Skoda Enyaq iV EV first drive: new source of life for Czech brand

David Linklater
  • Sign in required

    Please sign in to your account to add a vehicle to favourite

  • Share this article


Base price
Maximum power kW
Towing (Tonnes)
0-100 km/h
  • Incredibly sharp looking in the metal
  • Very spacious five-seater
  • Proper road-trip range 
  • No live “connected” services for now
  • VW offers cheaper BEV-entry option
  • We want our Enyaq iV RS

There’s likely a bit of a surprise in store for potential buyers of the new Skoda Enyaq iV, which is now available to order in New Zealand.

The surprise is not that it’s a pure-electric Skoda: the Enyaq was launched in Europe way back in 2020 as the Czech brand’s iteration of the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB pure-electric platform; it’s a close relation to the VW ID.4/5, Audi Q4 e-tron and even Cupra’s smaller Born, all of which are also NZ-bound.

No, the big surprise is that the Kiwi-spec Enyaq iV 80, with 150kW/310Nm and single-motor rear-drive, starts at $92,990; which means even the entry model is well over the Clean Car Discount cap and (perhaps most surprisingly of all), it’s a lot more expensive than the VW ID.4 with exactly the same powertrain, which will open at $79,990 driveaway.

The Skoda’s entry price is also well above other rebate-friendly rival BEVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Hyundai Ioniq 5, both of which qualify for that $8625 Clean Car Discount in their cheapest guises.

There are a couple of reasons for the Enyaq’s Kiwi price. The first is probably what you’d expect: in order to get the car at all (NZ is the first market outside UK/Europe to have it), Skoda NZ has had to keep things simple specification-wise and there’s no doubt an element of get-what-we’re-given in there too, given global supply and demand issues.

So Enyaq comes with the largest battery available, exclusively in Sportline trim which brings a dressed-up exterior with LED matrix lights, gloss-black exterior detailing and 20-inch wheels as standard; there’s a relatively posh interior fitout with sports/style seats (heated/power/memory), tri-zone air-con and “virtual pedal” hands-free tailgate.

There are really only two major variations. You can upgrade to Sportline Max in the Enyaq SUV ($97,990), which adds goodies like massage driver’s seat, upgraded sound system, “crystal face” illuminated grille, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), 360-degree camera, rear-side airbags… and a bit more. You can also upsize the already big wheels to 21in, for $1500.

You can also buy the Enyaq in coupe guise (above), with a sleeker roofline. That comes only in Max form and while you do lose 15 litres of boot space, you don’t give up any headroom because the panoramic glass roof fitted to the coupe means occupants enjoy the same interior height. Clever.

Rest assured, there will eventually be a cheaper option (maybe with the smaller 60kWh battery), when that’s available for NZ from the factory, and of course there will be higher-powered versions, including the tasty dual-motor RS (below, in Mamba Green).

But put all that aside and Skoda NZ says it’s actually quite okay with Enyaq being a premium price. Because the brand is making a global move into the premium segment.

“We are completely changing the [Skoda] mission and vision,” says Skoda NZ marketing manager Natalie O’Brien. “We’ve got a new design strategy for the cars and we’re extending our target audience.

“We’re still positioning ourselves across mainstream and entry segments, but we’re now… entering the premium space with the introduction of Enyaq.”

So that’s the pitch to Enyaq early adopters. One more key thing is that this is a “pre-sale” launch. There are cars to look at and drive in Skoda showrooms, and build slots available for Kiwi purchasers, but there are no customer cars here... yet. Skoda NZ has an online tool for first buyers, who can specify and order a particular car, which will then be manufactured and shipped. Do that now and your ’Yaq will land in September. Possibly sooner.

“It’s been an interesting road map for us to get here,” says Skoda NZ general manager Rodney Gillard. “And there’s a little way to go. We’re launching a car, but there are no boats on the way; that’s the future.”

