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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I've been lurking on the forum for a couple of weeks since placing an order. I've valued the good contribution of posters here and thought I'd give back by posting on the experience of attending the recently-restarted test drives at Farnborough (UK). I hadn't planned to test drive after placing my order, but just happened to look for availability after seeing the nagging "Your Garage is empty" post in my Polestar account for the thousandth time...

As it happened, I looked on Friday night (4th Dec) at about 8pm, and they had several slots for times on Saturday, and a couple on Sunday. I chose 11am at Saturday and due to traffic arrived slightly late (10min). The event was well signposted and easy to find using the post-code given at the time of booking. The test-drives run on a fixed schedule, so if you arrived later than this you would likely miss being able to drive. As it was, I had a couple of minutes to have a few sips of coffee (coffee and cake provided) and then the presentation started.

The overall look and feel of the event matched my expectations for Polestar. Walking in to the very large, mostly empty hanger had the feel of a Google-type launch event, and the staff were professional and courteous. Masks were required in the hanger, but not during the test-drive. Generally, the covid procedures were excellent - very safe if anyone has concerns around that and the vehicles were meticulously cleaned after the drive.

They had 12-13 vehicles total, about 9 of which were to be driven by customers. Two vehicles were untouchable (covid) presentation vehicles. The presentation started promptly at 11:15am, and the presenter outlined how the test-drives worked. The customers were then split into two groups of 4-5 customers each (individuals or couples - I didn't see any families, but they were welcome according to the Polestar rep and the booking info). These two groups moved to separate displays of the in-car entertainment system (the front center-console interactive panel) which were interacted with by a provided stylus (covid). The presenter spent 15min running through the features of the ICE (entertainment not engine) in good order. It was brief and informative (thankfully).

We then moved to the vehicles and were given some detail about one-pedal driving, regenerative breaking, the tail-lights etc, and were then assigned individual vehicles. There was a good mix of PP and non-PP vehicles, but no vehicles with leather interior, although material samples were available. The full range of colours was available in the vehicle, and for me this provided a good comparison of Thunder versus Midnight (one of my decisions). The vehicle colours looked true to the various pictures on the forum and I could see how Thunder, in particular, looked very different depending on different lighting and angles.

I was very pleased to find out that the vehicle I was driving was the exact spec I have on order (Midnight, no PP, no leather, 20in wheels)... either that was luck or the Polestar event staff are really on the ball and matched the order to the available vehicles... I went with luck but was really happy in any case.

Each vehicle has a Polestar advisor assigned to it. The chap I had, Tim, was very personable, knowledgeable, and if he didn't know something, admitted it. He was clearly knowledgeable about the details of the vehicle and talked about it with passion - all in all, what you would like from a person in that role.

The test drive was a mix of roads around the aerodrome (industrial-estate quite roads), some 60mph single-lane twisties (as much as is available in Farnborough) and the drive included a mid-point switch-out stop for couples to change drivers. The 10 or so vehicles split into two groups of five. The drive lasted about 30min and, for me, gave enough time to get familiar with the vehicle. I had not driven either a BEV, or any other PHEV (apart from a Gen 1 Prius 12y ago) and I felt I had enough opportunity to make a decision on the purchase (easy) and understand some of the intricacies of the in-car info etc.

The reasons I decided to attend a test-drive after all was not anything deal-breaking, but a few uncertainties that I wanted to be able to correct before my order was final (I am just over the two week initial order period). These were;

  1. uncertainty about the "niceness" of the Weavetech (having previously owned a 2011 V60 R-design Lux with similar synthetic seats that I did like at all - I would switch to the leather if the same material),
  2. uncertainty about the ride (I would switch to the PP if the non-PP was too stiff),
  3. wanted to ask about tire variants (I would prefer A/S tires, and would order whatever wheel came with them).

1 was resolved as soon as I was in the vehicle. I had vowed never to get non-leather again after the V60, but these seats "felt" nice. I was worried by forum comments about being like neoprene, which I can see why, but to my touch the material was smoother than neoprene and had lower friction. This was enough for me to stick with the Weavetech and not get the leather (two small kids also sways me from that option.

