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Czech brand’s first bespoke electric model arrives as rival to the Volkswagen ID 4
James Attwood, digital editor
14 April 2021

What is it?

An electric Skoda, then. A couple of decades back, that notion would likely conjure images of a milk float-like contraption with rickety build quality, anaemic performance and minuscule range.

And yet, reflecting the incredible progression of both brand and EV technology in recent years, you won’t be at all surprised to learn that the electric Enyaq iV is excellent. See? I just gave away the ending to this review, and you’re not even mad that I didn’t offer a spoiler alert. 

While the power source of this Skoda is new, the recipe that is the foundation of the Czech firm’s transformation isn’t: practical, well-priced cars underpinned by strong Volkswagen Group platforms and powertrains. The Enyaq is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric architecture, as used by the similarly sized Volkswagen ID 4 (and about a gazillion other imminently forthcoming machines). 

In fact, the 80 variant tested here has a virtually identical specification to the ID 4 First Edition: a 201bhp rear-mounted electric motor and a 77kWh battery. A version with a 62kWh battery is also offered at launch; more powerful, four-wheel drive models – including a vRS – will follow. Just like the ID 4, then.

Given that we rate the ID 4 highly, the question isn’t really whether the Enyaq is good but whether Skoda can add anything distinctive to the fast-growing ranks of electric SUVs.

What's it like?

The Enyaq certainly looks like a modern Skoda, complete with a chunky front ‘grille’. It’s close in size to the Kodiaq, although its sharp body lines and more aerodynamic profile give it a dynamism closer to that of the firm’s hatchbacks.

The interior is a notable step forward: it is hugely spacious and comfortable, with a very modern premium feel. Granted, our left-hand-drive test car was the higher-spec Suite trim and was packed with options (enough to raise its price to a hefty £53,825), but even entry-level Enyaqs come well-equipped.

A sizeable 13in infotainment touchscreen dominates the dashboard and replaces most physical controls, but its size, position and excellent software make it generally easy to use, aided by the digital instrument display. Our Suite-spec car also had a sharp head-up display.

Since this is a Skoda, you’re doubtless wondering about how much stuff you can cram into it. The answer is a lot. There are plenty of useful storage cubbies, the rear seats offer ample leg room and the boot measures 585 litres – 42 litres more than the ID 4 – with 1710 litres of space if you fold down the rear seats.

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Something else Skoda fans will want to know: most of the firm's trademark Simply Clever features have been retained for the switch to electric power. So there's an umbrella in the driver's door, a ticket holder on the A-pillar and an ice scraper in the boot lid (rather than the fuel filler cap on other Skoda models, for fairly obvioius reasons). There are also some new Simply Clever features: an underfloor storage area and a bag for the charging cable.

On the road, the Enyaq performs exactly as you would expect of an electric Skoda SUV. It’s confidence-inspiring, calm and collected, making for entirely reliable, practical family transport. As with most EVs, the instant torque offers useful extra zip under acceleration, but the focus here is on dependability, not dynamism.

The Enyaq’s size and weight can occasionally be felt when cornering, but the steering is direct and confidence-inspiring and the ride quality is strong, even on 19in wheels. It’s a mature drive, and one that will doubtless find favour with most likely Skoda buyers.

Official range is 333 miles – 23 more than the ID 4’s – with a consumption rate of 3.7mpkWh; we averaged 2.7mpkWh on our test. Charging comes via an 11kW AC charger or a 125kW DC fast-charger.

Should I buy one?

Prices for the Enyaq 80 start from £39,350 in Loft trim (Suite trim, seen here, starts from £40,660). That undercuts the ID 4 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, despite offering marginally more space and range than both, if a touch less dynamic appeal. It certainly doesn’t feel like a budget rival in the way that Skodas once did. If anything, the Enyaq is another step forward for the brand.

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So there’s much to like. Our only hesitancy in recommending this Enyaq 80 might be the 60 version. While it offers 77 miles less range, with prices starting from £31,995 (aided by it sitting it under the revised government EV grant threshold), it’s substantially cheaper than the 80, which should make it a compelling rival to the likes of the Kia e-Niro.

Overall, then, the Enyaq is excellent. But that isn’t a surprise.

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abkq 14 April 2021

Those who have fond memories of the playful, distinctive and inventive styling of eg. the Yeti, 2nd generation Octavia, 2nd generation Fabia etc. will lament the mediocre visual appeal of current Skodas, where the lack of ideas gives rise to excessive detailing as compensation.

The grille of this particular Skoda is unfortunate in resembling a closed mouth ready to bare its teeth and bite.

simonleecarter 14 April 2021

Enyaq not Enqaq!  Must be the best looking electric SUV yet.  Don't you think?

rmcondo 14 April 2021

"Enqaq"? Do the employ paid consultants to find these names? "In cak" is likely to be written by mistake to remind us of old Skoda jokes,