Beneath the blazing sun of Malaga, I seized the wheel of the brand-new Peugeot e-2008, and a wave of excitement engulfed me. Besides the sleek refresh it shares with its gasoline counterpart, this electric marvel has undergone some major upgrades, including a beefier motor and a bigger battery. The result? A driving experience that not only promises more fun but also an extended range.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the e-2008 experience, let’s take a scenic detour through the Malaga region, where I had the opportunity to test this ride on some epic roads. This place offers a playground like no other, with urban streets merging seamlessly into the rural landscape. Nestled on Spain’s southern coast, Malaga isn’t just a location; it’s a full-blown experience. With its golden beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich history, this coastal gem sets the perfect stage to put the e-2008 through its paces…
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. The specific model I had the pleasure of testing packs an impressive punch with its 156 horsepower thanks to its amped-up electric heart. With a 54 kWh battery tucked away under its hood (technically, under its floor), the WLTP-certified range has been stretched from 345 to a reassuring 406 kilometers. Well, that’s a game-changer, especially for those long journeys.
Beyond the cosmetic enhancements it shares with the 2008 model, the Peugeot e-2008 has beefed up its powertrain and boasts a beefier battery, serving up an even more exhilarating driving experience and a longer leash in terms of range. Roadness magazine had the chance to put the 156-horsepower variant with a 54 kWh battery through its paces.
Design Evolution: A Bold New Look for the e-2008
Since the launch of the second-generation Peugeot 2008 in 2019, this model has already found nearly 700,000 proud owners, solidifying its place in history. Furthermore, it clinched the top spot in the B-SUV segment in 2021, just like its predecessor did in its time.
The e-2008 can proudly wear the badge of electrification pioneer in this segment, with a whopping 25,000 units already hitting the road. However, in a fiercely competitive segment like the Peugeot 2008, success alone won’t cut it; continuous learning and improvement are the name of the game. Hence, a comprehensive overhaul has fortified this model’s strengths.
Following in the tire tracks of the latest 508 and 508 SW, the 2008 is the second model to sport the new signature lighting. It proudly showcases its new claw-like headlights, three on each side. The lion logo is bolder than ever on the grille, which itself has been elegantly redesigned to seamlessly merge with the new optical units, giving it an even more expressive appearance.
At the rear, the design of the LED taillights accentuates the sense of width. As for the wheels, they now sport a style reminiscent of the 408. The base Active versions roll on 16-inch wheels, while the Allure and GT models rock 17-inchers, with the GT version offering the option of upgrading to 18-inch wheels.
Inside, Peugeot has introduced fresh upholstery options. Buyers of the GT variant can even opt for optional Alcantara seating. However, the real game-changer lies in the transformation of the i-Cockpit. Allure and GT models get an all-new dashboard, while the Active version sticks to an analog setup. In the center, the 7-inch touchscreen has been swapped for a 10-inch one. Paired with the latest infotainment system, the 2008 is at the forefront of technology.
Every version can also be equipped with the i-Connect system, an enticing option for Allure buyers. The GT version comes standard with the i-Connect Advanced system, which not only offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring but also integrates TomTom navigation to top it all off. Furthermore, updates can now be done ‘over the air.’ Given the smartphone’s central role in connectivity, the 2008 now boasts an upgraded wireless charger. Of course, if you prefer the traditional charging route, you’ll find a handy USB-A port and three USB-C ports in the cabin.
Peugeot has retained the layout of the small steering wheel and elevated dashboard, an architecture that has had its share of fans and critics since the 208’s launch in 2012. Personally, I find the dashboard highly readable, and I appreciate the combination of the touchscreen with physical shortcuts. Navigating between different screens is a breeze, with the Home button readily available for a quick return to the main screen.
The e-2008’s Electrifying Performance: More Power, More Range
I had the opportunity to take the e-2008 equipped with a beefed-up motor for a spin. The jump from 136 to 156 horses translates to an enhanced driving experience. With a 54 kWh battery under the hood, as opposed to the previous 50 kWh, the WLTP-certified range jumps from 345 to a comfortable 406 kilometers. Great news for those looking to embark on worry-free road trips.
