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We try Skoda's fastest car on UK roads

Skoda can usually be counted on to do the sensible thing. So when the time came to make a ‘coupé’ version of its large electric SUV, the Enyaq (not even Skoda can resist making a slopy-backed version of its SUVs), it managed to avoid falling into the same trap so many other car manufacturers have.

The Skoda Enyaq iV Coupé has a rear windscreen wiper. And a big one too. It’ll be a sight for sore eyes for anyone who’s had their rearward vision obscured by water defiantly sitting on the near-vertical rear screen of a Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID 5, or Citroën C5 X.

We don’t usually dedicate two paragraphs of a review to a discussion of the wipers, but in the case of the Enyaq Coupé vRS, that’s the only surprising thing about it. That’s not a criticism; this car is simply the sum of a number of familiar parts.

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In the UK, the Enyaq Coupé is launched as a top-rung vRS with the dual-motor set-up we know from the VW ID 4 GTX. However, standard single-motor and dual-motor configurations will join the range soon, as will a vRS version of the Enyaq with the standard SUV body. The Coupé does come with the big, 77kWh battery as standard, however.

That gives the Coupé vRS a WLTP range of 323 miles. Over the course of a chilly, autumn week with the car, we averaged 2.9mpkWh, for a real-world range of 225 miles – quite a long way short of the official figure, but about as expected for an EV of this size and level of performance.

With 295bhp, the power output may look and feel a touch lukewarm next to the 569bhp Kia EV6 GT, but then that car has taken the bar for performance versions of EVs and launched it into space. Contrary to what you might assume from the ‘vRS’ label, a regular dual-motor EV6 is a more direct rival on price, as well as performance. After all, Skoda’s vRS has always been milder than most. Even so, it is disappointing that the performance quickly drops off from its 295bhp peak as the software tries to protect the mechanicals and preserve range.

The mildness extends to the ride and handling, as it’s all fairly standard Enyaq. The suspension keeps the nearly 2.2 tonnes of SUV in check reasonably well over the lumps and bumps of a British B-road, and all the responses and control weights are predictable and carefully attuned to each other, so there is some fun to be had on a twisty road, but there’s little here that really shouts ‘driver’s car’. The front motor, wide rear tyres and restrictive traction control conspire to quell most throttle adjustability, and there’s no ignoring the car’s bulk.

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Rather than a driver’s car, the Enyaq vRS is simply a faster Enyaq. It maintains most of the standard car’s ride comfort and noise isolation, and the boot space doesn’t suffer too much from the Coupé treatment. The dog might have to keep its head down a bit more than in the standard SUV, but the Coupé retains all the surface area and practical touches.

Apart from the addition of a fixed panoramic roof, the rest of the interior is also carried over from the standard Enyaq. In other words, it’s hugely roomy and makes the ID 4 and 5 feel very meanly appointed. Skoda’s interpretation is just nicer in every way, with more luxurious materials and a more usable infotainment system thanks to the larger screen and more intuitive interface.

It’s easy to feel a little down on the Skoda Enyaq Coupé iV vRS because it delivers neither the performance nor the handling engagement you might expect from a car from a sporty sub-brand. Compare it with its peers on price and level of performance, though, and you’ll find it runs the Kia EV6 AWD close, and soundly undercuts the equivalent Ford Mustang Mach-E and Genesis GV60 on price. An equivalent Hyundai Ioniq 5 is cheaper.

The Skoda Enyaq is still at its best in big-battery, single-motor guise with a smattering of options. If a slightly faster Enyaq is what you’re after, though, it delivers. And you needn’t give up the rear wiper.

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Illya Verpraet

Illya Verpraet Road Tester Autocar
Title: Road Tester
As part of Autocar’s road test team, Illya drives everything from superminis to supercars, and writes reviews, comparison tests, as well as the odd feature and news story. Much of his time is spent wrangling the data logger and wielding the tape measure to gather the data for Autocar’s eight-page road tests, which are the most rigorous in the business thanks to independent performance, fuel consumption and noise figures.