2024 Polestar 3 SUV is a luxurious rival to the Tesla Model Y
Swedish brand’s first electric SUV costs from £79,900 – and we’ve driven the prototype
- Choice of two models from launch
- Range of up to 379 miles
- Available to order now with a price from £79,900
The Polestar 3 has been unveiled as the Swedish brand’s first-ever SUV. Like the smaller Polestar 2, this new model is all-electric, though thanks to a larger battery, the 3 offers a range of up to 379 miles in Long Range Configuration – rivalling the likes of the Tesla Model Y Long Range.
The Polestar 3 is priced from £79,900 in the UK for the standard Long Range car, with the more powerful Polestar 3 Performance Pack costing around £5,500 extra. Order books are open for buyers now, although production isn’t expected to start until the spring of 2024.
Tell me about the Polestar 3’s exterior design
While previous Polestar models have struggled to differentiate themselves visually from their Volvo siblings, the new Polestar 3 adopts the brand’s latest styling language. The front of the car is characterised by a set of ‘T’-shaped headlights reminiscent of the brand’s polar star logo, while the rear is illuminated by a full-width light bar.
Like many electric cars, the Polestar 3 has a sloping roofline and flush door handles to improve aerodynamic efficiency, while plastic body cladding along the wheel arches and doors creates a more rugged 4x4-esque look. Polestar provides six colours to choose from, with silver being the no-cost default. The alternative blue, black, grey, white and rose-gold colours cost an additional £1,000. There are three wheel options – Long Range models come standard on 21-inch wheels but buyers can spend an additional £2,100 to upgrade to 22-inch items. The Performance Pack model comes with a set of unique 22-inch wheels.
How about the interior?
The Polestar 3 gets the brand’s latest interior which comprises a minimalist design and a full glass roof to enhance the feeling of space. Polestar has been calling for other automakers to focus more on sustainability; the brand practises what it preaches with a mix of sustainable MicroTech fabrics and animal welfare-certified leather for the upholstery.
Dominating the centre of the dashboard is a giant 14.5-inch infotainment screen; this runs Google software and Polestar claims it will receive over-the-air updates throughout its life cycle. There’s also an eight-inch display behind the steering wheel for the driver, with buyers able to specify the optional ‘Pilot Pack with LiDAR’ which adds extra cameras and sensors, opening up the possibility for autonomous driving in the future.
Whilst the forthcoming Polestar 4 makes do without any sort of rear window, the 3 follows a conventional approach, with a traditional glass screen at the back. Open the rear hatch and you’ll be greeted by 484 litres of space, which is 15 litres less than the BMW iX offers. On a brighter note, the Polestar 3 gets a 32-litre ‘frunk’ under the bonnet, which is perfect for smaller items, charging cables or a couple of shopping bags.
What about battery options, performance and range?
Despite trying to differentiate itself from the Volvo brand, the Polestar 3 utilises the same SPA2 platform as the upcoming Volvo EX90. Polestar hopes to make the 3 feel different to drive, however, concentrating on sportiness with a modified suspension setup and more power.
Speaking of power, the new Polestar 3 is being offered in two configurations from launch: Long Range and Performance. Both cars use identical 111kWh (107kWh useable) battery packs with two electric motors and four-wheel drive. The standard Long Range can travel up to 379 miles on a single charge and produces 483bhp, good for a 0-62mph time of five seconds.
If that isn’t fast enough, the Performance model uses the same setup but with an increased power output of 510bhp – more than a Tesla Model Y Performance. A sprint from 0-62mph takes just 4.7 seconds, while the Polestar 3 Performance will carry on to a top speed of 130mph.
Performance models will only be able to do 348 miles before needing to be plugged-in, although this is still significantly more than the equivalent Kia EV6 GT. With all cars getting access to 250kW charging speeds, owners will be able to top up their Polestar 3 from 10-80% in just 30 minutes when connected to a compatible public rapid charger. Polestar has said that less expensive, lower-specification models will join the Long Range and Performance models in the future, widening the 3’s appeal to a bigger audience.
What is the prototype like to drive? – Jordan Katsianis
We recently had the opportunity to drive the prototype Polestar 3 in both Long Range and Performance trim. Whilst the first thing that struck us was the sheer speed of both variants – both are more than fast enough for an SUV of this size – we were even more impressed by the Polestar 3’s handling.
The Polestar 3 exhibited superb body control and steering feel, which made it trustworthy over the challenging road surfaces of the Polestar test facility, even though we’d only been behind the wheel for a short time. The slick tarmac of the private track wasn’t an issue for the 2,600kg Polestar 3 – its four-wheel drive and bespoke Pirelli tyres providing plenty of grip. Whilst it lacks the most sophisticated of chassis technologies, such as the active anti-roll bars or rear-wheel steering found on the Porsche Cayenne, we didn’t miss them. The Polestar 3 tackled tight and twisty roads with impressive control, even as speed increased.
It was hard to fault the interior too – the materials all felt of high quality and the cabin space exceeded that of its rivals. We had the chance to test the infotainment system and we were generally pleased. The seat and mirror controls, accessed through touchscreen menus, are less convenient than traditional physical buttons, but the result is a minimalist, uncluttered dashboard layout. There’s the ability to set individual driver profiles too, so once you’ve found your ideal driving position, you shouldn’t need to adjust it again.
What does this mean for car buyers?
We imagine most buyers won’t be pushing the Polestar 3 to its handling limits during the school run, but it's reassuring to know that there is great body control and high-speed composure waiting in reserve.
Starting at £79,900, the Polestar 3 is significantly more expensive than its main rivals from Tesla and Kia when it goes on sale. However, Polestar positions itself firmly as a luxury brand, and the 3’s interior already looks to be a step up from rivals – namely Tesla, which is infamous for its often questionable build quality.
Electric SUVs are all the rage at the moment, so we expect the Polestar 3 to sell well, despite its high cost. This could be make or break for the brand, though, as the smaller Polestar 2 could never come close to matching the likes of the Tesla Model 3 in terms of sales.
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