Subcompact electric cars have become fairly popular in the past few years as they represent a perfect method of transporting yourself through busy city streets without polluting the environment. Cars such as these are intended for home overnight charging which means that they work best when left plugged in overnight.
In Europe, the Peugeot e-208 is one of the most popular subcompact electric cars while the Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular EVs in the US. With such superior credentials, it makes perfect sense to compare these two in a head-to-head matchup. So, if you are interested in knowing how the Peugeot e-208 vs Nissan Leaf ends up, be sure to read this article!
The Peugeot e-208 was first introduced in 2020 and is based on a familiar Stellantis-sourced EV platform that can also be found with dozens of other Stellantis cars. The Nissan Leaf initially came out in 2010 while the 2nd generation of the Nissan Leaf came out in 2017.
The reality is that the Nissan Leaf is the very first mass-produced electric vehicle which is partly why it became so famous. However, as the industry has progressed rapidly in the past few years, does the Nissan Leaf still deserve its hot spot, or does that hot spot belong to the e-208?
Peugeot e-208 – The Smallest Peugeot EV
The Peugeot e-208 starts at £31,345 in the UK, €32,250 in the Netherlands, and €35,350 in Germany. This makes it a fairly affordable option, especially with all the available government EV incentives. For this price, you are getting either a 2-door or a 5-door subcompact 139hp hatchback with a 45kWh battery and a maximum range of between 125 miles and 265 miles depending on how you drive it.
This battery is mated to a single electric motor that drives the front wheels and enables the e-208 to reach 60mph from a standstill in around 8 seconds. The battery can be recharged from 10% to 80% in around 25 minutes using a 150kW DC fast charger while slow AC 7.4kW charging takes around 7 hours and 15 minutes.
Design-wise, the e-208 looks really modern and futuristic, both inside and out. The space on offer is pretty good for the segment, but overall, most people would agree that the e-208 is not fit to transport four adults. The driving experience is agile and nippy which makes it perfect for crowded cities and narrow streets. Reliability is a bit of a mystery as the e-208 is still a fairly new automobile.
Nissan Leaf – The Compact EV Pioneer
The current Nissan Leaf costs between £28,995 and £34,945 in the UK, €33,400 to €41,100 in Germany, and €35,090 to €41,890 in the Netherlands. The comparably cheaper model is the regular Nissan Leaf which offers a 39kWh usable battery, a real-world range of about 150 miles, one 148hp electric motor, and permanent front-wheel-drive.
Fast-charging at a maximum of 46kW recharges the battery from 10% to 80% in about 43 minutes while slow AC 3.6kW charging takes almost 13 hours. The comparably more expensive Nissan Leaf+ is the one you want as it offers a 59kWh battery and a range of between 150 and 315 miles depending on your driving habits.
215hp and 251lb-ft of torque through the front wheels is more than adequate while 0-60mph times are under 7 seconds. Fast DC charging at 46kW takes an hour while slow charging takes almost 11 hours. Design-wise, the Nissan Leaf isn’t a particularly attractive-looking car, but the interior is a bit more lively.
The Leaf+ is also a surprisingly spacious car with adequate space both front and back. The driving experience is fairly ordinary while comfort levels are adequate.
Conclusion – The Peugeot e-208 Is Better
At first glance, it may look like the Nissan Leaf is much better than the e-208, especially when you consider that the Leaf offers a larger battery, more space, and a better range. However, all of the battery and range benefits the Nissan Leaf has fallen short of the e-208 because its charging speeds are incredibly slow. This means that even if the e-208 has a smaller battery, you will be able to do more driving time in the e-208 because you can recharge it a lot more quickly.
Design-wise, the e-208 just looks more purposeful both inside and out. It’s a lot more attractive and has way more character from behind the wheel. The Leaf, even though it is a great car, does not really feel particularly entertaining to live with.
The e-208 is better equipped, offers much faster charging speeds, offers better value, better looks, and way more character.
Why Should I Buy The Nissan Leaf Over The Peugeot e-208?
The Nissan Leaf is the more comfortable car for multiple adults as it offers much more space both inside the car and inside the trunk. If you don’t need more than 150-310 miles of range on a daily basis and you can charge it overnight, then you can take advantage of the Leaf’s battery benefits over the e-208.
However, if you want an EV that can also do long-distance journeys, I’d go for the e-208 as faster charging speeds are much more important in the real world compared to sheer battery size. This is because you can alter your driving habits to increase/decrease your range while charging speeds are not changeable, at least not by the consumer.
Is The Nissan Leaf Better Than The Leaf+?
The Nissan Leaf+ is better than the normal Leaf as it offers additional trim levels, more power, and more range thanks to a larger battery. These differences do play a huge role as the charging speeds of the Nissan Leaf are rather embarrassing for the state of the current auto industry.
That being said, Nissan is going to upgrade the charging speeds of the upcoming Nissan Leaf+ which means that you will be able to charge it at 100kW which is going to cut down the charging speeds by more than half and will make the Leaf+ much more competitive.
Is The Nissan Leaf The First EV?
The Nissan Leaf is often referred to as the very 100% first mass-produced EV which is true. It isn’t the very first EV as EVs actually made their debut back in the 19th century, but no one managed to make a true consumer-grade EV for the masses before Nissan.