Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Jump in and you’ll find that the iOn has the feel of any small Peugeot car. The controls for the entertainment including the radio/CD player have a solid feel but the plastics on the dash are a little on the cheap side. Still, this car will only be used as a city runabout not a motorway mile-muncher that demands higher comfort levels. The leather steering wheel and gear lever knob add a little bit of class and a ‘Ready’ light on the instrument panel, accompanied by an audible warning to break the silence, announces that the vehicle is ready to be driven.

If you are worried about running out of charge an indicator on the instrument panel will keep you up to date to stop you being left high and dry. The trip computer indicates the available range calculated on the basis of driving conditions recorded over the previous 15 miles. Parameters taken into account include the type of driving, traffic conditions, the type of journey and use of the heating or air conditioning.

The iOn encourages economical driving by providing an instantaneous readout of levels of energy consumption or energy recovery during deceleration and braking by means of a needle which moves across coloured zones. When the battery charge level falls to two bars the gauge symbol flashes and you'll need to get to a charging point pretty sharpish. At this point only 17% of the battery's energy remains.

When the last bar is reached it too flashes in addition to the gauge symbol. If there are no bars displayed the gauge symbol stays on and the trip computer indicates no range. At this point the game is pretty much up. If the computer thinks you are getting too close to running out of charge the heating and air conditioning will switched off by the vehicle’s onboard systems: only the vehicle's inertia will allow the heater blower to diffuse any remaining hot or cold air.

If there's not enough power to give you the acceleration you want a tortoise symbol appears on the instrument panel and the vehicle’s performance is reduced to help get you to your destination. Instrument and controlwise, the iOn's layout is pretty much the same as a conventional car complete with ignition key, handbrake, four-position gear selector and a brake and accelerator pedal.

Scooting around town in relative comfort will be the iOn buyer's top priority and in this respect Peugeot has not fallen short. The ride is fairly good and the front seats are supportive. The raised driving position makes for good visibility while the short nose of the car makes it very easy to judge the front end when parking. The A-pillars do not intrude making the iOn a perfect car for weaving in and out of city streets.

There is zero engine noise but you do get some road roar from the skinny tyres and there's also a little wind noise coming from the A-pillars.