The French Kia Niro EV rival gets a dash of extra range and new kit as part of a series of subtle improvements
The Peugeot e-2008 sits in the hugely competitive electric compact crossover class, where progress in recent months has been relentless: just look at the new-and-improved Kia Niro EV, the bargain MG 4 and the soon-to-arrive revamped Hyundai Kona EV, to name but a few.
But perhaps inspired by its heritage in bikes, Peugeot has decided to follow the ‘marginal gains’ mantra long pushed by British Cycling: lots of small changes that, Peugeot hopes, add up to a notable difference.
Well, that and parent firm Stellantis has been working on the powertrain and battery technology of the electric cars that use the CMA platform: the closely related Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa Electric have also received the same upgrades.
So what is new? Well, the Peugeot e-2008’s 134bhp motor has a new final drive ratio. That doesn’t affect the power or top speed, but it does mean the motor doesn’t spin quite so fast in top gear, improving efficiency. And there are new low-resistance tyres, too.
There’s also a new heat pump, and there’s an added humidity sensor which the firm says is better placed to adjust the heating and ventilation, removing the impact of enjoying a bit of warmth in cold weather.
The result of all those small changes? The most important is that the e-2008’s official range has risen from 193 to 212 miles. Which means, in the way these things work, that with a bit of effort you could now just about get 193 miles out of a charge. It’s hardly a transformative difference, but any extra range is welcome and is does add a dash of extra usability.
The maximum charging speed remains 100kW, although because the extra range is coming from extra efficiency rather than a bigger battery you can technically now add miles marginally more quickly.
Aside from the battery charge indicator ticking down slightly slower than usual, the powertrain changes are hard to really notice from behind the controversially small steering wheel. And yes, we say controversial because the e-2008 retains Peugeot’s iCockpit design with a small wheel and the digital dash high on the dash.
The revamped motor offers perhaps a touch more refinement at cruising speed, but it’s not transformative. The e-2008 remains benign and agreeable, with decent body control but the tendency to become a little wobbly at higher speeds on flowing roads.
The Allure Premium trim of our test car has also been given a bit of an upgrade for the new model year, with aluminium-finished pedals and a few other details. The interior remains pleasant and inviting, with just enough French flair to feel like a Peugeot. That said, the infotainment system looks nice but isn’t as good as some class rivals when it comes to usability.
There’s no doubt that the e-2008 has been improved for the new model year, but we are talking about marginal improvements at a time when class rivals such as the Kia Niro EV are still taking big strides forward. For now, the e-2008 remains a likeable crossover with a dash of character, but is unable to bridge the gap to the leaders of the crossover class.