Base Camp: 2024 Polestar 3

Polestar SUV offers minimalist Swedish luxury but skip the Performance pack.

By Matthew Guy Wheels.ca

Aug 15, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated a month ago

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Fledgling Polestar decided to launch itself with a brace of sedan-ish vehicles, with the all-electric Polestar 2 serving as the beachhead onto which many Canadians first heard of this Swedish brand with kinda-sorta ties to Volvo. Now, its next act involves this nation’s favourite style of vehicle: the SUV.

Called the – you guessed it – Polestar 3, this near-six-figure all-electric vehicle is offered in Canada as two different trims. Both deploy dual motors and a long-range battery pack but the Performance variant trades a bit of road trip legs for outright speed. At a base MSRP of $97,400 we find a machine with up to 482 kilometres of driving range, 483 horsepower, and the ability to hit highway speeds in a tick under 5 seconds. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds if you dare.

For now, all Polestar 3s get a 400V lithium-ion battery with a 111-kWh capacity and the ability to hoover up enough electricity at 250kW DC fast chargers to re-juice from 10 – 80% in an estimated half hour. Brembo-branded performance brakes, an option on other Polestars, are standard with the calipers painted a so-called Swedish gold. Alright, then. Active air suspension and mode-selectable electric power steering help handling.

Polestar 3

In an apparent homage to IKEA and other whip-tidy Swedish items, the interiors of Polestar vehicles are decidedly minimalist – but that’s not to say they are poorly equipped. A fixed panoramic roof is part of the deal, as are tri-zone climate control, ample device charging spots (one of them wireless), and a jumbo 14.5-inch centre infotainment screen. A Bowers & Wilkins sound system with 25 speakers belts out your favourite tunes or grim news from the CBC.

One can splash out $7,000 for different interior upholstery, replacing the charcoal-hued cloth or MicroTech seat coverings with “animal welfare” perforated Nappa leather. The upgrade brings ventilated front seats and massaging functions, so it’s not all for looks. Zooty 22-inch wheels can be swapped in for about three grand but the stock 21’s look just fine to our jaundiced eyes.

It is fortunate Polestar sees fit to splash a bit of colour on those brake rotors since the 3’s exterior paint palette is bleaker than a Swedish crime drama show. Only the dark blue Midnight adds any sense of non-grayscale to the car, with all other options – Magnesium, Snow, and even the entertainingly named Jupiter – residing squarely in the “non-colour” category. At least they are all $0 options.

What We'd Choose

A grand total of $7,000 for the performance pack is a lot of cheddar for adding just 27 horsepower and shaving 0.3 second off the highway sprint. That’s almost $260 per horse, or the average bet per equine at Churchill Downs. Torque fares better in comparison, jumping up 51 to 671 lb.-ft. Still, that’s a big ask – especially knowing the extra power blunts total driving range by about 10 percent.

With that in mind, we’ll stick with the standard Polestar 3 – just be aware that less-expensive trims may be in the pipeline for 2025.

Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.


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