So what are you getting (eventually)? Enyaq iV is a largish SUV; strictly a five-seater, but in length and wheelbase quite close to the full-size Kodiaq. And even more spacious inside, because BEVs have flat floors. It feels positively luxurious in the back.

It’s a very sharp-looking machine - much more so in the metal and (we think) especially in the Brilliant Silver Metallic of the car we drove on the company’s long-lead media launch. But it also looks very Skoda; if you’re a brand-fan stepping out of a Karoq or Kodiaq, it’ll seem familiar.

That goes for the cabin, too. There’s the obligatory large touch screen (13in), but Skoda has avoided that last VW-like leap into eliminating physical controls completely, so even in the high-tech Enyaq you get actual buttons for key functions like climate and driver-assist settings. We like.

There is a curiously small 5.3in “main” instrument panel, but it does the job and if you’ve opted for the Max you’ll be enjoying a head-up display anyway.

How premium the cabin really is, will depend on your priorities. The Sportline seats are curvaceous and plush, finished in Microsuede/leather, and there’s a nicely tactile array of textures on the dashboard. But delve into the areas that you don’t touch day-to-day and there are still plenty of tough-feeling plastics.

One thing that is missing from the Kiwi Enyaq is a SIM card. There will no "live" connected services at launch, so no automatic updates and no direct link to the car via a mobile app (to check charging and so on) beyond the standard one that all Skoda owners get. That's still being sorted with the factory and there isn't a launch date in sight yet.

Premium aspirations don’t mean this Skoda has lost the “Simply Clever” stuff. Enyaq still has an umbrella in the door, an integrated ice scraper (it’s moved to the tailgate though – no petrol flap here) and thoughtful touches like a fold-out cover to eliminate the hump between boot and cabin when the rear seats are folded down.

To drive, it’s smooth rather than swift: the 80’s 150kW/310Nm is plenty even for a two-tonne SUV in normal driving, but it’s not enough to make it rapid (excuse the pun). Torque is delivered instantly, but in a very linear fashion. It’s in control and composed.

The ride’s firm, though, thanks to the more aggressive suspension tune fitted to the Sportline. It’s not uncomfortable, but it is quite surprising (there’s that word again) that the DCC adaptive suspension fitted to our Max test car didn’t soften things off a whole lot, even in Comfort mode.

Cornering is rock-solid, as it so often is with big BEVs. The centre of gravity is low thanks to the placement of the battery under the cabin, and even with the Enyaq’s considerable 1.9m width it’s easy to place the car where you want it on the road.

Range is impressive: 500km-plus means you can road-trip without really stressing about charge during the day and the Enyaq’s OS actually allows you to reset the range indicator manually, so you can play those little average-consumption games and reassess the distance-to-flat while you drive.

To be fair, spec-for-spec the Enyaq isn’t actually that much more expensive than the local ID.4: “If you look at it that way, we’re okay,” says Gillard. But there’s no doubt some will find a Skoda that’s more expensive than a VW a hard thing to get their heads around. Hey, things change; and there’s a case for arguing that Skoda is right up there for cool-factor among the various VW Group brands.

Here’s no doubt Enyaq is a polished, accomplished and stylish family BEV. If “premium” means impressing the heck out of the neighbours, it works.

If being more sustainable does that, then aside from the BEV powertrain the Enyaq contains 13kg of recycled plastics, 40 per cent recycled steel, 60 per recycled aluminium, 20 per cent recycled glass in the side windows, and has seat covers made from 40 per cent virgin wool and 60 per cent recycled bottles. Which is not surprising at all.

BATTERY: 80kWh (77kWh net) lithium-ion with single electric motor
POWER: 150kW/310Nm
GEARBOX: Single-speed automatic, RWD
0-100KM/H: 8.6 seconds
CONSUMPTION: 13.7kWh per 100km, range 532-544km (WLTP), max charge rate 135kW
PRICES: $92,990-$102,990

Keep up to date with DRIVEN Car Guide

Sign up for the latest news, reviews, our favourite cars and more.

By signing up for this newsletter, you agree to NZME's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.