If you’re in and out of lots of new cars, you’ll know that most in-car operating systems still range from ‘passable but i’ll still take CarPlay’, to any combination of ugly, inoperable and glitchy. The Polestar 2’s on the other hand is a revelation, not once prompting the temptation to plug in for some smartphone integration – a big improvement for a system that, on launch three years ago, had its share of bugs. The 11.5-inch portrait screen as above is large enough to contain everything you need, without being obnoxious, though the thick bezel around the screen is a bit ‘iPad 1’.
The operating system is a Google collaboration – Android Automotive OS – and is very intuitive and easy to navigate. Four main tiles will send you to navigation, phone connections, your media or the range assistant. above those are ‘buttons’ for the camera system, car settings (regen etc) and more. At the bottom, pleasant and easy-to-use climate controls moving inwards from seat ventilation to cabin ventilation mode and temperature. Likewise, the digital instrument cluster is equally intuitive and easy to navigate, showing you your efficiency and your map as well as your speed should you want it.
In terms of features, our car was fairly chock with options, so the £48,950 starting price was inflated by Polestar’s ‘Plus Pack’, which costs £4,000 and adds a Harman Pardon premium sound system, the panoramic roof, ambient lighting, fully electric cooled (with the Nappa leather option) and heated seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a power tailgate, a digital key and air quality monitoring. Polestar likes to offer chunky option packages rather than a slew of individual options to simplify manufacturing.
The end result is that you do get a lot for ticking the box but, of course, the price does jump significantly. Even with the Plus Pack, it comes out below the starting price for the BMW i4. The Pilot Pack will get you on par, adding Pixel LED headlights, LED fogs, Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist (a semi-autonomous drive system). Credit where it’s due to the Model 3, it comes in cheaper than the Polestar and especially the BMW, at almost every spec point.