It’s Skoda’s first full EV, the Enyaq. When DriveLife went to the launch of the car in February, we found it to be an extremely refined and well-built SUV.
As always, a launch is generally a short event. While the launch of the Enyaq was a drive from Dunedin to Queenstown, living with a car for a few weeks will bring out the best and worst in it. Will the Enyaq go from pleasure to pain?
After a week with the Enyaq Sportline, I’ll hand the car off to Alistair Weekes so he can feed into the review with his thoughts on Skoda’s most expensive model.
What We Like and Dislike About The 2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline Max
|What we like||What we don’t like|
Tight turning circle
|No front 12-volt socket|
Spongy brake pedal
What’s In The 2023 Skoda Enyaq Range?
Both the Sportline ($79,990) and the Sportline Max ($84,990) are rear-wheel drive only, powered by a 150kW electric motor that outputs 310Nm of torque.
The WLTP rating for the range of this model is 544km, and the battery is 82kW in size (77kW usable).
2023 Skoda Enyaq Standard Equipment Highlights
Safety & Assistance
- Euro NCAP safety rating 5-Star Safety Rating 5-Star Safety Rating
- Front driver & passenger, centre, front side, and curtain airbags
- Adaptive Cruise Control and speed limiter
- Front Assist (auto emergency braking) with pedestrian and cyclist detection
- Lane Assist and Side Assist
- Travel Assist with Traffic Jam Assist
- Driver Fatigue Alert/monitor to support safer driving practices
- ‘KESSY’ keyless entry, start/stop system with power child locks
- Anti-theft alarm system with interior monitoring and SAFELOCK
- Drive mode select, sport suspension and progressive steering
- Rain & light sensor, automatic headlights lights and wipers, rear wiper
- Mode 2 Household charger 8A 230v 1.8kW
- Mode 3 Public charging cable for AC charging 16A 230v 11kW
- Full Matrix LED headlights with variable light distribution, LED day lights and full LED rear lights with dynamic indicator
- Headlight washer system and heated washer jets for front windscreen
- Electrically controlled, auto-dimming and separately heated exterior mirrors
- Electric opening and closing tailgate with Virtual pedal
- Sportline black design includes the front grill, mirror caps, side window frames, roof rails and black lettering
- Sportline design bumper and rear diffuser
- Sunset Tints on rear windows with acoustic glass on front and rear side windows
- Sport leather multifunction heated steering wheel with recuperation paddles
- Electric seat with memory function on driver’s seat
- Chrome sport pedals
- Heated front seats
- Roll-up sunshade for rear side windows
- 60/40 Rear split backrest folding with boot release – centre armrest with cupholders
- Variable boot floor with cargo nest and elements with hooks
- Climatronic 3-zone air conditioning with control panel in rear
- Interior ambient LED lighting front dash, front and rear doors
- Sportline design Interior with carbon décor and black ceiling
- Sports seats with integrated headrest upholstered in black suede/leather
- Virtual Cockpit with information select, assist systems, driving data and multimedia
- 13” color touchscreen infotainment display, touch slider, gestures and voice control Connectivity – x2 front USB-C and x2 rear USB-C
- Bluetooth handsfree with wireless smartphone charging
- Smartlink+ incl. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- 20” Vega anthracite metallic alloy wheels
Skoda Enyaq Sportline Max model adds:
- Front driver & passenger, centre, front and rear side, and curtain airbags
- 360° Area view camera with front and rear parking sensors and Park Assist
- Dynamic Chassis Control
- Head-up display
- Rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors
- Enyaq crystal face
- Heated windscreen
- Electric seats with memory function in front, and massage function on driver’s seat
- Heated front and rear seats with separate control
- 12 speakers Canton sound system with digital equaliser
Our Review Vehicle’s Optional Equipment
- Red paint – $1,000
Including the optional equipment, our review car’s retail price is $85,990.
The Skoda Enyaq comes in 9 colours;
- Moon White
- Energy Blue
- Race Blue
- Graphite Silver
- Arctic Silver
- Magic Black
- Brilliant Silver
- Phoenix Orange
- Velvet Red
For a full list of specs and options available for the 2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline, head on over to the Skoda New Zealand website.
