Skoda Enyaq iV review – has Skoda already taken the family EV crown?
Time to Czech it out
The Skoda Enyaq's arguably the most important car the Czech brand's built in rather a long time. Why?
Over the past two decades, Skoda's carved out a hugely successful place in the market for its mix of affordability and increasingly premium-feeling cars. But it's not had a stab at an all-electric car – until now.
Meet, then, the Enyaq iV. Yes, it sounds like a way of inserting Irish whale music straight into your veins, but is it going to steal sales away from the VW ID.4, with which is shares many parts? Watch the video below to find out, or read on for more info.
What is it?
It's an electric SUV - but don't run away yet, it's rather good. At launch the single-motor, rear-drive Enyaq comes with a choice of two battery sizes: a 58kWh one (called the iV 60) and an 82kWh one (called the iV 80). The former puts out 179hp and should go 256 miles on a charge, the latter 204hp and will supposedly travel 333 miles. A dual motor '80x' version will come later in 2021, and a sporty Enyaq vRS will arrive in 2022.
We tested the entry-level iV 60 model, which costs £32,000 – but the Czech press car we drove had been vajazzled with enough options to take it to £40,000. Which, incidentally, is the entry price for a VW ID.4. The 80 version is easy to nudge towards £50,000 – again, much like the ID.4.
What's it like?
Your initial impression of the Enyaq is likely to be 'cor blimey, this cabin's quite stylish'. Yup, Skoda's slowly but surely been creeping upmarket over the past few years, and it feels that their interior designers have finally been given the OK to go a bit Scandi. In our basic 'Loft' trim car the dash is coated with a beautiful soft grey fabric, which – combined with the grey fabric seats – gives you all the zen chill of a Swedish designer's relaxation den. You can almost sense the bamboo kitchen utensil holders.
Check out the teeny tiny gear selector
Other trim levels use brown leather that's been treated with olive leaf extract (olive leaves are a huge waste product, so Skoda's found a way to reuse them), and all Enyaqs come with floor mats partly made from recycled bottles. Even a good proportion of the steel and aluminium in the chassis is recycled.
All that feel-good stuff would be fully undone if the infotainment system looked like a Pong machine, but Skoda's had the good sense to give us a brand-new infotainment system that sports a super-sharp 13-inch screen. It's sensibly laid out and can display at lot of info at once, yet it still gives up some of the more important controls to physical buttons underneath. Wireless smartphone mirroring is standard.
Already you big hippie, what's it like to drive?
About as relaxing as sitting next to a campfire with a giant herbal cigarette and some Crosby, Stills and Nash blowing in over the sausages.
Even without the optional dynamic dampers the Enyaq rides pretty smoothly, and on lumpy bumpy B roads it never ends up wallowing up and down out of time like so many EVs. The Enyaq rolls a little into corners, but you're never aware that you're driving a heavy car.
The Enyaq's surprisingly comfortably, quiet and generally refined
Put your foot down and you get a decent punch of instant torque, but the Enyaq doesn't feel all that quick off the line – it'll take 8.7 seconds to get to 62mph, and the bigger battery version still takes 8.5. But remember that this is an entry-level version of Skoda family car, and it's still faster than a 1.5-litre Kodiaq.
You'll find a pair of plastic gearshift paddles behind the Enyaq's wheel rim – these adjust the three-stage energy recuperation for the motor, so you can pull the left-hand paddle on the way into corners to slow down without using the brake pedal. You'll see a blue line in the small 5.3-inch driver's display showing that you're putting energy back into the batteries. This diddy screen is free from distractions, showing only your speed, recuperation, range and the adaptive cruise control info.
So how practical is it?
Very. You get a big 585-litre boot, which – importantly – now contains the ice scraper/magnifying glass that you'd normally find in the fuel filler cap of other Skoda models. The fuel filler cap contains your electric charging port, which can take a 50kW charge as standard, or you can pay to up that to 100kW or 125kW on the iV 80 model.
585 litres of stuff can go in here
The rear seats are very spacious, and it's good to see Skoda hasn't lost its ability to give rear-seat occupants enough room for an impromptu fencing tournament despite having loads of batteries under the floor.
What's bad about it?
If you can stomach the reasonable expense, the only potential downside to the Enyaq is its looks. In white it looks a bit generic – but there are some cracking colours including an ever-so-slightly-minty shade of white, which looks great in the sun. The front grille is also a bit drab – it's a bit sheet of grey plastic after all, but you'll be able to spec something called a 'crystal face' grille later in 2021, which adds a bright strip of 130 LED lights across the middle of it.
Should I buy one?
The Enyaq looks a bit less bum-heavy than the ID.4
If you're after a family car with loads of space and an electric powertrain, then yes. The Enyaq's the most convincing attempt at a large affordable EV we've yet driven – sure, it's not particularly thrilling – but it's likely no one in the target market cares. As a roomy and incredibly pleasant way of getting from A to B it's pretty much unrivalled.