The Škoda Enyaq is the new weapon of the Volkswagen group in its electric offensive. Taking the foundations of the Volkswagen ID.4, the Czech electric SUV is also a strong commercial argument in the ambitious strategy of conquering the brand. He nevertheless intends to differentiate himself from his German cousin by adding typically Škoda ingredients to the recipe. In short, he has the niac, this Enyaq. But is it a good deal for all that?
Essay by Alexandre Lenoir
Unless you play hard, we won’t blame the Enyaq too bland design. Certainly it is a SUV – one more – and certainly it does not revolutionize the lines of the genre either. But he really manages to stand out from the crowd by working carefully on many details. On the front, for example, the full grille is a real eye-catcher and, with its Crystal Face option soon available, it will even be illuminated with 131 LEDs downright mesmerizing when the vehicle is stationary. Just above, we will not fail to distinguish the very marked trench in the center on the hood, in contrast to the classic embossings. Lower, the spoiler blade and the openwork shield on the sides evoke a dynamic temperament and contribute to the very good drag coefficient of 0.26.
Finally, the design of the anthracite alloy rims (up to 21 inches – optional – on our test model) puts the beautiful baby firmly on the ground. We say “beautiful”, but we must also understand “big”, because the Enyaq measures 4.65 meters and, in this “80” version, exceeds 2 tonnes on the scale. In the range of the color chart, the “Energy blue” of our test vehicle is the only free color while all the others are options priced between 635 and 1,055 euros. For all of this work, Enyaq was awarded a Red Dot Award, a prestigious trophy which rewards the best designs each year.
Interior as hand-sewn
For the interior, here again Škoda intends to stand out. Maybe even a little too much, because the choice might not be obvious. Judge: no less than seven different atmospheres are available on the brand’s configurator, all evoking the comfort of a neat interior (Studio, Lodge, Lounge, Suite …), with the exception of the Sportline which undoubtedly lays the foundations for the future RS livery available next year and which already offers a chassis belittled. The colors are chosen in rather neutral tones and close to what one would expect from a Scandinavian design. This is undoubtedly a strong trend, especially since the release of the little Honda e and its magnificent interior treatment.
For the choice of materials, Škoda says it has opted for recycled or treated products using environmentally friendly processes, like the leather in the ecoSuite finish (priced at 1,565 euros), tanned from olive leaf extracts, rather than from a method using chemicals like chrome. Whatever atmosphere you choose, optional equipment packs can be added to the endowment. In this regard, we were able to note the effectiveness of the acoustic front glazing on filtering air noise, available in all the so-called “comfort” packs offered by Škoda.
The volume on board is rather generous and combines little tips and storage space. The absence of an easement tunnel offers more legroom for the rear passengers (a fortiori for the one in the middle!), But the virtual absence of a foot cellar, typical on electric vehicles whose batteries are located under the passenger compartment, place the knees a little higher than on a conventional vehicle. It does not pose a problem for children or small stature, but may disturb the older ones on long journeys. To console himself, they can always choose the air conditioning temperature in the rear area or opt for heating their seat. They will also have two USB sockets and a 230 volt socket, but obviously here too it is optional in one of the so-called “family” packs. Count at least 385 euros for that. Yes, even when it comes to options, Škoda definitely has nothing to envy of the German brands!
By the way, if you were wondering, Škoda has not sacrificed the many tricks that its vehicles are equipped with, like the umbrella organizer in the driver’s door, the ice scraper in the tailgate pillar, the windshield washer fluid fill funnel and so on. Among the latest to date (but unfortunately also optional), note the head restraints in the rear headrests, supplied with a cover please. Something to sleep like a baby on long journeys.
Full of tech
The Enyaq takes full advantage of its affiliation with Volkswagen’s ID.4, from which it takes over the main equipment and technologies. While the trend was for giant screens in the instrument cluster, we thus find in the Škoda SUV a small 5.3-inch digital display. It only displays the essential information, namely speed, range, navigation instructions and the status of driver aids. The display on a black background is perfectly legible; nothing comes to lose a glance, even furtive. We must welcome this return to reasonableness, the increasingly large screens often being doubled with too confusing indications, or too diluted in unnecessary graphic effects.
In the center of the dashboard, a large 13-inch screen (standard from version 60) allows the use of MIB3, the latest version of the manufacturer’s infotainment system. By the latter’s own admission, it seems more complex in its approach than the previous one, but the car user would still have to get used to the ergonomics fairly quickly and the abundance of menus and submenus. Even doing it, however, we regret that the indications in the status bar at the top of the screen are not all “clickable”, or that you have to go through several operations to adjust the room temperature instead of having a physical button with more direct access and, above all, more intuitive. Admittedly, under the screen and the ventilation ducts, a piano offers shortcut keys to the main functions, but then you always have to go through the screen itself, which is not ideal when driving . Rest the voice assistant, but Škoda’s is not in our opinion on the level of what one would expect on a vehicle of this rank and the phrasing of the text-to-speech is not the most pleasant anyway.
If the indications on the two screens are not sufficient for you, a head-up display (HUD) is also available … as an option. It features the same nifty augmented reality feature as the ID.4, which displays directions in the driver’s field of vision through arrows that magnify as the lane approaches. It is particularly effective and well thought out. The augmented reality feature also displays the profile of the path to follow if you ever come too close to the center and side limits of the lane.
Special mention also to full-screen Apple CarPlay integration (wireless), whose navigation instructions are repeated even in the HUD, but without augmented reality however. Android Auto is also offered, but it will be necessary to wait for an update to be able to dispose of it wirelessly.