2 was resolved on the drive. I did not think the ride was harsh at all. I purposefully aimed for concrete joins, potholes and the like and was impressed with the suspension. For comparison, I am used to a 2018 RR Sport Autobiography with air suspension (and at the other end of the spectrum, a 2012 MINI JCW GP). The car felt true for a car of it's weight and the ride was not much different to the RR I arrived in.

3 I was informed that the tires were market-dependent (which I had read here), and that the UK gets summer-tires on all sizes of rim. Answered my question so I guess I will take the summer tires (won't be driving too much in winter anyway).

After returning from the drive, the assigned advisor has about 15min to answer any questions and you can also look at the car a bit more. The only criticism of this part was that there was not a lot of time to do this in... If I had not been on my own and was discussing with another person, or did not have a specific list of a few interests, there would likely not have been a lot of time to poke around. Tim was very helpful addressing my concerns and showing me some stuff on the vehicle I may not have been aware of.

All in all, this was a very positive experience and I am glad I took the time to attend (about an hour each way for me). The whole event reflected positively on Polestar and definitely affirmed my earlier decision to purchase. I'd recommend it to anyone in a similar situation but may have some questions that would be best resolved by seeing the car in person.

Long post - but hopefully this is useful to others in a similar situation! :)



2235
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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Thanks, excellent write-up and useful for those thinking of travelling a distance to do it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks and very informative write up, I am attending a test drive event in Swindon on Friday and making a decision to order or not after it.
Glad it helps 👍 I’d considered going to Swindon as I am more or less equidistant between the two options. Would be interested to hear how the two set-ups compare.
 

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Many thanks for the review. Brought back memories for me of my visit to Farnborough in the summer. Only difference (other than travelling from even further away) was not following the postcode in the sat nav! Used the street name and had an interesting drive around the airfield / business park. One of those "I can see where I want to be, but just can't get to it!! I too really enjoyed the experience and found it well worthwhile.
Hope you enjoy the "real thing" when you get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes - I was worried I’d have the same experience and not find the right access road. I was quite happy, other than being late, to drive around Farnborough, since I fly over there in light aircraft and talk to their radar, but have never visited. I was also tempted to visit the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust museum since it was very close to the Polestar hanger, but did not have time.

The worst part about the experience was that I am now anticipating the car more and more... but I have to wait until February or March (depending on which bit of the order page you believe)!

I would not recommend a test drive to anyone who cannot wait for their vehicle to arrive!! 😁
 

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Hi - I've been lurking on the forum for a couple of weeks since placing an order. I've valued the good contribution of posters here and thought I'd give back by posting on the experience of attending the recently-restarted test drives at Farnborough (UK). I hadn't planned to test drive after placing my order, but just happened to look for availability after seeing the nagging "Your Garage is empty" post in my Polestar account for the thousandth time...

As it happened, I looked on Friday night (4th Dec) at about 8pm, and they had several slots for times on Saturday, and a couple on Sunday. I chose 11am at Saturday and due to traffic arrived slightly late (10min). The event was well signposted and easy to find using the post-code given at the time of booking. The test-drives run on a fixed schedule, so if you arrived later than this you would likely miss being able to drive. As it was, I had a couple of minutes to have a few sips of coffee (coffee and cake provided) and then the presentation started.

The overall look and feel of the event matched my expectations for Polestar. Walking in to the very large, mostly empty hanger had the feel of a Google-type launch event, and the staff were professional and courteous. Masks were required in the hanger, but not during the test-drive. Generally, the covid procedures were excellent - very safe if anyone has concerns around that and the vehicles were meticulously cleaned after the drive.

They had 12-13 vehicles total, about 9 of which were to be driven by customers. Two vehicles were untouchable (covid) presentation vehicles. The presentation started promptly at 11:15am, and the presenter outlined how the test-drives worked. The customers were then split into two groups of 4-5 customers each (individuals or couples - I didn't see any families, but they were welcome according to the Polestar rep and the booking info). These two groups moved to separate displays of the in-car entertainment system (the front center-console interactive panel) which were interacted with by a provided stylus (covid). The presenter spent 15min running through the features of the ICE (entertainment not engine) in good order. It was brief and informative (thankfully).

