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The Skoda Enyaq is regularly overlooked for the big three electric SUVs but it shouldn’t be...

Skoda’s new 80x model electric SUV is a piece of magic on four wheels

Skoda’s Enyaq iV 80x

Skoda’s Enyaq iV 80x

Daragh KeanySunday World

​I’ve adored the Enyaq iV ever since I got into it in June 2021, so when Skoda released the 80x version last year I begged them to let me take it for a test drive.

For context, the Enyaq is the forgotten model of the competitive full-EV crossover SUV market. Everyone knows about the Ioniq 5, the EV6 and the ID.4 but there is something magical about the Enyaq that puts it on top of the list, in my opinion.

Based on its cousin the ID.4, the Enyaq doesn’t seem to be able to sell anything near as many cars but those in the know feel that if the VW group didn’t have so many big sellers to choose from and therefore make some tough calls for the distribution of the short supplied microchips then this car would be one of Ireland’s top-selling cars.

But don’t form your opinion on the Enyaq based on sales because that would be hugely unfair. I’ve been shouting about this car for over a year-and-a-half now and even voted for it ahead of the Ioniq 5 and EV6 in the 2022 Irish Car of the Year awards. Which the EV6 won by the way.

Skoda’s Enyaq iV 80x

But here we have a car that isn’t as futuristic as the others and has more space inside and comes with the same price tag and range options. So why is it overlooked?

Primarily, I think it is down to marketing and brand bias, but a huge part of it is also supply. If I was in the market for a big family-sized full EV tomorrow, I would start with the Enyaq. Simple. And I know a lot of fellow motor journalists who would do the same.

Having started off with just the one 204hp, rear-drive model it has grown to include the ‘coupe’ version, a sporty 299hp RS model, and a four-wheel-drive 80x version… which just happens to be my test vehicle for the week. The 80x model gains an extra electric motor – driving the front wheels – and an extra 61hp, too, and a bit more torque.

The cheapest Enyaq on Irish price lists is the 60kWh (58kWh net) version, that comes with a 150hp electric motor driving the rear wheels, and a maximum range of 412km on one charge.

I don’t have the exact numbers, but rest assured that very few of these are sold despite its very tempting €39,493 price tag.

More buyers opt for the pricier 80kWh version which gets a potential 534km range and costs from €47,849 (including the SEAI grant, €1,461 VRT relief and the company’s €2k tyre plan).

And because I tested the 80x model you should know that the entry-level for this is €51,286.

For that you get stunning 19-inch alloys, recharging speeds of up to 135kW, rear parking camera, front parking sensors, more exterior chrome, a heated two-spoke steering wheel, paddles behind the wheel that set your brake energy recuperation levels and selectable driving modes.

There is a Sportline trim which offers a few more extras like 20-inch ‘Vega’ alloys (but my car came with the 21” Betria alloys (a cool €788 extra), ); the driver assistance pack (which includes radar-guided cruise control, a blind spot monitor and traffic-jam assistance for €1,182) and the ‘Crystal Face’ backlit grille (another €718).

There were Matrix LED headlights, a sports body kit with blacked-out chrome and black badges, full keyless entry and ignition, tinted privacy glass and a whole host of small safety extras.

The Enyaq’s interior is where it excels over the competitors. It’s closer to Audi e-Tron territory than the others usually associated with it. The seats are technically ‘bucket’ seats and are extremely comfortable, which you could be forgiven for thinking is a given nowadays, but you would be surprised.

There is a really good Heads-Up display and plenty of good storage in all the usual spots. The large cupholders came in very handy for my winter coffees and the rubber tray to hold your phone worked really well.

There are USB ports in the front and back and there is a giant 13-inch infotainment system perched above a few well-chosen short-cut buttons.

I just wish they had chosen the climate-control buttons to sit here too as I have never been overly impressed with having to dive into the system to change the heat.

It’s only a minor gripe though.

Overall the quality levels are really good with nice stitching on the leather dashboard.

Space in the rear is as excellent as you would expect, with a third adult easily fitting in if necessary. The boot comes with a gigantic 585ltr of space to fill. There is a very slight loading lip and there is underfloor storage for charging cables, instead of the usual ‘frunk’ option.

It isn’t as speedy as you would expect. While the Hp and torque numbers are higher, so is the weight. Coming in over the 2tonne mark definitely affects the acceleration but very few people are going to care or notice.

The real benefit here is the four-wheel drive, which mocked the wintery conditions we got before Christmas. I genuinely don’t consider it a 500-km range car though. I know I had it in winter on a cold week, but you should consider it closer to 450km to avoid awkward detours for a late charge on long trips. That is still very high compared to a lot of EVs out there. And who knows – if my test week had been in the summer I may well be here telling you that 500km is realistic.

The Enyaq is still one of my favourite cars, but would I opt for this more expensive 80x for some extra bling, 4-wheel drive and extra range? In truth…no I wouldn’t.

My advice:Buy yourself a regular Enyaq and treat yourself to some winter tyres instead.

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