As usual with electric vehicles, the user also has at his disposal a battery of connected services to manage various functions remotely, including charging or thermal preconditioning of the passenger compartment. Speaking of thermal comfort, too bad the heat pump which saves precious kW, i.e. a paying option of 1200 euros.
Driving and charging
As its name suggests, the 80 version of the Enyaq iV is equipped with an 80 kWh battery (82 kWh gross capacity and 77 kWh useful). This is the best-off version, the basic offer, called 50, consisting of an accumulator of 52 kWh useful. Between the two, an intermediate “60” version is offered, while later 80x and RS versions equipped with the same 82 kWh battery, but powering two engines to have four-wheel drive. With the machinery placed on the rear axle, the two-wheel drive versions are rear-wheel drive.
While the base version exhibits “only” 180 horsepower, our 80 version benefits froman engine developing 204 horsepower and offering 310 Nm of torque. All in all, this is quite modest for a vehicle exceeding 2 tonnes, but it is sufficient for accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.6 seconds. The maximum speed is limited to 160 km / h (the future RS version will be able to reach 180 km / h). If that doesn’t seem like enough, make sure you don’t want to force the pace. First of all, because you will be behind the wheel of a 2 ton SUV. While it exhibits a fairly safe behavior thanks to its very low center of gravity obtained by placing the batteries under the floor, it will never have the grace of a ballerina if you put too hard the curves. Then, because at high speed, the action radius will then melt like snow in the sun.
Our version 80 has the piloted suspension which can be softened or firmed on demand. To do this, simply move a cursor in the interface of the driving mode selector. The result obtained is very noticeable, the difference is noticeable between the softest and the hardest calibrations.
On the highway, at 130 km / h, rolling noise is relatively well filtered. They will also be less present if we opt for a more modest set of rims (19 inches as standard, 20 or 21 inches optional). On the flat and at this motorway pace, each kilometer traveled during our test reduced the range indicator by 2 kilometers. It should be remembered for all practical purposes that electricity consumption does not depend only on the pace, but also on climatic conditions and the use of certain comfort elements. Hence the importance of the heat pump for heating, for example. With a temperature of around 18 degrees outside, we were in perfect condition not to have to cool or heat the interior and therefore have the best possible range.
On version 80, the latter, precisely, is approved for 537 km (WLTP cycle) in urban driving. In road use, you can easily count on 350 to 400 km, provided you do not have the right foot too heavy. On our 265 km route made up of all road profiles, but with a majority of peri-urban, we consumed an average of 17.1 kWh per hundred kilometers, theoretically enough to drive about 450 kilometers before the breakdown. It’s comfortable.
To help you maintain range, energy recovery when decelerating is quite effective. It can work in different modes. With the speed selector on D, the paddles located on each side of the steering wheel (optional…) allow the recovery power to be modulated on four levels. This is a welcome feature that Volkswagen does not offer on the ID.4 (good point for Škoda) and which brings a fun aspect to electric driving. Mode B (for Brake, brake in English) allows you to recharge with each lift of the foot, but offers no modulation of its effectiveness. Finally, le automatic recovery mode, it is predictive and therefore chooses the best option on its own depending on the position and speed of the car. If you go 50 km / h into zone 30 and take your foot off it, it will slow the car to 30 km / h, then let it coast. If the road is on a slight slope and you are driving at the maximum authorized speed, ditto, a foot lift will be favorable to a freewheel strategy which allows the vehicle to go on its way without pumping into the battery. Anyway, the regenerative power makes it easy to recover precious kilometers, or even to drive “for free” when conditions are optimal, that is to say by compensating in recovery what is spent in traction.
For fast charging using a CSS socket, the Enyaq iV 80 comes with a 50 kW charger as standard and up to 125 kW as an option (€ 525). In the near future, a software update to be carried out at a concession will even reach up to 170 kW, which will promote motorway uses where more and more stations offer high-power charging stations. In theory you will be able to recover more than 50 kWh (approximately 250 km of autonomy) in less than 20 minutes. Note that the Czech manufacturer offers a Powerpass which allows connection to around 200,000 charging stations in Europe at variable pricing depending on the formula chosen (from 0 to 22.59 € per month).
The Enyaq iV range is offered for version 50 from 36,050 euros excluding bonus (which is set at 7,000 euros in France at the time of writing this essay). Our trial version 80 is priced at 47,770 euros. Unless negotiated with the distributor, it therefore does not make it possible to benefit from the maximum bonus, reserved for vehicles sold for less than 45,000 euros. Anyway, in the options game, you understand that the bill can quickly flirt with 60,000 euros. Be careful, therefore, not to exceed this amount otherwise you will no longer be able to benefit from the slightest ecological bonus, currently 3,000 euros for an electric vehicle whose purchase price is between 45,000 and 60,000 euros.
In its basic version and with comparable characteristics, the Enyaq is therefore 3,320 euros cheaper than the Volkswagen ID. 4. This is anything but negligible. The intermediate version, 60, is 1,500 euros more expensive than the Chinese SUV Aiways U5, of comparable size, but with a more powerful engine and a more generous endowment for the Škoda. The Czech brand also has on its side a distribution and service network that the Chinese company lacks. The iV 80x all-wheel-drive version (the price of which is not yet communicated and which will arrive in 2022) can be compared to the Ford Mustang Mach-E 76 kWh, offered from 56,500 euros, and later at famous Tesla Model Y.