear
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Sunday 5th February
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What's the best EV to rival a Tesla?

Sweden's Polestar 2 has the full package – including some very nice looking seatbelts

Just stop and listen for a moment… ssh. That distant rustling sound you hear? It’s not traffic or a subtle wind or badgers or whatever, it’s the noise of many car industry executives and product managers scratching their heads. 

They all find it completely baffling that faced with the collective best that the established car industry has to offer – the years of experience in building quality vehicles in suitably equipped buildings, the vast R&D budgets and solid branding – that people have gone quite so gaga for the gizmos glued together by the bloke who thought of PayPal.

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They find it hard to imagine that people would choose their wheels on reasons other than the ones they’ve always used, impossible to conceive that the worlds of consumer electronics and automotive have been irreconcilably mashed together. 

Tesla’s cleverness has been to focus on an enticing interior user experience, to create a vehicle (pardon the pun) for a new type of software-driven (pardon that pun too) experience that is steering (that one was unnecessary, sorry) the industry in a new direction.

Farts. Farts and games. And karaoke. Netflix. No one shows off their car’s seatbelts, but Tesla came up with a range of cars that have supreme showoffability, created a must-have buzz around its products that no Ford Focus or BMW 3 Series or Nissan Qashqai could ever match. 

Thankfully – if you like decent competition – there’s a car out there that combines much of the best of the many worlds at play here… the Polestar 2, fresh out of Sweden.

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The interior of the 2 is minimalist without giving up entirely on functionality, you’ve still got some physical buttons spotted around the place and the ginormo-touchscreen running Google OS software really works – intuitively and reliably. 

Of course, we’ve established that buyers in this area of the market aren’t very practical minded, but we’re also fully in favour of the Polestar’s pragmatic European approach of fitting a hatchback opening to the rear of the car rather than the titchy saloon aperture that remains favoured in the land of opportunity.

The main virtue around Polestar is its newness – there’s no Volvo baggage, but all of the collective experience of the carmaker shrouded in its recent upturn in interior quality. Nice little touches abound, although the car won’t fart on demand if that’s what you’re after. 

Even better, the Polestar 2 starts at £43,150 for the standard range single motor version, rising to £49,550 for the long range dual motor car that comes with both the miles and the performance. Contrast this with the £48,490–£61,490 of the Model 3, and the fact you can guarantee the Polestar has never been built in a tent. 

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Not only that, but the Polestar even comes with nifty little seatbelts you’ll enjoy showing off to your friends.

Best EV to rival a Tesla – Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor
Range: 301 miles
Engine: 402bhp twin e-motors
Battery: 78kWh
Top speed: 127mph
0–60mph: 4.5secs
Boot space: 405 litres 
Fart modes: 0

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