Skoda Enyaq Coupé vRS long-term test: report 4

The Enyaq Coupé vRS is a new type of car for Skoda: an electric coupé SUV with an emphasis on looks and performance. But does it make sense in real-world use?...

Skoda Enyaq Coupe at Lake Vernwy dam

The car Skoda Enyaq Coupé iV vRS Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why we’re running it To see whether the most stylish and powerful Skoda yet can justify its relatively high price

Needs to Live up to its sporty brief by being great fun to drive while still proving easy to live with and having a generous real-world range

Mileage 2636 List price £54,370 Target Price £53,833 Price as tested £54,990 Test range 238 miles Official range 323 miles

22 May 2023 – Wales calling

Somehow, while surfing the internet, I came across a photo of Lake Vyrnwy, a reservoir in north Wales that was created in the 1880s to supply Liverpool with fresh water. With its impressive stone dam across the head of the valley, the lake looked so picturesque that it inspired an idea: a road trip there in my Skoda Enyaq Coupé, with no objectives other than to visit a part of the world I’d never been to before and get to know my car better.

Skoda Enyaq Coupe at Lake Vernwy 2

With Google Maps showing a sea of red on the motorways around Birmingham on the day I set off from London, I opted for a largely cross-country route instead. I knew that, with a range of around 230 miles from a full charge available to me and a similar distance to cover, I probably wouldn’t make it to Lake Vyrnwy without stopping for a top-up along the way.

After two abortive attempts to take on some juice (due to chargers either being in use or unwilling to accept any of my credit cards), I finally got a top-up in Shrewsbury, but the InstaVolt charger was pretty slow, so I gave up after getting the battery back to 50%.

This almost backfired, with flood-related detours making the remainder of the journey much longer than anticipated, so I was relieved to find that the Lake Vyrnwy hotel had a couple of three-pin plugs in the car park specifically for electric car charging.

These may be slow, but an overnight top-up got the battery back up to around 60%, which was more than enough to get me well on my way home again the next day before having to stop for another top-up.

Skoda Enyaq Coupe rapid charging

Although this should have been a great opportunity to have some fun on good roads, I didn’t find my car as rewarding as I'd hoped. While it feels taut and steers precisely enough, it isn’t particularly eager to change direction at out-of-town speeds, the front end always wanting to run wide of your chosen line through corners. I really thought a car like this would be more agile.

Skoda Enyaq Coupe vRS front right tracking

Nor does my car feel all that rapid. I said in my first report that I’d be okay with it not trying to peel my face off under acceleration, but I do wish it would make more of an effort than it does. Yes, it’s brisk and reasonably responsive (as most electric cars are), but it dispenses its power in a measured way that makes it feel slightly lethargic next to, say, a Kia EV6, and far less urgent than a Tesla Model 3. For that reason, you can’t always assume that overtakes will be swift and effortless.

Although the Enyaq has several levels of regenerative braking (which sends energy back into the battery under deceleration) to help slow the car down, none of these is particularly strong, so you have to bring the regular brakes into play when you want to shed speed swiftly or come to a complete halt. This is unfortunate, because the pedal feels very spongy and its responses are inconsistent. Ultimately, the brakes do the job, but they don’t inspire much confidence.

Skoda Enyaq Coupe driving modes

On a more positive note, I’ve discovered that, counter-intuitively, my car’s ride improves when I switch to Sport mode. The better control you get from firming up the adaptive suspension actually results in a calmer ride at higher speeds, without making it any less comfortable around town (it’s still fairly crashy).

I’m not that keen on the weight of the steering in Sport mode, but my vRS has an Individual mode that allows me to set the motors and suspension in Sport but leave the steering in the lighter Normal mode – an ideal compromise. It’s a shame that I have to select my preferred mode every time I set off (the default setting is Normal), but it’s worth it for the more composed out-of-town ride it brings.

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