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2025 Polestar 3 Review: A Luxurious Electric SUV That Challenges Tesla’s Dominance

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Evaluation: The 2025 Polestar 3 aims for effective power

Electric SUV with two rows and seating for five

Projected distance: 279 miles with the Performance Pack, 315 miles for the standard version.

Acceleration from zero to sixty miles per hour takes 4.8 seconds for the standard model, and 4.5 seconds when equipped with the Performance

The launch edition is priced at $80,300, and purchasers might qualify for government subsidies.

The launch of Polestar's latest electric SUV has been postponed due to complications with its software, and the financial support from its affiliate brand Volvo has been withdrawn. As a result, the emerging electric vehicle company must now navigate its future independently.

The road ahead appears well-illuminated after our experience with the 2025 Polestar 3. While it can't claim the title of the most energy-efficient electric SUV, particularly when compared to the Tesla Model Y, this stylish electric vehicle takes pride in its superior ride comfort and cabin craftsmanship, distinguishing it from the pioneering, top-selling, and significantly cheaper model.

Polestar views the 3 as a competitor to the hybrid Porsche Cayenne and it shares similarities with its sibling, the soon-to-be-released Volvo EX90. However, the 3 brings to mind the XC90 with its composed demeanor and subtle sophistication, updated with ten years' worth of enhancements in design and performance, akin to updated software versions.

Should someone in your home be skeptical about electric cars, this could be the car that alters their opinion.

Experience the 2025 Polestar 3 with the Performance Pack – join us for a test

Experience the 2025 Polestar 3 Performance Pack with a trial run in Madrid.

Experience the 2025 Polestar 3 Performance Pack on a test drive in Madrid.

Test run of the 2025 Polestar 3 with Performance Pack in Madrid

What is the performance like for the 2025 Polestar 3?

It comes equipped with a battery pack that has a capacity of 111-kilowatt-hours (107 kWh of which is usable)

Distance Capacity: 315 miles for the standard model, 279 miles with the Performance Pack upgrade

Acceleration from standstill to 60 miles per hour ranges between 4.5 to 4.8 seconds, depending on whether it's the standard

In actual conditions, we estimate the range to be between 2.2 to 2.6 miles per kilowatt-hour.

During a recent evaluation drive that took us from Madrid's heart to Segovia and returned, the Polestar 3 moved swiftly on highways and navigated smoothly through the tight spaces amidst towering hills, creating an overall impressive experience behind the wheel. Despite its substantial heft aimed at providing a premium vehicle sensation, it still maintains a notable level of handling accuracy.

The fundamental design of the all-wheel-drive Polestar 3 features two 180-kw motors situated at each axle, surrounding a 111-kwh battery pack that offers 107 kwh of effective power. Polestar estimates the system's output at 489 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque, enabling the SUV to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

For an additional $6,000, the Performance Pack upgrades the Polestar's capabilities, unlocking an extra 28 horsepower and 51 pound-feet of torque from the battery and motors. The package also includes enhancements to the suspension and minor aesthetic modifications such as gold-painted Brembo brake calipers and gold seatbelts. The main highlight, however, is the improved acceleration, boasting a 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds, although the maximum speed remains unchanged at 130 mph.

The effort to boost performance doesn't come without sacrifices. The SUV has the capability to disconnect its back electric motor to enhance its efficiency, allowing it to travel up to an estimated 315 miles on a single charge according to Polestar. However, this range decreases to 279 miles when equipped with the Performance Pack. These numbers are comparable to the regular Model Y, yet they don't quite match up to the Model Y Performance. This is partly due to the fact that it's approximately 1,500 pounds heavier, tipping the scales at 5,886 pounds in its heaviest version.

However, the Polestar 3 has an edge over Tesla when it comes to maintaining a solid hold on the road without causing driver tension. It's designed for nimble yet smooth driving dynamics, with its fast-response electric steering, a dual-clutch system in the rear axle for more straightforward power distribution than you'd get with a third motor, and this particular version comes with selectable air springs and adjustable shock absorbers. The steering here requires minimal effort for directional changes—the Polestar 3 responds promptly—and it smooths out road imperfections impressively, even on models equipped with 22-inch rims. Tesla's occasionally harsh ride doesn't achieve this level of finesse, nor does it incur the range loss associated with the energy demands of air suspension systems.

Polestar has opted for a different approach to the regenerative braking system, avoiding the abruptness often seen in other models. The transition into regenerative braking is gentle, perhaps even a bit too subtle, despite the highest setting available within its three options. The conventional brakes integrate seamlessly, supported by sizeable 15.8-inch ventilated discs at the front, necessary for decelerating such a substantial vehicle. Models equipped with the Performance Pack benefit from enhanced stopping power with 4-piston Brembo brakes and a firmer suspension setup. Our time with the upgraded version was limited, so a more extensive evaluation on American roads will be required for a comprehensive assessment.

Motorists have the option to switch their Polestar 3 into different driving modes that either conserve battery life or prioritize performance regardless of battery consumption. Additionally, the vehicle offers settings to adjust the stiffness of the ride and steering; however, these are hidden within a menu accessed via an icon on the crucial touchscreen display.

The solid suspension and steering configuration barely disrupt the car's composure—however, it's annoying that one must halt the vehicle to switch modes without risking safety.

