Electric dream The Peugeot e208 is close to perfect. And I genuinely mean that.
IF THIS review was the motoring lead and I had 300 extra words to eulogise about the e208, I would still struggle to fit it all in.
Because I could talk about this for hours. I love it.
I love everything about it; the look, the range, the price, the interior and the overall driving experience. I love this new segment of the motor industry; the electric city car.
It has some amazing cars in the Zoe, the Corsa-e and the Honda e. But all of them must now take a knee and bow down to the new leader. OK, so the Zoe has experience and a few extra kms in the range. And the Honda has those incredible wow mirrors and five-screen interior. But as an overall package this e208 pips them.
Peugeot’s styling has been phenomenal for a few years so when you apply that to an EV version of an already-popular car you have a winning combination to begin with. But success is not guaranteed.
Luckily though, the Peugeot boffins didn’t mess this one up and I think the result will be one of Peugeot’s most important cars for years to come. Forget the three SUVs, the vans and the gorgeous 508 for a moment.
This all-electric 208 (with its 340km range) should be top of every potential-EV-buyer’s watch list. Of course, I am not naïve. The fact that it doesn’t have a 400+ km range or an SUV-sized cabin/boot means it will be dismissed by a lot of potential buyers.
But for everyone else who is scared to dip their toe into the EV market for fear of an overload on gadgetry and mild range-anxiety, worry no more.
The range here is real. I used it for a whole host of reasons during my test week, including school runs, urban work commutes and a long motorway stint. And the range dial matched the mileage driven. It was surprisingly refreshing.
It can ‘rapid charge’ to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes too. It comes with 136 hp and 260 Nm of torque and yet it remains perfectly silent. It has the best of both worlds; a fun exciting drive with the peace and quiet of the new powertrain.
The new e-CMP electrified modular platform was developed to incorporate a high-voltage battery with large capacity of 50kWH while preserving space on board and boot volume (the battery is guaranteed eight years, 160,000km for 70 per cent of its charge capacity).
All this means that the inside is surprisingly spacious for a small car. Three kids were comfortable in the back and the front row is well-spaced with lots of storage units.
Controls The racing steering wheel (probably my favourite in the whole motor industry) and 3D iCockpit are both present and all of the piano-key controls and the easy-to-use touchscreen is still here.
As I said at the start, the powertrain may be completely new for the 208 but not much else is. And that’s what makes this special. The future is electrification and a lot of people are tentatively making the big move.
Range and asking price are two of the biggest stumbling blocks but when you consider you can buy one of these for €28,730 (my GT Line test vehicle only cost €33,285) and get 340km on the clock you have two major boxes ticked.
This will easily manage your urban commutes and even a few weekend jaunts before needing a charge.
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