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Home / Reviews / Cars & bikes / Electric cars / Polestar 3 review: personality-driven EV

Polestar 3 review: personality-driven EV

Stands out from the SUV crowd

Polestar 3

Stuff Verdict

If you value comfort and style above everything else the Polestar 3 makes total sense. It’s got a little more personality than close electric rivals, too.


  • Distinctive looks
  • Ample, rather than OTT, performance


  • Touchscreen-centric controls


The big and bold end of the electric SUV market is well represented already, with the likes of the Audi Q8 e-tron and BMW iX to choose from. I though, rather like what Polestar is doing with its design ideas, which are undeniably Scandinavian in feel – despite Chinese parent company Geely holding the purse strings. The Polestar 2 was a cool saloon-style starter while the Polestar 3 feels more like a main course, especially if you want all the benefits that come from a five-seat SUV.

I’ve recently had a go in the Polestar 3 Launch Edition, which comes with dual motors and all-wheel drive, mounted to the same SPA2 platform as the upcoming Volvo EX90. That will be a seven-seater better suited to large families; I like the slightly less ambitious feel of the Polestar 3, which aside from its excellent exterior design, boasts a delicious interior, plenty of power and drives well too.

I think the Long Range Dual Motor model, which kicks off the range at £76k, is an ideal starting point – but anyone who likes performance and a bit of showiness will be drawn to the Long Range Dual Motor Performance Pack car, which comes with lots of gold embellishments like brake callipers and seat belts. You’ll need a nigh-on £80k finance package to get that, though, or the Launch Edition car I’ve been driving.

The styling

Polestar has a whole design ethos going on that makes it really stand out from the crowd. The Polestar 3 is a prime example – along with the soon-come Polestar 4 and its missing rear window. What I like about the Polestar 3 is its angular lines, with lots of neat little nuances. These start with the temptingly chiselled front end and those great LED headlights, and go through to the nifty rear end complete with a slimline taillight bar and clever sloping roofline.

I’m also a big fan of the interior, which feels like a quality execution and is super comfortable to boot. There’s plenty of space front and rear, with a very decent boot space; drop down the rear seats and the internal carrying space feels decidedly cavernous. All the fixtures and fittings feel nicely made and reassuringly robust, with the incredible Bowers & Wilkins audio system fitted to my car delivering an exceptional soundtrack.

The drive

I’d expected the Polestar 3 to be much like any other electric SUV, with weight being one of the major downsides. At just under 2,600kg this is a heavy vehicle, but this is balanced out by the twin motors driving both axles. What I actually found is a car that’s quite a bundle of fun. Polestar’s engineers have used a torque vectoring system to make the SUV more than able to take sharp turns at speed.

Get it on a run though and the Polestar 3 is brilliant, thanks to its high levels of comfort and a selection of drive options that can be set to suit the occasion. The slight downside is the way that so much of the control setup has to be done via the touchscreen located in the central part of the dashboard. Trying to change anything hidden deeper down in the menus is not particularly enjoyable and even the controls on the steering wheel are frustratingly cryptic because they don’t have any icons.

Nevertheless, once I’d got my head around the basic setup, driving the Polestar 3 was enjoyable enough. There’s more than enough power on tap, but this sizeable car doesn’t feel like something you want to hammer around in. A bit like Volvo cars, the Polestar range encourages owners to drive sensibly and to the surroundings. I got the same calming effect from the Polestar 3, despite its power reserves.

The technology

I’m hugely impressed with the comfort levels delivered by the Polestar 3, but the tech on offer is also something of real note. There’s no missing the large 14.5in touchscreen that dominates the middle of the dash. Inside this, it’s possible to do pretty much everything needed to set up the car to suit your needs. What isn’t quite so hot is the way that there’s no other way of doing this, with little in the way of buttons to choose from.

I found this required time and patience to get the best from what it has to offer, and there are still minor niggles that make adjustments while driving tricky to say the least. I found the best way to cheer myself up was by firing up the immense Bowers & Wilkins audio system that benefits from a suite of speakers that pepper the inside of the cabin. There’s the added appeal of Dolby Atmos too, which turns the interior into an atmospheric audio paradise. Give it a try if you get the chance.

Another boon, which also helps me forgive the dominance of touchscreen controls, is the way Google is so prominent within the touchscreen interface. Maps, navigation and voice controls all work to great effect and make the in-car much more user-friendly if you’re already a day-to-day user of the same features and functions on offer via your smartphone.

Polestar 3 verdict

I’ve got a real soft spot for Polestar, much of which is down to the cool design style the burgeoning brand offers. There’s a great attention to detail, with things like the font choices and trim finishes leaving me with the distinct impression than this car is a real European-flavoured labour of love.

Aside from the look and quality feel, I’m also more than happy with the performance offered by the dual motor version. Sure, it’s a big and bulky SUV, but sitting in the cockpit and the way it drives makes it feel deceptively compact. I’m not sure why, but it works.

Stuff Says…

Score: 4/5

If you value comfort and style above everything else the Polestar 3 makes total sense and it’s got a little more personality than close rivals in the all-electric arena.

Polestar 3 technical specifications

PowertrainPermanent magnet synchronous electric motors
Torque620lb ft
Top speed130mph
Range392 miles
Charge rate250kWh
Cargo volume484 litres
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Rob is a freelance motoring journalist, and contributor to Stuff magazine and Stuff.tv