Skoda Enyaq iV Review
Nowadays, Skoda makes some truly terrific cars. They are well-built, spacious, practical and reasonably priced.
But now, the manufacturer has unveiled the path it’s taking into the future as it begins the process of electrifying its range.
Select's rating score* - 4.5 / 5
At a Glance
The new Enyaq is named after the Irish name Enya (not specifically the singer-songwriter) – which roughly translates as ‘essence of life’. And, like many vehicles in Skoda’s range, it gets a ‘q’ added to the end for good measure.
While we think the 'essence of life' is more to do with Skoda protecting the environment by ripping out the fuel-burning engine, the Enyaq will be a good test of Skoda’s ability to provide future life for the brand itself. After all, this vehicle is a family SUV, and Skoda needs to persuade families that an electric car will suit their lifestyle.
To do this, it has gone with a look that’s more akin to what owners are familiar with now. Some electric cars have very stand-out designs that come across as though they’ve been rolled off a time machine. But not so the Enyaq.
In fact, the model even has a grille – something that’s not particularly common on electric cars. Except the grille is 'fake' as it has no holes, although it has very grille-like lines.
Skoda says it has kept the car’s aesthetics as close as possible to a regular petrol or diesel variant to ease people into the transition towards an electric future.
The front looks very aggressive, with squared-off air intakes on either side of the number plate, a lower grille along the bottom (with holes in it) and small squinting headlights. An indentation runs along the entire length of the bonnet between the grille and the windscreen. There is even a splitter underneath, much like you’d expect to find on a sports car.
The side is well proportioned with styling lines, while at the back, there’s a roof spoiler, with tapering rear lights pointing towards the spaced-out Skoda lettering in the middle of the boot.
There are four different trims to choose from.
Entry-level ‘60’ trim gets you artificial leather upholstery, 19-inch alloys, LED headlights, a virtual cockpit, rear parking sensors and SatNav, housed within a 13-inch infotainment screen.
‘80’ is next up, adding silver roof rails, a driving mode selector, paddles on the steering wheel for regenerative braking, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.
80 Sportline trim adds in half-leather, half-Alcantara upholstery, full LED matrix beam headlights, 20-inch alloys, heated front sports seats and a heated multi-function steering wheel, plus keyless entry and a start/stop system.
Top of the range is the 80X Sportline trim, which adds 125kW DC charging, four-wheel drive and additional performance from the electric motor.
All the grades include ‘iV’ branding, which is the name that will be given to all Skoda's electric line-up.
The Sportline models include some additional trim stylings in contrasting colours to highlight the sporty features of the car's appearance. However, the only solid colour available in the whole range is blue.
If you want anything different, you have to opt for metallic paint, which is available in silver, black, light grey, dark grey, white, blue and red.
Range & Batteries
The electric motor found in the entry-level 60 model produces 180PS. It has a 58kWh battery and a claimed range of 256 miles.
The 80 and 80 Sportline both produce 204PS and have a bigger 77kWh battery, with a declared range of 331 miles in the 80 and 326 miles in the 80 Sportline.
The top-of-the-range 80X Sportline ups the power to 265PS and also has the same 77kWh battery. However, despite the extra power and four-wheel drive, the professed range is still a decent 303 miles.
Performance & Drive
The Enyaq is rear-wheel-drive (apart from the four-wheel-drive version, obviously), which helps with acceleration, but the Enyaq is not geared towards performance.
It is quiet and friendly to drive around town and, with no gear changing required, the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel alter the amount of regenerative braking. This technology will put some charge back into the battery when slowing down.
The car even tells you when to lift off the steering wheel as you approach a roundabout or a junction.
On a dual carriageway, the Skoda makes excellent and steady progress. Overall, the Enyaq has all the classic hallmarks of a family car: it is geared more towards comfort than performance, but, nevertheless, it’s capable of moving along when needed.
The electric car feels comfortable to drive, while the entry-level 60 trim with the lower-powered motor still moves well from a standing start, with good acceleration available at all speeds.
