The Peugeot e-2008 is a stylish, practical and comfortable electric SUV but with a limited range.
The e-2008 SUV is the second, new generation fully electric model from Peugeot, as the brand implements its strategy of providing an electrified derivative of every model by 2023. Until then Peugeot claims that whatever powertrain you choose there are no compromises to space, technology, looks or driving experience, and in the case of the e-2008 SUV the car maker is right but is it any good? We get one on test for a week to find out.
Like the e-208 supermini, the B segment SUV is built on the same e-CMP platform as the other Groupe PSA cars like the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense and Vauxhall Corsa-e. It is powered by a 100kW electric motor and 50kW battery offering maximum power of 136bhp and 300lb-ft of torque (in Sport mode), as well as a more dynamic driving experience. That equates to a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds, which is more than acceptable for a small SUV. Eco reduces torque and power to 79bhp, and restricts the heating and air con while Normal, which is what it defaults to on start-up, reduces power to 106bhp. There are also two regenerative braking modes – D (moderate) and B (increased)– to help make maximise the range. The latter is definitely better if you prefer to slow down by lifting off the accelerator – although it doesn’t allow for one pedal driving, and when you need to actually deploy the brake pedal there’s too much travel.
Compared to the previous generation the kerb to kerb turning circle has reduced by 40cms so it’s more manoeuvrable around town. Out of the suburbs however, it is poorly damped with the car bouncing over road irregularities while through the corners it rolls and pitches, and the steering is vague and light. It’s certainly not confidence inspiring, and while we realise it’s not a sports car, the Kia e-Niro and Volkswagen ID.3 are a lot more capable. On the upside it’s quieter than most rivals, with little wind and road noise on the motorway, comfortable and on the whole it's reasonable enough. Let’s face it; the typical compact SUV buyer probably doesn’t have dynamic driving experience at the top of their priorities.
Official range figures for the e-2008 SUV are 206 from a full charge, which is a lot less than the Kia e-Niro’s 282 miles. Sadly it also proved hugely inaccurate over our week with it, roughly using double what it should, and that was encompassing everything from town traffic, to empty country roads and dual carriage way driving. If you have it in Eco mode and drive carefully we reckon you could expect somewhere in the region of 150 miles, which isn’t great. On the plus side, it supports 100kW rapid charging so an 80 per cent charge takes just 30 minutes using a public charger while a full charge using a domestic wall box takes 8 hours. Peugeot throw in a six metre type 2 cable and storage bag, and you can use the pre-programmed deferred charge cycle which you can activate inside the charging flap or via the MyPeugeot app.
While prices for 2008s start at £21,030, some seven grand cheaper than the electric equivalent, Peugeot say lower servicing and refuelling costs mean that total ownership cost roughly equivalent to what you'd pay to buy and run an automatic version of the petrol model. Presumably that’s if you can charge at home. On Personal Finance Lease (with an initial payment of £5500 and an optional final payment of £11,709 for a four year contract) you can get your hands on the Active trim level from as little £309 per month at least and with class-leading levels of safety features as standard (including Active Safety Brake, Active Lane Keeping Assistance, Speed Limit Recognition and Recommendation and pedestrian audible alert) it represents good value for money. Company car drivers and businesses are set to benefit the most with 0% BIK in 2020/2021.
At 4.3 metres long, 2 metres wide and 1.5 metres tall, the 2008 is 14cm longer, 3cm wider and 2cm lower than its predecessor. Peugeot’s taken an extension of its current design philosophy for the 2008 SUV with sharp angles to create a striking and distinctive look to the front, side profile and rear. It’s modern-looking without being too futuristic and makes other electric compact crossovers look a little dull. Tooth design LED daytime running lights feature on all versions creating a distinctive lighting signature, which is extended to include three claws either side on the GT Line and GT versions. Styling cues unique to electric version include an ‘e’ monogram on the front side panel and tailgate, body coloured chequered front grille and a couple of dichroic lion emblems which change from blue to green depending on the angle of view.
