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Skoda's first dedicated EV could be a gamechanger for the brand

Skoda Enyaq SUV (21 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £33,395 - £49,940
Lease from new From £445 p/m View lease deals
Fuel Economy 2.9 - 4.3 miles/kWh
New

PROS

  • Electric-only design liberates interior space
  • Claimed battery range of up to 316 miles
  • Starts from just £30,450 after grant

CONS

  • We're still waiting for it...

Skoda Enyaq SUV rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

Skoda has revealed its long-awaited Enyaq iV – an all-electric SUV that will spearhead the brand’s charge into the world of purpose-built EVs. It's a family-sized car that's based on Volkswagen's ID range, but with Skoda's value-for-money pricing and featuring a more luxurious interior than its German sister cars.

Combine those factors with a capacious interior and really competitive range, and the Enyaq could prove to be one of the more complete packages available in the world of electric cars. It should certainly give affordable competitors such as the Nissan Leaf or Kia e-Niro something to think about – while providing healthy competition for slightly more expensive and less practical models such as the Tesla Model 3.

Oh, and that name? It blends the Irish word Enya, meaning source of life, with a Q at the end, as applied to Skoda’s existing Kamiq, Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs.

What about performance and range?

The Enyaq iV will be available with batteries of either 62kWh or 82kWh capacity. The basic model, badged as iV 60, comes with a 180hp electric motor, giving plenty of performance and a driving range on the WLTP combined cycle of 242 miles. That’s seriously competitive.

Step up to the iV 80, and you’ll enjoy a 204hp electric motor with an even more impressive range of 316 miles – that’s one of the highest available, and competitive with cars like the Tesla Model 3.

Both of these provide suitably rapid performance, and are rear-wheel drive. Later on in 2021, a four-wheel drive model will become available, as will a hot, range-topping all-electric vRS.

All Enyaq models can charge at 50kW from a public charging station, but depending on the model it’s possible to option up a faster 100kW or 125kW charger. The fastest of these will allow the Enyaq to go from 10% to 80% charged in just 38 minutes.

What it's like inside

On the inside, the Enyaq’s inspired by the latest Octavia. That means very few physical buttons, with most of the car’s functions operated through an enormous 13.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display - the cheapest models make do with a 10.0-inch one.

There’s also a digital instrument display and Skoda’s virtual assistant – named Laura – not to mention wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus smartphone app connectivity that allows you to control a number of the car’s key items from the comfort of your own home, such as when to charge or the preconditioning the climate control.

Otherwise, it’s quite conventional inside – and just like most Skodas, it’s also very practical. The rear seats in particular are very spacious, while the boot has a capacity of 585 litres with all the seats in place.

What it's like to drive?

As you might expect if you’ve already driven an electric car, the Enyaq iV is smooth, serene and swift, but there’s more to it than that. Yes, the Volkswagen Group may have been later than some other firms to the electric party, but it’s first wave of purpose-designed models – Skoda Enyaq iV included – feel impressively engineered, even though the prototype ones we drove lacked the final degree of finesse.

It feels quick in the sense that many hot hatchback drivers will be surprised at its getaway pace, yet it manages to feel relaxed as it does so, with a very progressive feel to the accelerator.

The brakes, too, feel easy to modulate and very akin to what you’d experience in a conventional petrol or diesel car. There’s no apparent dead spot where it’s tricky to tell what’s going on as some other electric cars suffer.

Plus, as will likely become the norm with electric cars, you can vary the level of brake energy recuperation the Enyaq iV offers to suit your tastes and driving style. Essentially, at one end of the scale, as you lift off the throttle, deceleration occurs slowly, while at the other the braking effect is much more dramatic, similar to how a dodgem car works.

Both normal and adaptive suspension – the latter where the softness of the ride can varied to suit personal tastes – will also be available. Our prototype drive had its locked in the Comfort setting, which made it an appropriately comfy way to travel. Because the Enyaq’s batteries are mounted under the floor, even in this setting there was little bodyroll in faster corners, but also little of the firm, crashiness some EVs experience over rough surfaces.

Pricing and specs

Impressively, the Enyaq will start at £30,450 after the government’s plug-in car grant of £3,000 is applied. That’s less than £1,000 over the price of an entry-level Kia e-Niro, but with 80 miles of extra range. That price brings you rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and keyless start. The seats are fabric and artificial leather with brushed aluminium trim panels for the dash.

Buyers can then choose to spend an extra £1,115 on the ‘Lounge’ package, with light grey leather and yellow stitching, or £1,285 for the ‘Suite’ spec, which brings full leather and piano black decor. Enyaq iV 80 models – that’s the longer-range variant – start from £35,950 post-grant and add front parking sensors and a rear-view camera as well as built-in navigation. The same Lounge and Suite packages can be applied.

There’s also a range-topping Founders Edition which comes in at £46,995. This brings a few extra bits of kit but it also transforms the exterior of the Enyaq, with an impossible-to-miss illuminated front grille and Matrix LED headlights. Orders can be placed now, with first deliveries in the spring of 2021.

Read on to see if we think it's worth waiting for...

Skoda Enyaq SUV rivals