How Does The 2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline Compare To Its Competition?
All prices below exclude the refund or additional cost of the New Zealand Clean Car Programme.
|Mercedes-Benz EQB 250 (RWD)||66.5||140/385||9.2||507||495||$100,562|
|Skoda Enyaq Sportline Max (RWD)||82||150/310||8.6||544||585||$84,990|
|Hyundai Ioniq 5 (RWD)||58||125/300||8.5||384||527||$79,990|
|Lexus UX300e (RWD)||54||150/300||7.5||360||310||$79,990|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E RWD||75.7||198/430||6.1||440||519||$79,990|
|Kia EV6 Air Long Range (RWD)||77.4||168/350||5.2||528||490||$78,990|
|Tesla Model Y RWD||60||220/420||6.9||455||854||$67,500|
First Impressions Of The 2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline
The Enyaq borders on decisive in its design. While it looks like a traditional SUV from some angles, features like the Crystal Face Grille can split opinions. The grille is made up of a number of clear plastic bars and makes a funky pattern at night when you approach the Enyaq. Gimmicky? A little, but the magpie in me quite likes it.
I found the car’s design pleasing, simple, and attractive. This was helped by the Velvet Red of our test car, making it pop on the roads, standing out in a sea of grey and silver cars.
There is some nice scalloping on the side of the car, with high swage lines and a few design features to make it stand out. The rear of the car is clean and tidy – and it was great to see the car has a rear window wiper. This feels like an endangered species, as we are seeing them disappearing from some cars.
Really, there is nothing about the entire design that screams “EV!” and I expect this attracts some buyers to the model.
What’s The Interior Like In The 2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline?
At first look, the interior looks inviting, luxurious, and a little dark, since our test car had a completely black interior, including the headliner.
Still, those Alcantara seats look amazing, and the side bolsters look – and are – huge. Great for holding you in place on a twisty road The infotainment on the Enyaq is all-new, as is the dashboard display. We’ll talk about that more in the driving of the car. The actual dashboard looks huge, stretching way out in front, making the windscreen seem like it’s a mile away.
It’s a small point, but I was happy to see that the doors are felt-lined, like most Skodas. Such a simple thing, and yet stops things like drink bottles from rattling about. Like other new Skoda cars, there is an umbrella tucked away inside the driver’s door, ready for a quick dash into the supermarket.
But since the Enyaq is built on an EV-only chassis that means no transmission tunnel and that means plenty of storage on the double-height console. It’s not quite as good as the Hyundai Ioniq 6 I had just given back, but there very usable amount of space there. At the rear of the centre console is a large, deep cubby that contains Skoda’s usual assortment of plastic bins and trays that you can rearrange to suit your needs.
That luxury feeling in the Enyaq is compounded by the padded leatherette going all the way over the dash, and the door cars have a nice mixture of soft, luxury materials as well. The dash has an LED strip right across it, and this flows down to the doors. It looks pretty cool at night, with my passengers often commenting on this. There is some fake carbon fibre running across the dash and on the doors as well, but it’s tastefully executed and is not too try-hard.
While there are two USB-C ports in the front of the Enyaq, I was surprised to find there is no 12-volt socket in the front of the car, meaning no dash cam or radar detector. There is a single 12-volt socket in the boot, so I guess you could run a cable back up front, but it’s not going to look pretty. I did see photos on the internet of people doing just this.
At the front of the upper console is a Qi wireless phone charger that leans forward to stop your phone from floating around. This area looks like it is supposed to have a double charger, but the left side is just a place for a second cellphone. Well, it would be if it was wide enough for one. Weirdly, there’s enough space on the sides of the console to have made this wide enough for two cellphones.
Space-wise, there’s plenty for everyone. Headroom is above average, and since this is an EV built on an EV-only chassis, that means a flat floor. Rear-seat passengers have a good amount of legroom, and there are window blinds in the rear doors to keep the sun off your baby, always a nice feature to see. Those rear-seat passengers also get their own AC controls and heated seats. I guess the only drawback from the back seat is that the front seats are a one-piece affair, cutting down visibility from the back seat, and making it feel a little bit more claustrophobic. With the all-black interior, it’s that bit extra the car doesn’t need.
