Motoring and Property Editor
9:24 AM 13th October 2020
The Sparky New Electric 208 From Peugeot On Test
Peugeot has undergone a transformation in recent years and now produces some excellent cars. Not only do they look good, but surveys prove that they are reliable too. Sales were slightly up in 2019 against a gloomy backdrop, with many manufactures experiencing a marked decline in cars sold in the UK.
Expectations are therefore high that the all-new 208 will continue the good work and not only satisfy existing owners looking to upgrade, but also to win those all-important conquest sales.
The competition is stiff and varied. Gallic rival Renault has recently launched a new Clio, the German charge is led by the ever-popular Volkswagen Polo and keen drivers often flock to the market leading Ford Fiesta.
The 208 adopts Peugeot’s new design language and boasts an eye-catching front with slim headlights, vertical day-running lights and attractive grille. It is surely one of the best looking and most striking cars in its class.
In spite of a global shift away from diesel, Peugeot still wants to offer buyers a choice. ‘Choose your Peugeot, choose your powertrain’ is the strapline. Diesel engines will still be offered for those who want them.
Most UK buyers will likely choose petrol power and here Peugeot offer a 3-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine with power outputs of 75, 100 and 130PS. Manual or automatic gears are offered too.
On test here is the electric e-208, good for around 211 miles and capable of being charged to 80% in just 30 minutes from the latest generation of 100kWh chargers. Prices start at £25,050 after the deduction of the government’s £3,500 grant.
Standard equipment includes the new Peugeot i-Cockpit with a compact multifunction steering wheel, configurable head-up display, either a 7” or 10” HD colour touchscreen and seven satin chrome piano toggle switches.
Also available is programmable cruise control, Lane Keeping Assist and Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
My top spec ‘GT’ variant adds front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera, full LED headlights, extra safety features and some sporty addenda.
The test car was sent without the 13-amp charging cable requested and I was therefore at the mercy of public charging, noticeable by its scarcity in my rural part of Yorkshire. My first attempt resulted in a measly 15 miles of added range after an hour, admittedly from a slow charger. The faster 50kW unit was out of order.
A 20-mile journey then ensued to a larger market town and sadly I did not fare much better. One of the two chargers was out of order and the other managed only to add 18 miles to my range after an hour on charge. It was a ‘fast’ 50kW charger… I went home having wasted most of the morning.
Of course e-208 owners may benefit from a home charger and thus will be able to begin each day with a full battery. The claimed range is 217 miles, though I cannot confirm or deny this. The battery gauge on my car seemed to suggest around 80 miles of range from a half-charged battery. It may be enough for some.
From my limited time behind the wheel, I can confirm that the e-208 boasts a comfortable ride as per its fossil-fuelled stablemates. Handling is safe and secure without offering a huge amount of driving pleasure.
There are three drive modes, Eco, Normal and Sport. Sport undoubtedly boosts performance at the expense of range, but the difference between the Eco and Normal seems quite modest. Regenerative braking is available with a quick pull of the gear lever and this will help boost range. I must confess to not liking the feel of the brakes which proved difficult to modulate.
The interior offers comfortable seating for four or five at a push, with most of the trim materials being of high quality.
The e-208 may perfectly suit if you have the ability to charge at home or have ready access to an efficient public charging network. For many, a petrol 208 will better suit. Whatever the power source, a good looking and well-equipped car will adorn your driveway.
Peugeot e-208 GT
Price £30,275 (after £3,000 Govt grant)
Battery 50kWh 136
Battery warranty 8 years/100,000 miles/70% capacity
0-62mph in 8.1 seconds
Top speed 93mph
EV Range 217 miles
Emissions 0g/km CO2
Insurance group 28E
Luggage capacity 311 litres (1106 seats down)
Charging Times – On-board charger 7.4kW
Domestic wallbox (7kW) -7h 30 min (0-100%)
Accelerated charger (22kW) – 5h (15-80%)
Rapid charger (50kW) – 45 min (15-80%)
Rapid charger (100kW) – 30 min (15-80%)
You can plug in to a home 13-amp socket (my aim) but expect to wait 24 hours for a full charge.