The e-2008’s chassis is as benign as any you’ll find on a modern compact crossover, and it makes for a car that’s pretty blameless and agreeable to drive in the broadest terms. But just as its powertrain lacks the ability to go beyond the outright performance capabilities of a pretty ordinary compact family five-door, so does its handling provide as little to praise on the road as there is to criticise.
It’s relatively agile when manoeuvring and around town. Still, it was puzzling to some testers that Peugeot should attempt to contrive some pointiness into the handling mix of car with a steering wheel as dinky as a sideplate, only to partner that wheel with a steering rack that, at 2.8 turns between locks, is probably 20% less direct than is now typical of a car this size. So while the orbit of the wheel is smaller than it might be, you still have to turn the e-2008’s wheel a little further than you expect to in order to negotiate roundabouts and T-junctions.
All the while, you can perceive the compromises that Peugeot has admitted in order to make the steering system work through such a tiddly tiller. The rack feels slightly elastic and over-assisted, even though it’s well enough weighted to make positioning the car easy while you’re turning in. When you’re feeding off lock, though, there’s a bit too much positivity and self-centring action to make the car corner intuitively, which contributes to the pervading sense that the rack’s power assistance is operating at the limit of its powers but is always on a hiding to nothing when it comes to adding sporting edge to the car’s driving experience.
While the e-2008 has decent lateral body control, it, like so many EVs, can’t afford particularly high mechanical grip levels. It corners neatly and securely and has well-tuned electronic aids that keep it on your intended path even when you’re hurrying it along in slippery conditions, although it leans on them quite hard at times.
The car’s vertical composure is less consistent, becoming a little bit soft and fidgeting at quicker cross-country pace. Some steering corruption is apparent when you open the throttle all the way with a bit of steering angle applied, obliging you to keep close tabs on where you’re pointing the front wheels.
Assisted driving notes
The standard active safety specification of the e-2008 includes a lane-departure warning system, as well as automatic emergency braking (AEB) that can detect pedestrians around town as well as cars stopping in front of you in heavy traffic. The AEB system’s functionality expands to include cyclist detection with midrange models. And if you have a top-of-the-range GT (or a lowlier trim with the right option box ticked), you get a car with blind-spot monitoring, active cruise control and full-on lane-keeping assistance.