2022 Polestar 2 Vs 2022 Tesla Model 3
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2022 Polestar 2 Vs 2022 Tesla Model 3

Every other week, or so it seems, a new electric vehicle is launched. Be it from a startup company or a legacy brand, these EVs are often utility-type vehicles. The market has made it so that sedans have all but completely fallen out of favour. In fact, the Tesla Model 3 is the only “conventional” 4-door electric sedan currently available in Canada for less than $100,000.

There are plenty of SUVs and CUVs obtainable today but only one somewhat resembles a typical sedan and it is the Polestar 2. What’s more, these two electric cars are comparable in many ways including pricing and specifications. Despite the similarities, they cater to distinct buyers largely based on their very different personalities. 

The Tesla Model 3 has established itself as a premium and highly-advanced vehicle, and is essentially the one to beat for those wanting an electric “car.” Polestar has a compelling alternative in the 2 but is disadvantaged as few consumers know about it and the brand. Polestar has made huge efforts recently to spread the news as the Geely-owned automaker has finally added vehicles to press fleets. 

Let’s see if the Polestar 2 has got what it takes to tango with the Tesla Model 3.

If you happen to be shopping for a Tesla now, view all our used Tesla cars and SUVs here.

Styling

  • Our pick: Tesla Model 3
  • Why we like it: The Model 3 is sleek and racy; its simple and elegant lines are soothing in an ever-growing sea of utility vehicles. 

Photo: Tesla 

Tesla managed to authenticate its own design language, its brand identity, in one fell swoop with the Model S over a decade ago. Today, there’s never any mistaking a Tesla vehicle for what it is. Despite being common, the Model 3’s unique profiled stance projects speed and purpose. Now, although there have been many reports of poor panel fitment, this Model 3 was nearly perfect. 

The Polestar 2 is more of an acquired taste. It is chunky in places, even slightly vulgar depending on the angle. It will grow on most potential buyers due in large part to its similarities with existing Volvo products. The only measure that can be taken to compliment the 2’s “beefiness” is opting for the 20-inch wheels to accentuate its boxy flared fenders.

Interior

  • Our pick: Polestar 2
  • Why we like it: The Polestar 2’s cabin is more conventional and stylish. 

Photos: Polestar, Tesla 

No matter the trim, the Polestar 2’s cabin is enveloping and ultra-premium. Starting with the seats, not only are they exceptionally comfortable but the standard WeaveTech material looks durable and high-end. The large dashboard conveys a sense of safety which is crucial to the Polestar experience. 

No Apple CarPlay with the Polestar 2 (yet)

The only downside to the Polestar 2’s interior is the infotainment system. The standard 11.15-inch touchscreen centre display runs with a range of Google apps such as Google Assistant. Navigating the menus requires some adaptation but the most unfortunate aspect is that Apple CarPlay is not available. An OTA update is planned for spring 2022 and should include the necessary upgrades. 

Photo: Polestar 

A steeper learning curve with Tesla’s infotainment system

Sitting behind the Model 3’s steering wheel is like dropping into a void. It can be a little disconcerting at first as all controls are solely accessible via the 15-inch touchscreen display. As with all other Tesla vehicles, the 3’s central nervous system becomes the focal point for all operations. The learning curve is steep but far from impossible to overcome. The Model 3’s cabin is sparse and clean, and perhaps too plain when considering the price paid. 

Here’s our full Tesla 3 interior review.

Performance

  • Our pick: Tesla Model 3
  • Why we like it: The 3’s power, range, and litheness are simply addictive. 

Photo: Tesla 

Tesla is the automaker that proved to the world that electric cars are anything but boring. No matter which version of the Model 3 is selected, all are agile and exceptionally responsive. Ride quality is good however the Model 3 is never quite comfortable over uneven surfaces. 

The Tesla Model 3 Performance rivals high-performance cars

Stepping up to the Performance trim opens up a world of speed that is typically reserved for dedicated high-performance cars. With upgraded brakes and an available Track Mode, the Model 3 is truly a silent giant killer. Most impressively is that, despite the performance, a Model 3 with the Long Range AWD configuration will deliver more than 500 km on a full charge. Read our guide to charging a Tesla here.

The Polestar 2 is no slouch although the base single motor version is not as quick as the equivalent Model 3. Its chassis tune is more forgiving than that of the Model 3, a fact that is enhanced by the standard 19-inch wheels. 

Polestar 2's AWD configuration better suited to Canadian winters

Photo: Polestar 

The dual-motor Polestar 2 is more entertaining thanks to the extra power and traction afforded by the AWD configuration better suited to Canadian winters. Range does take a mild hit to the tune of about 30 fewer km but even so, a 400km reserve is plenty to get around. 

Verdict & Specs

It’s not really possible to call out a winner in this comparison test. The main reason comes down to selection. As these lines are being written, there are only a dozen or so EVs available under $100,000 in Canada. Many more are on the way this year but at this very moment, Tesla has a crushing advantage over its competition. Here are some more EVs revealed at the 2022 New York Auto Show.

Consider wait times and price when deciding to buy the Model 3 or Polestar 2

If you order a Tesla Model 3 today, the wait time can be as short as a few weeks before taking delivery. For the Polestar 2, delays can extend well beyond three months. For most other aspects, the Polestar 2 takes it. One main reason is pricing. The Model 3 is at least $10,000 more expensive than the 2 before incentives and EV rebates in Canada.

For example, a Model 3 Long Range dual motor is $12,000 more than the equivalent Polestar. Its only concrete advantage is range, to the tune of about 135 km. As charging infrastructures continue to grow in Canada, range anxiety will all but completely disappear. 

If you’re buying a used Tesla, take a look at our pre-owned, certified Teslas for sale here.

Specs: 2022 Polestar 2 vs 2022 Tesla Model 3

 

Polestar 2

Tesla Model 3

Base Price

$49,900

$59,990

Motor(s)

single front / dual

single rear / dual

Drivetrain

FWD / AWD

RWD / AWD

Maximum Horsepower

402 

NA

Maximum Torque

487

NA

Best 0-100km/h

4.5 seconds

3.3 seconds

Battery Size

78 kWh

82 kWh

Range

Up to 434 km

Up to 538 km

Cargo Space

35 L (front)

440 L (rear)

649 L (front and rear combined)

Towing capacity 

Up to 907 kg

Not recommended

Basic Warranty

4 years or 80,000 km

4 years or 80,000 km

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