The pure electric Skoda Enyaq iV 80 tried and tested by Robin Roberts (and Miles Better News Agency).
The five-seat pure-electric Skoda Enyaq sits at the top of their range and takes them into a new sector populated by premium brands which command very high prices and can mask the cost of their pure-battery technology.
In that comparison, the Enyaq is not that expensive but to anyone who remembers the bargain small cars Skoda formerly made it’s in another league.
It’s really a very big step up in terms of sophistication and comfort, and comes with a choice of 179 PS 62 kW or 204 PS 82 kW battery that can be nearly fully charged in under 40 minutes at best or 13 hrs at worst.
Buyers also have the choice of RWD or 4WD transmission and six interior styles; Loft, Lodge, Lounge, Suite, ecoSuite and Sportline.
Prices start from £32,010 to £46,610 for the various models but beware that extras can add a lot to the price as well.
Our test car was rear wheel drive, not all-wheel-drive which is also available, and had the larger battery which gave a longer range.
It’s worth mentioning the car comes with 7 kW AC-domestic and 50 kW DC cables but you have to pay extra for a DC fast charge connector. Depending on the battery size and power output, recharging can take around half-hour or up to 13 hours.
The motor and automatic gearbox provided extremely smooth power delivery and you can fine tune with five settings to optimise requirements and sharpen steering, responses and handling from eco to track and modes between.
However, you are moving a model weighing over two-tonnes and its absolute performance is not exceptional, but it’s still impressive.
What I liked was the reliable range – as we regularly obtained – of 280 miles
It’s respectable in eco and normal modes, more vigorous in the other settings and while the powertrain is almost silent this throws into relief the road and suspension noises which intrude on anything but a very smooth surface.
The suspension did a good job absorbing the worst bumps and potholes and its 2.77 m (9.09 ft) wheelbase smoothed out a lot while also giving the Enyaq a lot of legroom in front and back seats. The clever off-set split seatbacks with a load-through section as well made the Enyaq very versatile when it came to loading and the floor was mid-thigh height and a sensible shape to swallow bikes, kit-bags and a tent when not doing the shopping trip.
Access to the cabin was also very good revealing excellent head and shoulder room with very attractive, neatly shaped, supportive and comfortable seats throughout.
Oddments provision was excellent for a family car with glovebox, door bins, console recesses and box as well as seat-back pockets.
A big car needs good climate control and air conditioning and the Enyaq was not lacking with wide temperature range, prodigious power and fine directional control, backed up with four electric windows and optional medium sized sunroof over a blind.
The Enyaq’s comfort and secondary controls were spread along the centre of the fascia and to the right of the steering wheel as well as grouped on the spokes, with stalks for lights and wipers as well as paddles to manually vary recuperation on the move.
Some of the comfort and convenience switches produced slow changes to the small display immediately infront of the driver and the 13-inch infotainment touchscreen was much faster once we learned to give it a determined push rather than a glancing swipe.
Lifting off throttle produced a noticeable retardation and you could adjust its strength to boost the battery so you didn’t always need to apply the footbrake, but if you did the pedal was very effective, along with the electric parking brake.
Moving off or reversing simply needed a pull or push on a small selector switch and that was it with the throttle depressed.
Steering effort could be weighted as desired and it gave good feedback but we were disappointed with the low ratio when turning or parking.
Visibility was reasonably good apart from the high tail and wide C-pillars when you had to rely on sensors and a very good reversing camera to see hidden objects or people. Very good heated mirrors, wipers/ washers and extremely powerful automatic LED headlights and LED rear lights with dynamic indicators on the test car were standout features as the nights drew in. You’re not going to miss the Enyaq in the day or night.
EcoSuite specification we tested includes stylish brown leather seat upholstery and matching leatherette door inserts with piano black dashboard trim.
The test car’s standard price was a shade under £41,000 but it came with £7,100 of extras including uprated LED lights both ends, big sunroof and assisted driving, sports and infotainment packs as well as the 125 kW DC battery charging cable and I think some of these should be standard not extras at this end of the premium SUV sector.
After all, Skoda made a name for itself with its value for money range and it could do again as it goes down a new green road with its wow-factor.
For: Very useful long range, easy and quick to charge, good controls, roomy, extremely comfortable, stylish interior, excellent seats.
Against: Big turning circle, lots of road noise, some blindspots, average performance and expensive extras need careful consideration.
Milestones and Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec. in Brief:
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 EcoSuite
Price: £47,100 as tested
Mechanical: 77 kWh battery, 204 PS electric motor, 310 Nm (229 lb.ft) torque, single speed automatic gearbox, rear wheel drive
Max Speed: 99 mph
0 – 62 mph: 8.2 sec
Range: 280 miles
Insurance Group: 28E
C02 emissions: Zero g/km
Bik rating: 1%, VED £ZeroFY, £480x5SR
Warranty: 3 years/60,000 miles
Size: L 4.66 m (15.29 ft), W 1.88 m (6.17 ft), H 1.61 m (5.28 ft)
Bootspace: 585 to 1,710 litres (20.66 to 60.39 cu.ft)
Kerbweight: 2,032 kg (4,480 lb)