- Car Reviews
- Enyaq Coupe
It's still the best version of this car from its VW Group rivals
It really struggles to justify its existence
What is it?
Everything seems topsy turvy in the car world at the moment – perhaps we need to let the global ramifications of the pandemic work themselves out, have a little patience until the microchips start flowing again or indeed wait to assess the impact of conflict in Eastern Europe. That’s without even mentioning the way that electrification is shaking things up – the normal way of things is no longer the normal way of things.
Which is how we find ourselves in a £54k Skoda coupe-SUV with two electric motors and a fast badge glued on next to a saucy looking body kit.
The standard Enyaq electric SUV has impressed us overall. Especially next to its VW Group cousins, the Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron. The Enyaq is an accessible electric option for families and has fallen prey to the deranged Group craze for ridding cabins of buttons in a much more restrained way. Indeed, Skoda admits it has tried to row back on some of the craziness with its latest infotainment update following customer feedback, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.
OK, the Enyaq’s great, but why the Coupe?
There’s no real clue as to why the Coupe version of the Enyaq is here, it just exists. The company has made a half-hearted effort to try and tie the car in to a line of sporting coops that goes back to the 1930s, but let’s not pretend it’s actually a real coupe shall we?
In fairness, Skoda says that it doesn’t expect to sell too many of them compared with the SUV, but perhaps it feels the need to be able to show off something of a halo EV in its burgeoning range. There is a sense too that the company wants to cut loose a little and change some of its image – as mid-life crises go, this one probably isn’t going to hurt anyone but we would have preferred the more traditional sports convertible.
Has practicality been massively affected?
Skoda says that bootspace is only a squeak smaller, with 15 litres less of it available. Likewise headroom in the back seats has surprisingly been only marginally impacted by the sloping roofline thanks to a panoramic glass roof as standard. As a clue to the lengths that Skoda has gone to be able to say that, the glass is thinner and they had to junk the blind that normally comes with the pano roof, so it’s been specially treated to reflect heat.
What's the vRS like to drive?
The Enyaq Coupe iV has launched in the UK in sporty vRS guise (with more variants on the way in 2023, says Skoda), but even though it packs 295bhp it's... curiously unsatisfying to drive. Yup, despite the promise of the performance badge it's a car that just doesn't want to be pushed. Sure, it's got the usual electric car speediness that comes from having all that torque on tap - 0-62mph is dispatched in 6.4 seconds - and you can feel the extra motor tugging away at the front. But in anything other than a straight line it's a fairly lame experience.
The tortured suspension fights it out with every one of the car's 2,200 or so kilos when you slug it through a corner, and mashing pedals is so antithetical to the EV experience. Dial it back a notch or five and it's back to being a perfectly civilised and refined family machine, but then why spend all that extra cash on the fast badge?
What are my other options?
Coupefied electric SUVs aren't really a niche that's been explored by too many manufacturers, but if you're willing to consider a faux-sporty version of car made by VW Group's bargain brand (does this apply at £54k?), you're probably also open to a Ford Mustang Mach-E or - for a bit more money - a Jaguar I-Pace. The Tesla Model Y and Kia EV6 GT are good alternatives too.
What's the verdict?
Perhaps it seems a little unfair to live in a world where a current generation Fabia vRS isn’t going to happen, while a hot version of a niche electric SUV gets the green light. But then ultimately the only appeal of the Enyaq Coupe is in the fast badge and lairy looks; it doesn’t really have anything to recommend it over the standard SUV version of the car. The vRS isn't bad per se, it just doesn't do what it promises.
Let’s not be unreasonable here, manufacturers have to follow where the economic winds are blowing, and normally we’d tolerate such a model as subsidising the cars we really like. But Skoda doesn’t work like that, does it?
If you’re going electric and want a sensible family SUV then the standard Enyaq is as far as you need to look. This 2.2-tonne beast is a long way from supplanting the Octavia vRS, even with its fun-sapping plug-in hybrid accoutrements. But if you want an electric SUV that’s fun to drive then you’re better off looking at the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Jaguar I-Pace.