Skoda powering ahead with Enyaq

Skoda Enyaq iV80

By Bill McCarthy


WHISPER the question quietly, but is Skoda is now as good as its parent company VW? Its ascendancy in the last 25 years has been remarkable and it now challenges the best with a small, but competitive range of vehicles, all at sensible prices.

The Enyaq is a case in point. The firm’s first all-electric vehicle and sharing much of the technology of its parent firm and offering the kind of range to almost, but not quite, puts range anxiety to bed for good.

It also offers even quicker charging. Built on the VW group’s modular electrification toolkit (MEB) platform it is a good looking, practical, and spacious SUV

It comes with two battery sizes available, the 62kWh (Enyaq iV 60 Nav) and 82kWh (Enyaq iV 80) driven here.

The former offers a range of 256 miles, while the iV 80 SportLine up to 327 miles and Enyaq iV 80 up to 333 miles on WLTP combined cycle. Pretty impressive.

It’s good news on the battery front, but on the infrastructure front, it is still lagging, so any journey of any length still needs careful planning.

Another bonus is rapid charging speeds of up to 80 per cent charge possible in approx 38 minutes and those EV waverers may be convinced to go the whole electric hog.

It certainly looks the part, with a powerful, sculpted stance, all sharp creases angles, together with eye-catching grille, smart alloys, at 19 inches, the largest diameter ever fitted to a Skoda as standard, although sportier 20 and 21-inch wheels can be specified. The crystalline headlights and tail lights add an elegant touch.

As an SUV it offers good interior space thanks to what Skoda describes as the skateboard platform, where the battery is incorporated into the floor to save space and increase headroom.

The interior is pretty minimalist, with the 13-inch central touchscreen dominant. This controls connectivity for smartphones, infotainment with DAB radio and navigation system and is complemented by a smaller digital cockpit display which allows drivers to customise their display

In addition, the multi-function steering wheel adds extra functionality, and includes  paddles for setting the levels of regenerative braking which in turn sends charge to the battery, while standard kit includes cruise control and speed limiter, rear parking sensors, light and rain sensors with auto-dimming rearview mirror.

And in typical Skoda style their Simply Clever additions include ice scraper now in the tailgate, the ubiquitous hidden brolly, plus smartphone pockets on the front seat backrests and two storage compartments in the centre console and foldaway brolly.

There are six different interior designs, Loft, Lounge,  Suite, EcoSuite and SportLine. They all offer something unique. The Suite version on this model features black leather upholstery with brown stitching and artificial leather trimmed dashboard.

Customers choosing the 82kWh battery pack benefit from an increased standard specification that includes chrome detailing, front parking sensors and a rear-view camera,

To the rear you can pretty much pack the kitchen sink, with 585 litres of boot space which expands to 1,710 litres with the rear seats folded flat..

On the road, the performance is impressive. As with all electric cars maximum torque is available from as soon as you floor the throttle pedal.

The drive comes via a rear-mounted motor driving the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission mounted on the rear axle. It is quick, hitting 60mph in just over eight seconds.

Drive Mode Select offers five driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual), depending on whether you want maximum economy or a more engaging drive.

Handling is excellent thanks to the low centre of gravity while the driven rear wheels improve traction when accelerating. The car feels pretty agile, considering its size, while the ride itself feels comfortable, just what you would expect for a family orientated vehicle.

As first electric efforts go, this seems pretty much the real deal with huge range, practicality and a competitive price.

FAST FACTS

Skoda Enyaq iV80 82 kW Suite

Price: £42,900

Mechanical: 204ps electric motor driving rear wheels via single speed transmission

Max speed: 99 mph

0-62mph: 8.2 secs

Range: 331 miles

CO2 emissions: 0 g/km 

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles 

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