• All-electric your only option
  • Powerful 136hp motor
  • Fastest accelerating 208

There's only one choice of propulsion in the Peugeot e-208 and as the name suggests it's a fully electric drivetrain powered by a water-cooled 50kWh battery pack.

This powers a 136hp electric motor and means like most electric cars the e-208 accelerates briskly in response to a press of the throttle. The e-208 is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds – half a second quicker than the most powerful 130bhp petrol version - but it tops out at 93mph.

Peugeot reckons 80% of its customers will usually travel about 30 miles a day, and that means you should only need to charge once a week thanks to the e-208's 211 mile range. Realistically most drivers will regularly plug their car in at home and potentially at the office too.

That range is tested under the more stringent WLTP procedure, so you should be able to achieve something close to that figure in everyday driving, particularly if you make the most of the most frugal of the three driving modes, called Eco.

Cycle through the Normal and Sport settings and the throttle response becomes much sharper, offering something close to warm-hatch performance, thanks to a big rush of 260-300Nm of torque (depending on mode) available from the slightest flex of your right foot.

It's not the breath-taking punch off the line we've come to expect from electric cars – largely because early adopters to the tech paired it with a dual motor, all-wheel drive set up and used it to make bold headlines about sub-three second 0-62mph times.

Now we're well into the realm of electric power existing in the mainstream car market and as such it'd be mad to expect the e-208 to perform any differently. Let's not be too blasé though, this is still the fastest 208 on sale.

There's also a choice of regenerative braking modes with a default setting that feels similar to normal engine braking in a conventional car, and a more emphasised mode that allows for something like one-pedal driving in most situations. It's not as pronounced as in the Nissan Leaf but quite satisfying none-the-less.

Handling

  • Additional 340kg of battery weight
  • Retains the 208's handling character
  • Planted feel with lots of grip

As with all electric cars the biggest problem here is weight – the additional mass of the battery pack means the Peugeot e-208 weighs 1,483kg – that's 325kg more than the heaviest conventionally powered 208, and a substantial 478kg chubbier than the lightest model.

It's true that the additional weight is mostly situated beneath you and distributed evenly front to back, so it doesn't make itself known in the form of unsettling body roll or by making one end of the car lose grip before the other, but it's still there.

This makes itself known mostly when changing direction multiple times, where the e-208 doesn't feel anywhere near as agile as the lightest petrol variant. However, we'd argue it's more fun than the diesel version and on the whole feels grippy and more planted thanks to the extra heft.

It retains the conventional car's body roll and light steering, the latter often provoking the former but allowing for easy manoeuvrability in town. It can also feel a bit inconsistent, but the extra steering weight of Sport mode helps increase confidence levels.