Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:09 am
Well, had the Polestar 2 test drive yesterday. Was with a bit of trepidation as I ordered it sight unseen let alone driven.
Big relief. It exceeded all expectations. Lots of waffle follows.
The test drive was to be in a convoy which I thought sounded a bit Carp... but it actually worked - it was a well thought out route with a full variety of roads - some A, some little winding B, a chunk of motorway. I was at the back which was ideal. The other cars were bunched right together - we hung well back and undoubtably had more fun!
First things first, audio. Absolutely superb. I come from a long succession of BMW 5-series and always specify the Harman Kardon audio system. It did not disappoint, and was definitely better than that in my three year old five series. Clean deep bass and a very accurate and neutral sound. Found one little bug - you can choose to make the audio 'driver focussed' - which promptly focussed the sound on the left hand seat. A missed tick box there in the RHD conversion!
I already know the infotainment system inside out because I've been playing with it on the a simulator, but it was good to test it on the actual hardware, and it was flawless from a performance point of view. Silky smooth, and rapid to navigate. Very intuitive - I'd say this is without doubt the current gold standard in car infotainment systems.
The central display was bright and clear even in the stonking sunlight we had this afternoon. At no point did the sun overpower it.
The graphics on the instrument cluster are really clear and easy to see. If I had one observation, it would be that it isn't very bright. There were reflections on the rather pointless bit of plastic in front of the LCD panel which reduced the contrast significantly. BMW just have the bare LCD panel there with an anti-reflective coating on it. I don't know why that bit of plastic is even there to be honest. It's a legacy from a bygone era.
Ambient lighting wasn't easy to see because even inside the venue it was brightly lit, but it looked nice. It makes the whole section around the gear shift appear to float.
Interior build quality fell somewhere between a 3-series and a 5-series BMW. There are some hollow sounding and sharp hard plastics low down on the centre console but other than that everything felt nice. You can't say it looks expensive but it certainly looks different and interesting. The mixtures of materials and fabrics is really cool and contemporary. All very unusual.
The panoramic roof is absolutely superb. As I mentioned above, it was an absolutely scorching afternoon with bright sun yet at no point did I feel any heat on my head. Whatever the coating is, it works flawlessly.
Climate control was powerful - way better than the useless system on my G30 5-series - however it is pretty primitive. For example, there only appears to be a single blower motor so the airflow on both sides is always the same. I've not had a car with a single blower motor in over a decade... Maybe it does have two motors and this is a current software limitation. Don't know.
One little niggle, and I'm sure I'll get used to it, is that the seat squab was not flat. Even with the thigh extension thing pushed all the way in, I could feel a ridge right in an annoying place on the back of my thighs. Was pretty irritating, but I guess it's one of those things that will just disappear.
I can't remember where I read it but someone was complaining about the controls for the mirrors and windows being 'in the wrong place'. I don't know what physiological weirdness that person has, but I had no such problem - everything fell exactly to hand.
Wing mirrors were brilliant - they look so cool, and yet were perfectly functional. The internal mirror on the other hand almost might as well not be there because the view out of the back is borderline non-existent!
360 degree camera worked well, and automatically activated when close to other cars. A good clear view. For creeping out of junctions or parking spaces, the front and rear cameras offer a 180 degree view when manually activated.
Despite still not running the final UK software, the driver assistance functions were working correctly as far as I could see.
The centre console will take some getting used to. I couldn't work out where to put my arm. It's a massive contrast with my current car where the large wide centre console is completely flat. I found the angled part digging into my arm a bit. But it's not a show stopper.
Exterior fit and finish and attention to detail was absolutely flawless. Perfect panel gaps, and a real solid feel to everything you touch. It really doesn't get any better than this. On a par with the best German stuff.
The ride was firm but not unpleasant. It basically felt the same as a BMW with the M-Sport suspension.
The power delivery was really interesting. As testing has proven, it's actually quicker than the Tesla Model 3 LR, but it doesn't feel it because it delivers the power in a more progressive manner. You still get that incredible acceleration that makes you squeal the first few times you do it, but it somehow does it with more finesse than the Tesla. It's really hard to explain. It's just software - different curve - but I liked it.
Windscreen wipers were great. The washer fluid is delivered brilliantly across the whole length of the wiper blades. A minor thing, but well done. The whole length of the wiper blade is heated too as is the steering wheel. No doubt a nod to its Nordic origins, so should be good in winter.
I'm sure I've missed stuff, but there ends my review!