In-depth reviews

Peugeot e-208 review

The electric Peugeot 208 is a smart, grown-up package that's fun to drive and has both a useful range and decent rapid-charging capability

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£28,955 - £33,405
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Great, high-tech interior
  • Decent passenger space
  • Tidy handling and performance

Cons

  • Fussy sat-nav interface
  • No proper cable storage
  • Renault ZOE goes further
Car typeElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric225 miles7hrs 15mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)27mins (10-80%, 100kW)

The Peugeot 208 is a car that almost every household has heard of, with a strong aura of familiarity and dependability. These days, you pick what colour and trim level you’d like, then you choose your powertrain – petrol, diesel or electric. As ordinary a choice as deciding on ketchup or mayo with your chips. Or that's how Peugeot wants it to feel, anyway.

Go electric, and the e-208 is what you get. Almost indistinguishable from its siblings – save a blue-green tinge to the lion badge and body-coloured highlights to the grille, it’s a smart-looking five-door hatchback that rivals the Renault ZOE and Vauxhall Corsa-e (which shares the Peugeot’s platform and powertrain), and even to the larger but similarly priced MG ZS EV

Under the stubby bonnet is a 134bhp electric motor that powers the front wheels, fed by a 50kWh battery. The official driving range was boosted from 217 to 225 miles by some mechanical tweaks in late 2021 and the e-208 comes with an app for your smartphone that allows you to check on the car’s status, control charging remotely, pre-set the climate control and more.

Less convenient is that it doesn’t come with a standard cable to plug into a three-pin domestic socket at home, nor does it have any proper cable storage in the boot or cabin. Mind you, the e-208 does charge quickly. Plug into a 100kW public rapid charger and it’ll gain about 100 miles of range in around 20 minutes, while a 50kW charger will do the same in roughly 40 minutes.

It’s assertive-feeling to drive, too. It's more than potent enough, whether you’re launching  from the lights or making use of the mid-range shove. Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response and weights up the steering, giving the car appealingly zealous turn-in even if you’re navigating a suburban roundabout rather than tackling a decent country road.

In Normal or Eco modes, the steering is light but precise and ideal for winding through town, and the light regenerative braking is subtle and doesn’t intrude on progress unless you snick the gearshifter into ‘B’ to increase the force. Even then, it bleeds in smoothly and remains easy to judge. 

The tactile, tech-heavy, eye-catching interior might well sway you towards the e-208 more than the zippy dynamics will. Peugeot streamlined its trim line-up for 2022, removing the entry-level Active and Allure specifications and instead offering a choice of Active Premium, Allure Premium, GT or GT Premium.

A seven-inch 'floating' touchscreen is standard and you also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It can be a bit of a faff to figure out some simple actions on this system, but otherwise the standard kit and graphics are great. You even get multiple USB charging sockets in the front and back, and in all but the cheapest model there’s wireless phone charging and a snazzy configurable driver’s readout with ‘3D’ graphics. Space in the e-208 is exactly the same as in the ‘normal’ 208, so there’s plenty of room in the back for average-sized adults to get comfortable. Meanwhile, the 311-litre boot is a good size by class standards.

Overall, it’s the style, on-board technology and generally sophisticated feel of the e-208 that marks it out. There are some jobs for the facelift, not least a more forgiving ride, some cable storage and perhaps an even longer range given that the Renault ZOE rather shows the Peugeot up with its 245-mile capability.

Even so, the Peugeot has a more youthful, exuberant feel and look than the woollier-handling ZOE, so if you’re looking for a small electric car right now, it's worth considering. And with company-car tax being so low, these more affordable electric cars promise to be a hit in the business and fleet markets. For more on the e-208, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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