► Peugeot's electric 2008 driven
► Prices and specs updated for 2021
► 50kWh battery, circa-200-mile range
That’s your only noise when you poke the start button of this Peugeot 2008. No engine jolting to life, here.
Why? Because this baby Peugeot SUV is electric, not that you can tell upon first glance…
I need a spotters’ guide, then
Want to know how the electric one differs from a petrol or diesel version? The biggest difference is that the front grille’s elements are colour-coded, rather than the usual black and, if you get close enough, the Peugeot badge is ‘dichroic’ – blue elements create a 3D effect.
Add a couple of ‘e’ badges dotted around the bodywork and that’s it, really – looks just like any other 2008. The electric version is available in all of the 2008’s new, five-trim line-up for 2021 – ranging from Active Premium to GT Premium – with the the electric 2008’s entry price being £29,680 (after £3000 government subsidy).
Allure spec (from £30,880) brings a reversing camera and upgraded autonomous braking assistance that can spot cyclists and pedestrians and has night functionality, while GT trim adds goodies including smart black exterior roof and door mirror caps, plus a 10-inch touchscreen with connected navigation. That electric 2008 model costs £33,630.
Is the EV and ICE similarity a good thing?
Well, we rate the petrol 2008 pretty highly – it was only just pipped by the Puma in a recent comparison test of ours – mainly due to its awesome design and slick, well-built interior. Few crossovers arguably look as striking as this inside and out, and getting into a Puma after this makes you wonder what Ford’s interior materials designers have been doing with their spare time.
Read Peugeot 2008: our epic winter road trip to John O'Groats
Go for Allure Premium trim and above and you’re treated to Peugeot’s largely-pointless-but-still-very-cool 3D dials and there’s plenty of equipment. The e-2008, like Peugeot’s 3008 and 508 hybrids, also gains some extra graphics for said dials and the infotainment screen, and you can manage when the car charges and keep an eye on electric ‘consumption’. All good, if you can stomach PSA’s generally cack infotainment, devoid of manual air con controls and a latency to inputs that slows things down.
Give me EV powertrain specifics
The e-2008 uses a 50kWh battery and a 100kW motor, meaning 134bhp and 221lb ft, a 0-62mph time of 8.5sec and the e-2008 tops out at 93mph in Sport mode. Groupe PSA’s e-CMP platform that underpins the e-2008 means there’s no sacrifice for boot space compared to a regular 2008.
As for range, Peugeot says the e-2008 can manage between 191 and 206 miles according to WLTP tests and is ready for 100kW rapid charging, with an 80 per cent charge done in half an hour in a best-case scenario.
VIDEO: Peugeot 208 electric vs petrol vs diesel comparison test
What does all of this mean in the real world?
Well, given the e-2008 is modestly powered, don’t expect Ludicrous performance – not that you need it. Sure, there’s a whump of torque that’s not interrupted by a gearbox juggling cogs, but the surge of acceleration is rounded and smooth; more ‘oooh, nice’, rather than ‘holy moly!’ when the throttle is pressed. Shift the ‘gear’ selector over to ‘B’ and you’ve got near-one-pedal driving, too, as the regeneration is pretty fierce.
There are three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco tones down the air-con and shoves some digital cotton wool behind the throttle to soften any inputs, while Sport unleashes all of the performance. The latter mode seems largely excessive here – this isn’t a car to take on a track day.
Peugeot’s tiny i-Cockpit wheel plays well with the e-powertrain in urban areas, making navigating the city and suburbia super easy. The rack is excessively light and doesn’t really communicate much through the wheels, though, which is more than fine for the e-2008 remaining a low-stress and refined runabout, but doesn’t fill you with loads of confidence for a zip down some country B-roads.
We’d recommend sticking to 17-inch wheels (on Allure, Allure Premium and GT trims) if you prioritise ride comfort; the GT Premium model’s larger 18-inch wheels look fantastic but give the ride an unwelcome sharper edge, particularly on motorway journeys. Tyre noise also borders on ‘a bit much’ too, but wind noise is minimal.
What about real-world range?
While with us, we did a 160-mile round trip – some way beyond what most drivers will do in a day. With a battery showing up around 148 miles of charge at 80 per cent capacity, that WLTP test range is well within reach.
What frustrated us most was the range predictor, which we hope Peugeot will recalibrate in future for more accuracy. While range anxiety is minimal to the point of non-existence with an EV that can do around 200 miles, the range-o-meter drops in blocks of around 8 miles at a time, and the 80-mile drive to our destination only took off around 60 miles of e-range. It’s only a little niggle, but an annoying one.
Peugeot e-2008: verdict
If you’re desperate for maximum range, a Hyundai Kona Electric or Kia e-Niro will still comfortably glean more miles from its batteries. If you’re not, the e-2008 has buckets of kerb appeal, a fantastic interior and no detriment to interior packaging compared to combustion engined versions. It’s a low-compromise offering that’ll fit into suburban life very easily.
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