Currently reading: Britain's Best Electric Car 2020: Peugeot e-208
This year's Britain's Best Car Awards names Peugeot's supermini as the best battery-powered model
Autocar
News
3 mins read
21 October 2020

Why the Peugeot e-208 won: It looks great, performs strongly, is fun to drive and is well priced for an EV, plus it has enough range to quell anxiety.

The e-208 is just one of the winners in this year's Britain's Best Car Awards - see the full list here.

The Peugeot e-208 wins its category by showing how comparatively simply users of regular cars should be able to adapt to electric motoring in the future. Also for bringing with it the driving and beauty standards from the upper echelon of the fiercely fought supermini market.

While other electric car makers are launching oversized, overpriced offerings into the premium market or excusing themselves from providing decent ranges in superminis by insisting “it’s a city car”, Peugeot has made a 4.0m hatchback that’s as well packaged as its piston-driven siblings and offers a decent official range of 217 miles.

Peugeot isn’t quite the first to do this; that was Renault a few years ago with the Zoe. But on dynamic, refinement and aesthetic grounds, the new e-208 is certainly the better effort. It should be, mind, given that it’s seven years younger.

The e-208 is a great-looking car enhanced, if anything, over its brothers by having a slightly wider rear track and a smart set of wheel-arch extensions. Its interior is invitingly premium and offers a refreshingly different iteration of Peugeot’s radical i-Cockpit design. The high instrument binnacle and low steering wheel work well here, and that wheel’s small diameter makes the e-208 quick and easy to manoeuvre at low speeds.

Performance is strong off the mark, although the car does its best work below 55mph. It will sit at 70mph easily enough – and admirably quietly – but such sustained cruising shortens the range. Luckily, the e-208 is equipped as standard with 100kW charging capability, with the potential to take it from empty to 80% in barely half an hour.

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The e-208’s on-road capability also plays a large part in reassuring first-time electric car buyers. It has a surprisingly cosseting suspension that provides almost premium-level refinement (including low wind and road noise) even when pressed quite hard. Its shock-absorbing may be overpowered, but electric cars are overwhelmingly driven at moderate speeds to conserve range, so 90% of owners are never going to notice.

The Vauxhall Corsa-e uses the same underpinnings and powertrain, but there’s a marked difference in ride quality in favour of the e-208. And although its understeer-only handling makes its extra 300kg over the regular 208 obvious, it still feels stable, safe and easy to handle in tight situations. Visibility is good, too, even though the i-Cockpit encourages the driver to sit as low as possible.

Even the e-208’s price is highly competitive, presenting an enticing target both to private buyers who look forward to reaping the low costs of electric power (for now) and to business buyers who see considerable tax advantages.

In an uncertain world, the e-208 takes you directly into the new mode of motoring while maintaining or enhancing all the modern standards that you’ve come to expect.

Judge's view: Matt Prior

What makes the Peugeot e-208 the best electric car on sale today is the fact that the conventional Peugeot 208 is such an easy car to like in the first place.

It’s a fine-looking, fine-feeling and fine-driving supermini and a worthy European Car of the Year winner for 2020. And the fact is that you can get all that’s good about it with internally combusted petrol or diesel or good-value, non-weird electric propulsion.

READ MORE

Britain's Best Cars Awards 2020: Winners revealed

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DM77 23 October 2020

Terrible cockpit

I don't understand journalists accepting the Peugeot redesign, I hate it. I considered buying an e208 but removed it from my short list after sitting in it. Due to the dashboard design I couldn't set the wheel so I could see the all the dash unless my legs pressed against the bottom of the wheel. The ergonomics are appealing. As a comparison, in the Mini and Golf we own I have over a fist's width between my legs and the wheel. I'm 6ft tall so I'm not especially big. Then there was the other permanent Peugeot problem, they refuse to move the fuses so the glove box is near useless on RHD cars. Also the switch gear sounds like a computer joystick from the 80s, awful. Because the dealership had let the battery die I couldn't see the dashboard powered up so I had to sit in a petrol version, the pedal offset was very poor.
I don't understand how this car gets any plaudits, the ID3 now costs a fraction more for a far superior car.
Rick Maverick 24 October 2020

The 208 .....

.... is Europe's 3rd best selling car in Europe (behind Clio & Golf). Guess the dash is an attraction for millions.

MinusG40 21 October 2020

so if i read this article

so if i read this article right you vote for e208 because first it is like a standard car and secondly because it look good and the handling is "sporty" and ...

Can it be a bit more focusoon what make an ev car great :

- really range
- really chzrgy(not the fake announcement from peugot
- overall availability of performance
- regenerative torque availability

and of course there even more subject