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Czech entry into the fast-growing electric family car class aims for a familiar feel

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This week’s road test subject, the Skoda Enyaq, brings to mind a recent development in the product line of world-famous toy maker Lego.

For a few years now, the Czech firm has been offering sets of building blocks that can be made into as many as three different menu-built models, as well as whatever else your imagination might inspire. You can make your blocky supercar and then disassemble it and turn it into a truck or a boat, before departing from your instruction booklet completely.

EVs don’t need a grille, yet most car makers are sticking a fake one on anyway to uphold brand identity. For £2150, the Advanced package will even make it light up.

And it just so happens that today’s automotive engineers may feel, to a greater or lesser degree, like they are 10 years old again, making cars in a similar way: using platform-engineered common component sets and trying to create from them cars that – to the end customer, at least – need to feel like special and distinct products. The approach isn’t new, of course, but it does seem truer than ever right now, as we enter the era of the mass-produced, big-volume, affordable electric car.

Other manufacturers are following suit, but the Volkswagen Group is perhaps the most prominent user of such a widely shared electric car platform. Think the Lego analogy is dismissive of the VW Group’s work? MEB stands for Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten – and Baukasten translates from German as ‘child’s building set’. Fortunately they seem to be taking the actual engineering a bit more seriously than do the kids.

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Shared platforms for internal-combustion-engined cars have been around for a while now, but with no brand-exclusive engine and gearbox to make up the difference, it’s now even more of a challenge than before to make a distinctive electric car out of that same playset. We’ve already seen what Audi and Volkswagen have come up with, in the form of the Q4 E-tron and ID 4 respectively, the former of which we tested a few weeks ago. Now it’s the turn of Skoda’s entry, with the Enyaq.

Skoda is supposed to be the more value-conscious brand of the three, but recently it has been challenging the age-old VW Group hierarchy. Only 10 years ago it was generally obvious that Skodas were the cheaper, often extra-practical alternatives to Volkswagens; today’s Skodas occasionally eclipse their German cousins with a high-quality but pleasingly no-nonsense approach. This week we’ll find out whether the Enyaq continues that into the pure-electric era.

Range at a glance

Skoda offers a choice of two battery sizes in the UK: one with a 58kWh battery pack called the 60 and one with a 77kWh pack. The latter was launched as the 80, but was renamed 85 in 2024. An even smaller 50 exists but isn’t offered in the UK. On the Sportline model, you can add optionally a front motor for extra power and all-wheel drive. The sporty vRS model tops the range with even more power from its dual motors. In lieu of trim levels, Skoda offers interior design themes (Loft, Lodge, Lounge, Suite and EcoSuite) and a selection of other option packages. The Enyaq was launched as the Enyaq iV, but the suffix was dropped in 2024. Every version apart from the 60 is also available as an Enyaq Coupé, with a sloping roofline.

VersionPower
60177bhp
80 (2021-2023)201bhp
Sportline 80x (2021-2023)262bhp
85282bhp
Sportline 85x282bhp
Skoda Enyaq vRS (2021-2023)295bhp
vRS325bhp

DESIGN & STYLING

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2 Skoda Enyaq IV 2021 RT hero side

It’s a compliment to Skoda’s design team that it has handled the Volkswagen Group’s EV component set so well and come up with what might be the best-looking car of all its close relations. Needless to say, engineering-wise the Enyaq is extremely similar to its MEB platform mates, the ID 4 and Q4 E-tron.

As in the related VW and Audi, the Enyaq’s main electric drive motor is carried at the back, but you can have an additional front motor – and four-wheel drive – in the X and the vRS performance model.

Due to the shared architecture, the Enyaq’s proportions are very similar to its VW Group family members’. A longer rear overhang aids practicality.

The Enyaq offers the same choice in under-floor battery packs as its MEB siblings. Here we’ve got the one with the big battery, which has 82kWh of total capacity, of which 77kWh is usable. It was originally called th 80 and came with a claimed range of 333 miles. In 2024, Skoda upgraded the rear motor of the 80, 80x and vRS (all three use the same unit) for more power and better efficiency and renamed the first two to 85 and 85x. Range grew to 348 miles for the 85, 328 for the 85x and 336 for the vRS.

A 62kWh (58kWh usable) battery comes in the Enyaq 60, which offers a 249-mile WLTP claimed range, as well as less power.

Suspension is via a mix of front struts and rear multiple links, along with fixed- height steel coils, with wheel sizes ranging from 19 to 21in in diameter.

