You sit pleasingly low in the e-208, which always helps when trying to foster a connection between car and driver. Like the standard version, there’s some springiness to the steering off the straight-ahead, but there’s decent weight and the combination of the small-diameter rim and relatively quick rack means the Peugeot responds promptly and accurately to your inputs.
The softness of the suspension is what you’ll notice first, the car exhibiting a fair degree of roll on turn-in yet quickly controlling the movement and then taking a neutral, four-square stance through corners as that torsion beam rear axle takes its share of the lateral burden. Driven briskly, there’s a fluidity to the way the Peugeot goes down the road that’s reminiscent of French hatchbacks of a decade or so ago.
Drive a little harder and that extra mass starts to tell more punitively. The e-208 pushes wide in corners as the 195-section tyres lose out in the battle to stop nearly 1500kg travelling straight on. Lifting the throttle restores order, but it’s a fairly lazy response as the nose tucks back into line. There’s no real handling adjustability here, just safety and predictability.
Body control is compromised, too. The soft damping causes some float over undulating surfaces and, when really pressing on, mid-corner bumps set in motion a noticeable corkscrew effect. The e-208 is a capable steer, then, but not one that rewards like, say, the Mini Electric.
On the plus side, the combination of mass and suppleness gives the Peugeot a remarkably grown-up ride for this size of car, the e-208 smothering bumps with surprising plushness. It also does so quietly, with nothing more than a muffled thump reserved for the biggest potholes and interventions.
As with the handling, it lacks ultimate control, getting floaty over bigger crests, but somehow this sensation is in keeping with the car’s rather laid-back everyday character.