The Peugeot e-2008 offers a fun driving experience compared to many electric rivals, as well as a striking design, all in a compact SUV package that so many buyers want – and it’s relatively affordable.
Apart from offering zero tailpipe emissions, electric cars are also generally good to drive, however the driving experience of different EVs is often similar. So we’ve been waiting for a manufacturer to come along and inject a bit more fun into the EV driving experience, and the Peugeot e-208 achieved this. But we now have the Peugeot e-2008, which offers more space than the e-208, and which we had high hopes for – so have our expectations been met?
What a huge difference there is between the old 2008 model and the new one. The previous-generation car didn’t look exciting at all, yet the new 2008, in our eyes, looks amazing – bold overall, with lots of well-executed design details. And the Vertigo Blue metallic paint of our test car helped to make it stand out even more – complete with the colour-coded elements on the grille which denote the electric model.
The interior is virtually identical to the Peugeot e-208, ie. the ‘i-Cockpit’ with a ‘3D’ instrument display, which looks stylish and fun. The e-2008 has more interior space than the 208, and it sits higher. There’s also a false boot floor so there’s more space for luggage than you might think at first (311 litres with the rear seats up, and 1,106 litres with the seats down).
The powertrain consists of a 50 kWh battery and a 136bhp/100kw electric motor; despite the SUV styling, it’s just front-wheel drive.
There are increasing numbers of pure EVs coming to market, and many of them have similar driving experiences, which although better than their petrol equivalents, often aren’t hugely engaging. However the Peugeot e-2008 shares the same small steering wheel as the 208, which you look over, rather than through, to see the instruments, and this adds to the fun factor. Thanks to good adjustability of the seat and the steering wheel, it’s even possible to get a good driving position – again, something that isn’t possible with lots of EVs.
But it’s not just down to the steering wheel, the e-2008 is also fun to drive because of the agility of the chassis, and the size of the battery is a key element in this. The battery may not offer a 300-mile range, but because it isn’t huge, it isn’t extremely heavy, resulting in the e-2008 having a kerb weight of just 1,548kg – this is heavier than the petrol-engined 208 (1,090kg), but is lighter than many other EVs.
You’ve also got three drive modes to play with – Eco, Normal and Sport. The instant torque of an EV ensures acceleration is strong and linear, and Sport mode makes the car’s responses even sharper. You can also select D or B using the gear selector, with B providing increased levels of regenerative braking.
Although this is a taller car than the 208, because the battery is in the floor, the centre of gravity is low, and so the handling is better than a petrol SUV.
Ride quality is mostly good, although it doesn’t absorb big potholes or badly rutted roads particularly well.
The e-2008’s traction control system is well-judged, with any wheelspin from the front-wheel drive chassis being controlled very quickly and also smoothly. However some torque steer can result from enthusiastic acceleration.
The e-2008 is excellent to drive around town, it’s also fun on country roads, and it’s even perfectly capable on motorways, although there is some road noise at higher speeds.
Some very gentle off-roading was carried out, when, despite only being front-wheel drive and having standard road tyres, the levels of torque resulted in better progress than expected on gravel slopes.
In terms of the interior controls, there’s a wide touchscreen, with air vents below, then underneath are two rows of buttons. These face upwards rather than outwards, with the row furthest away being shortcut buttons for the touchscreen, and unlike the row nearest to you, there’s no ‘click’ when you press a button. These are better than having no shortcut buttons, but they’re not the easiest controls to reach or to select. And there are no separate climate controls, instead they’re within the touchscreen, so you have constantly negotiate the fiddly shortcut buttons to access all the climate controls, which isn’t ideal when driving.
There’s a ‘3D’ instrument display in front of the driver (viewable over the top of the steering wheel), which looks very stylish, and generally works well.
One excellent feature is the ability to depress a button to switch off the lane departure warning system, and it stays off for good. However a feature that’s not as user-friendly is the cruise control, which is hidden behind the steering wheel spoke.
We’d also prefer the touchscreen showing a reversing camera rather than a diagram when reversing, and the Isofix connectors are hidden away behind zips in the seats, making it very difficult to fit child seats.
The Peugeot e-2008’s official WLTP combined electric driving range is 191-206 miles. In the real-world, as with any car, the range of the e-2008 varied depending on how the car was driven, and was between 155 and 192 miles.
The range display goes down in blocks of 6 miles, which doesn’t give total confidence in the accuracy of the read-out.
The e-2008 can be charged from 15-80% in 30 minutes at a 100kW rapid charger (or 45 minutes at a 50kW rapid charger). A 22kW public charger will take 5 hours for a 15–80% charge. A 7kW home charger will take 7 hours 30 minutes to give a 0-100% charge.
An EV is much cheaper to fuel than a petrol car (potentially just one-fifth of the cost), and the e-2008 has a zero benefit in kind rate for 2020/21.
The Peugeot e-2008 GT Line 136 costs £32,915 after the £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant. Our test car had the options of metallic paint (£575), keyless open & go (£300), Drive Assist Pack Plus (Adaptive Cruise Control) (£300), Active Blind Spot Monitoring (£200), and panoramic opening glass roof (£750), taking the total price to £35,040.
The e-2008 battery warranty is 8 years/100,000 miles/70% capacity. Service intervals are two years or 16,000 miles.
The trim levels for the Peugeot e-2008 are Active, Allure, Active Premium, Allure premium, GT Line and GT. Petrol and diesel powertrains are also available.
Many people say that they want a 300 mile driving range in an EV, and this is understandable. The Peugeot e-2008 has an official driving range of 191-206 miles, which translated to 155-192 miles in real-world driving. So this isn’t as impressive as, for example, the Hyundai Kona, which can achieve 300 miles in real-life. However the e-2008 has a smaller, and lighter, battery, and this helps to make the overall car lighter and more agile to drive. This fun-to-drive character is also helped by the small steering wheel. So the overall outcome is that the e-2008 offers zero tailpipe emissions, more space than a 208, a fun driving experience, striking looks, and a stylish interior. And, critically for mass EV adoption, it’s relatively affordable. This sets it sufficiently apart from other EVs to be awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 10 out of 10.