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James Batchelor reports on a relaxing, award-winning electric SUV from Škoda
Electric vehicles (EVs) can offer huge benefits to caravan owners, not least the impressive performance and refinement of their electric motors. Although the selection of EVs able to tow a caravan has been slim until recently, the Škoda Enyaq iV SUV is one of a growing number that could tempt tourers to make the switch.
The Enyaq iV 80 has been on the Club’s radar for some time now. The iV 80 Lounge picked up two wins at the Towcar of the Year 2022 competition – in the Caravan Weight Under 1,100kg class and the overall Electric Vehicles category – and in four-wheel-drive 80x form, the Enyaq took the Caravan Weight 1,200-1,300kg class win in the 2023 competition. With that in mind, we wanted to take a closer look at one of the standout electric cars we’ve tested and spend more time with it.
Škoda has launched a couple of models wearing the iV badge, but the Enyaq is the Czech brand’s first model to be pure-electric. In recent months, Škoda has followed up the Enyaq with a more daring looking Coupe model and performance-minded Coupe vRS version. But the standard, more practical, original Enyaq is the car we’re interested in for this test.
There are three flavours of Enyaq – 60, 80 and 80x. These numbers roughly denote the size of the car’s battery (62kWh total/58kWh useable in the 60 and 82kWh total/77kWh useable in the 80), while the ‘x’ indicates four-wheel drive.
With Škoda being part of the Volkswagen Group, the Enyaq uses the same platform and hardware as its sister car, the Volkswagen ID.4, which means power is predominantly sent to the rear wheels and the battery sits beneath the floor between the car’s axles. In the case of the 60, there’s a 177bhp electric motor on the back axle, the 80 delivers 201bhp – again to the rear wheels – while the 80x, tested here, adds an extra 60bhp motor on the front axle, giving 261bhp.
While the underlying componentry might be the same as the ID.4’s, Škoda has taken a different approach with the styling. Volkswagen favours a more swoopy design for its range of ID. electric cars, which very much follows an industry trend of giving EVs a more futuristic look.
The Enyaq, though, is far more in keeping with Škoda’s petrol- and diesel-powered Kamiq, Karoq and Kodiaq models; there’s even a blanked off grille, aping its Škoda sister SUVs (which can be specced to be illuminated by 130 LEDs at night if you choose the £2,030 ‘Advanced Package’ or the £3,980 ‘Maxx Package’). It's a relatively good-looking SUV with its short bonnet, slim front and rear tail lights and sharp creases, particularly so if you opt for the SportLine Plus model, driven here, with its deeper bumpers and black exterior trim.
The same is true inside. Apart from the extra room that comes from a dedicated electric car platform, the result of which is extra storage in the centre console and a flat floor beneath the back seats, the Enyaq’s interior offers few surprises. It’s as logically laid out and as comfortable as all other Škoda SUVs. Interestingly, the cabin is also better built than an ID.4’s, with quality plastics used throughout. The massive 13in screen is easier to use than the ID.4’s, too, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also thrown in as standard.
The Enyaq shuns traditional trim levels and instead plumps for ‘designs’, so there’s the choice of ‘Loft’, ‘Suite’, ‘Eco Suite’, and ‘Lounge’ and, for the SportLine Plus model, ‘Sports’. Our car’s Sports design, with its black, body-hugging seats, was smart but rather sombre, however most of the other options (available for other models, not the SportLine Plus) feature tasteful textiles and non-leather alternatives.
Space in the back is excellent, with plenty of knee and headroom for taller passengers. Boot space is similarly enormous and a low lip makes loading larger items easy. The £320 optional ‘Transport’ package is worth ticking, though, as it adds a variable height floor, luggage nets and the ability to lower the back seats with a lever in the boot.
The Enyaq doesn’t deliver its thrills like some of its rivals. Rather than pinning the driver in their seat, the Škoda smartly moves off with speed building in a measured, relaxed kind of way. The 80x’s twin electric motors pack an extra 60bhp, so it’s a good deal quicker than the two-wheel drive models.
The steering is accurate enough and brakes are nicely judged – it's a great car that’s dialled in perfectly to family and touring life. The suspension errs on the comfortable side, and even choosing the elegant 21in wheels (like on our car) doesn’t ruin the ride. Being larger than the 19in wheels that are standard on other trim levels, though, they do have a slight negative impact on the electric range.
Speaking of the range, Škoda claims up to 246 miles for the 60, 338 for the 80 and 318 miles for the four-wheel drive 80x. Remember, though, that electric cars are even more susceptible to driving style, outside temperature, and weight than their traditional counterparts.
Škoda recently upgraded the Enyaq’s DC charging capabilities for both 60 and 80 models meaning if you plug into a 150kW rapid charger at a roadside service station, an 80% charge will take around 30 minutes.
A home charge from a 7kW wallbox should be completed in 13 hours for 80 models and 9 hours 30 minutes for the 60. A handy smartphone app also allows the driver to remotely charge the Enyaq and switch on the air conditioning.
Electric cars have one huge advantage over combustion-engined cars, and that’s torque. An electric motor delivers its maximum torque instantly, which for caravanners is good news as acceleration and traction tend to be better.
When hitched up to a 1,200kg caravan, the Enyaq moves off from a standstill in a far more relaxed and quicker fashion than a Škoda Kodiaq diesel does, for example. Needless to say, it’s a good deal quieter too, and, once up to speed, refinement levels are excellent with only a small whine from the electric motor disrupting the near-silence.
The Enyaq also feels very tied down, having excellent stability at motorway speeds, and the outfit never feels wayward; the car almost feels the same as it does when driving solo.
Our car adds an extra motor on the front axle to give four-wheel drive which will give useful extra traction on slippery pitches and perhaps in adverse weather. We’ve also tested a non-four-wheel-drive ‘80’ in Lounge spec (the car that scooped the ‘Electric Car’ category in last year’s Towcar of the Year awards), and in normal driving the two cars drive identically. Plus, by not being four-wheel drive, the latter’s driving range is a little better.
When unhitched we achieved about 287 miles on a full charge in the '80' - but we think you’d struggle to better 130 miles using either the two- or four-wheel drive Enyaq with caravan in tow. Considering the Enyaq 80x’s 2,750kg gross weight that’s not too bad, but it means a long touring holiday would involve plenty of charging stops.
The Škoda Enyaq iV is a great electric SUV offering a combination of refinement and good towing ability.