Initially available as a hatchback (with an SW (estate) variant to follow soon) the E-308 looks much the same as its petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid siblings. This is no bad thing because the 308 is one of the best-looking family cars on the market. In fact, apart from subtle ‘e’ badging and exclusive 18-inch ‘aerodynamic’ wheels, the E-308 is identical.
The big difference is under the skin where a 54kWh battery powers a front axle-mounted 154bp electric motor which will get you to 62mph from rest in 9.8 seconds. Peugeot also claims it is capable of 257 miles from a full charge. And if most of your driving is in an urban environment, that figure can rise to as much as 341 miles.
Crucially, it will also charge from 20 to 80% in just 28 minutes using a 100kW rapid charger, but there’s also the option of charging fully overnight via a home wall box.
Externally, the athletic e-308 oozes kerb appeal. The combination of swooping bonnet and large grille, plus unmistakable lion’s tooth LED daytime running lights at the front and rear three-claw rear light signature give it serious road presence.
If you’re familiar with Peugeot’s unusual ‘i-Cockpit’ driving position (there’s a dinky, low-slung steering wheel and an instrument panel set back), the E-308’s interior layout will come as no surprise.
Finding the perfect driving position can be challenging, so our advice would be to try before you buy (or lease).
A 10-inch central touchscreen is standard, along with three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Sport.
There are just two trim choices (Allure and GT). Allure includes heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, reversing camera, sat nav and the latest safety and driver assistance technology, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control.
GT models benefit from more advanced Matrix LED headlights and LED taillights, a ‘GT’ specific grille pattern, wider side sills, Alcantara leather seats, plus an aluminium trim on the dashboard and door panels. There’s also a 3D digital instrument cluster, eight-colour ambient lighting and front parking sensors.
Peugeot is trying to reposition itself as a prestige brand, but judging by the interior of the E-308, it still has some way to go. There are too many hard plastic surfaces and the seats in our Allure test car weren’t very soft.
Overall, the cabin looks spacious enough, but rear legroom is more adequate than generous. Boot capacity is a useful 361 litres, expanding to 1,271 litres with the rear seats flipped.
If you want more space, it might be worth waiting for the SW, which will be one of the few all-electric estates on the market.
On the road, the E-308’s electric powertrain is pleasantly silent (no gimmicky whooshes and whines) and it seems swifter than the official acceleration figure suggests.
In a market flooded with high-riding SUVs, it is refreshing to be able to sit low in the cockpit for a more involving driving experience.
And because it’s not gut-wrenchingly fast like some EVs, the E-308’s power delivery is manageable, while the car is agile, hiding its 2.1-tonne weight well.
The ride is on the firm side (not helped by the unforgiving seats), but it’s not a deal-breaker. Push it on twisty, faster roads and there’s fun to be had too thanks to good body control, plenty of grip and decent (if not particularly progressive) brakes.
What’s more, with light steering, reasonable all-round visibility and plenty of driver assistance aids, the nimble E-308 is a doddle to drive in town.
Eco-drive mode dulls the driving experience, so Normal is just fine, while Sport sharpens the throttle response, so ideal for more spirited runs. There’s also a ‘B’ (Brake) option on the gear selector which increases the aggressiveness of the brake regeneration system to recover more energy back to the battery.
It’s hard to estimate real-world range based on a day’s driving on mixed roads, but with energy consumption as high as 4.1 miles per kWh, we’d say 200-plus miles is realistic, driven sensibly, making the e-308 a practical proposition.
Ultimately, the Peugeot E-308 is an impressive 100% electric hatchback. However, its biggest problem could be its starting price of £40,050, which is more expensive than some of its key rivals, including the MG4 and Volkswagen ID.3, plus its Stellantis cousin, the Vauxhall Astra Electric.
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