The boot is a usable 585 litres, and while there is no extra storage space under the floor, you’ll find all sorts of goodies. Those goodies don’t include a space saver spare, but you do get a pump, and lots of plastic bits and pieces as part of Skoda’s ‘Simply Clever’ features.
In the boot, there are some remote levers to drop the back seats – always handy – some hooks, and a 12-volt power socket. The loading height for the boot is nice and low, too.
The Enyaq doesn’t have a front trunk (frunk) to store any extra stuff in, although this might be a good thing; the bonnet is pretty heavy and doesn’t have gas struts to hold it up, so you’ll need to use the stick to keep it in place. At this sort of money, I really didn’t expect to see a stick for the bonnet.
What’s The 2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline Like To Drive?
On picking up the Enyaq test car with 95% charge, our range was showing as 425km, while the WLTP rating for this model is 544km. I had no idea how the car had been driven up to that point, so it would be interesting to see my real-world range.
It took seconds to connect my phone via Bluetooth, and hit the road. Memories of the launch came back to me as I used Enyaq’s various brake regeneration (regen) options. The car has steering wheel paddles to adjust regen up or down, to a max of 3 levels down. This is mainly to use regen to slow the car down a hill, for example, since once you touch that accelerator again the regen reverts to Auto mode.
Auto mode is the option I used most in my time with the Enyaq, with occasional use of the other options. Auto means the car will try and choose when it’s best to apply regen and stop you from using the brakes. Using the brakes will reduce the amount of regen (and therefore ‘free’ charge into the battery pack) so avoiding the brakes is always the best path to take. The Auto mode will detect you coming up on another car (for example) and will apply varying amounts of regen to maintain a safe distance. We first saw this on the BMW iX and have seen it appear on other brands as well. It’s a great system as it requires little driver input.
But if you want to have a bit more control you can also shift the drive selector to ‘B’ mode to force regen at any time you take your foot off the accelerator. The original Nissan Leaf had this feature, and some other brands have adopted the idea. B mode is great for around-town driving when you can almost one-pedal drive the Enyaq.
The drive selector in the Enyaq is a small knob and not a ‘normal’ gear shifter, something we are seeing in more and more cars. One omission here is a ‘Park’ mode; when stopping the car to get out, you’ll need to apply the electric park brake or just turn the car off – this will put it in ‘park’ and apply the parking brake too.
As is normal for a Skoda, you get to pick from a good range of drive modes
If you select Individual, adjustments that are available include:
- Steering: Normal or Sport
- Dynamics Chassis Control: A slider bar so you can dial in from none to full, and anything in between
- Drive: Normal, Sport, or Eco
- Adaptive Cruise Control: Normal, Sport Eco
- AirCon: Normal or Eco
Honestly, other than more performance in Sport, I did not notice a huge difference between each mode, so often just left the car in Normal, which it defaults to on start-up. Steering does get heavier in Sport mode and also performance is definitely more spirited, but overall the changes aren’t as obvious as you’d expect.
Since our test car is the Sportline Max, that means it gets adjustable suspension, which Skoda calls Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). Again, switching from Eco mode to Sport, I didn’t notice a big change in the suspension behaviour.
One thing I did notice is that you don’t know what mode you are in, without hitting the Drive Modes button again. There’s no indication on the dashboard or on the centre screen. Not a deal-breaker, but a little strange to have this missing.
Using the Enyaq as a Daily Driver is pretty painless. If you can’t be bothered selecting your own AC settings, you can instead select Smart AC. This gives you simple options like “Warm my feet”, or “Warm my hands” etc. I thought it was a bit of a gimmick but I’ll own up now and say I actually used it and liked it.
Since we were testing the top-spec Sportline Max model, that means a heads-up display (HUD), one of my most favourite features in any car. The Enyaq’s is an excellent example with most of the information you need right there on the windscreen like your speed, the current speed limit, and SatNav directions. On ‘starting’ the car, you’ll get a nice, colourful ENYAQ logo appearing in the HUD.
