If you prefer your crossover to be electric, the Peugeot e-2008 offers up the same space and versatility inside as the rest of the 2020 Peugeot 2008 range, while offering a driving range of 310 kilometres on a single charge. For those lucky enough to have short commutes and the option of charging at home, this could make for a smart buy.
In the Metal:
For many people, the purchase of a car is as emotive as it is financial, and how it looks has a high degree of importance, especially in the crossover/SUV segment of the market. That's why Peugeot has gone all out on the styling front to make the e-2008 as appealing as possible. It's the same size as the diesel and petrol versions and, even with the 50kWh battery in the floor, there is no impact on passenger compartment space. Peugeot has also managed to keep much of the same 405-litre boot, though this loses out the additional 29-litre underfloor storage that the combustion engine models get.
The battery charge port is where the regular fuel filler cap is located in the left rear wing. As standard, the Peugeot e-2008 gets a CCS-Type 2 charger that is capable of replenishing the battery to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, while charging it to 100 per cent from a home charger will take around 7.5 hours from empty. The front grille gets a subtle change, using horizontal body-coloured inserts on top and throughout its design, but other than the e-2008 badging on the rear and front wing inserts, there isn't a lot of visual differences outside to set it apart.
Different material options feature inside, and our top-spec GT version had high-quality fabric inserts and bright green and blue contrast stitching in the seats. The green stitching runs through the steering wheel and across the dashboard as well. There are also slim ambient lighting inserts along the doors and in front of the passenger seat. Usually, we'd be critical of faux carbon fibre inside a car, but Peugeot has done a decent job with the look and feel of the material that runs up from the door and through the lower section of the dash.
It would be easy to describe the 3D i-Cockpit as a gimmick, but in reality, it works very well. The e-2008 gets different display screens within that, so it's easy to see how much range you have left while the navigation graphics are straightforward to understand when driving. Its 10-inch display is crisp and angled towards the driver, though you don't feel as hemmed in with this model as you do in the larger Peugeot 3008 and 5008 models. The electric model's automatic gear selector is the same as its combustion-engined siblings' with the addition of a selectable B for battery saving mode, which you can use to increase the energy recovery.
Right from the off, the e-2008 demonstrates reasonable amounts of acceleration from rest with throttle response that doesn't feel too sharp. There are three drive modes that you can choose from, with it starting by default in Normal. The electric motor has maximum outputs of 136hp and 300Nm, but these are only available when the Sport mode is selected. In the Normal mode, you get 107hp and 200Nm, which should be sufficient for the majority of drivers. With this setting you also experience the best overall driving setup as the throttle mapping isn't as sharp as in the Sport setting. Shifting down to the Eco mode dulls everything down, and the 80hp of power on tap, combined with the sensation of a longer-travel throttle pedal, makes the car feel sluggish in this guise.
Depending on which version of the Peugeot 2008 you compare it to, the e-2008 weighs around 340kg more. The suspension setup is adjusted to compensate for this and, for the most part, you aren't all that aware of the weight difference. Additionally, almost all of that extra weight lies low down in the car, so it doesn't roll around in bends or feel top-heavy. Having a much smaller steering wheel than is the norm requires a bit of recalibration on the part of the driver, but the reality is that you soon get used to it. You don't need to put in the same amount of steering input due to its size and, while it isn't entirely round, it adds to the sense of manoeuvrability, especially in urban settings.
The e-2008 is expectedly quiet at lower speeds, while at higher motorway speeds there are only faint levels of wind and road noise. The larger 18-inch wheels that were fitted to our test car did worsen the ride quality a little, though we experienced a quieter and more comfortable ride when driving other 2008s with the smaller 17-inch wheels, so this is also worth considering for the e-2008.
What you get for your Money:
We won't know just how well the Peugeot e-2008 stacks up against its rivals in the value stakes until we get confirmation of Irish pricing. Peugeot is likely to offer it with high levels of standard equipment, such as the 10-inch infotainment screen. It will come with fast-charging capability, while the driving range of 310 kilometres should be sufficient for the majority of urban users. As with all electric vehicles, buyers should also factor in the reduced running costs of such a car, from refilling to maintenance. Once the pricing details are announced, this section of the review will be updated.
The Peugeot e-2008 is in no doubt an appealing crossover in many ways, but some buyers may have reservations about its usability due to its 310-kilometre driving range. If you're not driving long distances every day, this won't be a problem, and longer-term it should be quite economical to run.