When no rear window makes for a better car

Polestar last year announced the most practical EV In the Polestar 4. But during the car’s North American debut at the New York International Auto Show this week, we finally got a chance to check out the official asking price and its most controversial feature.

It is positioned as a slightly smaller and more affordable version Polestar 3, the company’s latest EV SUV has a lot riding on it, as it’s Polestar’s most compelling mainstream offering to date. The good news is that while the initial cost was said to be around $60,000, the launch prices are actually quite a bit lower than that. The Polestar 4 starts at $56,300 (including destination) for the standard long-range single-motor version with about 300 miles of range, while the two-motor AWD option with about 270 miles will set you back $64,300.

Polestar 4 has a rather striking profile.Polestar 4 has a rather striking profile.

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

True, it is still much higher than many of its competitors, including Tesla Model Y Starting at $43,900 (before federal incentives) or Hyundai Ioniq 5 For $47,400. But after speaking with Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, I get the feeling that the company is pretty comfortable with this, as they see the 4 as a more accessible, but still very premium, offering among EV SUVs.

On the outside, the Polestar 4 retains the sleek good looks we see on its bigger sibling, but with a few twists. Its nose is a bit pointed and sloping, and it’s a bit more complex as it doesn’t have a front wing like the 3rd. The Polestar 4 is based on the low-slung coupe-like SUV shape that’s still all the rage. now. However, to ensure rear-seat passengers have plenty of space, Polestar has ditched the rear window altogether, opting instead for a simple sheet of metal complete with cameras and a rearview mirror with a built-in display.

Instead of a rear window, the Polestar 4 has a rearview camera. Instead of a rear window, the Polestar 4 has a rearview camera.

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

At first, this may seem like a step too far, even for an EV that doesn’t carry the same burden of tradition as gas-powered cars. But Ingenlath explained that there are many benefits that come from this design change. With no rear window, Polestar was able to maintain ample headroom despite the sloping roofline, which pushed the rear seats further back to create a spacious interior. I had no trouble getting in and out, and even with the front seats pushed back as far as possible, I still had plenty of legroom in the back. In addition, unlike most cars, the rear seats of the Polestar 4 can recline, which further enhances the cabin feel.

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