Skoda has added a more powerful all-wheel-drive model to the Enyaq line-up. Is it worth the extra outlay?

What is it?

Adding a four-wheel-drive version to a petrol or diesel model brings with it huge complexity. Transfer cases, a propshaft and differentials all need to be accommodated. Dedicated EV platforms, on the other hand, are usually designed to house an optional extra drive motor.

And so as night becomes day, Skoda has created a four-wheel-drive version of its MEB-platformed SUV, the Enyaq iV. The 80x – so called because it has the bigger, 77kWh ‘80’ battery – adds a 61bhp motor on the front axle for a total of 262bhp.

The Enyaq is so far our favourite of the Volkswagen Group MEB family. It’s not an entertainer, but it offers practicality, material appeal and comfort in spades. It makes sense that all-wheel drive can be combined with only the bigger 80 battery, but given the Enyaq’s easy-going character, it is slightly odd that it’s also available on only the Sportline trim. Does that diminish its appeal?

Sportline trim on the regular car is around £3000 more expensive and adds a sporty body kit, heated sports seats, 20in wheels, matrix LED headlights and keyless go. Adding four-wheel drive bumps that up even further, to £47,035. Not cheap.

12 Skoda enyaq iv 80x sportline 2022 uk first drive review on road side

What's it like?

The standard Skoda Enyaq iV is characterised by very secure but slightly leaden handling. The 80x carries that forward and adds more all-weather ability and performance. Even in colder temperatures and wet weather, traction is largely unassailable.

The sport suspension, meanwhile, is quite firm but not unliveably so. The standard Enyaq is not as wafty as you might expect, anyway. It does give good body control, and while the 80x never feels agile on a good road because of the slightly gloopy steering, it’s secure and precise.

With an additional 61bhp, it feels faster, too, but if you're after a fast family EV, the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 offer even more power for the same money. The Kia is more entertaining to drive but is less comfortable and feels less upmarket, whereas the Hyundai is more cosseting than the Skoda but noticeably more boat-like.

Inside, you can tell you’re in a Sportline model because of the wealth of Alcantara and faux carbonfibre. It’s all well put together, feels good and is ergonomically sound, but if you want a lighter interior ambience, as is available on the regular car, you’re out of luck because black is all you’re getting. The sport seats are a good addition, though, offering some extra support in the corners while also being slightly more comfortable in everyday use.

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5 Skoda enyaq iv 80x sportline 2022 uk first drive review dashboard

Should I buy one?

The Enyaq 80x Sportline does what it says on the tin. It’s a slightly sportier, faster Enyaq with better traction. The mandatory Sportline package isn’t great value and you probably wouldn’t miss the all-wheel drive in the UK if you got the regular Enyaq, but what it does, it does well.

If you've been waiting for a genuinely quick Enyaq, we’d advise you to wait a little longer until the full-fat vRS arrives with the drivetrain from the Volkswagen ID 4 GTX.

2 Skoda enyaq iv 80x sportline 2022 uk first drive review tracking rear

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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.

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catnip 14 January 2022

Another 2 ton + monster ...

Jeremy 14 January 2022

Nearly £50,000 and it's not even the top model in the line-up. No wonder new sales are so low and used sales are booming. Forget chip shortages - new cars are just so unaffordable for the vast majority.

inkpen 15 January 2022

EV sales are at record highs, both for Dec'21 & for the whole of 2021. Most EVs have 6 to 12-month waiting lists, including the Enyaq range. I agree that the prices are ridiculous, but until they have thousands sat in showrooms, unsold, I can't see prices dropping.

TStag 14 January 2022
At this price point you could get something like a Range Rover Velar. I’d look straight past the Skoda dealer and get a real 4x4