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Skoda Enyaq Coupe 85 Edition long-term test: road trip challenges EV’s range claims

Second report: a Welsh holiday provides a stern test for the family-friendly electric car

Verdict

While the Skoda Enyaq wasn’t able to match its official range in the real world, it can still go a long way on a single charge. As our road trip showed, it’s more than enough for most people to go on an adventure and not suffer range anxiety. 

  • Efficiency: 3.4 miles per kWh
  • Mileage: 3,038
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What’s the ultimate test for any electric car on the Auto Express fleet? A road trip, of course. The Skoda Enyaq 85 Edition Coupé has been with us for a few months already, but I had my doubts over the Czech brand’s claimed range of 353 miles. So I decided to put it to the test and see just how far I would be able to get on a single charge in the car.

The first thing to do was to carefully plan a route, because I wanted to make sure I would be within touching distance of a place to top up as the battery neared empty. 

After looking at a road map and using the ever-trusty ZapMap app, I decided upon a trip to visit my brother in Pembrokeshire. It’s a journey of 228 miles from my West London home, so it should be well within reach and leave me with some charge to spare for the return trip. West Wales also has plenty of public charging points, so it seemed like the perfect place to visit – with the added bonus of being able to see some family members at the same time.

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My wife, two children and mother-in-law all wanted to come along for the ride, so we packed enough stuff for an overnight trip, and set off with the fully charged Enyaq showing a range of 323 miles. It perhaps wasn’t optimum conditions for the car, given that there were five people on board, but the temperature was a respectable 22 degrees, which should have helped. The trip would also involve a lot of motorway driving, so I made sure I was in Eco mode to maximise efficiency – and hit the M4. 

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At first the Enyaq’s battery level dropped pretty quickly down to 95 per cent, but soon the rate of loss stabilised as I cruised along at a steady 70mph. I encountered my first set of roadworks just before Reading, but breezed through and happily watched as the efficiency level slowly rose to 3.7 miles per kWh. Which, if I’m being honest, was pretty much the best economy figure I’d managed to achieve since the car arrived.

By the time I crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales, I had covered almost half the distance (112 miles), and the Enyaq’s battery level had dropped to 57 per cent. I resisted the temptation to top up at the incredibly quick Ionity charging station at Magor – although we did decide to stop to stretch our legs – and ploughed on, setting a steady pace past Cardiff, Port Talbot and Swansea.

When the M4 gave way to the A48 just before Carmarthen, I had 40 more miles to go. The Enyaq was still cruising along at 3.6 miles per kWh, and that rose back up to 3.7 as the pace slowed on the A-roads. 

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We finally arrived at our destination – Quarry Park Camping in Wiston – after just over four hours on the road. I had covered 228 miles and the battery level was down to exactly 20 per cent, showing 56 miles remaining. All the figures suggested I would fall some way short of the 353 miles I was hoping to get close to, but the trip did prove that the car still had more than enough range to comfortably get to a lot of places in the UK. At no point did I get range anxiety or worry that I simply wouldn’t make it – I had completed my journey and still had some charge to play with.

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I eventually stopped to recharge at an Osprey station near St. Clears on the way home the following day. By the time I got there, the battery was down to 15 per cent, but the 75kW chargers soon had it up to 80 per cent and I arrived home without another stop. The round trip of over 450 miles was completed with just over one hour of waiting around. I’d call that a success.

The road trip also proved that the Enyaq excels when it comes to ride quality. I had expected this Coupé to be a bit harsh over lumps and bumps, but it really wasn’t noticeable. Everybody was comfortable throughout the journey, and we all arrived almost as fresh as when we’d left. True, space was slightly limited for my wife and mother-in-law, who were in the back with a child seat, but they never complained and had more than enough knee room.

Skoda Enyaq Coupe 85 Edition: first report

New arrival means the Baiden family is exclusively EV

  • Efficiency: 3.3 miles per kWh
  • Mileage: 882
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A recent report from UK leasing company Zenith suggested that half of all electric-car drivers also have a petrol or diesel car as a back-up, and until recently that was the case for me. But no more. The arrival of a Skoda Enyaq Coupé 85 Edition in the Baiden household means we are now a fully electric family for the first time and I’m looking forward to seeing how we will cope over the coming months.