This stands as one of the strongest arguments in favor of the new e-2008. Thanks to weight reduction (made possible by a more compact battery design), the addition of a heat pump, and a more efficient motor, the range allegedly increased by 66 kilometers compared to the previous version. This improvement is rather impressive, especially considering both vehicles share the same platform and similar equipment.
The driving position in the e-2008 is comfortable, relaxed, and immediately encourages smooth driving. However, a recurring issue related to Peugeot’s i-Cockpit 3D, previously noted in other models from the brand, primarily depends on the driver’s size and position behind the wheel. For some drivers, the flat-bottomed steering wheel might partially obstruct the view of the lower part of the instrument screen. It’s a problem raised by several users of the brand’s vehicles and, unfortunately, lacks a universal solution. The only way to find out if you’re affected by this issue is to test drive the vehicle at the dealership.
That said, let’s now delve into the driving performance of Peugeot’s compact SUV. The performance is relatively modest. The slight weight reduction didn’t have the expected impact on its agility. Granted, the 0 to 100 km/h sprint is commendable, but despite its 260 Nm of torque, the new 156-horsepower motor doesn’t feel particularly powerful. However, it’s worth noting that the e-2008 isn’t built for the racetrack. Still, one might have expected more pronounced sensations with this beefed-up new version.
On the flip side, we didn’t observe significant changes in the chassis of this new e-2008. The driving feel, while not exceptional, is quite interesting and geared towards comfort, which is especially noticeable in urban driving. It’s in the city where the e-2008 feels most at home and is the most economical in terms of energy consumption.
However, it’s regrettable that Peugeot didn’t offer more driver-selectable energy recovery options. You’ll have to make do with the preset mode B, which doesn’t allow for a complete stop of the vehicle. While the e-2008 is slightly less nimble in tight corners and at high speeds, it remains enjoyable to drive and imparts a sense of security.
In the south of Spain, around Malaga, a region where urban and rural roads provide an exceptional playground, I put the e-2008 to the test, exploring a variety of routes. This experience yielded promising results in terms of consumption. Over a route of approximately 300 kilometers, encompassing both city driving and national roads, my average consumption settled at 15.8 kWh/100 km, without particularly energy-conscious driving. These figures are promising and suggest that a 400-kilometer range is entirely achievable, especially in urban environments. This consumption ultimately aligns quite closely with the figures advertised for the previous version.
Electric SUV Showdown: e-2008 Faces Fierce Competition
This new iteration of the e-2008 is priced roughly 1,500 euros higher than the previous 136-horsepower model. Considering the enhancements, this price increase might seem justified. However, it’s essential to remember that the previous version of the SUV already bore a high price tag. Thus, the starting price for this new version is 41,600 euros for the base Active, the least equipped trim, and climbs to 45,100 euros for the GT version.
The Peugeot e-2008 presents an intriguing prospect in the increasingly competitive realm of compact electric SUVs. It boasts a stylish and fresh appearance without the more eccentric look of some electric car models. In fact, the e-2008 is nearly identical to the 1.2-liter gasoline version of the Peugeot 2008, which is also on offer.
Thanks to a mid-life refresh, the e-2008 now sports a larger 54 kWh battery (with a usable capacity of 50.8 kWh), granting it an extended official range of 251 miles (WLTP). Peugeot has also equipped it with a significantly improved touchscreen infotainment system.
However, since the model’s launch in 2020, the landscape of family-sized compact SUVs has undergone a radical transformation. Many competing automakers offer next-generation models, including the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro EV. There are also new entrants such as the BYD Atto 3, Cupra Born, and Renault Megane E Tech.
All of this, along with established competition—including the MG ZS EV, Vauxhall Mokka Electric, and VW ID 3—means that the e-2008 has quite the fight on its hands if it wants to be successful.
In conclusion, the Peugeot e-2008 delivers a genuinely enjoyable electric driving experience, backed by its more potent motor and a larger battery that extends its range. Its sleek design and high-quality interior make it an appealing choice for those seeking a compact electric SUV. While rear-seat space may be limited, and its range is average compared to rivals, the e-2008 continues to shine among the available options.
With its distinctive charm and improved performance, it remains a highly competitive choice for those who prioritize style and the electric driving experience.