Peugeot e-208 Review
The Peugeot e-208 looks just as fantastic inside and out as petrol and diesel 208s and is good fun to drive. It’s pricey in comparison, though, and still tight in the back
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If you’re looking to make the switch into a small electric car, the Peugeot e-208 could be a great place to start. It has a decent range, cool looks and is more practical day-to-day than the likes of a Mini Electric. In fact, it’s very similar to the Vauxhall Corsa-e – both brands have the same parent company.
Some of the very first vehicles were EVs, but comparing them with modern electric cars like the Peugeot e-208 is like comparing the latest iPhone with morse code. The e-208 can be rapid-charged as standard, can be controlled using an app and will go an impressive 217 miles on a full charge. It’s so good, in fact, that it won the carwow Little Legend Award along with the standard 208 for 2019.
The e-208’s sculpted bonnet, three-claw LED light designs and prominent rear piano black trim give it a distinctive look. You can tell it apart from the regular 208 by its ‘e’ badging and special Peugeot badge that changes colour in different lights.
A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes as standard, and includes DAB radio and Bluetooth, but more importantly Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too. An option (or standard on GT models) is a 10-inch version of the same system which also includes a built-in sat-nav. In both cases, the screen is high resolution and the menus fairly easy to navigate with e-208-specific energy info included, although the small on-screen buttons can be hard to hit confidently while driving.
There’s no knocking Peugeot’s new 3D digital dials, though. They’re standard from Allure trim and projected onto different layers to give a three-dimensional effect that looks superb. It also displays key information clearly and aisre customisable so you can choose what you want to see. The e-208’s dials differ slightly from the standard car’s, display energy, range and charge info.
Space is more of a mixed bag. Two adults will have no problems getting comfortable in the front seats and the driver gets loads of standard manual seat and wheel adjustment. However, adults in the back seats will find their knees brushing the front seatbacks even if their heads are clear of the ceiling. Still, the e-208’s boot doesn’t shrink over the standard car’s thanks to its clever battery placement.
The Peugeot e208 is a great little electric car. It has a good range, looks fabulous and for an EV it's pretty decent value for money, too.
Under the e-208’s bonnet sits a 136hp electric motor with enough poke to give the e-208 nippy performance around town while its 50kWh battery has enough juice to travel for up to 217 miles between charges.
Speaking of charges, you’ll only need 30 minutes to boost the e-208’s batteries from flat to 80% fully charged using a fast public charge point. Charging the e-208 at home on a 7kW wallcharger takes around 7 hours and should cost you between £8 and £9 depending on your electricity tariff.
Traditionally-powered small cars like the Ford Fiesta will put a bigger smile on your face around corners, but versus other small EVs like the Renault Zoe the e-208 is more fun. It steers and changes direction eagerly, which makes it great for darting through gaps in traffic.
The e-208 is a little heavier than the standard car, thanks to the weight of the batteries, and so Peugeot has stiffened the suspension a little to compensate, which means it’s not quite as comfortable over bumps.
You can also get the Peugeot e-208 with a range of driver assistance systems designed to make long trips less stressful, including a clever cruise control feature that’ll accelerate, brake and steer for you on motorways.
All-in-all the Peugeot e-208 has to be near the top of your list of test drives if you’re in the market for a small electric car.
Make sure you check out our Peugeot e-208 deal pages for the very best prices.
The e-208 is comfy in the front and has a decent-sized boot, but space in the rear is a bit tight for adults.
Space is a bit of a mixed bag. Two adults will have no problems getting comfortable in the front seats and the driver gets loads of standard manual seat and wheel adjustment. You might have to peer over the small steering wheel to look at the dials though.
It’s not such great news in the back though. Clever packaging means that the batteries, stored under the rear seats, don’t eat into cabin space. However, adults in the back seats will still find their knees brushing the front seatbacks even if their heads are just about clear of the ceiling.
There’s plenty of places to chuck your odds and sods in the Peugeot e-208. The front door bins will easily accept a 1.5-litre bottle of water, the two cupholders are a good size and there’s a narrow but deep cubby beneath the front armrest. The glovebox is a little stingy, mind you.
Peugeot has also included a handy flip-down cubby which reveals the wireless charging plate on cars with it fitted. It doubles up as a ledge on which you can place of smartphone either in portrait or landscape, although given all models have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto anyway it’s unlikely you’ll use it to be better view what’s on the screen.
In the back, the door bins are smaller but still take a litre bottle. The nets on the backs of the front seats are pretty shallow, though, and there’s no option for a rear armrest or cupholders.
The e-208’s boot is exactly the same size as the standard 208’s, which means you have 311-litres of boot space, and that’s 100 more than you get in the likes of a Mini Electric. So it’s a decent size, but remember you have to carry around your charging cables in a bag, which eats up a little room.
The Peugeot e-208 is nippy to drive in town and costs peanuts to charge up. The view out the front isn’t great, however.
The engine choice is easy – there isn’t one. Under the e-208’s bonnet sits a 136hp electric motor with enough poke to give the e-208 nippy performance around town while its 50kWh battery has enough juice to travel for up to 217 miles between charges.
Speaking of charges, you’ll only need 30 minutes to boost the e-208’s batteries from flat to 80% fully charged using a fast public charge point. If you have a wall-charger at home, it will take around 7.5 hours to charge from empty to full – easily done left overnight. A full charge on a domestic tariff should cost between £8 and £9.
Electric cars don’t have gearboxes as such – you just stick the e-208 into drive and off you go. In that respect, it’s like driving an automatic, but smoother.
In town the Peugeot e-208 is great to drive. Its electric motor gives you nippy responsiveness and you can do a lot of your driving without having to touch the brakes – as soon as you lift off the accelerator the car starts to slow down. When you do touch the brakes, they feel a bit squidgy and it takes a little while to get used to.
The steering is light and as it’s quite a compact car it’s easy to nip through gaps in traffic.
What’s not so great is the view out the front, which is obscured by the huge pillar where the door mirrors are.
The e-208’s suspension is a bit firmer than the petrol or diesel version to handle the car’s extra weight (because of the batteries), and that means it’s a bit more uncomfortable going over bumps.
On the motorway, the acceleration is pretty good so you shouldn’t have any problems getting up to 70mph to overtake.
You might hear the tyres and the wind a bit more than you do on a standard 208, but remember you don’t have a rattly combustion engine making a noise in an electric car, making these other noises more apparent. Also, motorway driving drains the car’s batteries a bit quicker so you’ll need to plan longer journeys a bit more.
Peugeot e-208 interior looks cool and is mostly well made, but some plastics feel a bit cheap and the black trim scratches easily.