Peugeot e-208 review

Category: Electric car

The e-208 is smart inside and decent to drive but rivals offer better value for money

Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 rear cornering
  • Peugeot e-208 interior dashboard
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 boot open
  • Peugeot e-208 interior driver display
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 right driving
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 rear right driving
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 rear cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front right static
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 interior front seats
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 interior back seats
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 interior infotainment
  • Peugeot e-208 interior detail
  • Peugeot e-208 interior detail
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 rear cornering
  • Peugeot e-208 interior dashboard
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 boot open
  • Peugeot e-208 interior driver display
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 right driving
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 rear right driving
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 rear cornering
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 front right static
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 interior front seats
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 interior back seats
  • Blue Peugeot e-208 interior infotainment
  • Peugeot e-208 interior detail
  • Peugeot e-208 interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

Thinking about buying an electric car but don't want to shout it from the rooftops? The Peugeot e-208 could be the model for you.

That's because, unlike many of its rivals, this isn't a bespoke electric vehicle (EV) designed to stand out from "normal" petrol and diesel cars. The e-208 is just a Peugeot 208 with a big battery and an electric motor instead of an engine with cylinders and pistons.

Indeed, the only real visual differences compared with petrol versions of the 208 are a discreet E badging on the rear haunches of the car and the absence of an exhaust pipe.

So, how does the Peugeot e-208 stack up against rival small electric cars, including the BYD Dolphin, MG4 EV and Vauxhall Corsa Electric (which shares many of its parts with the e-208)? Read on and we'll tell you everything you need to know.

Overview

The Peugeot e-208 is smart inside and decent to drive but remains an expensive option in the small electric car class. Newer rivals such as the MG4 are more practical and better value. We'd recommend entry-level Active trim because it keeps the price respectable and comes with enough standard equipment.

  • Smart interior
  • Decent to drive
  • Well equipped
  • Expensive
  • Cramped in the back
  • Driving position won’t suit everyone
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

​​There are two versions of the Peugeot e-208. The cheapest one has a 46.3kWh (usable capacity) battery and a 134bhp electric motor. It’s nippy enough (0-62mph takes 8.1 seconds), although not as quick as the BYD Dolphin or MG4. 

It can officially do around 224 miles on a full charge (it varies slightly depending on trim level). You won't get that far in real-world driving though – expect a range of around 150-190 miles in the summer, falling to roughly 120-150 miles in the coldest weeks of the year. That's a better range than you'd get from a Fiat 500 Electric but again the Dolphin and MG4 have the e-208 beaten.

If you want more range, the e-208 is also available with a 48.1kWh (usable capacity) battery and a 154bhp motor. The official range gets a boost (by around 20 miles) but, oddly, the extra power doesn't improve acceleration. In fact, the official 0-62mph time actually increases slightly, to 8.2 seconds.

Ride comfort is better than in the Dolphin or MG4. The e-208's relatively soft suspension does a good job of dealing with longer-wave bumps, and doesn't get too caught out by potholes and expansion joints. There's more nosedive under braking than you'd experience in many rivals, though.

On the subject of brakes, as with all electric cars the e-208 has regenerative braking so that energy is fed back to the battery as you slow down. Pressing the brake pedal increases the "regen effect" but it means the pedal can sometimes feels curiously spongy (although less so than in the Dolphin). 

Peugeot 208 image
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More positively, the e-208 is quieter than its main rivals. That's most noticeable at motorway speeds, and the car does a surprisingly good job of keeping road and wind noise where it's supposed to be: outside.

The e-208 isn't particularly fun to drive and there's more body lean than in an MG4, but it feels more stable through fast corners than the smaller Fiat 500 Electric and there's plenty of grip. Likewise, the steering is accurate and there's enough weight build up as you turn into bends to give you confidence. Just don't expect much in the way of feedback.

Driving overview

Strengths Quieter than most rivals; comfortable ride; respectable performance

Weaknesses Rivals can travel further between charges

Blue Peugeot e-208 rear cornering

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

We’ll begin this section with a controversial topic: the Peugeot e-208's driving position. Unconventionally, you’re supposed to view its  iCockpit instruments (the speedo and so on) by looking over – rather than through – the steering wheel. Peugeot has tried to make that easier by shrinking the steering wheel to the size of a dinner plate.

If you happen to be long in the body or like to sit close to the steering wheel with the seat jacked up, you’ll probably think the whole arrangement is great. Unfortunately, just as many people will find that the steering wheel blocks their view of the instruments and will have to move the wheel or seat to an uncomfortable position just so they can see what speed they're doing.

For that reason, we’d strongly advise taking a test drive before buying an e-208. The closely related Vauxhall Corsa Electric has a normal-sized steering wheel and more conventional dashboard arrangement.

The 3D effect of the 10.0in digital instrument display on top-spec GT models is a case of style over substance too, because it makes some of the data unnecessarily hard to decipher at a glance.

At least the speed readout is in a prominent position, and you can prioritise sat-nav maps or other information depending on your needs. Thankfully, our mid-spec Allure trim does without the 3D effect, and is therefore much easier to read. Meanwhile, entry-level Active trim gets a smaller 3.5in display combined with analogue dials.

More positively, the e-208's front seats are comfortable and supportive, plus they offer loads of adjustment (top-spec GT cars get extra bolstering and electric adjustment for the driver's side).

Interior quality is generally impressive. The dashboard materials feel pleasingly squidgy, the leather on the steering wheel is suitably fine in grain, and there are fewer hard and scratchy plastics than in a Corsa Electric or MG4.

