Which is what you’d expect if you compare a supermini with two city cars. I counted six flags on the seats alone, plus the large engraved dashboard motif and the rear light graphics…. It’s attractively priced and designed, generously packaged and equipped, and above all decent to drive and with the best range here.
Driven thus, the Honda went from 100 per cent to 79 per cent (but the range dipped just two miles from 94 to 92), which goes to show the vagaries of electricity consumption and the complexity of predicting range. Jonathan Crouch is charmed by the all-electric version of Peugeot's 208 supermini. While the E’s wheel-at-each-corner stance remains true to the concept car that previewed it, the details are a little blander. Quality of materials and design is surprisingly high for a car from a mainstream French manufacturer, and although it can’t match the expensive polish of the Honda’s space-age cabin, we’d rather spend time in here than in the Mini’s paean to plastic. There’s simply less energy stored on board; Honda claims only 125 miles on the WLTP cycle.
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The new kid on the block from Japan has moved the look-at-me goalposts and the Brit try-hard is no longer quite so compelling, especially with its desperately short range (the Mini’s drivetrain is very efficient but hamstrung by a tiny battery) and the least practical cabin on test. It's getting harder and harder to resist the draw of full-electric vehicles. It’s dripping with cute detailing like the glass bonnet charging flap: it could convincingly wear the Apple apple. There’s no flat floor or airy-feeling spaces in which to deposit your legs.
Available in petrol, diesel and electric forms, the 208 is the 2020 European Car of the Year. That 7.3sec 0-62mph time makes this a genuine hot hatch, and this is surely the reason you’d pick the Mini – it is the most athletic car here. Well done, Peugeot. Peugeot is considering an expansion of the e-208 range by adding a model with a smaller battery and a smaller price tag. ► All-electric 2020 supermini shoot-out► New Honda E vs Pug e-208 vs Mini EV ► Which tiny plug-in gets the nod?
The electric version of the 208 may lack the want-factor of the Honda E, but it makes a lot more sense. Can the Honda E hope to join this exclusive club? The official claims say one thing, but as part of our testing we took all three electric tots on an identical 26-mile journey to see how they fared in real-world driving. The Honda E is a breathtaking achievement: one of those rare cars that only comes along once every few years and shakes up the established way of doing things.
And so, it’s noticeably more unwieldy when driven quickly, which is at odds with the small size and the fast and light steering. It’ll feel like a near-silent rocketship to the average 208 buyer, though. 1st Peugeot e-208The complete small electric car: this compact EV is strong in every area, and weak in none★★★★, 2nd Honda EOne of the coolest cars of 2020: achingly hip and a joy to drive, let down by tiny range and boot★★★★, 3rd Mini ElectricFirecracker performance can’t make up for ageing foundation, and battery range isn’t great★★★. Its loadbay is the most capacious, and if you value roominess and practicality it’ll be the easiest car here to slot into your life.
While the Honda’s onboard charger can only manage up to 50kW, the 208 has a 100kW-capable unit. Peugeot e-208 Review: Making The Honda E Look Overpriced? The Electric’s lithium-ion battery is the smallest of this trio at 32.6kWh, allowing an identical bootspace to combustion Minis (although they don’t have to carry charging cables). Something must have leaked into the water at HQ, as Hondas used to be let down by cheap and plasticky interiors – but the E’s is quite a statement, having the heft and quality choices to match any German compact, and the simple wood fascia is beautifully judged. A nice little retort for those whose entire argument against EVs seems to revolve around that trip they take to Devon once a year.
In the E, Honda might just have released its most significant car since the 1989 NSX.
The 7.4kW onboard charger takes 7.5 hours to charge up from a domestic wallbox; find a 100kW DC rapid charger and that tumbles to a half-hour wait for 80 per cent capacity.