The old jokes about Skoda cars are as antiquated as mobile phones the size of bricks. The Czech car maker is going from strength to strength and now regularly makes better versions of owner Volkswagen’s models.
Skoda’s first purpose-built EV is a case in point. Developed alongside the VW ID.4, for me, the Enyaq IV outshines its German cousin.
Available with either a 62kWh or 82kWh battery and offering claimed ranges of between 256-331 miles, it’s a little bigger and better looking than the ID.4.
Priced from £42,925, its distinctive design delivers serious road presence and excellent practicality, plus it’s surprisingly engaging to drive.
The Enyaq iV 60 uses a 62kWh battery and a 178bhp electric motor, with power fed to the rear wheels, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds and up to 256 miles of range.
The Enyaq iV 80 has an 82kWh battery and 201bhp electric motor, again driving the rear wheels (331-mile range and 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds), while the four-wheel-drive ’80x’ has two electric motors, delivering 261bhp of power, a 6.9-second 0-62mph time and a range of 303 miles.
Inside, there’s bags of room for all the family, plus Skoda’s trademark clever storage spaces, and build quality is impressive. The Enyaq iV’s large 585-litre boot expands to a van-like 1,710 litres with the rear seats folded.
Up front it’s minimalist with few buttons and the driving position is spot-on. The large touchscreen infotainment display is less fiddly than the ID.4’s and there are piano-style buttons below to shortcut the key functions.
Skoda emphasises the sustainability of the Enyaq iV too. For instance, the proportion of recycled steel used for the car’s body is 40%, while for the aluminium is as high as 60%. What’s more, 20% of the side window panes are also recycled.
Sustainable materials are also used throughout the interior. Sound insulation is made from recycled textiles, and both the floor and boot mats are made and remoulded using fibres from recycled PET bottles.
Plus, there are various interior trim themes available, including Ecosuite which uses extract of olive tree leaves instead of chemicals to tan the cognac brown leather upholstery.
Despite its large dimensions and two-tonne weight, our Skoda Enyaq iV 80 test car didn’t feel like a handful on the road.
In fact, it’s more agile than you may expect, helped by its low-slung batteries and excellent weight distribution.
Effortlessly fast, easy to drive and superbly refined, the ride is comfortable and there’s admirably little body roll in more challenging corners.
The steering is accurate and nicely weighted, meaning that tighter manoeuvres are easier than you might think. And for a rear-wheel drive car, there’s an impressive amount of grip.
It’s also possible to have fun in an Enyaq, especially in Sport mode which gives maximum acceleration and performance. However, on longer cruises, Eco will do just fine as your inner Scrooge endeavours to squeeze as many miles out of the battery pack as possible.
If you want more performance then consider the sporty Enyaq Coupe iV vRS which has two electric motors delivering 295bhp and 339 lb ft of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph time of just 6.5 seconds.
Like all EVs, it will charge on the move via regenerative braking (recovering energy otherwise wasted when slowing down or coasting). It can also be charged overnight at home, while a 10-80% charge using a 100kW rapid charger takes just over 30 minutes.
Just like any electric car, real-world range will depend on many factors, including the outside temperature and driving style, but we’d say around 275 miles is quite possible in everyday driving.
Awarded a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP’s vigorous new testing regime, it’s also one of the safest cars on the road.
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB), road-sign recognition, lane-keep assist and cruise control are fitted as standard, along with Isofix points front and rear.
The Enyaq iV’s competitors include everything from the Volkswagen ID.4 to the Audi Q4 e-tron, Nissan Ariya, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Kia Niro EV and Tesla Model Y.
Finally, if you have a trailer or caravan, the towing capacity is a slightly disappointing 1,000kg (60/80) or 1,200kg (80x/vRS).