Peugeot e-2008 Review
The Peugeot 2008 is a smart, practical small SUV, and the e-2008 is the all-electric version. It’s just about as simple as that; while some rivals give their electric vehicles a completely different look to conventional petrol or diesel-powered models, Peugeot has kept it virtually identical. But when you’ve got such a good-looking and well-received family car, why would you change it up unnecessarily? As well as the eye-catching style, the e-2008 has a range of up to 206 miles on a single charge, with zippy performance and a comfortable ride. It’s well equipped too, with lots of standard features across a range of trims.
Select's rating score* - 3.8 / 5
If you’ve spent any time at all looking at leasing deals on a new car, you’ll be aware that there are a heck of a lot of small SUVs on the market. Customers love the mix of a small, hatchback-sized footprint and maximum practicality, as well as the high-riding, commanding driving position. Combine that with the explosion in popularity of full electric cars, and you have plenty of demand for a vehicle like the Peugeot e-2008.
Other than the electric power, this electric Peugeot is little changed from the standard 2008, but it’s competing with other electric SUV rivals including the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric and DS3 Crossback e-Tense.
With a range of up to 206 miles from its 50kWh battery, it can’t quite compete with the single-charge potential of some of the competition, but many will argue that for kerb appeal and interior quality, it’s a very strong contender. That it drives well too is icing on the cake.
The e-2008’s big selling point is its looks, which follow the style you’ll see on other recent Peugeot vehicles, including the 208 hatchback that’s also available in all-electric form. With its dark-tinted, LED-highlighted headlights, fang-like daytime running lights and sharp bodywork lines, it doesn’t look like anything else on the road. The interior is similarly contemporary, with a bold design and good quality materials. Interior space is very decent, although there are rivals that have more room. Equipment levels are strong, and largely mirror the rest of the 2008 range, which means five trim levels to choose from – something a lot of rivals can’t match.
The e-2008 comes with just one battery option, which Peugeot describes as a 50kWh unit, but the usable capacity is actually around 45kWh. That’s not small, compared to the 35kWh batteries in the Honda E and Mazda MX-30, but it lags behind the 64kWh battery that you can get in the Kia e-Niro. According to official tests, you can get up to 206 miles from a single charge of the 2008, although real-world performance is likely to be a bit less. It’ll be better if you keep your driving at lower speeds, as motorway driving will drain the battery faster.
Electric cars generally have more instant response to the accelerator than petrol or diesel engines, which gives them a zippier feeling, especially at low speeds. This is true of the e-2008, which will leap forward with vigour when you want it to. It’s not quite as sprightly at higher speeds however; 136 horsepower gives it enough oomph for everyday use, but not much more than that. You won’t notice it around town, but when you get up to fast A-road or motorway speeds you may wish you had a little more grunt to get up to speed or overtake, especially in a fully-loaded car.
You can change the amount of battery regeneration from braking and coasting, which has an effect much like engine braking. With the car set to ‘increased’, you’ll harvest more kinetic energy when you’re not accelerating, and it means you won’t need to use the brake as much. This can make around-town driving much less work, once you get used to it, and sends more excess energy back into the battery for use later.
The handling is set up more for comfort than sportiness, which means a relatively soft, comfortable ride – something not always guaranteed in EVs, which tend to require firm suspension to cope with the weight of electrical components. It’s more comfortable than a lot of rivals. The downside is that if you’re looking for something fun to drive, you might be a bit disappointed. It can be quick to respond, as the steering wheel is very small, which means small inputs have quite a big effect. But there’s a lack of feedback in the steering; not enough to make it difficult to drive, but it means the e-2008 doesn’t feel particularly sharp or agile. The soft suspension means the car leans over a bit in the corners, so it’s not rewarding to drive with any kind of enthusiasm. For those just looking to cruise along though, it’s perfectly acceptable.
It’s also nice and quiet on the move. As well as the obvious benefit of a virtually silent electric motor over a petrol or diesel engine, road and wind noise are very well insulated. All of this makes for a relaxing driving experience, even at higher speeds.
You can charge the e-2008 from a home wallbox or a public charger, or even using a regular three-pin socket if you buy a separate cable. If you have a regular 7.4kW wallbox it’ll refill the battery from empty in 7.5 hours, using the included type 2 cable.
Alternatively, you can use a public fast charger, which will be quicker but more expensive. Recharging from empty to 80% will take 30 minutes at a 100kW charger.
As a pure electric car, you won’t need any petrol or diesel in the e-2008, but you will need to plug your car into the mains to charge it. However you do it, it’ll cost less than using conventional fuel, but it’s cheaper to charge at home than a public charger. For the best results, charge overnight and sign up to a tariff that charges less at off-peak hours. When it comes to efficiency, and the electric equivalent of miles-per-gallon, expect to use around 290kWh per mile.