We then moved to the vehicles and were given some detail about one-pedal driving, regenerative breaking, the tail-lights etc, and were then assigned individual vehicles. There was a good mix of PP and non-PP vehicles, but no vehicles with leather interior, although material samples were available. The full range of colours was available in the vehicle, and for me this provided a good comparison of Thunder versus Midnight (one of my decisions). The vehicle colours looked true to the various pictures on the forum and I could see how Thunder, in particular, looked very different depending on different lighting and angles.

I was very pleased to find out that the vehicle I was driving was the exact spec I have on order (Midnight, no PP, no leather, 20in wheels)... either that was luck or the Polestar event staff are really on the ball and matched the order to the available vehicles... I went with luck but was really happy in any case.

Each vehicle has a Polestar advisor assigned to it. The chap I had, Tim, was very personable, knowledgeable, and if he didn't know something, admitted it. He was clearly knowledgeable about the details of the vehicle and talked about it with passion - all in all, what you would like from a person in that role.

The test drive was a mix of roads around the aerodrome (industrial-estate quite roads), some 60mph single-lane twisties (as much as is available in Farnborough) and the drive included a mid-point switch-out stop for couples to change drivers. The 10 or so vehicles split into two groups of five. The drive lasted about 30min and, for me, gave enough time to get familiar with the vehicle. I had not driven either a BEV, or any other PHEV (apart from a Gen 1 Prius 12y ago) and I felt I had enough opportunity to make a decision on the purchase (easy) and understand some of the intricacies of the in-car info etc.

The reasons I decided to attend a test-drive after all was not anything deal-breaking, but a few uncertainties that I wanted to be able to correct before my order was final (I am just over the two week initial order period). These were;

  1. uncertainty about the "niceness" of the Weavetech (having previously owned a 2011 V60 R-design Lux with similar synthetic seats that I did like at all - I would switch to the leather if the same material),
  2. uncertainty about the ride (I would switch to the PP if the non-PP was too stiff),
  3. wanted to ask about tire variants (I would prefer A/S tires, and would order whatever wheel came with them).

1 was resolved as soon as I was in the vehicle. I had vowed never to get non-leather again after the V60, but these seats "felt" nice. I was worried by forum comments about being like neoprene, which I can see why, but to my touch the material was smoother than neoprene and had lower friction. This was enough for me to stick with the Weavetech and not get the leather (two small kids also sways me from that option.

2 was resolved on the drive. I did not think the ride was harsh at all. I purposefully aimed for concrete joins, potholes and the like and was impressed with the suspension. For comparison, I am used to a 2018 RR Sport Autobiography with air suspension (and at the other end of the spectrum, a 2012 MINI JCW GP). The car felt true for a car of it's weight and the ride was not much different to the RR I arrived in.

3 I was informed that the tires were market-dependent (which I had read here), and that the UK gets summer-tires on all sizes of rim. Answered my question so I guess I will take the summer tires (won't be driving too much in winter anyway).

After returning from the drive, the assigned advisor has about 15min to answer any questions and you can also look at the car a bit more. The only criticism of this part was that there was not a lot of time to do this in... If I had not been on my own and was discussing with another person, or did not have a specific list of a few interests, there would likely not have been a lot of time to poke around. Tim was very helpful addressing my concerns and showing me some stuff on the vehicle I may not have been aware of.

All in all, this was a very positive experience and I am glad I took the time to attend (about an hour each way for me). The whole event reflected positively on Polestar and definitely affirmed my earlier decision to purchase. I'd recommend it to anyone in a similar situation but may have some questions that would be best resolved by seeing the car in person.

Long post - but hopefully this is useful to others in a similar situation! :)



View attachment 2235
Thanks for this. I attended on Sunday morning and agree with all you say.
 

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I attended the Farborough event today and agree that it was well run.

