Back in November 2021, I review the Polestar 2 and said it was the best direct competitor to the Model 3 that we’d seen. Now with the Tesla Model Y dominating the sales charts in Australia, the upcoming Polestar 3 is possibly the closest rival to that.
While the design is appealing, the specs and technology are appealing, there’s one major issue with the Polestar 3 that immediately rules them out as a viable alternative and that’s price.
Both of these electric vehicle options have entry-level pricing and I think it’s important to compare, with price, being one of the biggest components in a new vehicle decision.
By way of comparison, let’s look at both the Standard range and the Long range versions of the highest-selling SUV EV in the country, the Model Y SR and LR. The following prices are in Australian dollars and from Victoria.
|Polestar 3 (LRDM)||Polestar (LRDM+Perf)||Model Y (SR)||Model Y (LR)||Model Y (Perf)|
|455km (WLTP)||533km (WLTP)||514km (WLTP)|
I don’t care how passionate you are about the Polestar badge, to imagine the price of the P3 is so significantly more expensive, you’d have to passionately hate Tesla to entertain the Polestar 3 as a viable purchase over the Model Y.
On the entry price, there’s a A$54,291.77 delta between the vehicle and the upper end (before options) is A$55,574.7 on the performance side. The estimated range for the Performance Teirs is 46km great for the Polestar 3’s top spec, while the acceleration speed is a full second faster on the MYP side and has a massive additional cost.
As we know Tesla has a better charging network which includes Tesla Superchargers and all the 3rd party CCS2 charging networks like Chargefox, Evie Networks and others.
I think Polestar needs to seriously review the pricing here and sharpen the accounting spreadsheets if they want the Polestar 3 to be a success here.
Another important factor is the roadmap for ADAS and autonomy for both vehicles. Today, if you buy a Tesla, you have Autopilot included which offers great lane centering and adaptive cruise control. If you want to opt for more, you can pay an additional $5,100 for Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) which adds features like Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, Autopark, Summon and Smart Summon.
You can also pay A$10,100 for Tesla’s FSD Capability that offers EAP + traffic light and stop sign control and a promise to deliver Autosteer on city streets, something we see in the beta release in the US, but has no official timeline for delivery in Australia.
On the Polestar side, you get Pilot Assist included which also uses the lane markings to help steer the car while adapting to the speed of the vehicles ahead. This also includes a heads-up display that displays driver speed and navigation instructions.
If you want Pilot pack with LiDAR, it’s an additional A$6,000 hardware and software upgrade. This is not currently available and is estimated for delivery starting in the first quarter 2025.
The advanced LiDAR system from Luminar is designed to continuously scan the environment in front of the vehicle to create a three-dimensional understanding of Polestar 3’s surroundings. The system can see what the driver sometimes can’t, even in adverse weather or low light conditions.
If you want to check out the Polestar configurator for yourself, you can do that at https://www.polestar.com/au/polestar-3/configurator
If money is no object and you select all the available options, you can build it to cost as much as A$177k.