As there are no polluting emissions, company car drivers will pay just 1% benefit-in-kind tax during 2021/22. Insurance won’t be as cheap as some other small SUVS; groups range from 25 to 27 of 50. That said, the e-2008’s direct electric rivals are broadly similar.
The e-2008’s interior is as modern and stylish as the outside. However, some of its features may take some getting used to. The steering wheel is very small, and the instruments are shown above it, so you look over the wheel rather than through it. It’s worth sitting in the car before you sign your leasing deal; many drivers won’t have a problem with it, but some could find that if they get the wheel in their preferred position, they can’t see the screen properly.
Peugeot calls its interior design ‘i-Cockpit’, and it’s accordingly aviation-influenced, with toggle switches to jump between infotainment features. The system is displayed on a central touchscreen that also shares information with a driver display screen, which replaces traditional analogue dials on higher trim levels. It looks slick, but isn’t quite as clear, quick to react or as easy to use as some rivals.
Material quality is very good, with some premium, plush-feeling materials that are all nicely put together.
Visibility isn’t the best, as you sit quite low compared to most rivals, but it’s only likely to be an issue when manoeuvring, and you get rear parking sensors as standard to help. Most models also have a rear-view camera, and higher spec models get front sensors too.
The e-2008 isn’t the most spacious electric SUV in this class, but it’s not pokey either. Adults in the front or rear shouldn’t struggle for head or leg room, and those in the back will have more space than rivals like the Mazda MX-30 or the DS3 Crossback e-Tense.
Boot space is reasonable as well, at 405 litres of capacity, and the same size as normal 2008s, which isn’t always the case with electric versions of combustion-engined cars. If you need more space you can fold the rear seats down in a 60/40 split, which will give you 1,471 litres.
For general storage you’ve got good-sized door pockets and a deep cubby hole under the front central armrest, as well as a large covered space ahead of the gearstick that’s just big enough for your phone and/or wallet. There are two cup holders between the front seats, too.
The regular Peugeot 2008 was tested by independent safety organisation Euro NCAP in 2019 and was awarded four stars, but was also tested with an optional safety pack, whereupon it scored the maximum five-star score. All e-2008s come with the features of that safety pack, so it’s a five-star car. That said, there are some rivals that have scored better in the individual elements that make up the overall score.
Every model of e-2008 comes with modern tech like automatic emergency braking (AEB), which will apply the brakes if you don’t react to an impending crash. You’ll also get lane assist to stop you inadvertently wandering out of your lane. Higher spec models include a more advanced AEB system that can recognise cyclists and pedestrians as well as other vehicles, and top-end models have a blind spot monitoring system. All models have Isofix child seat mounting points on the outer rear seats, and there’s a third on the front passenger seat in GT and GT Premium models.
You’ve got a choice of five trims in the e-2008 – the same as in the regular 2008. All of them have a decent level of specification. The entry level Active Premium model comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and a 7.0-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, featuring Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Upgrade to the Allure model and you’ll get 17-inch alloys and a rear-view parking camera, while Allure Premium gives you the digital driver display, LED front fog lights and the enhanced AEB system. The GT model has full LED headlights and satellite navigation, as well as a large 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. You also get heated front seats and a wireless phone charger.
The top-spec model is the GT Premium, which has big 18-inch, diamond cut alloy wheels, Alcantara (synthetic suede) upholstery and adaptive cruise control, as well as keyless entry. At the time of writing, the GT Premium model wasn’t a great deal more to lease than other models, so it’s well worth looking at considering the amount of kit you get.
If you’re not set on electric power, then you could consider virtually any other small SUV on the market, and there are plenty to choose from. We’d steer you towards the Ford Puma and Skoda Kamiq as top all-rounders. But when it comes to electric SUVs, have a look at the e-2008s chief rivals. These include the excellent Hyundai Kona Electric, which you can spec with a big 64kWh battery, giving it some 300 miles of range per charge. A similar system is in the Kia e-Niro, which lacks the pizazz of the Peugeot but is more practical and also will touch 300 miles on a single charge. A more recent addition to the market is the Volkswagen ID4, which has a huge 77kWh battery to give you 310 miles from a charge.
If you’re after something smaller, the Kia Soul EV is worth a look too, while for something larger, the Skoda Enyaq iV is a brilliant car at a great price. For something a bit more premium, Volvo’s XC40 P8 Recharge is an excellent and very luxurious small SUV, with a great interior and a solid battery range.
If you sit down and crunch numbers, you’ll find alternatives to the Peugeot e-2008 that will make more sense. There are electric cars that offer a bigger range and more space inside, but very few are as downright funky as the Peugeot. It’s a decent all-rounder that has enough space for family use and a usable electric range, at a good monthly price. But its style is its chief weapon, with snappy looks inside and out, and a high-quality interior. Sometimes a car should appeal to the heart as well as the head, and the e-2008 does that with absolute aplomb.
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*Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews of the Peugeot e-2008
**Correct as of 18/08/2021. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £2,649.02 - Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.