Sometimes in life the answer is there, staring you straight in the face. When choosing which body style to base its first bespoke electric vehicle on Skoda stuck to what it knows – and does – best. SUVs.
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HOW MUCH WILL IT SET ME BACK?
This is the very first time the winged arrow has appeared on a full EV that is available with two battery sizes: those badged ‘iV 60’ rely on a 62kWh pack and ‘iV 80’ models an even bigger 82kWh unit for a claimed range of 256- and 327-miles respectively. Secondly, the Enyaq pushes Skoda into territory normally occupied by so-called premium brands and is, therefore, not exactly cheap. This is true when you discover that only the entry-level Enyaq iV 60 model qualifies for the UK government’s £1,500 plug-in car grant. Our ‘Loft’-spec car kicks off at £39,365 before options, so with 20-inch alloy wheels, silver metallic paint and four ‘Packs’ selected, this quickly escalates to a bank busting £42,500. In all, seven body colours are available on top of a panoramic glass sunroof, a tow bar and sports suspension.
IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE AN EV
Whereas Skoda’s parent company Volkswagen and other EV manufacturers like BMW intentionally penned a design exclusive to its EVs, Skoda resisted that idea, choosing instead to rely on the corporate look that currently graces the rest of its cars, from the Fabia supermini to the seven-seat Kodiaq. Slim LED headlights, bonnet creases, a strong shoulder line that runs the entire length of the car, a discreet kick in the window line as it meets the C-pillar and glitzy wraparound tail-lights are all Skoda hallmarks. The grille with its vertical grille slats has mushroomed in size on the Enyaq but just in case it does not stand out quite enough, customers can choose a ‘Crystal Face’ that has 130 LED strips to illuminate it. You are going to get noticed, though, because the Enyaq is not what you would call small: against the tape, it is 4.64 metres long, 1.87 metres wide and stands 1.6 metres tall. Even so, it is quite the looker in real life.
CAN IT REALLY DO OVER 320 MILES?
That question was put to Skoda UK and they are pretty adamant users can expect to reach the quoted range, although we would be more inclined to say 300-miles in warm weather. Regenerative braking helps of course, and the Enyaq allows you to adjust how effective this needs to be by blipping the paddles behind the steering wheel. Other means of maximising range include choosing ‘Eco’ as your preferred driving mode; it lowers the torque and limits acceleration. ‘Sport’ has the opposite effect by allowing for maximum power, although the Enyaq’s DNA means the difference between the two is pretty negligible. A 50kW charging set-up is standard on the Enyaq but can now be upgraded in the ‘iV 60’ to 100kW and 125kW in the ‘iV 80’. Opting for either of these improved charging options slashes the time needed to go from zero to 80% to 35 minutes and 38 minutes respectively as opposed to around an hour.
BIG ON THE OUTSIDE, BIG ON THE INSIDE
Large windows, a high roof and a long wheelbase make for a comfortable space in which even the tallest adults can travel around without having to check their watch every five minutes. Skoda has form when it comes to building convincing family cars and the Enyaq maintains that fine tradition. Apart from the obvious cubbies and pockets, you can have sun blinds for the rear windows as part of the ‘Family Package Basic’. Pay a little extra for ‘Family Package Plus’ and you will get folding tray tables and extra soft rear headrests that feel like pillows – perfect for when someone wants to grab a quick snooze on a longer journey. Another option worth considering is the ‘Transport Package’. This comprises a net for the simply ginormous 585-litre boot, a variable boot floor and quick release levers in the boot to lower the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks.
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE INTERIOR?
Skoda being Skoda, it tends to do things differently, so buyers have six different interior colour and material combinations to choose from. ‘Loft’ is the default option with this combining blacks and greys with a denim-effect fabric for the dash and seats. Designers have settled on a less is more ideology for the dash and lower console where there are only a handful of shortcut keys for the Driving Mode, Park Assist and climate control. As is the norm, most commands are executed via the 13-inch colour screen on the dash – the largest ever fitted to a Skoda. Crisp, clear and easy to read, there is minimal lag and the menus are logically presented and laid out. On first glance, the driver display looks lost but in actual fact it is the ideal size and is always in your line of sight when you are behind the wheel.
PROS AND CONS
+ Strong, predictable range
+ Brilliant technology
+ Spacious and quiet
– Expensive for a Skoda
– Options are pricey, too
– ‘80’ misses out on PiCG
DRIVING: The Enyaq is a weighty SUV but at no point does it feel leggy as you pull away from a set of traffic lights or accelerate hard to build up speed before joining the motorway. And despite being a rather big car it is remarkably simple to place on even narrow roads. Large wheels don’t result in a bone-jarring ride and the suspension is capable of taking on the very worst our roads can throw at it with minimal effort.
INTERIOR: Build and cabin material quality are second to none in the Enyaq, with the bright multimedia screen stealing the show. Standard equipment is good, too, and includes a heated steering wheel, dual zone climate control, ambient lighting, satellite navigation and an active reversing camera. Safety aids range from all round parking sensors to lane assist, automatic lights, automatic wipers and automatic braking.
STYLING: Skoda claims that every aspect of the Enyaq’s design, from the air ducts on the front bumper to the roof-mounted rear spoiler, minimise drag to maximise everyday performance. All models get LED headlights, alloy wheels and puddle lamps with chrome roof rails and window surrounds, a backlit front grille and seven body colours some of the different ways customers can give their car added kerbside appeal.
PRACTICALITY: The more time you spend in the Enyaq the more secrets it reveals, from the tiny ice scraper housed in the tail-gate to the umbrella that can be slotted into the passenger door and easily retrieved when exiting the vehicle. The Type 2 charge cable has its own compartment in the boot, so it can be kept away from food shopping or pets. A cable cleaner, as well as a protective cap that covers the charging socket, keeps them – and your hands – dirt-free.
Price: £42,555 (as tested)
Battery/motor: 82kWh battery, one e-motor
Power/torque: 201bhp/229lb ft
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
0-62mph: 8.2 seconds
Top speed: 99mph