Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page


 



First drive: 2024 Peugeot E-208. Image by Peugeot.

First drive: 2024 Peugeot E-208
The refreshed Peugeot 208 launches in electric form, but will it be an improvement on its predecessor?

   



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> Peugeot reviews

2024 Peugeot E-208

4 4 4 4 4

The Peugeot 208 has long been among our favourite small hatchbacks, particularly since the demise of the Ford Fiesta. But now Peugeot has updated its compact hatchback, hoping the changes will help it stay ahead of the curve as its rivals continue to progress. We tried out the new electric version, the E-208, to find out what's new, and whether the 208 is still one of the best in the business.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Peugeot E-208 GT
Price: E-208 from 32,400, E-208 GT from 36,250
Motor: 115kW electric motor
Transmission: single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Battery: 51kWh lithium-ion battery (48kWh usable)
Power: 156hp
Torque: 260Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 215-231miles
0-62mph: 8.2 seconds
Top speed: 93mph
Boot space: 309-1,118 litres

Styling

Peugeot has updated the 208's styling across the board, but it's more of an update than a wholesale redesign. The basic shape, therefore, remains in situ, but Peugeot has tweaked the details, fitting a new nose with a fresh grille, new lights and a new bumper. The rear light design has changed, too, and there are some new colours on offer, including the bright Agueda Yellow that adorns the car seen here. It's a bold look, but the 208 remains one of the most attractive small hatchbacks on the market.

Interior

Inside, the 208 hasn't changed so much either. Yes, this top-of-the-range model shows off the new touchscreen and digital instrument display, but it's all fairly similar to the old car's cabin. Not that there's a problem there. The 208 continues to feel surprisingly premium for such a small car, with generally solid materials and quite an upmarket design. It all seems well screwed together, too.

Yet Peugeot persists with the small steering wheel and high-set gauges, giving the 208 a rather awkward driving position. You can either see the gauges or have space for your knees, and neither is one you particularly want to miss out on.

That said, the gauges themselves are quite smartly arranged, and the new touchscreen is an improvement, albeit a minor one. Yes, it looks much more modern, but the menus are still just as confusing, if not more so, and the screen lags occasionally. Nevertheless, it's something you get used to, and it feels like an upgrade on its predecessor.

Practicality

Unfortunately, the electric version of the 208 is not quite as spacious as conventional petrol versions. Whereas the basic, 1.2-litre 208 comes with a competitive 352-litre luggage bay, the E-208 only gets 309 litres of luggage space, and that's somewhat less competitive. Still, it isn't that cramped by supermini standards, and it should be enough for shopping, school bags and the like. Rear space, however, is quite tight. Sitting four tall adults in the 208 is a bit tricky at the best of times, and our test car's glass roof didn't help on that front but children should be perfectly comfortable sitting behind average-sized grown-ups.

Performance

As before, the 208's engine range will largely be made up of 1.2-litre petrol engines, but it's the electric version we're testing here. Largely because it's the first 208 Peugeot let us have a go in, but also because it's the most dramatically altered 208 in the range. Take, for example, the electric motor. In the old electric 208, it was a 136hp unit, but its power has grown quite substantially to 156hp, all of which is sent to the front wheels. That makes the E-208 the most powerful 208 on sale, with a fairly perky 0-62mph time of just over eight seconds.

More important, however, is the car's range. A slightly larger battery has allowed Peugeot to squeeze in a slightly better range/power ratio, with the new E-208 achieving between 215 and 231 miles on a single charge. In the real world, you might manage 200 miles around town, but you'll struggle to do that on the motorway. Nevertheless, this is a car built for urban environments, and the range should be ample for most. Especially as 100kW DC charging allows the battery to be filled from 20 to 80 per cent in less than half an hour, assuming conditions and the charging point are right.

Ride & Handling

The new 208 drives much like its predecessor, but given the general lack of major changes to the chassis, that doesn't come as much of a surprise. And it's no bad thing, because the old 208 drove very nicely indeed. More supple than most small hatchbacks, and just as agile, it was a great little car.

And the new one is just as good. The small steering wheel is far from our favourite feature in any Peugeot, but it works better in the 208 than in some of the larger models. That, combined with a perky steering rack, makes the 208 feel quite nimble, particularly around town, where it can dart around corners. But that's tempered by a pleasant absorbency to the ride that's missing from a lot of small cars. It isn't perfect, but it's more comfortable than most.

Admittedly, the E-208 is at an advantage over its petrol-powered siblings on the road, simply because it has a lower centre of gravity that keeps body roll in check in corners, but by and large, the 208 is quite an enjoyable thing to drive, and we don't expect that to change much depending on the powertrain.

Value

With prices starting at 32,400, the E-208 isn't exactly cheap. In fact, it's 12,000 more expensive than a basic 208, and that's a massive gulf in price. And with almost identical specifications, you aren't getting much more kit for your money. Every new 208 comes with the LED lights at the front, a 10-inch colour touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Moving up the range adds a snazzier nose, bigger wheels and a reversing camera, as well as a few other extras, but the price walk for each trim level is reasonably small.

Verdict

In answer to our own question, the 208 is set to remain one of the best small hatchbacks you can buy. Well appointed, pleasant to drive and much-improved in electric form, it has plenty going for it. We'd probably choose a more wallet-friendly petrol option were it our money, but we'll wait to drive one before we pass final judgement.



James Fossdyke - 22 Nov 2023



  www.peugeot.co.uk    - Peugeot road tests
- Peugeot news
- 208 images

2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.

2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.2024 Peugeot E-208 GT. Image by Peugeot.







 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Old motor show reports | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2024 ©