The actual dashboard in the Enyaq is pretty tiny, but the clarity is excellent and the info shown is pretty much all you need to see. It reminds me of the Ford Mustang Mach-E. There’s no customisation available, likely due to its size. I didn’t miss being able to play with any settings for the dashboard – it does exactly what you want it to do.
The steering wheel controls are nicely laid out, and thank you Skoda for giving us a thumbwheel to control audio volume, as it should be. If a car has a heated steering wheel, it’s far better to have the button for that on the wheel itself, and that’s exactly where it is on the Enyaq. Even better, there are three levels to choose from – this is not a very common feature at this time.
Under the left side of the wheel is Skoda’s traditional location for a cruise control stalk, and the Enyaq is no different. I got used to it, but still prefer the cruise control buttons to be on the steering wheel. The wheel itself feels great to hold, with quite heavy perforations. It does feel a bit too large for the car, but that might just be a personal preference.
Steering feel is good in this car, and it’s a very quick steering system with few turns lock-to-lock. A bonus for city driving is the very tight turning circle of just 9.3m, which is excellent for this size of car.
Of course, adaptive cruise is fitted as standard, and it works nicely without too much jerkiness. The Enyaq has self-steering as well, which Skoda calls Travel Assist. It’s one of the better systems out there and tracks the road and lanes very well. If you take your hands off the wheel and leave them off, you’ll get a warning in ten seconds or so, and after around 20 seconds the car does a massive jolt to wake you up. It works! Not that I went to sleep while driving, but it gives you a hell of a fright.
The car’s infotainment system is excellent, with great resolution and ease of use that’s up there with the best of them. There are plenty of screens and customisations to choose from, and other than a small amount of lag sometimes, it’s near perfect. The home screen is split, meaning you can choose what you want to display.
Under the central screen is what could be slightly controversial – a sliding volume control. Most buyers hate sliding volume controls – nothing beats a good old volume knob. However, the Enyaq’s slider is pretty usable. It goes right across the bottom of the screen and you can stick your finger on any part of the slider and drag your finger left or right. Still not as good as a volume knob but getting very close.
At the lower part of the dash, Skoda has given us some actual buttons, instead of forcing us to use the screen to control everything. You’ll find buttons for front demist, rear demist, Drive Modes and the climate menu. Not perfect, but still quicker than flicking through items on a screen.
Driving the Enyaq Sportline Max is a very enjoyable experience. As we experienced on the launch, it is so incredibly quiet with no wind or road noise, and very little tyre noise. There’s a feeling of absolute refinement here, with suspension noise well-damped also. This could result in a car that makes the driver feel disconnected from the car, but that’s not the case as punting the Enyaq around some bends is a little bit of fun. It seems to hide its weight better than the Mustang Mach-E, even though the car is rear-wheel drive only.
The ride quality in the car is excellent, and you should get no complaints about this from your passengers. The ride quality along with the car’s refinement makes this a great long-distance tourer. I did feel that the brake pedal can feel a bit spongy, but the braking power is certainly there.
With a full charge, I didn’t bother charging again until I had to, so I could see just how far the Enyaq would go in real-world use. After 5 days and a good mix of city, suburban, highway and rural driving, I managed to get to 320km with 4% (or 17km) remaining for a real-world range of 337km.
This might seem far short of 544km – and it is – but this was in the middle of winter when it rained hard almost every day. Rain will always use more energy to move the car due to the extra friction, just like it uses more petrol in your internal combustion engine (ICE) car. Added to that is, well, Wellington. Our hills really suck that battery juice up. What I’m saying is that I’m not surprised at my real-world result. I charged the Enyaq up to 100% and it showed 420km of range. Still over what I expect but with dry weather, perhaps achievable.
Energy consumption is listed at 16.2kWh/100km, but for our real-world testing including rain and our hills, it worked out at 20.6kWh/100km over 1,000km of total driving.
