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Peugeot E-2008 GT 54kWh facelift review: Improves on its predecessor when it comes to range

Peugeot E-2008 GT 54kWh facelift review: Improves on its predecessor when it comes to range
PHOTO: sgCarMart

The e-2008 was expected to open new doors for Peugeot, but it doesn't feel like a stretch to say that few foresaw just how wide that opening would have been.

In 2023, one out of three Peugeots registered in Singapore was an e-2008. Rewind the clock to mid-2022 - before the car's local launch — and you would have gotten raised eyebrows if you had declared that a compact electric crossover would soon become the French brand's defining model.

Rather rapidly, however, Peugeot thinks the time has come for the e-2008 to receive a host of upgrades. Clearly cognisant of the warm reception to Version 1, the facelifted E-2008 (yes, bearing a capital 'E' now) strikes most of the right chords in its second outing by sticking largely to the same playbook — while focusing on righting the most glaring issue in the past.

Grown-up cub 

Building off its combustion-powered twin, the lowercase e-2008 was already an expectedly head-turning little car to begin with. While not too much has changed now with the E-2008, a number of changes have also helped to lightly sharpen the car's visual character.

Notably, a revised front fascia has seen the '3 Claw'-signature within the old car's head lights now shifted downwards into its daytime-running lights (the new car's head lights, in turn, have also been updated). The E-2008 also gets a fresh grille with vertically-running elements, and of course, a new nose in the form of Peugeot's updated shield-based emblem.  

Interestingly, the manner in which the brand's designers have tied all these parts together up front gives the E-2008 a slightly grown-up look; more big-cat, rather than cub-like. Elsewhere, the angled body lines running across the car's doors, and the black roof means the E-2008 still maintains standout style that — unlike some other EVs — doesn't skew towards alien-likeness. 

French flair

The same attention to design flows into the car's interior as well.

The E-2008 excels on an aesthetic level. Its dashboard is layered with different protrusions, textures and shapes that are pleasing on the eye. As with the pre-facelifted car (and other Peugeots), the airplane-style toggle switches are a highlight here, blending ease-of-use and stylish form perfectly.

Furthermore, navigating through the car's infotainment system — updated with a new look — on the 10.25-inch touchscreen is relatively fuss-free too, thanks to intuitive pathways and large tiles.

While many have given the Peugeot's unconventional instrument cluster and small steering wheel some heat over the years, it's ultimately down to personal preference.

The cabin is especially pleasant to take in at night, with the ambient lighting shining through more clearly, and the colours on the 3D i-Cockpit popping a little more. On the latter, various pieces of information appear to take their places down, up and centrestage; none fighting to upstage the other. It's a neat trick no other carmaker — even within the larger Stellantis family — has tried to emulate till date.

Contention over the small steering wheel, on the other hand, is easier to understand, since all it takes is a small movement for the driver's display to be obstructed.

No matter the driver's size, you end up with the wheel lower than you normally would if you want full visibility of the instrument cluster - but the novelty of its pint-like size, and the perception of extra manoeuvrability/quickness that arises, are arguably enough to win a driver over.

Otherwise, the E-2008 is perfectly acceptable as a small(er) family car. Legroom is generous in the rear; headroom is decent despite getting eaten into by the car's standard panoramic sunroof; and the floor behind is relatively flat. A decently-sized, 344-litre boot rounds off the car's commendable practicality credentials.

Extra pep, extra steps

Over its combustion-powered twin, the e-2008 delivered added smoothness and refinement, and the same continues to hold in this capital E-2008. (Quick aside: The facelifted 2008 hasn't even landed in Singapore yet. It's an interesting phenomenon — one that possibly evinces the priority between electric and petrol power in the eyes of Peugeot Singapore today.)

With this update, the car's electric motor now sends slightly more power — 134bhp and 270Nm of instant torque to be exact (or an extra 4bhp and 10Nm) — to the front wheels.

On paper, the extra sprightliness feels more exponential - put it into 'Sport' mode and the car is a full second quicker to 100km/h from rest - but the little crossover's overall sense of litheness remains the same. Overtakes are easy to execute, while dashes from traffic light to traffic light are breezy and smooth thanks to the car's electric drivetrain.

More notably, the E-2008 continues to punch above its weight by displaying more composure than expected on something so small, with its very settled ride quality. For those who prefer a bit more fun from their (electric) crossovers, the E-2008 rises to the occasion too, with its commendable handling abilities amplified by the perception of agility offered by that small (and decently quick) steering wheel.

Perhaps the more crucial update, however, addresses the previous car's largest flaw: Range. By way of a slightly larger 54kWh battery, the E-2008 finally eclipses the golden 400km mark on paper on a single charge (or 436km by the WLTP cycle, if we're being precise).

Addressing the car's range translates as the right move on paper by Peugeot. Truthfully, the E-2008 somehow seems "thirstier" than its mechanical counterpart from within the Stellantis family — the e-C4 X — but there's no denying that its entire setup is more energy efficient than before.

Our driving habits would have returned approximately 350km on a full charge — or a significant leap over the sub-300km figure we eked out on the previous car. Admittedly, against many longer-legged EVs of today, this may not sound like an impressive achievement at first. In the larger scheme of things, however, the figure is still perfectly acceptable for a smaller car with a small-ish battery — and certainly amplifies the appeal of this facelifted iteration.

Getting that battery juiced up, too, is largely fuss-free; a 100kW DC charger (increasingly available on our shores) will see its state of charge go from 10 to 80per cent in just 30 minutes.

In the right direction — for those who appreciate the French approach

Numbers cannot lie.

The unique appeal of the e-2008 had already been rather apparent to its buyers — and by extension of this logic, the overall approach to the car arguably didn't require much tweaking too on Peugeot's part.

That much holds true today with the E-2008, which stays true to its predecessor but introduces calculated improvements for a more polished machine overall. 

It may be true that there are more marathon-friendly, more economical, and more spacious EVs on the market out there today.

Still, for those who've always admired the French approach, the E-2008 remains a compelling and wickedly stylish choice that correctly packs on extra practicality — and thus boasts even more allure than the car that preceded it.

ALSO READ: Mercedes-Benz EQB250+ Facelift review: Updates give it more visual appeal and a touch more range

This article was first published in sgCarMart.

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