Skoda Enyaq iv80 Founders Edition review.
“This is a most impressive electric car, with the traditional overstatement of battery capacity, and limitations of range on the motorway. It’s a pity manufacturers gloss over this”
For – handsome, spacious, powerful, excellent regenerative performance, great interior.
Against – media controls opaque, poor long-range high-speed cruise ability.
Competition – VW ID.4, Tesla Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Mercedes EQA, Ford Mach E, Kia EV6
Skoda’s first electric vehicle, the elegant Enyaq, has been enthusiastically received and this Founders Edition will turn heads with its big wheels, illuminated grille, glossy black trim with bronze wing-mirrors, while its “crystal face” grille which lights up, wireless phone charging and snazzy interior will remind us that this Volkswagen subsidiary is no longer a cheap and cheerful value brand.
The specification is generous, and so it should be for close to £50,000, but for that money you’d expect this big, solid SUV would have all-wheel, not just rear-wheel drive. Powered seats too perhaps. This “80” version has an 82-kWh battery and 125 kW DC fast charging ability which could get you 80% of the battery filled in 38 minutes.
This is a limited edition, and there will only be 50 available in Britain and 1,895 globally. Why 1,895? To celebrate the year Skoda was founded by bike makers and repairers Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement before they moved on to motorcycles and then Skoda cars. In those days the location was called Bohemia, part of the Austria-Hungarian empire which disappeared after the Great War and is now the Czech Republic. But before we get too misty-eyed, Skoda is now part of the Volkswagen group of brands and most of its bits and pieces are German, although it does a decent job retaining an air of independence.
Like most all-electric vehicles, the Enyaq is a terrific city car but limited on the highway. The range claim for a full battery is traditionally imaginative – the boast is 324 miles and my average over 6 home refills was 266 miles. That’s a shortfall of 18%. Close to a shortfall of a fifth, but better than most. The regenerative braking was quite remarkable; maybe too remarkable because of a range guide which occasionally seemed to have fits of indecision and generosity. Once about 25 miles suddenly disappeared only to reappear minutes later. My traditional 38-mile run over rolling Sussex country roads removed 31 miles from the range. Impressive. Another mainly uphill run of 17 miles removed 32 miles, while the return journey removed only 8 miles. But a run into town and back of 9 miles added 2 miles to the range, suggesting that this measurement was a bit flaky.
On the highway the story was worse than most, but not outrageously so. I calculated that at an average speed of 75 mph, the range depleted at a 40.6% rate, giving a theoretical range of 158 miles. That doesn’t sound too bad, but when you reckon that any normal driver would probably not be happy having only 50 miles remaining, you can see that this would be hopeless on a seriously long journey. The same goes for most electric cars that I’ve tested, with the Tesla Model 3 the stand-out leader (see my table) with 239 miles. If you’re buying electric, make sure you keep an old diesel in reserve.
On the road, you won’t be surprised to hear the performance was better than lively, with terrific roadholding and comfort, although the suspension was a bit thumpy. That’s probably more of a criticism of British roads than the suspension. The car felt extremely solid and high class, with big doors that shut with a satisfactory clunk. Interior quality was impeccable. This is a big car and there’s loads of room for the rear passengers, and the boot swallows much golfing gear.
Less than intuitive
The big 13” screen seemed to have all the bases covered but I found it less than intuitive. I never did make the media, radio, music centre work properly. I managed to upload my music via Apple Car Play but couldn’t make the volume control work. The sound would suddenly come on, then refuse to be silenced. I found turning the radio off required you to stop and open the door. Only when your whole body had emerged from the car did the sound stop. That’s either very impressive or very annoying, depending on your mood.
The air conditioning was clunky too, although I’m prepared to admit this might be more of an indictment of my lack of IT awareness than Skoda’s failure. If I owned the car, I’m sure all these problems would soon disappear with habit. There’s a cheaper Enyaq with a 62kWh battery and six interior designs to choose from. There are four-wheel-drive versions. The entry-level 62kWh battery model has a claimed range of up to 256 miles. Prices start at £34,185.
What to buy?
This is a most impressive electric car, with the traditional overstatement of battery capacity, and limitations of range on the motorway. It’s a pity manufacturers gloss over this. The Enyaq does look terrific and this top-of-the-range version is outstanding, although I felt a little less enthusiastic about the grille that lights up when I found it cost £1,675 as part of the Light and View package. Choices in this price range included the VW ID.4, Tesla Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Mercedes EQA, Ford Mustang Mach E, and Kia EV6. You might want to consider the MG long range version, which I’ve yet to establish is very long range.
|Skoda Enyaq iv80 Founders Edition|
|(*estimated at indicated 75 mph)|
|Electric motor:||201 hp|
|Claimed range:||324 miles|
|Claimed electricity consumption:||3.6 miles/kWh|
|WintonsWorld test range:||266 miles (average of 6 home charges, -18%)|
Highway cruising penalty*
|Charging:||7.2 kW/13hours, 125 kW to 80% 38 minutes|
|Acceleration:||0-60 mph 8.3 seconds|
|Top Speed:||99 mph|
|CO2:||none at tail-pipe|
|Warranty:||60,000 miles/3-years – battery pack 100,000/8 years|
|Boot capacity:||1,710/585 litres|
|Competition:||VW ID.4, Tesla Y, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Mercedes EQA, Ford Mustang Mach E, Kia EV6.|
|Price:||£48,415 (before subsidies)|
|For:||handsome, spacious, powerful, excellent regenerative performance, great interior|
|Against:||media controls opaque, poor long-range high-speed cruise ability|