You'll probably find the e-208's windscreen pillars get in the way a bit at junctions and roundabouts, but all versions have rear parking sensors to help out with reversing. You get front parking sensors too on Allure and GT trims, with a rear-view camera also fitted to the GT.

As standard, all e-208’s come with a 10.0in infotainment touchscreen which offers sharp graphics (particularly on Allure trim and above) and relatively quick response times. You also get wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. However, Peugeot's operating system isn't very intuitive, so it takes a while to learn where certain functions are buried.

It's also rather annoying that you have to use the touchscreen to adjust the air-conditioning. It would be far better if there were physical dials for tweaking the interior temperature, like those in the Corsa Electric. 

Interior overview

Strengths Good interior quality; wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on all trims

Weaknesses Driving position won’t suit everyone; lack of physical air-con dials

Peugeot e-208 interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Although the Peugeot e-208 is a relatively small car, even tall people should find enough space in the front. Head and leg room are plentiful, and the interior is wide enough to not risk an elbow fight between front-seat occupants.

There’s also a decent amount of storage space, including good-sized door bins, a tray at the bottom of the dashboard and various other cubbies. Above that, there's a hidden compartment that clicks open to reveal another handy storage spot for your phone (which doubles as a wireless charging pad on GT models).

Leg room in the back is reasonable as long as you're not sitting behind a tall driver, and there’s a generous amount of foot space under the seat in front. Overall, the e-208 is roomier in the back than a Fiat 500, but the BYD Dolphin and MG4 are much better at carrying tall rear passengers.

If you're buying an e-208, we'd recommend you avoid adding the optional panoramic sunroof because it lowers the height of the ceiling quite a bit and makes head room tight for adults.

The e-208 and the closely related Vauxhall Corsa Electric both have relatively small rear-door apertures that can make it a bit awkward to climb aboard. Mind you, at least there are rear doors: the Fiat 500 is available in three-door form only.

If you’re wondering whether there's a practicality compromise in choosing an e-208 over the petrol-powered Peugeot 208 when it comes to luggage space, there's good news: there isn’t.

The e-208 has 311 litres of boot space beneath the parcel shelf, just like the 208. That means you'll be able to carry more luggage than you would in a Fiat 500 but less than in a Dolphin or MG4.

Practicality overview

Strengths Plenty of space up front; good interior storage; more practical than a Fiat 500

Weaknesses Limited rear leg room; small rear door apertures; optional panoramic sunroof eats into head room

Blue Peugeot e-208 boot open

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Peugeot e-208 costs more to buy than the Fiat 500 – but then you'd expect that because the e-208 is more practical and can travel further between charges.

More of an issue is that the e-208 is priced above the BYD Dolphin and MG4 – both of which are cheaper despite having larger batteries. (You can check the latest prices for all four models on our New Car Deals pages.)

With that in mind, we reckon entry-level Active trim is the pick of the range. With automatic air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors and a leather-wrapped steering wheel as standard, it's well equipped and keeps the price respectable.

Allure is the mid-level trim and adds the 10.0in configurable digital driver’s display, front parking sensors and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Meanwhile, top-spec GT trim comes with niceties such as 17in alloy wheels, full LED headlights, a wireless charging pad and ambient interior lighting. However, it’s too pricey to recommend.

Unlike the BYD Dolphin, which is limited to a maximum charging speed of 88kW, the e-208's battery can support charging rates of up to 100kW. If you can find a fast enough CCS charging point you can top up the battery from 10-80% in about half an hour. With a 7kW home charger a 0-100% charge will take around seven hours and 15 minutes.

Peugeot came a disappointing 21st (out of 32 brands) in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey league table. That's above MG and Vauxhall, but below Fiat, Mini and Nissan.

As for the e-208 itself, it finished in 10th place (out of 20 cars) in the electric car category, with a score of 91.2% –beating the MG4.

For peace of mind, Peugeot offers a three-year warranty, consisting of two years of unlimited-mileage cover from the manufacturer and an additional year provided by Peugeot’s UK dealer network. Meanwhile, the battery is covered by its own eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

All e-208s come with automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and road-sign recognition as standard. If you want blind-spot monitoring, you’ll have to pay extra for it and it’s only available as an option on Allure and GT trims.

What’s slightly disappointing is the fact that the e-208 received four stars out of five for safety when it was appraised by Euro NCAP in 2019, with whiplash protection for adults in the back rated "poor". The electric Fiat 500 also scored four stars (in 2021), but the BYD Dolphin and the MG4 were awarded five stars.

Costs overview

Strengths Well equipped; decent charging speeds

Weaknesses Expensive; average reliability record; disappointing safety rating

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Peugeot e-208 interior driver display

FAQs

  • Officially, the e-208 can do up to 248 miles if you go for the bigger battery version. The smaller battery model has an official range of up to 228 miles (it varies slightly depending on trim).

  • Despite its evocative name, the GT version is no faster or more fun to drive than any other e-208. It's simply a trim level, and comes with lots of standard equipment.

  • The e-208 is 4,055mm long, 1,430mm tall and 1,960mm wide (including door mirrors).

  • The e-208 is built on the same production line as the regular Peugeot 208, at the Trnava Plant in Slovakia.

At a glance
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Target Price from £17,900
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RRP price range £20,410 - £35,850
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)5
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, electric
MPG range across all versions 55.2 - 65.9
Available doors options 5
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £62 / £1,294
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £125 / £2,587
Available colours