This is the Peugeot e-2008, the electric version of the 2008 small SUV that continues to be available with internal combustion power. Maybe we’re just getting old, but the strange fact of Peugeots being desirable once again has really snuck up on us. Even this dinky e-2008 is a decent looker within the small crossover section of the car market.
It’s based on the second-generation of 2008, launched in 2019, itself a huge improvement on the car that was punted out onto the market back in 2013. From bloaty chrome-infested styling to a sharper suit, a touch of aggression and plenty of the mojo that the zombie lion badge has been missing for a while.
IS THE E-2008 MUCH BIGGER?
Peugeot is just giving the buyers what they want, naturally, but the taller stance doesn’t necessarily magic a great deal of extra room.
The extra 0 does get you a 100mm taller and 250mm longer car, plus 122 litres extra cargo space which expands to an added 361 litrers of space with the seats knocked down.
AND WHAT ABOUT THIS ELECTRIC POWERTRAIN?
The tried and tested Stellantis EV set-up can be found here: 50kWh battery, 134hp e-motor and front-wheel drive.The electric stuff adds around 350kg to the standard 2008, tipping it past the 1.5-ton mark from what was a fairly svelte 1,200kg.
But as usual with modern EVs, the extra mass is all in the floor – that low center of gravity is better for handling – and the whumpf of torque from the get-go makes it feel decidedly perkier than it perhaps should. Having the battery squirrelled away neatly means that room for people and luggage is unimpeded too. The fully charged range is over 320 kilometers.
HOW ABOUT THE INTERIOR?
it’s the cabin where the e-2008 will most likely win a lot of people over. It’s a genuinely futuristic-feeling set-up without going so far off the deep end that it’s gone all zany and unusable.
Its headline act is undoubtedly the ‘3D cockpit’, standard on all but the cheapest 2008, which doesn’t account for many sales in the range anyway. It takes the now de rigueur digital instruments but adds a double layered holographic feel to them, and Peugeot says that it cuts 0.5 seconds from driver reaction times. Which is noble and all, but we like it because it looks nice.
Far more impressive in real life than any pictures, imagine it like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit if it could display a big satnav map and a big speedometer all at once, among a vast array of other functions. In the e-2008 you can toggle to a pleasing graphic showing the energy flow between the battery and motors. The biggest compliment we can pay the whole set-up is that it makes sense of Peugeot’s diddy steering wheel, finally warranting the compromised driving position it brings taller drivers.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
First impressions don’t break from the electric car norm, but if you’re new to EVs with the e-2008 – as we suspect a vast swathe of buyers or leasers probably are – there is much novelty value to be had here.
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WHAT ABOUT THE RIDE?
Some EVs don’t ride especially well, stiffened up to counter their extra weight over internal combustion. The e-2008 is absolutely fine, and much like its petrol and diesel range mates, doesn’t really suffer from a punishing ride any more than its myriad of rivals on similarly plump 18in wheels. It’s a far cry from cloud-like French cars of old, but it won't rattle your teeth out. As ever, avoid large alloys and you’ll have a nicer time.
WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
Crossovers don't often impress us: they can't help but feel like fatter, slower, more expensive versions of neat little hatchbacks. And sure, a Peugeot e-208 will do much of what the e-2008 does, for less money. So you'll have to really want the extra space and ride height on offer here.
Yet Peugeot has made the e-2008 a properly appealing thing in its own right. It looks exciting, like a car you’d be happy to be seen in. And with the combination of spangly 3D dials and electric power, it feels futuristic without resorting to any naff touches. Crucially, though, if you want an electric car that's as easy to use as its gas-powered equivalent, the e-2008 is that too.
This story first appeared in TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.