Most electrified vehicles give instant bursts of acceleration, which can make the ride a bit jarring in stop-start traffic, but the Enyaq feels restrained – albeit in a good way – as if plotting a curve on a graph in terms of how it picks up speed. You still get plenty of acceleration, but not so much as to pin you back in your seat every time the traffic jam moves forward a few feet.
The car weighs around two tonnes, but the batteries under the floor provide a low centre of gravity, which helps with handling. As a result, there's not a tremendous amount of body roll in the corners and, even when you take a corner at speed, it still handles better than you might expect for an SUV.
The entry-level motor found in the 60 trim manages 0-62mph in 8.8-seconds, while the higher-powered motors in the 80 and 80 Sportline variants manage the same in a marginally quicker 8.7-seconds.
The top-of-the-range 80X Sportline is more rapid, though, getting to 62mph in 6.9 seconds from a standing start.
However, those who like a decent top end on their motor will be disappointed, as the whole range is limited to 99mph.
The 58kWh battery included on the entry-level Enyaq will charge in around nine hours with a 7.2kW wall charger. In addition, 100kWh rapid charging is available as an optional extra, which will get it from 0-80% in around 35 minutes.
The rest of the range has a larger 77kWh battery which will charge from a 7.2kW wall charger in around 13 hours, while a 0-80% charge can be achieved in just under 40 minutes from a 125kWh rapid charger.
Running Costs & Emissions
Obviously, there are no emissions to worry about. In terms of running costs, the decent range figures should help limit the need to charge frequently.
The numbers are claimed to be pretty accurate, too. Hence, the likelihood of needing to subtract about a third of the claimed range to reflect real-world figures isn’t necessary, although some downward adjustment is still likely in practice.
There's any number of factors that can impact range, though, from the temperature, road surface, driving style and how many electronic systems the battery is powering at any given time.
Furthermore, if you're interested, Skoda includes a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, although the mileage is unlimited for the first two years. Therefore, long-distance drivers won't be penalised in the first 24 months. It's also extendable to five years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Interior & Technology
Skoda is known for its quality nowadays, but the interior of the Enyaq takes the automaker into newly unchartered territory.
It is very well designed, with a tiered dashboard effect and an attractive cloth finish on the dashboard's surfaces. This adds something intriguingly different to the soft-touch faux-leather finishes in most cars – and looks and feels a lot nicer than it sounds, adding to the comfort factor.
There are a few cheap plastics on offer in the front, but, by and large, these are hidden away lower down and are largely out of reach.
The gear selector is merely a little switch on the centre console, while big door bins and even a small glove box by the steering wheel on the driver’s side give an impression of attention to detail, in addition to the standard glove box on the passenger side.
There are still physical buttons for the air conditioning and climate control, plus more buttons on the steering wheel. But most have now been digitised and are contained within the infotainment system. The virtual cockpit, which is the digital instrument display, is very clear, too.
A 13-inch screen is provided within the infotainment system, and user-friendliness is high on the agenda. For example, instead of having to learn confusing symbols, you can press buttons on the screen which say "Warm my feet", "Cool my feet", "Defog windows", and so on, and the car will do just that.
The system is responsive on the whole, but the SatNav is a little laggy.
Speaking of navigation, the Augmented Reality (AR) system is superb. AR is the concept of overlaying virtual information into the real world. So, via a heads up display, it will superimpose directional arrows and other helpful information on top of what you can see to help you keep moving in the right direction.
The smart-technology is aided further by voice activation. Those who are used to the likes of the Siri voice assistant found on their smartphones will be happy to speak to the car via its internal assistant, called Laura.
The only problem is if you have someone called Laura that you’ll be driving around with a lot. So you'll probably want to think about renaming them, so the car doesn’t get confused.
Practicality & Boot Space
The Enyaq has plenty of capacity in the front, while it’s even more spacious in the back. The headroom is plentiful, while the legroom will accommodate all but the tallest of rear-seat passengers.
