2022 Skoda Enyaq iV 80
The tail wags the dog. Skoda’s first electric car isn’t just like a VW ID.4 – it’s better.
The mocking laughter faded away years ago, but there was a lingering suspicion that Skoda was still under team orders to keep the styling a bit dowdy and the cabin materials a bit tacky. Former chief executive Bernhard Maier may have lost his job in the course of trying to buck the hierarchy, but it looks like he’s won the war. The Enyaq iV, a car developed on his watch, is in some ways superior to the VW-badged product it most closely resembles, the ID.4.
In fairness, Skoda has also benefitted from the nine-month lag between VW’s launch of the first member of its bespoke EV family, the ID.3. That gave the Czech operation time to learn from that car’s mixed reception, and adjust the details accordingly. So the Enyaq doesn’t get the VW’s stubby column-mounted drive selector and brake-regen mode switch, nor its array of horizontal temperature-control touch sliders and the busy steering wheel fraught with too many functions. Instead, the drive selector is conventionally located, physical buttons replace some of the sliders and the energy regeneration steps are dialled in and out by two shift paddles.
None of which alters the fact that the Enyaq is broadly similar to the ID.4, as a rear-drive electric crossover, and its pricing is very close. It uses the same MEB components set, which will eventually involve three different battery sizes and five different performance stages. Initially, the choice in the UK is the 60 (priced from £31,995, which combines a 62kWh battery with a 177bhp motor, giving a range of 256 miles) and two versions of the 80 (both with an 82kWh battery and 201bhp motor, and almost 80 extra miles of range). With 229lb ft of torque, the 80 can get from standstill to 62mph is 8.5 seconds.
Its top speed is limited to 99mph. Not epic figures, but it’s performance you can use. The Enyaq is exceptionally quiet inside, and the suspension smooths out rough roads well. The handling is both failsafe and entertaining, the precise steering giving great feedback to the driver’s palms.
There are three recuperation stages to choose from. D1 is little different from lift-off in a petrol Octavia, D2 feels like being stuck in too low a gear, D3 practically renders the front disc and rear drum brakes jobless. You can set it up for on-demand coasting; the transition from electric to hydraulic deceleration is imperceptible.
In addition to the four pre-set driving modes, an Individual setting allows the fine tuning of all departments in 15 steps.
This is a highly competent and rather classy piece of work. Higher-powered and all-wheel-drive versions are on the horizon, as is a coupe variant, as Skoda takes the EV fight not only to VW but also Mercedes and Tesla.
First verdict Don’t think of Skoda as VW’s Dacia. Enyaq competes directly with ID.4, and is priced at the same level 4/5
Enhanced nav is part of a £740 options package
THE FIRST HOUR
- 20 seconds Our test car doesn’t have the optional illuminated crystal grille – bah!
- 50 seconds But it does have optional soft leather upholstery tanned with olive leaf pulp – sustainable, apparently
- 9 minutes Low centre of gravity encourages you to maintain momentum, with none of that wasteful slowing down and speeding up
- 51 minutes Why I am driving like a lunatic? Because tyre squeal is the only way to grab cyclists’ attention
PLUS + Smart and practical cabin; ride and handling well matched to the power
MINUS -Could be cheaper…
A nine-month lag gave the Czech operation time to learn from the ID.3’s mixed reception, and adjust the details
- PRICE £39,350 ( 2022 Skoda Enyaq iV 80)
- POWERTRAIN 82kWh battery, e-motor, rear-wheel drive
- PERFORMANCE 201bhp, 229lb ft, 8.5sec 0-62mph, 99mph
- WEIGHT 2233kg
- ON SALE Now
- EFFICIENCY 2.9-4.1 miles per kWh, 333-mile range, 0g/km CO2