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I have always had a petrol-powered car on the Auto Express fleet, so for the past few years I plumped for an electric car as our own personal back-up – currently a Hyundai Ioniq 5. I love it and find it perfect for short trips and medium-length journeys, but whenever it came to anything farther, I always resorted to petrol power. I found it the perfect way to introduce myself to the world of EVs and to gain a lot of confidence that many of the critics struggle with.

But now I have no choice other than to embrace the UK’s charging network. I’m actually excited about the challenge and have already planned some far-flung trips.

It was a bit of a bumpy start, though, because literally within days of its arrival, the Enyaq suffered a puncture. I called Skoda’s ‘Roadside Assistance’ scheme and someone from the AA arrived within the hour. A large nail was extracted, but unfortunately the tyre could not be saved. However, the hole was temporarily plugged and I was able to limp to a local garage.

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An EV tyre is a curious thing, and something many independent garages still don’t fully understand. A nail in a tyre should be a simple £10-£15 puncture repair, but the acoustic foam lining present in most EV tyres is unable to be fixed once compromised. This means a new tyre is required, costing anything from £150 to £250. Finding one in stock is not that easy, either, which translates into extra time off the road as you wait a few days for delivery. Thankfully Skoda made it a pretty painless experience for me, but I’m not sure every EV owner would be so lucky (please get in touch if you have an EV-tyre story to tell).

Since then it’s been smooth sailing with the Enyaq. Everybody in the family loves it because it offers plenty of space and it looks great, especially in the Velvet Red paint (a rather pricey £1,025 option). There are loads of great touches that make it a useful family car, such as the rollaway sun blinds that kids can operate themselves, and the umbrella stored in the driver’s door – something that Skoda’s been adding to its cars for years.

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I had heard that the ride was a little harsh, especially in Coupé form, but I haven’t really had an issue with it. Yes it does fidget around a little over some of the larger bumps and ruts on the road, but it never feels out of control and I’ve always arrived at my destination feeling relatively fresh.

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The 85 model arrived as part of the recent facelift, replacing the 80, and with it came a noticeable jump in power. It now has 282bhp (an increase of 81bhp) and it feels genuinely quick in a straight line; 0-62mph is dispatched in 6.7 seconds, but it feels faster than that in reality. Switch to Sport mode and the throttle is even more responsive.

However, one area I’m still not convinced about is the range. Skoda somewhat optimistically quotes 353 miles, but I’ve yet to get near that, despite our car having the optional heat pump fitted. I’ve averaged around 3.3 miles per kWh across a mixture of urban and motorway driving, which means closer to 250 miles from a full charge of the 77kWh battery; 100 miles less than the official figure is a little disappointing, but hopefully it will improve as the weather gets warmer. I still think I’ll struggle to get more than 300 miles, but time will tell.

Regardless, a range of 250 miles-plus is still more than enough for my needs. As mentioned, I have some longer trips planned, two of which involve travelling from my west London home to my brother’s house in Pembrokeshire. I should have enough to do it on a single charge, but will definitely look to top up en route. With some careful pre-planning, it shouldn’t be a problem, because an 80 per cent charge takes less than half an hour.

Rating:4 stars
Model:Skoda Enyaq Coupé 85 Edition
On fleet since:February 2024
Price new:£46,440
Powertrain:1x e-motor, 77kWh battery, 282bhp
Options:Velvet Red metallic paint (£1,045), Suite design package (£1,380), heat pump (£1,025)
Insurance*:Group: 33/Quote: £850
Mileage:3,038 miles
Range:353 miles
Efficiency:3.4 miles per kWh
Any problems?Puncture

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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Pete has over 20 years journalistic experience. Having previously worked for Ladbrokes and the Racing Post, he switched from sports writing to automotive journalism when joining Auto Express in 2015.

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