Skoda has found a bit more differentiation in the design of the Enyaq despite remarkably similar proportions to its siblings. The car has the same short, flat bonnet and chunky, slightly bus-like cab as we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s also bigger than the Audi, being marginally wider and 61mm longer. The wheelbase is the same, but the Skoda has a much longer rear overhang, continuing the established brand theme of offering the most practical option among VW Group model relations.

Also typically of Skoda, the Enyaq’s design details are more restrained, with fewer fake air intakes or prof ligate design flourishes in evidence on the exterior. The notable exception is the ‘crystal face grille’, a light-up front radiator aperture that is (thankfully) optional. Despite the absence of particularly extravagant styling, however, the Enyaq succeeds in making an impression and seems to invite passers-by to take an interest, which will do it absolutely no harm through the early phases of its showroom life.

Unlike the ID 4 or the Q4 E-tron, though, the Enyaq iV is not built at Volkswagen’s main EV factory in Zwickau but alongside other Skodas in Mladá Boleslav, making Skoda’s the only plant in the Volkswagen Group that is building both ICE and electric cars on the same production line.

INTERIOR

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10 Skoda Enyaq IV 2021 RT front seats

The cab-forward proportions and long rear overhang pay dividends for the packaging of the Enyaq’s interior, resulting in a spacious-feeling cabin. While that impression was aided by our test car’s light grey upholstery, there can be no doubt that this is the most practical of all these first-generation, MEB-platform EVs.

How much of the space you can actually use does depend a little on which options you tick. There is ample room on the back seat, even in the middle, thanks to the absence of a centre tunnel. On the other hand, the optional and slightly flimsy tray tables steal a little leg room from taller adults, who won’t be able to stretch out in the back like they might in a Hyundai Ioniq 5. The 585-litre boot is fairly large for an EV with a drive motor underneath the floor, but Skoda makes you pay extra for a movable boot floor. Our car didn’t have it, so the load floor wasn’t totally flat when the rear seats were folded.

Trays for phones are angled away from the driver to minimise distraction. Wireless charging isn’t a standard feature.

Enyaqs have a cubby beneath the boot floor to store the charge cable, but it’s not quite big enough to fit all the cables. Some EVs have storage under the bonnet for the same job, but while there is space for one in the Enyaq, Skoda hasn’t used it. Remembering to remove the charge cable from its home before filling the boot with cargo, then, will be a frequent challenge for Enyaq owners.

The cabin materials are a little plain in places, with some coarser plastics at lower levels and anodised-look trim strips up high that are clearly plastic. They resist fingerprints much better than the typical gloss black plastic, however, and the soft-touch fabrics on the dash make for an inviting, lounge-like environment, even in the entry-level models.

The front cabin is cleverly thought out – ‘simply clever’, Skoda might say. There's a big armrest cubby, a storage slot for car park tickets and a clip in the windscreen for parking tickets. The coin holders are a nice touch, but perhaps a little antiquated, and the cupholders are very small. There are two phone trays in the centre console that are angled away from the driver to avoid distraction and that will wirelessly charge your device if so optioned.

Despite technically having a flat floor, the car has a big centre console between the front occupants, but it has all sorts of big bins and trays all the way down to the floor for storage.

Multimedia - 4 Stars

Although Skoda uses the same fundamental infotainment system as other Volkswagen Group brands, they all give it their own finishing touch – and Skoda’s execution is usually smoother and a bit easier to use. Such is the case here in the Enyaq. Precious few physical buttons grace the dashboard, but as the screen is massive, at 13.0in, that’s not an issue, and most important settings are relatively easy to find – although if you do struggle to work it out, don’t expect the voice activation to be of any help.

In 2024, Skoda introduced a thorough software update with a number of useful improvements. There are now two bars of customisable shortcuts that are permanently on screen, which makes it easy to access things like the settings menu, phone mirroring, lane keeping assistance and battery preconditioning. The climate control is controlled through the touchscreen, but the temperature adjustment is permanently on screen, and since the 2024 update so are the heated seats. A physical button takes you to the climate menu. The screen also responds faster than before and we didn't experience any glitches in our Enyaq 85 test car.

Some annoyances remain. The touch bar for the volume is still unlit, and the settings menus require you to rotate a picture of the car to find the right function, which is very form-over-function. It's also disappointing how bad the built-in navigation is at finding charging stations you might want to use. Its information is out of date, and there is no easy way to filter out all the slow chargers.

ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

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26 Skoda Enyaq IV 2021 RT motor

The Enyaq 80’s 201bhp might sound like a healthy output for a family car with no particular sporting intentions, but a two-tonne kerb weight dulls performance enough to make it feel a little ordinary under a full-throttle launch. It hits 60mph in 8.3sec, though, which is respectable. As with most EVs, top speed is electronically capped, here to 100mph. In everyday motoring, the Enyaq often feels quicker than its 0-60mph time suggests. With little noise, no gears to shift and a subtle and fast-acting traction control system, the car feels plentifully swift in roll-on acceleration from town speeds.

The Enyaq 85 gets quite a substantial power bump, to 282bhp, which reduces the quoted 0-62mph time from 8.6sec to 6.7sec, which makes it quicker than rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 and puts it closer to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y. We've not performance tested the Enyaq 85, but subjectively it does feel amusingly brisk. The update has made the accelerator response a bit jumpy in Normal mode, and we preferred Eco mode. If you desire even more performance, there is also the Skoda Enyaq vRS, though we've yet to test the updated version of that.

The ‘engine start’ button is largely redundant as the car senses someone in the driver’s seat and will move off when put in ‘D’. Annoyingly, leaning over to get something from the passenger footwell can turn the car off (not once moving, of course).

Battery regeneration can be controlled using the paddles behind the steering wheel, although the Enyaq is a bit of a control freak in this respect. There are three levels of regen to choose from, but touch the accelerator and it will switch back to its automatic mode, rendering the paddles rather redundant.

If you want the strongest regen mode all the time, you can shift into ‘B’ on the gear selector, but for anything in between you have to juggle the setting continually using the shift paddles. In fairness, the adaptive mode does a good job, but the excessive interference is frustrating, as is the lack of either a coasting mode or a true one-pedal mode that brings the car to a stop.

RIDE & HANDLING

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27 Skoda Enyaq IV 2021 RT cornering front

The handling reflects the Enyaq’s assured performance, adopting a healthy middle ground in everything. The ride is quite firm, regardless of whether you choose the 19in or 20in alloy wheels. You’ll feel most imperfections in the road surface, but never harshly, making the ride just about acceptable.

Body movements are deftly controlled. Combine that with good grip and the EV-typical low centre of gravity and it means that the Enyaq has roadholding to spare. If you really push it, you can even unearth some rear-drive balance. It's more likely that you'll run into very mild, stabilising understeer. You feel the benefit of rear-wheel drive more in the absence of torque steer than any sort of driver engagement.

The Drive Sport Package Plus, with its adaptive dampers, progressive steering and three-spoke steering wheel, used to be a separate option, but these days it's included in the Maxx Package.

If your budget allows, we would recommend the Maxx Package. At £4405, it's not cheap, but as well as a head-up display, heated windscreen and upgraded stereo, it adds adaptive dampers and progressive steering. The dampers take the edge off the ride, and unlike some variable steering racks the Skoda's does actually feel more progressive. You won't get much steering feedback in any case, but the standard rack feels a little leaden and overly quick around the dead-ahead. 

A cheaper way into a better-riding Enyaq is to choose the Enyaq 60, with its smaller, lighter battery. Naturally, it won't go as far. Unless you live somewhere snowy, we'd give the four-wheel-drive 80x and 85x a miss. The sport suspension doesn't transform the Enyaq into a driver's car. Neither does the vRS, but that version at least gives you more power.

That the Enyaq has rear-wheel drive was done not for driver engagement but for packaging reasons, of course. What results is a remarkably tight turning circle for such a large vehicle, at just 9.3m. Indeed, while navigating tight streets, the Skoda feels smaller than you would expect it to, and really manoeuvrable. It’s still a hefty car, though, with proportions that make its edges hard to see and substantial pillars that render visibility quite poor in some directions.

It’s a good thing, then, that parking sensors and a reversing camera are standard equipment – although if you choose the less powerful Enyaq 60, you’ll need to pay extra for them.

Comfort and isolation

The Enyaq slips neatly into its role as sensible family transport, with good rolling refinement and insulation. Road and wind noise are well suppressed, despite the wide tyres and tall body, with decibel levels lower than those of the Mustang Mach-E but on average 1dBA noisier than the Q4 E-tron or Jaguar I-Pace.

The standard seats offer the usual adjustments, including lumbar support, although side bolstering is limited. You’re kept comfortable on long journeys, though, with adequate leg support. One criticism from our testers was the need to bump up the lumbar support so as not to feel hunched at the wheel. For some Enyaq owners on long journeys, mild backache might be the first complaint, but it’s a minor issue.

