Peugeot e-2008 Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Car Review

Peugeot e-2008

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Published: 16 Apr 2020
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

First impressions don’t break from the electric car norm, but if you’re new to EVs with the e-2008 - as we suspect a vast swathe of buyers or leasers will be - there’ll still be much novelty value aboard.

You’ll glide away in near-silence, which means pedestrians getting as unwisely close to you as spectators on a Group B rally stage. Passers-by still aren’t used to cars creeping quietly up on them, after all. Once up to speed, you’re suddenly hyper-aware of wind and tyre noise. Neither is especially uncouth in this car, it’s just there’s no longer 3,000rpm of internal combustion to smother them on a motorway cruise.

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What isn’t here – but comes as standard on all the EVs you’ve see on YouTube – is organ-busting acceleration. You'd better avoid YouTube-bound drag races in this thing, because the e-2008 is a little more subtle than that, its power delivered smoothly enough to never upset grip at the driven front axle.

But there’s more depth to the experience here. Just like in the e-208 and Corsa-e, a Drive Mode toggle switches between Eco (80bhp), Normal (108bhp) and Sport (the full 134bhp) modes and allows you to balance performance and battery range as you see fit. Kept in the latter it’s a pleasingly brisk car – the punchiest feeling 2008 in the entire range – but in truth you might explore it once and then default to Normal the rest of the time (just like the car does on start-up), only really calling on Eco when the next charger looks ominously far away. There’s an app to help you manage all that sort of stuff, of course.

Some EVs don’t ride especially well, stiffened up to counter their extra weight over internal combustion. The e-2008 is absolutely fine, and much like its petrol and diesel range mates, doesn’t really suffer from a punishing ride any more than its myriad rivals on similarly plump 18in wheels. It’s a far cry from cloud-like French cars of old, but it won't rattle your teeth out. As ever, avoid large alloys and you’ll have a nicer time for it.

Of course, a firm-edged ride does wonders for agility and - whether buyers actually crave it or not - the 2008 makes its case as the sportiest small crossover thingy in the Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Vauxhall empire. We suspect that’s hardly of utmost importance, but it does mean that if Peugeot ever whacks sporty badges and another e-motor at this, they’ll probably fit just fine.

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