A Used Polestar 2 Is An Incredible Performance EV Bargain Now

At its market launch in 2020, the Polestar 2 was a welcomed Tesla Model 3 competitor with sleek lines and a dollop of Scandinavian elegance. Backing up its neoteric design was a potent powertrain packing a 78-kilowatt-hour battery and dual electric motors pushing 402 horsepower. Even at its launch, the second Polestar (after an expensive, limited-edition hybrid sports car) was a solid offering with respectable—if not groundbreaking—range, power, charging speeds, and driver comfort.

Despite this, depreciation hasn’t been particularly kind to this designed-in-Sweden, built-in-China EV. Today, secondhand car shoppers will be delighted to find the liftback sedan for prices around $30,000.

One Illinois-based dealership is selling a 2021 Polestar 2 Launch Edition with the Performance package for $29,476 with 32,000 miles. Compared to its original MSRP of $67,400, the car depreciated 56.3 percent since it was sold in May 2021, according to its Carfax. Another Polestar 2 is available for $32,500, certified pre-owned in Minnesota. It has 11,000 miles on the odometer along with a balance of 54 months of bumper-to-bumper warranty. It didn’t depreciate as much—a “mere” 41.5 percent, though it comes with a substantial warranty and low miles. 

When considering the prices with options new, many early-build Polestar 2s have seen their values cut in half or more. While calamitous for the original owner, someone can now pick up a used Polestar 2 for less money than a decently-equipped Bolt EUV. For an upscale sedan with impressive performance, its prices are highly compelling. 

Polestar 2: Specs And Prices

Polestar introduced its 2 sedan as a 2021 model year in the Launch Edition guise, starting at $61,200. The Launch Edition offered 233 miles of range, 408 horsepower, and a peak charge rate of 150 kilowatts. It also came with both the Plus and Pilot packages. The Plus package includes an expansive glass roof, WeaveTech seats, phone-as-a-key functionality, a heat pump, and a 600-watt Harman Kardon sound system. The Pilot package has adaptive cruise control, lane centering assist, and LED fog lights. 

For the 2022 and 2023 model years, Polestar introduced a cheaper single-motor variant starting at around $50,000. To the enthusiasts’ dismay, the single motor was mounted up front and made an alright 231 horsepower. Moreover, Polestar made the Plus and Pilot packs optional, leaving the base models quite dry regarding creature comforts. Without the packs, the Polestar 2 doesn’t have adaptive cruise control or a heat pump, two features that far less expensive EVs have as standard, like the Mini Cooper SE. 

2024 Polestar 2 First Drive Review

For the 2024 model year, Polestar introduced a revised design and ditched the unimpressive front-wheel-drive setup. The new rear-wheel-drive base model has a rear-mounted motor pushing a much more substantial 299 horsepower. In terms of batteries, the RWD variant features a more significant 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack with a 205-kilowatt charge rate. Ultimately, it can go 320 miles on a single charge and dash to 60 mph in the high-five-second range, making it a massive upgrade over last year’s base model. The 2024 AWD versions stuck with the 78 kilowatt-hour pack, though power increased to 421 horsepower. 

For all model years, Polestar offered a Performance Pack that hovered around $5,000. The Performance Pack includes 20-inch wheels, gold-painted Brembo brakes, Öhlins dampers, and gold seatbelts. While the 20-inch wheels make for a striking presence on the road, the combination of the wheels and dampers makes for a very rigid ride that comes at the expense of ride comfort. The 2024 model year beefs things up with a further power increase to 455 horsepower and the addition of launch control. Another option available on all Polestar 2s is the Nappa upgrade for $4,000. It ditches the scratchy-feeling WeaveTech seats and replaces them with ventilated leather ones. 

In short, it’s an interesting car with capable performance, solid range and a good dash of luxury—plus, it’s something different. Polestar has big plans in the EV space but it’s far from a household name yet. Expect lots of questions about that badge when you drive around. 

Based on a scan of TrueCar data and current listings, here’s what the approximate used market looks like:

  • 2021 Polestar 2: $28,500 – $40,000
  • 2022 Polestar 2: $24,500 – $42,000
  • 2023 Polestar 2: $39,495 – $47,200

Depreciation Notes

That lack of wider brand recognition probably hasn’t done Polestar’s long-term value any favors. As a new brand, it’s far behind many competitors, including its corporate cousin Volvo. 

As a testament to this lack of awareness, one can compare the prices of the Polestar 2 with the Volvo XC40 Recharge, a crossover that shares the same EV platform. While many buyers might gravitate towards the XC40 for its more SUV-esque proportions, the two vehicles offer similar range, performance, and charging capabilities. When looking at low-mileage examples on Cars.com, the average Volvo costs several thousand more than the Polestar. 

But if you’re okay with slightly less cargo space, the Polestar is the obvious choice. Not only is the Polestar less expensive, but its more aerodynamic design (0.278 versus 0.239 Cd) and optional single-motor setup yield a more usable range. For instance, the 2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor can travel 270 miles on a single charge, according to the EPA. The Volvo only had a range of 223 miles in the same model year, and both used the same capacity battery pack.

What To Look For When Buying

For used options, 2021 and 2022 are the two model years to look out for, as 2023s are generally in the $40,000 range. Since many 2021 model years came fully equipped, they’re the best bet if you’re looking for a punchy audio system, glass roof, and adaptive cruise control.

While 2022 Polestars may come with fewer options, there are some benefits to getting the newer one. Reliability-wise, the 2022 model year will likely have more basic and battery warranty left. In terms of long-distance driving, the 2022s offered a more substantial range across the board. The 2022 model year has 249 miles in all-wheel-drive guise and 270 in FWD form. 

2022 Polestar 2

But the biggest caveat with the 2022 model year is the fact that some examples are missing out on the Plus and Pilot packs. Cloth seats and no adaptive cruise control don’t sound incredibly exciting, so finding one with the packages is essential. It’s important to check the original window sticker when browsing used versions to see the options list. If not readily available, you can discern the ones with the Plus package by the glass roof. Pilot package-equipped offerings will have a blind spot indicator in the side window. Unfortunately, all Polestar 2 steering wheels show the adaptive cruise control icons, even if the car isn’t so equipped. 

Verdict

One preeminent red flag someone may have with the Polestar 2 is its reliability, and fair enough. Like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4, the Polestar 2 has only launched for the 2021 model year. There’s no avoiding the fact that there aren’t many data points on the cars to extrapolate substantial information regarding long-term reliability. However, to reassure prospective buyers, the Polestar 2 has a four-year or 50,000-mile basic warranty and an eight-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty. 

2024 Polestar 2 First Drive Review

Considering many of these used examples are merely around two years old, many will have only utilized half of their basic warranty periods. If you’re extra cautious about the fresh-faced automaker, Polestar offers certified pre-owned models. These come with an additional two years of basic warranty, added to the remaining balance. In the case of relatively new ones, some CPOs might come with even more than four years of warranty. 

While the Polestar 2 isn’t a perfect EV by any means, it’s an exceptionally good one. And for the low price of around $30,000, it’s an unbeatable bargain in the used car market. It offers more range than the Genesis GV60 Advanced, quicker acceleration than the Tesla Model Y Long Range, and quicker charging than the Mach-E. 

Will its striking design and rapid acceleration be enough to make you choose the Polestar 2 as your next ride? Let us know if you’d consider one in the comments.