A Polished And Practical Family EV

Some of today’s electric cars like to shout about their plug-in credentials, while others look much like their internal-combustion relatives. The Skoda Enyaq is most definitely the latter. It’s a smart and stylish car that looks distinctive enough to be memorable, and once you’ve been around one for a few days you’ll start spotting them in traffic – but its aesthetics are mostly conventional, both inside and out.

This is no bad thing. If you are in the market for a family SUV powered by electrons instead of hydrocarbons, and you find the Volkswagen ID.4 too futuristic, then the Skoda Enyaq could well be for you. And, whatever you do, don’t be put off by the badge. As well as being the first-ever electric Skoda, the Enyaq is quite a bit more than a relation of the ID.4. Just like other members of today’s Skoda lineup, the Enyaq quickly parks any outdated views you might have of the Czech automaker at the curb, and impresses immediately.

First, the numbers. Broadly speaking, there are three versions of Enyaq to pick from, called the 60, 80 and 80x. The first two have battery sizes of 58kWh and 77kWh respectively and both have a single motor driving the rear wheels. The range-topping 80x has the same 77kWh battery pack but uses this to drive two motors and has all-wheel-drive. A quicker, sportier vRS version of the Enyaq will be available in the future. The all-important driving range varies from 255 to 336 miles using the WLTP system.

The Skoda Enyaq starts at £32,010 in the UK (Skoda cars aren’t currently available in the US). For this review I was sent an Enyaq 80 with the EcoSuite trim level. This model starts at £40,935, but with a few optional extras the press car reviewed here came in at £47,100. That may sound like a lot of money for a Skoda, but the Enyaq is a lot of car, and a quality item at that.

This particular model has a claimed 331 miles of range (WLTP) and its single motor sends 201 horsepower and 229 lb ft of torque to the rear wheels. The 0-62mph (100km/h) time is stated as 8.2 seconds and the top speed is 99mph. Only the range and claimed consumption of 3.7 miles per kWh really matter here, given we’re looking at a sensible family car, not something intended to win the Traffic Light Grand Prix.

I wasn’t able to fully exhaust the Enyaq in the time I had it, but the rate of consumption was a respectable 3.5 miles per kWh. Multiplied by the car’s 77kWh battery, this gives a real-world range of 270 miles. That’s some way short of the claimed 331 miles, but my time with the car included a lot of highway driving, and with no attempt made to drive more efficiently than normal. I estimate that 300 miles of town and city driving should be achievable.

DC charging is limited to a rate of 50kW as standard, but for £440 this can be upped to 100kW on the Enyaq 60 and 125kW on the Enyaq 80. It’s a shame drivers are asked to stump up for faster charging, but boosting from 500kW to 125kW is undoubtedly worth it in the long run.

As for driving, the Enyaq is plenty quick enough in the way almost all electric cars are, accelerating briskly when called upon and cruising effortlessly at highway speed. It rides extremely well indeed, soaking up bumps and dealing with all manner of road surfaces without fuss.

The steering has practically no feel at all, but is light and precise, and the wheel is pleasantly contoured for a premium look and feel. It also features a set of physical buttons instead of the haptic touch pads found in some other cars – a good move by Skoda, in my opinion.

The accelerator’s sensitivity and regenerative braking – where the car slows by feeding energy back into the battery when lifting the pedal – are well-judged, making it easy and intuitive to drive the Enyaq while rarely using the brakes themselves.

The strength of the car’s regenerative braking can be increased or decreased with paddles behind the steering wheel. As with other electric cars, I set the regen to its maximum and one-pedal drove the Skoda as much as possible, feeding energy back into the battery and increasing range. It’s a little thing, but seeing the range estimate gain a couple of miles after a lengthy downhill section is always a satisfying element of EV ownership.

Inside, there’s a sense that the design team has really thought carefully about how the car is used, from the simple but stylish dashboard with just the right ratio of touch to physical controls, to the elegant, art deco-esque door handles. It’s practical and sensibly laid out, but with an air of quality and refinement too. Small details like an umbrella in the driver’s door (yes, like on a Rolls-Royce), and slots for storing coins used to unlock supermarket trolleys lend further credence to this being a perfect all-rounder.

Standard features on the Enyaq iV 80 EcoSuite I borrowed include a 13-inch touchscreen display that is simple enough to use and not as distracting as some others. Climate controls are found here instead of on physical dials and switches – usually something I’m not keen on – but the Skoda’s system is intuitive, and a ledge on the leading edge of the dashboard can be used to hold your hand stable when tapping at the screen. As with most cars today, I shunned Skoda’s own infotainment system in favor of Apple CarPlay, accessed wirelessly or via a USB-C port. Android Auto is also included.

Practicality continues in the back, where there is plenty of head, shoulder and leg room for adults, and the flat floor owing to the lack of a transmission tunnel means even the middle rear passenger isn’t too compromised. The cabin is flooded with light thanks to the (optional) panoramic sunroof, which in my opinion is a must-have extra, albeit one costing £815.

For its first EV, Skoda had got an awful lot right with the Enyaq. The conservative styling might be too dry for some tastes, but many buyers will be drawn to how it looks ‘normal’ and resists the urge to shout about being electric. The drivetrain is excellent, with a real-world 270 to 300 miles well within reach of the 77kWh battery of the Enyaq iV 80 driven here. Driving the Enyaq is incredibly easy – there isn’t even a start/stop button to worry about, as it comes to life with a press of the brake pedal – and the interior is as comfortable and calming as it is practical.

There’s plenty of space from what is a fairly compact SUV by today’s standards – the Enyaq is slightly smaller than a Volvo XC60 in every dimension – and it’s easy to drive in the city, too.

It may not be the most exciting car on the market today, but when you’re shopping for an electric family car, prioritizing excitement is to miss the point. Instead, the Enyaq is an attractive and practical electric car with a good range and a sensible price point, as long as you don’t get too greedy with the options list. For a great many drivers, it will tick all of the most important boxes.

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