Big electric SUVs are the next big thing for automakers for two reasons: customers want them and car companies make boat loads of money with them. Forget all the nonsense you hear in press releases and commercials about dynamism and all that. It’s all about the Benjamins. Tesla, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac are all doing it. Now, even Polestar is in the mix, with its latest iX-rivaling SUV. So can the new Polestar 3 really take on the more established brands in the segment?
This new Polestar 3 is the latest premium electric SUV to hit the segment and it packs sharp looks, big power, and an even bigger price tag. But is that enough to tackle cars like the BMW iX xDrive50? In some ways, it seems like it might be able to and it some ways it doesn’t. So let’s check it out.
At first glance, the new Polestar 3 looks really promising. It’s a great looking car that adapts Polestar’s already good looking design language to an SUV shape quite well. Its front end is sleek, features the brand’s signature “Thor’s Hammer” headlight design, and lacks any obnoxious design elements. No giant fake grilles here. Out back, a simple but slick looking taillight bar makes it look high-tech without being overly flashy. Polestar seems to know how to balance futuristic design with subtle simplicity better than anyone.
In profile, the Polestar 3 is a simple but sharp looking SUV. It features short overhangs, a really cool window line, smooth body lines, and even a cool roof spoiler. The only visual criticism I have is that it seems to be sitting on its wheels a bit. I feel like it needs to sit a bit lower. But that’s it. Otherwise, it’s great looking.
Inside, it’s a bit too simple, and a bit too Tesla-like, but in this current era of over-styled everything, I could use a bit of boring. Hopefully, the quality matches other Polestar cabins. While it won’t beat out the BMW iX in terms of design, all Polestars are nice places to be and shouldn’t draw too many complaints from customers.
So in terms of design, the Polestar 3 looks like it’s going to be a dangerous competitor to the premium establishment. However, when you start to look at its specs, its overall value proposal doesn’t look great.
The Polestar 3 is built on the brand’s new SPA2 platform, which is supposed to be quite advanced. It uses dual electric motors, which make a combined 489 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. However, it’s also a heavy son of a gun, checking in at 5,696 lbs. According to Polestar, it can get from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is a bit slower than the iX xDrive50, which can do the same sprint in a claimed 4.4 seconds. However, there’s a performance package that bumps power to 517 horsepower and 671 lb-ft. That drops the 0-60 mph time to 4.6 seconds, which is still off the iX’s mark despite having quite a bit more torque.
Sending juice to those motors is a large 111 kWh battery pack that provides an EPA-rated 300 miles of range in the standard car and 270 miles with the performance pack. That’s about the same range as the BMW iX for the standard car but the performance pack dips below the Bimmer a bit.
How much will the Polestar 3 cost? A very iX-like $83,900 to start. Getting the performance pack bumps it to $89,900. While the Polestar 3 has the look and it has the power, its interior and its performance are lacking compared to many of its competitors. Hopefully it drives well enough, and is luxurious feeling enough to make up for that. It looks so good that it’s hard to root against it and it proves EV SUVs don’t have to be obnoxious looking. Hear that, BMW?