The e-2008 benefits from the latest version of iCockpit, a compact steering wheel, 7 or 10 inch colour centre touchscreen (angled towards the driver) and a 3D head-up display with the most important information layered on top and bespoke colour theme and animations which display the operation of the powertrain in real time. The 3.5 inch digital instrument panel is entirely configurable (on the Allure trim levels and up) so the driver is able to choose what they see – including navigation, driving assistance functions, energy consumptions and regeneration flow. While it may look cool, it’s definitely a case of form over function; with some people finding it makes the numbers trickier to read at a glance compared to a digital instrument. Additional information can also be displayed including a clever thermal power usage dial – think of it like a domestic electricity smart meter which allows you to see how much power is being drawn from battery for heating and cooling. The infotainment is sluggish to respond and fiddly to use especially while you’re driving, the offerings from Kia and Hyundai’s EVs are far superior.
Overall the interior is pretty smart – not as good in quality as the BMW i3, which to be fair is quite a lot more expensive, but it feels well made with a nice mix of soft and tactile materials helping it to look upmarket.
With the wheelbase increased by 6cm passenger accommodation has improved compared to the outgoing model and as a result there’s plenty of space for five occupants. While the door pockets and glovebox are fairly small there are various stowage areas, including a deep space underneath the front centre armrest, a lidded cubby on the centre console and a couple of cup holders in between the two front seats. And despite the electric powertrain, the e-2008 SUV makes no compromise in practicality with its modular floor maintained and the same 405 litre boot space (with a maximum capacity of 1467 litres) as diesel and petrol models, and that’s because of the way the 50kW battery is housed underneath the floor. Talking of which, it’s covered by an 8 year/100,000 miles warranty which includes roadside assistance, giving owners huge peace of mind.
Unfortunately it suffers from the same problem the e-208 does – in that if you’re over six foot tall it’s impossible to get comfortable and still be able to see the driver display, on top of that the arm rest is too low and the pedals are set in such a way your legs are slightly skew. However, given the average height of a man is 5ft 9in and a woman is 5ft 3in it won’t even affect the vast majority of the public. We also found the small letterbox-style windscreen very impractical and actually not very characteristic of an SUV, likewise with the driving position which is fairly low.
The e-2008 is well-quipped and there are six trim levels available, Active with 16” alloy wheels, digital radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, four USB points (one of those being USB-C format), two zone air conditioning, rear parking sensors and cruise control; Active Premium (£29,895); Allure with 17" diamond-cut alloy wheels and unique exterior and interior styling enhancements (£31,215); Allure Premium (£31,965), GT Line with advanced technological features, 18” diamond-cut two-tone alloy wheels, eight-colour ambient lighting inside and heated front seats and full LED headlights with PEUGEOT Smartbeam Assist (£32,915) and GT (£35,190) which includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Lane Positioning Assist and Active Blind Spot Monitoring and Exclusive Alcantara seat upholstery in grey with blue and green stitching, as well as a panoramic roof and smartphone charging plate.
For those looking for something more stylish than similarly-sized EV crossovers rivals with practicality and comfort (providing you’re below six foot) the e-2008 is well worth considering. There are however, quite a few alternative EVs for around the same money at the GT versions including the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Kia e-Niro 64Wh and Soul EV, and Volkswagen ID.3 which will travel further between charges, are quicker and handle better. If you’re not bothered about passenger space or battery range it’s also worth looking at the Fiat 500, the Honda E, the Mini Electric or the Mazda MX-30.
Peugeot obviously thinks it's going to sell quite a few e-2008s, predicting it will account for 20 per cent of total model mix, and Guillaume Clerc, chief engineer on the 208 and 2008 projects, says: “if we can’t sell electric 208s or 2008s, the world isn’t ready for EVs”. We think it makes a great transition vehicle, but it does not offer the full potential of electric drive with an underperforming battery. It will certainly be interesting to see the sales figures after a year or two of it being on our roads.
Price (RRP OTR): From £29,065, model as tested £35,040 (including plug-in grant)
Top speed: 93mph (Sport mode)
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Driving range combined: 191-206 miles
Charging time: 7 hours 30 minutes (7kW, 0-100%); 5 hours (22kW, 15-80%); 45 minutes (50kW, 15-80%); 30 minutes (100kW, 15-80%)
Insurance group: 19E
Vehicle warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles
Battery warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles/70% capacity