How does Polestar’s new SUV compare to the Tesla Model Y?

Later this year, Australia will receive its second offering from Swedish manufacturer Polestar – how does it stack up against Australia’s favourite electric SUV?

Polestar was previously – and briefly – the high-performance offshoot of Chinese-owned Swedish car maker Volvo, but it was spun off into a standalone electric car brand in 2018.

Australia didn’t receive its first model, the Polestar 1, but the brand launched locally with the Polestar 2 in early 2022. Later this year, the car maker’s second model – the unabashedly large and luxurious Polestar 3 SUV – arrives in showrooms.

RELATED: 2024 Polestar 3 pricing and specs

A potential rival to high-end electric and hybrid SUVs from the likes of Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the Polestar 3 is a large, five-seat electric SUV offering performance, safety, impressive technology and plenty of range – but at a price premium.

While the Polestar 3 arguably competes at the upper end of the price spectrum, the car to beat in the electric SUV space is undoubtedly the Tesla Model Y.

Last year, Tesla sold a whopping 28,769 units of its medium SUV, allowing the Model Y to claim the title of the best-selling car among private buyers in 2023.

Whether you’re considering purchasing a Polestar 3, or are intrigued as to how it compares to the Model Y, here’s what you need to know.

How big is the Polestar 3?

The Polestar 3 is classified as a large SUV. It boasts an abundance of space for a five-seater, sharing the same platform as the Volvo EX90, which offers three rows of seating.

The Polestar 3 is 4900mm long, 1968mm wide, 1614mm high, and sits on a wheelbase of 2985mm.

To put this into context, the Porsche Cayenne, also a large SUV, is 30mm longer (4930), 15mm wider (1983), and 84mm higher (1698), but its wheelbase is 90mm smaller (2895).

In comparison to the Polestar 3, the Tesla Model Y isn’t as long; however, it is wider and higher by 10mm.

Polestar 3 LR Tesla Model Y LR Tesla is…
Length 4900mm 4750mm 150mm shorter
Width 1968mm 1978mm 10mm wider
Height 1614mm 1624mm 10mm taller
Wheelbase 2985mm 2890mm 95mm shorter
Turning circle 11.8m 12.1m 0.3m wider
Ground clearance 201mm 167mm 34mm lower

How much does the Polestar 3 cost?

The Polestar 3 range will offer two variants at launch – kicking off with the Long Range Dual Motor starting at $132,900.

Buyers also have the option of the more expensive Long Range Dual Motor with Performance Pack variant, which starts at $141,900. Both prices exclude on-road costs. For a full rundown of pricing and specifications, read our article here.

In comparison, the Tesla Model Y range is much more affordable, kicking off from $65,400 plus on-road costs for the entry-level rear-wheel-drive variant.

Next in the Model Y line-up is the all-wheel-drive Long Range variant starting at $78,400 before on-road costs, while the range-topping all-wheel-drive Performance has a starting price of $90,020 before on-road costs. 

When is the Polestar 3 coming out?

The Polestar 3 will be available locally from June. Orders can be placed online or at a Polestar showroom around Australia.

There are currently six locations across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Where is the Polestar 3 made?

North American vehicles will be manufactured in Volvo’s factory in Charleston, South Carolina, while locally delivered cars will be sourced from Volvo’s Chengdu factory in China.

Is the Polestar 3 a Volvo?

No. The Polestar 3 isn’t a Volvo, but it shares several of its underpinnings with Volvo cars.

Polestar was previously the high-performance offshoot of the Swedish car maker before establishing itself as a standalone electric brand in 2018.

Both brands are subsidiaries of Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely Holding Group.

The two brands also share their design DNA, and the Polestar 3 sits on the SPA2 electric platform shared with the Volvo EX90.

What’s the driving range of the Polestar 3? 

Powering the Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor are two electric motors and a 107kWh battery pack. Polestar claims up to 610km on a single charge, according to European WLTP testing. With the addition of the Performance Pack, this driving range is cut to up to 560km.

The Polestar 3’s claimed range is notably higher than the Model Y’s quoted range figures.

Tesla claims 455km for the rear-wheel-drive Model Y variant, which packs a single motor and 60kWh battery.

The all-wheel-drive Long Range has a 111kWh battery for a claimed 533km of driving range, while the Performance is equipped with a 79kWh battery and can travel up to 514km.

As for charging, the Polestar 3 is capable of fast charging at a rate of up to 250kW, allowing it to go from 10 to 80 per cent battery capacity in as little as 30 minutes.

Similarly, the Tesla Model Y can be recharged at a peak rate of 250kW on the brand’s Superchargers.

How big is the boot in the Polestar 3?

The Polestar 3 has a cargo capacity of 484L with the rear seats upright and expands to 1411L with the second row folded. There’s also an additional 32L in the front storage compartment.

While these figures are decent, it doesn’t quite measure up to the capacity of the Model Y, which Tesla quotes as 854L or 2041L with the rear seats folded. However, it’s not clear if this figure was obtained using the same measurement standards as the Polestar.

For more details on the Tesla Model Y, you can refer to the owner’s manual.

How fast is the Polestar 3?

The Long Range Dual Motor is capable of 360kW and 840Nm, with a claimed 0–100km/h sprint time of 5.0 seconds. The added Performance Pack boasts 380kW/910Nm and can travel from 0–100km/h in 4.7 seconds.

That’s not a far cry from the Model Y’s performance stats – although the top-spec Model Y is marginally quicker and more powerful than the Polestar 3.

The Model Y rear-wheel drive is capable of 220kW/350Nm and a 6.9-second sprint time. The Long Range variant cuts that time to 5.0 seconds, with more power and torque on offer (378kW/660Nm), while the Performance model produces 393kW/690Nm, and a claimed sprint time from 0–100km/h of just 3.7 seconds.

What’s the difference between the Polestar 3 and Polestar 4?

Those wanting a like-for-like rival to the Tesla Model Y may prefer to wait a few more months for the arrival of the Polestar 4, which is currently on sale and due in showrooms in August 2024, two months after its larger sibling.

The Polestar 4 is smaller and slightly more affordable than the Polestar 3, but with similar performance stats and claimed range figures, and its dimensions and styling are more comparable to the Tesla Model Y.

The Polestar 4 measures 4839mm long, 2139mm wide (with mirrors) and 1544mm tall, and sits on a 2999mm wheelbase – making it 88mm longer overall, 10mm wider and 109mm longer between the wheels than a Tesla Model Y, but 80mm lower.

You can read more about the Polestar 4 pricing and specifications here.

The post How does Polestar’s new SUV compare to the Tesla Model Y? appeared first on Drive.

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