What Car? says...
The fully electric Peugeot e-308 has a lot in common with the regular petrol-powered Peugeot 308.
Obvious, you might think. After all, while they draw their power from different sources, only an extra letter separates their names, and they look pretty much the same. The same goes for the estate car version – the Peugeot e-308 SW. It’s based on the regular 308 SW, but of course it’s fully electric.
But did you know that the e-308 has almost as much in common with the Vauxhall Astra Electric? You see, while those two cars have different names, wear different badges and look distinct inside and out, underneath they are virtually identical, sharing the same batteries and motors.
So, how do you separate these electric cars? Well, you can read this review to find out how the Peugeot e-308 differs from the Astra Electric and comparable electric cars such as the Cupra Born and the MG4 EV.
What’s more, we’ll also give impressions on the e-308 SW and tell you how it compares with its only rival as an electric estate car in this price range, the MG5.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Every version of the Peugeot e-308 – including the e-308 SW – gets a battery with a usable capacity of 51kWh and an electric motor driving the front wheels with 154bhp. There are currently no other options in the line-up.
That's enough power for 0-62mph time of 9.8 seconds, which is slightly slower than the Vauxhall Astra Electric (9.2 seconds), but brisk enough to get up to motorway speeds with little fuss.
Most rival electric cars can accelerate noticeably faster. The slowest version of the Cupra Born can cover the same sprint in 7.0 seconds, while the slowest Tesla Model 3 (which is only a little more expensive) takes 5.8 seconds.
The MG5 is a fair bit quicker than the e-308 SW too. It can cover a 0-62mph sprint in 7.7 seconds, while the e-308 SW can achieve the same sprint in 9.8 seconds (like the regular e-308). However, the instant power from the electric motor means you won’t leave you yearning for more with the e-308 SW, and it should be fine for everyday needs.
Of course, if you're shopping for a small electric car or an electric estate car, it’s not all about pace – electric range is a big consideration too. The e-308 and e-308 SW’s official figure of 257 miles doesn’t particularly stand out, but it’s very close to the entry-level versions of the Born and the VW ID 3. The e-308 SW also has a slightly longer range than the MG5 officially (250 miles).
Many rivals, though, are available with bigger batteries offering far longer ranges. You can buy a Born, for example, with a 341-mile official range, while the MG4 EV Extended Range offers 323 miles. There’s no big-battery option for the e-308 yet.
So, do the e-308 and e-308 SW stand out in other areas on the road? Well, the handling is competent rather than exciting. The steering, although a little numb, is accurate and you can place the car through a corner confidently, while the body stays impressively flat in the process.
The Born is more agile, offering even better, more naturally weighted steering and the Model 3 is in a different league entirely.
The e-308 rides pretty well over most surfaces. It has a slightly firm edge, so the initial impact from road imperfections and potholes can be rather harsh, but they’re dealt with quickly and there’s no unwanted wallowy feel on undulating roads. There is quite a bit of road noise to contend with in the interior, though.
Strengths Decent ride comfort; consistent brake-pedal feel
Weaknesses Underwhelming acceleration; average range between charges
The interior layout, fit and finish
That means it gets Peugeot's iCockpit layout, which gives you a small steering wheel you look over – rather than through – to see the digital driver display. Some people find it an awkward set-up, so try before you buy.
In Allure trim, the e-308's driver display you look at is fully digital, and in range-topping GT it gets a 3D effect. The idea behind it is that it puts important numbers closer to the driver’s vision, but the reality is that it feels like a bit of a gimmick rather than something that actually helps you.
Aside from the small steering wheel, the driving position is sound, offering lots of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel – all versions get lumbar support as standard too.
Allure trim also gets LED headlights, while range-topping GT models swap them for full matrix LED headlights that adapt their full beam automatically so they don't dazzle oncoming drivers (a real benefit for long drives at night).
Every e-308 gets a 10.0in touchscreen infotainment system, which is generally impressive in its look and layout, although the response time could be a little sharper. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone-mirroring is included standard, allowing you to run your smartphone apps on the infotainment screen.
