The launch of the Polestar 2 single-motor FWD model earlier this year has brought a new rival for the base Tesla Model 3 RWD.

In Europe, the newcomer competes with the entry-level Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which features a single electric motor delivering 296 hp and 376 Nm (277 lb-ft) of torque to the rear wheels. In the UK, the Model 3 SR+ costs around £41,000 and offers a range of 278 miles (447 km) from a 50 kWh battery.

The Polestar 2 represents a compelling alternative, featuring a standard 64 kWh battery or an optional 78 kWh pack. The former enables a range of 273 miles (439 km) and is also slightly less expensive at £40,000.

However, the Polestar 2 in this Carwow comparison video features the larger 78 kWh battery with a claimed range of 335 miles (539 km) that powers a front-mounted electric motor rated at 231 hp and 330 Nm (243 lb-ft) of torque. It doesn’t cost much more than the Tesla (it starts at £42,900), so it looks like the pick of the range.

How does it perform against the Tesla Model 3, then? Well, Mat Watson tested both cars for real-world range on a mixed driving cycle that included twisty roads, city streets and the motorway, and the results were interesting. The Model 3 SR+ was found to offer a real-world range of 234 miles (376 km), 44 miles less than the claimed rating. The Polestar 2 only managed 240 miles (386 km), falling short by 95 miles of its official WLTP rating. 

Of course, range is not everything, though it’s arguably the single most important metric of an electric car, and this result highlights once more how efficient Tesla EVs are compared to the competition. 

The Model 3 is also the one to have if driving fun matters for you, but the Polestar 2 has its qualities as well. At the end of the day there is only one winner, so head over to the video to find out which one that is.

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