No engine means no prop shaft, so there’s no tunnel underneath the floor, which is flat as a result. This gives passengers more sideways room and helps you to stretch out a little.
There's a retractable armrest in the rear, while the door bins in the back are a decent size.
On the downside, though, there are harder, cheaper materials in the back and no USB ports are offered.
The boot has a capacity of 585-litres, and the floor is flat, with no boot lip. Also, there is a small amount of underfloor storage, while hooks and tie-down points are also provided to stop things rattling around.
Boot space increases to 1710-litres with the rear seats folded down, while the floor is adjustable to remove the ridge created by folding the seats.
The Enyaq has been recently tested by Euro NCAP and earned a five-star rating.
It scored impressively, especially for adult occupants, being awarded a 94% rating. Child occupants came in at 89%, while safety assists were rated at 82%.
Safety equipment includes blind-spot detection and a driver alert system to warn when you might need to take a rest stop. In addition, adaptive cruise control will keep you at a safe distance from the vehicle in front, while crew protect assist will automatically close the windows and tighten seatbelts if it detects a potentially imminent collision.
Lane assist helps you stay in lane and apply corrective steering if required, while traffic jam assist can automatically stop and move the vehicle when in queues.
The emergency assist can intervene if the driver becomes incapacitated.
Skoda has quite the options list and, while it’s nice to see manufacturers being inventive, it also suggests that the company has been a bit miserly in terms of how much equipment is offered as standard.
In fact, quite a few of the safety systems we’ve mentioned above are optional extras.
An electric driver’s seat with a memory function is offered for a price, but if you want the passenger seat to be electric, too, then you'll have to fork out more.
Heated seats upfront and three-zone climate control are available to order, while if you also want the rear seats to be heated along with the windscreen, then
you'll have to dig into your pockets again.
The full LED matrix beam headlights, LED rear lights, and a lighting package that illuminates the front grille looks fantastic but cost a lot extra.
The Assisted Drive package, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, and crew protect assist, can be added. But, at the same time, you'll have to splash out on top of that if you want lane assist, traffic jam assist and emergency assist.
The Augmented Reality displays for the SatNav are offered as extras. You can also add a heat pump, so the car uses less battery power to warm the interior. Universal charging cables and a panoramic roof are on hand to select, too.
Admittedly, some of these features are included as standard if you decide on a higher trim, but not that many of them.
In short, if you want to take advantage of what this car has to offer, then you'll need to be willing to have your wallet wide open.
To rub salt into the wounds, if you want any colour other than solid blue, you have to pay extra for the privilege and have one of the metallic shades instead.
Verdict & Next Steps
The Enyaq has many, many plus points. It’s practical, spacious, good to drive and has a lovely interior, but it’s let down by Skoda’s hierarchy being too stingy.
The problem with this car is that the asking price isn’t really the asking price.
While the Enyaq comes in attractively low, most drivers will choose optional extras, which some manufacturers would be offering as standard.
Skoda also commits the cardinal sin of telling you that you can choose from various colours as long as you're happy with blue or don't mind handing over extra money for an alternative.
Before you know it, you’ve added a hit of several thousand pounds more to your wallet than you’d initially expected. And the price, which did seem reasonable at first, is suddenly heading north of £40k, even for the entry-level model.
Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 – which is a superb alternative – is slightly more expensive as standard. But (apart from a metallic paint upgrade), it doesn't have an options list as everything comes as standard.
And that is the frustrating thing. The Enyaq is so likeable as a car and has so much potential. If your heart is set on it, it has many plus points that offer an impressive and undaunting introduction to all-electric vehicles while retaining the aesthetics of any petrol or diesel car on the road today.
It is just a pity that the price isn’t as good value for money once you’ve done your homework.
Where to next?
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**Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews of the Skoda Enyaq iV
**Correct as of 19/10/2021. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £2781.45 Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.