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Car Review

Polestar 3 review

£75,900 - £81,500
710
Published: 09 Jun 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Long-legged. Comfy in the less aggressive settings, decently reactive when the dual-chamber air suspension and active dampers have been properly awakened. There’s adjustable suspension and steering feel, as well as ride height you can play with, and it all comes together to make a car that’s not sporty as such, but surprisingly satisfying.

Yes, the steering could do with more precision, but one suspects that might make the car dive a little too quickly for the suspension to keep up with. If you want a strange comparison, it feels like a massive Subaru Forester Turbo from the late 2000s - soft, soaks up bumps, bit of bodyroll but always surprisingly rapid. And it hides its mass and size well. It’s especially good on bumpy roads - which is handy for UK buyers.

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What about the helper systems and tech?

As with any Polestar, you’re getting ALL the advanced driver-assistance systems you want, and quite a few you can pretty much do without. But there’s rear-motor disconnect for steady-state cruising and efficiency, and the usual traction controls.

Added to them, there’s also a torque-vectoring system with a pair of clutches on the rear axle. It’s proper torque-vectoring, too - not the slow-down-an-inside-rear-wheel with the ABS that some systems use. This one overspeeds the outside wheel which makes it faster and a bit nicer in the pivot. Not something you usually say this side of a Cayenne. Subtle gains, but it really does work.

Most of the time; the cars we tried would throw up warnings and panic a bit once you went faster and started putting pressure on the system, so we need to try later cars to make sure that issue has been resolved. Oh, and the brakes caught fire, but that could be either very new pads or TopGear.com making sure that it was tested properly.

Sounds like fun - but is it really? It’s still a big SUV.

The point here is really that the Polestar has started to carve out a recognisable niche in the way that the cars handle and deliver. Porsche and BMW tend to stray too far down the ‘sporty’ route, tying chassis’ down with stiff damping and short springs, and something like a big Volvo will always be on the armchair side of relaxed. The Polestar is somewhere in-between; sporty enough to be fun, relaxed enough to just potter if you want it to.

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Let’s face it, 90 per cent of Cayenne owners are never going to find out what their car feels like at max-attack, so why make a car that compromises in favour of absolute full-speed? Makes sense in a Porsche, less so for Polestar. Of perhaps more relevance is that it’s much more involving than most Volvos. The rebellious younger cousin.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

380kW 111kWh Long Range Dual Motor Performance 5dr
  • 0-624.7s
  • CO20
  • BHP509.6
  • MPG
  • Price£81,445

the cheapest

220kW 111kWh Long Range Single Motor 5dr Auto
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP295
  • MPG
  • Price£69,845

the greenest

220kW 111kWh Long Range SM Plus Pilot 5dr Auto
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP295
  • MPG
  • Price£77,145

Variants We Have Tested

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