The Scarborough News

Peugeot powers up for the SUV fight

Matt Allan finds out how the all-electric version of the 2008 measures up

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You might not have noticed but there’s quite a lot of talk about electric cars at the moment.

There isn’t space here to discuss whether they are or aren’t the all-healing cure for the world’s transport ills but car makers are throwing their weight behind battery power.

Including Peugeot, although at first glance you’d be hard pressed to tell that this particular­2008isall-electric. Peer closer and you’ll spot the dichromic lion badge, a body coloured grille and subtle ‘e’ badges. But apart from those it looks like any petrol 2008. That’s to say it’s a handsome thing with an upright front end, deep grille, triple slash headlights and fang-like DRLs that make it stand out.

Inside, the e-2008 continues Peugeot’s recent success with a high-quality look and feel and some bold touches. A textured concave dashboard wraps around and marries up with the door cards to create an enveloping feel. Jutting from it are the central 10-inch touchscree­n and unusual open-sided instrument binnacle which houses an eye-catching 3D digital instrument display.

Our GT Line car comes with supportive but not too tight sports seats with a sharp lime green contrast stitch that brightens the cabin, along with the panoramic glass roof, gloss black and brushed metal trim. It’s not all great though, issues like badly positioned switchgear and touchscree­n controls for the heating take the shine off a little, as does the sluggish infotainme­nt system.

While these issues and qualities are shared with other 2008s, the e-2008’s big difference is the 50kWh battery and 100kW electric motor which drive the front wheels.

The e-2008 isn’t a particular­ly large car and the motor’s 134bhp and 221lb ft is enough for it to feel lively on the move. It’s not barn-burningly quick but there’s a responsive­ness at any speed thanks to the nature of the electric motor.

Treat it gently and Peugeot says you’ll get up to 206 miles on a charge but, as with fossil fuel-powered cars, how much you get from a “tank” will depend on how and where you drive. My best miles per kWh was 3.5, the worst was 2.8 meaning I could expect between 140 and 175 miles from a full charge.

One risk with electric cars is that without the backg round noise of an en g ine, passengers are more aware of other external sounds. Thankfully, Peugeot has worked on this and the e-2008 is impressive­ly refined. That refinement carries through to the driving experience too. It rides well with decent damping and a planted, stable feel. It’s not sporty but it’s secure and predictabl­e in the way you want from a smallish SUV.

For a smallish SUV, the e-2008’s £30,000+ price tag sounds pretty steep, although all electric cars are pricey. On a high-spec car like ours matters are worse as its higher price excludes it from the plug-in car grant. That said, there’s plenty of tech, comfort and convenienc­e on board and the e-2008 has a more premium ambience than many rivals, making it a worthwhile entry into the burgeoning world of electric vehicles.

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