Assisted driving notes - 4 stars

Early Skoda Enyaqs could be quite frustrating on account of their collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems seeing obstacles where there weren't any, and because the intrusive lane keeping assistance was hard to turn off.

However, later cars are much better. The 2024 multimedia update lets you configure a shortcut that makes turning off the lane keeping assistance a two-press action. When we drove a revised car, we also found the adaptive cruise control very smooth and alert and experienced no false warnings from the collision avoidance system. Its speed limit recognition system was far more accurate than on earlier cars, though still not infallible. This particular test car supposedly had a speed limit warning but it was either malfunctioning or simply not fitted.

MPG & RUNNING COSTS

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1 Skoda Enyaq IV 2021 RT hero front

The Enyaq 80 was launched with an official electric range of 333 miles, which was competitive at the time and continued to be even as new rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Ariya were introduced. When it was upgraded to Enyaq 85, the WLTP range grew to 348 miles.

We averaged about 3.4mpkWh during our time in summer with the Enyaq 80, a figure that translates to a real-world range of just over 260 miles. That’s a fair bit below the claimed range but not unusually so for an EV. When we tested the Enyaq 85, it was wintertime, with temperatures in the low teens, but it still returned 3.4mpkWh. However, even colder temperatures sent efficiency diving since a heat pump is a £1025 option that our test car did not have.

CAP expects the Enyaq's residuals to be evenly matched with volume-brand rivals and a match for most ICE cars.

Early Enyaqs would only charge at a maximum speed of 50kW unless you paid £440 for the option of faster rapid charging. That would upgrade the 80 to 125kW and the 60 to 100kW. This upgrade was made standard fairly soon after launch, however.

The updated 85 peaks at 135kW, and the 85x and vRS can take up to 175kW. The 60 also got a small boost, to 120kW. We've done a rapid-charging test with the 85 and although its peak rate is not very impressive and it can't match the Hyundai Ioniq 5 overall, it did put in a good performance because it keeps charging at over 100kW until the battery is 70% full. The 175kW upgrade that the 85x and vRS get may not be quite as big as it seems either. We've tested a VW ID Buzz with the same battery pack and 175kW charging capability, and while it peaked higher very briefly, it also ramped down quicker. To compare, view our league table of fastest-charging EVs.

SoC10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%
 125kW133kW133kW127kW123kW116kW107kW70kW30kW

At launch, the Enyaq looked cheap compared with rivals, but stingy levels of standard equipment and expensive options meant that the price could easily escalate. More recently, Skoda has revised its options policy, offering a small number of packs instead of individual options. For similar levels of equipment, it compares favourably with its rivals on list price, though Skoda's finance rates aren't quite as attractive as those from Tesla and Hyundai. If you can manage with less range, it is still just about possible to get an Enyaq 60 for under £40,000.

VERDICT

29 Skoda Enyaq IV 2021 RT static

Some manufacturers try to score headlines with outrageous power outputs, longer ranges and lower prices. The Skoda Enyaq, by contrast, aims for a sensible, middle-ground compromise. It doesn’t pioneer any new technology, and it’s built on a model architecture that has already had some kinks ironed out by Volkswagen and Audi.

A well-judged update has resolved many of our original gripes with the multimedia and assisted driving features. We still wish it didn't ride quite so firmly in standard form, one or two drivability quirks remain, and options can make the Enyaq quite expensive.

Quite a few essentials are optional as part of a pack, so study the standard kit carefully. Watch with the interior ‘designs’: some are quite pricey.

Spec with care, however, and the Enyaq represents a sweet spot for the family EV market. It impresses with a rounded and mature chassis set-up; with performance that should satisfy most drivers; with an attractive base price; and, most significantly, with strong efficiency and range, and a roomy and cleverly thought-out cabin that is a match for the Audi Q4 E-tron’s on tangible quality – and that’s quite a tonic.

Illya Verpraet

Illya Verpraet Road Tester Autocar
Title: Road Tester

As part of Autocar’s road test team, Illya drives everything from superminis to supercars, and writes reviews, comparison tests, as well as the odd feature and news story. 

Much of his time is spent wrangling the data logger and wielding the tape measure to gather the data for Autocar’s eight-page road tests, which are the most rigorous in the business thanks to independent performance, fuel consumption and noise figures.

Skoda Enyaq iV First drives