Below the main screen there is a separate panel with touchscreen shortcut buttons that are configurable and are helpful for hopping between different menus. Unfortunately, the climate controls are mostly controlled through the touchscreen, which is fiddly and distracting while driving.
In terms of quality, the e-308's interior compares well with direct rivals. The materials look and feel pleasant, and it’s easily better than what you find in an MG4 EV or VW ID 3.
Strengths Classy fit and finish; wireless smartphone mirroring standard
Weaknesses View of driver display might be blocked for some drivers; infotainment touchscreen response time could be snappier
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Peugeot e-308 has an identical footprint to the regular 308, and the space inside for passengers is the same as well.
That means no one will have any problems getting comfortable up front, and there are some handy cubbies on the dashboard and in the centre console.
Rear seat space isn’t very impressive compared with most rivals, though. Children will fit in the back fine, but adults will find their heads brushing the rooflining. It’s more accommodating than small electric cars such as the Renault Zoe and the All-Electric Fiat 500 but the Cupra Born is better at fitting people in the back.
The e-308’s boot gets the same 361-litre capacity of the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, which is down on the 412-litre boot the regular cars get (the battery takes up some space under the boot floor). It’s pretty much the same size as the boot in the MG4, but the Born’s is bigger.
There’s no front boot, which is a shame, but the estate version is an interesting option given the paucity of electric estate cars.
For instance, the e-308 SW offers superior passenger space to the e-308 hatchback. There’s also slightly more leg room in the rear seats, although it’s still not as spacious as the Skoda Octavia Estate.
Boot space in the e-308 SW is identical to the 308 SW, with 608 litres of capacity with the rear seats in place. Okay, this means it’s not quite as big as the Seat Leon Estate or Octavia Estate, but it still beats the Ford Focus Estate and the MG5. The seats also fold in a 40/20/40 configuration, which makes it flexible if you need to carry longer items.
Strengths Decent storage space up front; good space for the driver and front passenger; e-308 SW offers flexible rear seating
Weaknesses Rear seat headroom not impressive; no dedicated space for a charging cable in the boot
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Peugeot e-308 and e-308 SW are both expensive. They’ll cost more money to buy outright than equivalent versions of all of their closest electric rivals, including the Cupra Born, the MG5 and the VW ID 3, while even the most expensive version of the MG4 costs thousands less.
It’s also only a little bit more money to jump up to the fantastic Tesla Model 3 – which is one of our favourite electric cars and soundly superior to the e-308 in every department.
As standard entry-level Allure comes with 18in alloys, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, but for things like adaptive cruise control as well as keyless entry and start you need to jump up to range-topping GT.
Every model can charge at up to 11kW at home, which is quite rare in electric cars as most will only allow for a maximum of 7kW charging from home. The problem is, chargers that are capable of delivering a faster charge than 7kW at home are quite rare. If you have one, then you can expect a top-up in 5hrs 45min. A regular 7kW home wall box will replenish the battery in 8hrs.
When it comes to public rapid charging, the e-308 and e-308 SW are pretty unremarkable. A maximum charging rate of 100kW means you’ll get a 20-80% top-up in around half an hour, but most rivals can accept more than this.
As for reliability, Peugeot as a manufacturer came 21st out of 32 brands in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey. That puts it at a similar level to Volkswagen, but below Hyundai, Kia, MG and Renault. You get a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, with the battery covered separately for eight years or 100,000 miles.
There is no crash safety rating specifically for the Peugeot e-308. However, the regular 308 was tested by crash safety experts Euro NCAP and delivered a four-star rating out of five. It scored well in most areas but the testers commented that the protection for the driver’s chest was fairly weak.
Strengths 11kW home-charging capability; standard heated seats and heated steering wheel
Weakness Expensive compared with rivals; the maximum charging rate is fairly average
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The e-308's official WLTP range is up to 257 miles. We’d expect it to manage around 200 miles in genuine driving conditions on a mix of roads. The e-308 SW estate car has a similar range.
At a Stellantis factory in Mulhouse, France.