With 150kW of power and over 2.2 tons of weight, the Enyaq isn’t going to be a rocket ship. It does well in the 0-100km/h dash, covering it in 8.6 seconds. Loaded up, you can feel the car’s performance diminish with the extra weight but overall it’s capable and still can be sprightly when needed.
2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline Max | Alistair’s Point Of View
Of all the EV’s to have recently arrived in New Zealand, the Skoda Enyaq seems to have slipped under the radar to some degree.
The Enyaq hasn’t made the same amount of noise as Ford did when it introduced the Mustang Mach-E, nor did it hype itself up like any planned vehicle associated with Elon Musk would.
If anything, it almost seems like the Enyaq stood up, walked across the stage, shook the hand and sat down again without acknowledging its significance. I nearly forgot that it was on sale in New Zealand until Fred added it to the DriveLife calendar.
But, there are many ways in which the Enyaq is a significant EV.
First, it’s the first new-generation Volkswagen Group EV’s to arrive in New Zealand, and before the Volkswagen ID.4, which it is based on. Second, the Enyaq is also Skoda’s most expensive vehicle line-up, starting at $79,990 for Enyaq Sportline 80 the rising to $89,990 for the Enyaq Coupe Sportline Max.
And thirdly, it’s actually a properly well-rounded vehicle.
Inside the cabin, there’s loads of space for its occupants and a comfortable blend of physical and digital controls. It has all the tech you’d want, without venturing into total gimmickry, plus the build and material quality is excellent.
In Skoda fashion, the Enyaq also has the ‘clever’ features, like the umbrellas in the doors, the floor storage in the back, and all the luggage dividers in the boot.
Driving the Enyaq is also a pleasant experience. The ride quality is great, plus road and wind noise have been managed down to a point that’ll feel like it’s just you and your intrusive thoughts in the cabin. The electric motor has been well-calibrated, feeling smooth and refined. Although the Enyaq is not exactly an athlete through the bends, its handling dynamics are passable on quick corners.
Some might also believe the Enyaq is ‘well-rounded’ in a slightly more literal sense from the exterior. From some angles, the Enyaq does seem somewhat MPV-like. That said, I still think it’s a decent-looking machine, particularly in this red.
So yeah, the Enyaq is a competent car in many respects. I struggle to see where the Volkswagen ID.4 would improve upon the Enyaq, when that car finally reaches our shores. Who knows, maybe the Enyaq will outperform it, shoving a stick directly into the Volkswagen hierarchy.
However, this is also the part that makes me feel slightly unresolved about the Enyaq, and with some other expensive Skoda’s too. In the past, Skoda has always positioned its brand as a ‘value Volkswagen’. Their line-up was usually half a step behind the latest and greatest Volkswagen equivalent, but made up for it by being competitively priced, having more features for the money, and funnily, being slightly more reliable too.
The Enyaq doesn’t really fit this mold of the former, because, well, it’s already quite expensive (for a Skoda, anyway) and potentially is better than its equivalent. Perhaps this expectation is just a hangover from a previous brand era which I haven’t shaken yet, but I do suspect it plays a part in why I haven’t heard as much chatter about it. Skoda probably has a difficult time marketing it, without stepping on Volkswagen’s toes.
Anyway, if you skip past all that stuff, the Enyaq is a solid performer and frankly, more fuss should be made about this car. If you’re looking at EV’s, definitely put it on the test-drive shortlist.
2023 Skoda Enyaq Sportline – Specifications
|Vehicle Type||Medium EV SUV|
|Price as Tested||$85,990|
|Engine||Single, rear electric|
|Spare Wheel||Pump only|
|Kerb Weight, Kg||2,224|
|Length x Width x Height|
|Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,|
(seats up/seats down)
|Advertised Spec – Combined – 16.2|
Real-World Test – Combined – 20.6
Low Usage: 6-10 / Medium Usage 11-19 / High Usage 19+
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
|Warranty||5 Years up to 150,000km|
5 Years 24/7 national roadside assistance
8 Years/160,000km Battery Warranty
12 Years corrosion warranty
|Safety information||ANCAP Rating – N/A|
Rightcar.govt.nz – 5 Stars – ENYQ IV
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