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Car Review

Peugeot e-308 review

£39,845 - £42,045
710
Published: 19 Dec 2023
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Peugeot puts this same powertrain in the e-2008 crossover, and the lower slung seating position of the 308 is immediately more appealing if even a fibre of your being enjoys the process of driving. It sits lower than the previous-gen 308 with some clever slicing up of the battery ensuring the floor hasn’t had to climb to accommodate your new-fangled power source.

Curiously that e-2008 is quicker, though – hitting 62mph almost a second sooner – with lower weight likely responsible. But at 1,684kg the e-308 still sits at the lower end of the EV spectrum, even if it’s over 300kg bulkier than a stock 1.2-litre 308.

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We found that thanks to its lighter weight (in comparison with a big electric SUV, that is – it's still fairly chonky), the e-308 offers a smooth ride over road undulations and speed bumps but seemed a bit rumbly over the UK's neglected city streets. 

And it doesn't feel quick either?

The wheels get a bit grabby in Sport mode, but overall the e-308 lacks the oomph you might expect from an electric car. It’s certainly brisk enough once you’re up to speed and looking for short bursts of acceleration out of corners or during (well planned) overtakes. It slips into everyday traffic easily without ever feeling like a true firecracker.

But there are bugbears. You have the choice of three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – with a different power output for each, the full 154bhp saved for Sport. Which also brings the sort of stickier, heavier steering map we usually dislike in such modes. You can’t hook the lighter, more pleasant steering up with the punchiest power output, either. Stick with Normal and you’ll have a nicer time while also eking out the range.

Overall, though, it’s good news. We’re big fans of how the 308 drives with petrol or plug-in hybrid power, and without the occasionally indecisive automatic gearbox of the latter, you have a deft-handling hatchback with a simpler, more consistent powertrain. However slow the reality of that may be.

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Will I get the range that Peugeot claims?

No, but that's not a problem unique to Peugeot. The e-308's official range of 250 miles is more like 200 in the real world, or about 4.0mi/kWh. Very decent efficiency indeed. Just don't hoof the car around in Sport mode.

Unlike most rivals there’s little adjustment to the brake regen. It’s either on or off, with no opportunity to play with the settings. Put the transmission into B mode and you get a decent amount of retardation around town, but it would be nice to have the flexibility.

Will there be a faster one?

Well, the new Peugeot e-3008 was more recently unveiled in twin motor, 320bhp form, but given it sits on a fresh platform – and the addition of a rear motor would probably mess up the rear accommodation of this smaller 308 too much – we suspect it won’t transfer here.

The company has also confirmed its Peugeot Sport Engineering badge remains the sole reserve of the 508 saloon and estate, making a plug-in hot hatch from Sochaux highly unlikely, however invested in the idea Abarth or Volkswagen (and even MG) might be. Sad.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

115kW GT 54kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-629.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP154.2
  • MPG
  • Price£42,045

the cheapest

115kW Allure 54kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-629.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP154.2
  • MPG
  • Price£39,845

the greenest

115kW GT 54kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-629.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP154.2
  • MPG
  • Price£42,045

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