The first thing though is that people posting about being given the same car as ordered - must be a coincidence. They tried to put me in one with the performance pack, and have ordered one without. However they were happy to swap.

I made best use of the test drive for a number of reasons.
  • I was last out of the hangar, so I was at the back. I was also last back in to the hanger and they were practically kicking me out at the end. That gave me ample opportunity to play around with the car and the performance without having someone behind me.
  • I lived about three miles away for over 10 years, so knew the roads. As soon as the route overview was said I knew exactly where they were going.
The route itself is just under 10 miles long. I have included a map below. On the map I have marked two places where it is possible to hang back a bit and then give the car a kick to experience the acceleration if you don't know the area. I have also marked on the map where the changeover point is. It is behind the Tweseldown Pub, in the Peter Driver Sports Ground car park.

2270


The long straight bit near the end (goes clockwise), while a 60mph dual carriageway, gets very busy and Hampshire Police like testing their speed cameras on it, so I wouldn't advise booting it along there.
Lots of sign posts when arriving - if you are coming off the M3 at J4a, follow signs for Farnborough and then the signs start. It is also sign posted of the A325.

New member here, long time lurker, with a delivery date on the invoice of 17th December, so the test drive was just a confirmation before I have to hand over the money.
 

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Polestar 2, Midnight (blue), charcoal interior, non-PP
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Useful tips!

If your invoice delivery date is 17th December, that will be when it arrives in the UK, so you should be set for the first week of January, all being well :)
 

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How did I miss this event....annoyingly Swindon is 30 mins from me and fully booked so heading to Farnborough on the 22nd @ 2pm
 

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I attended the Farborough event today and agree that it was well run.

The first thing though is that people posting about being given the same car as ordered - must be a coincidence. They tried to put me in one with the performance pack, and have ordered one without.
Not so sure. I did this test drive back in August and as soon as they confirmed my name they shuffled me along to a non-PP vehicle, as per my order.
 

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Haha I did the event today also @ 11. It was incredibly professional. Very COVID safe. Temp checks on arrival, massive spaces with lots of social distancing, everyone in masks and even your own little stylus pen to touch screens with. I was really, really impressed with how it was run. Top notch stuff.

It felt like a film set with the cars all lined up in a dimly lit hanger; like something set in the future ... but with tea and lemon drizzle cake :)

We were booked for tomorrow but changed the date yesterday for today. Still lots of spaces. I would recommend attending.

The car - totally loved it! Never seen before. My wife wasn't going to come as she's not too fussed and she said as we walked in "wow, that's really nice, waaaaayyy better than the Telsa". We got to see and drive the same spec we've ordered and were happy with those choices.

The car feels and drives like a "car" as opposed to a Tesla which feels more like a go kart. Not as zippy, much more like a normal car which is exactly what we want. Really quite refined, but if you floor it then yes it is fast. I saw no issues whatsoever with the car, it will be perfect for us.

I was really, really impressed. I feel much happier about my purchase now as I feel it's actually a good enough car that I could handle some issues - not too many mind!

EDIT - and the icing on the cake - my planned delivery date has just come forward a week.
 

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Glad you had a good experience @lewis and I love your wife's comment. Having driven a TM3 for three months I totally agree with your comparison. Good luck on your journey.
 

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I also attended a Farnborough test day back in October. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was about six weeks ago (end of October) and I have to say the descriptions above match my experience so clearly a working model. We were the last to leave as we did spend a lot of time chatting with our Polestar advisor. I can't remember the chap's name, but he was both knowledgeable and open when he didn't know the answers. I did then did a test drive with Tesla a few days later, and it was a totally different experience. With Polestar I felt like they wanted the business, whereas with Tesla it felt like they could take it or leave it, a most bizarre approach IMHO. I have to say the event really planted the seed for me that was the car I wanted to go with, it was great to drive (my first EV and as such my first experience of regen), the interior, infotainment etc... I am really looking forward to delivery, getting a tad impatient now - just need Podpoint to actually install the charging point and we will be golden!!! I will say though I will be sorry to see my Audi A4 go...
 
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