By selecting the Off-road setting, the Polestar 3 gains an additional two inches of elevation, increasing its standard ground clearance from 8.3 inches. Additionally, the vehicle comes with automatic self-leveling features in the air suspension system, contributing to a maximum towing capability of 3,500 pounds.

Experience the 2025 Polestar 3 with the Performance Pack during a test drive in Madrid

Performance Pack edition of the 2025 Polestar 3 taken for a spin in Madrid.

Test run of the 2025 Polestar 3 with Performance Pack in Madrid

2025 Polestar 3 Performance Package, trial run, Madrid

The 2025 Polestar 3 surpasses the Model Y in style

It measures 192.9 inches in length

The distance between the centers of the front and rear

Front storage compartment with a capacity of 1.1 cubic

There is a storage area measuring 17.1 cubic feet located behind the back seats.

Space of 49.8 cubic feet available behind the front seating area

The Polestar 3 tops off its efficient electric platform with a cabin designed with sleek Scandinavian simplicity. This includes an understated finish on all surfaces and a streamlined design that could be considered overly simplistic to some.

The streamlined shape gives off a sporty SUV vibe, similar to that of a sport wagon. The model 3's design features reduced gaps and a smoother surface to cut through the air more efficiently. At the front, there's a unique aerodynamic element—a tri-part wing positioned below the emblem, which guides airflow over the vehicle and towards the rear. Here, an additional wing channels the airflow downwards. As Polestar isn't bound by conventional design principles, they've embraced a bolder approach.

Upon entering the cabin, one immediately notices its adherence to classic Swedish design principles, yet elevated to a higher standard. A continuous line traverses almost the entire dashboard, separating the plush materials from the wooden or metallic elements, cleverly concealing a row of air vents behind the sizable 14.5-inch vertically oriented touchscreen. The steering wheel features a 9-inch rectangular screen providing essential data, and a head-up display projects additional information directly onto the windshield.

Configuring the display settings and positioning the seating, mirrors, and integrated software can be quite cumbersome. Polestar has integrated most of the functionality into the touchscreen, with the commands represented by faint and slender icons. Want to reposition a side mirror? This involves a couple of taps and then using the steering wheel controls to adjust it correctly. It's a tedious process that might become second nature to drivers in the future. The rest of the cabin design is subdued, particularly in shades of gray and black. However, the quality of the materials used is significantly better than what you would typically find in a Tesla, and the occasional design flairs, like the gold seatbelts in the Performance Pack model, stand out more due to this restraint.

Volvo's close relative, Polestar, boasts some of the most comfortable automotive seating out there, with ample customization options for the seat sides, lumbar support, and cushion contours. The rear seating area is easily accessible thanks to large door openings and seats that are both deep and inclined at an optimal angle. The interior material varies from faux leather in the standard models to options of genuine nappa leather or wool. When you fold the back seats flat, the Polestar 3 transforms into an almost perfect vehicle for overnight stays, offering a generous interior stretch of over 70 inches. Such functionality might seem too utilitarian for a vehicle that shuts its doors smoothly and moves so quietly you can barely hear it, but let's just refer to it as upscale camping on wheels.

2025 Polestar 3 Performance Pack review on the roads of Madrid

Experience the 2025 Polestar 3 Performance Pack with a test drive in Madrid.

How much does the 2025 Polestar 3 cost?

Initially priced at $80,300, the introductory model of the Polestar 3 has undergone a price reduction to qualify for the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit, although it's still uncertain if it will qualify. The initial units will be manufactured in China, but starting August 1, Polestar plans to produce the model in South Carolina. We're awaiting further details on whether it will receive this significant tax incentive.

The introductory versions come equipped with self-activating emergency brakes, adjustable speed maintenance for cruising, 20-inch rims, a panoramic camera setup, and faux leather embellishments. Additional elements that will later be divided into the Plus Pack and Pilot Pack for the following year's models are also present in the Launch Edition. This suite of features includes everything from a display projected on the windshield and pneumatic suspension to a 25-speaker audio setup from Bowers & Wilkins. With Polestar's use of an Android platform, Apple CarPlay isn't an option, but there are built-in applications for Spotify and Tidal services.

The Pilot Pack now includes additional sensors enhanced by lidar that will improve its autonomous driving capabilities, which can be upgraded via over-the-air updates when new functionalities are released. Furthermore, every Polestar 3 SUV comes with a warranty covering 4 years or 50,000 miles, alongside complimentary scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 30,000 miles.

The starting price for the entry-level Polestar 3 SUV is set at $74,300, with its release scheduled for later this year. It's quite plausible that a top-of-the-line version will have a price tag just under $100,000 when fully equipped.

Polestar is expanding its line-up with additional models beyond the currently available 2 sedan. Details about the upcoming Polestar 4 hatchback will be revealed shortly. Expect to see a Polestar 5 and 6 as well, both built on a newly developed platform and manufactured at the brand's own facilities. Future plans include a Polestar 7, which is anticipated to eventually take over from the Polestar 2. The logic behind the model names is not entirely clear. However, despite not breaking records in charging times, energy efficiency, or velocity, the brand's offerings so far have successfully delivered on both luxury and electric vehicle performance. With a 1, a 2, and now a 3, Polestar's range is progressively growing.

Polestar covered the costs of our trip to Spain, allowing us to present this test drive evaluation to you.

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