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Used test: Kia e-Niro vs Skoda Enyaq
The Kia e-Niro may be an award-winning electric SUV, but is the larger Skoda Enyaq a better used buy? We find out...
Kia e-Niro 64kWh Long Range 2
List price £34,945*
Price today £23,000
Available from 2019-2022
Providing lots of range for reasonable money, the e-Niro has often ranked among the best electric cars
Skoda Enyaq iV 60 Nav Suite
List price £34,910*
Price today £28,000
Available from 2021-present
A used Enyaq demands more of your hard-earned cash, so does it justify the price jump over its rival?
*Price today is based on a 2021 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing
Blockbuster may have been profusely popular in its heyday, but it's since become a sunken relic of the past. Time is cruel, so just because a car is dubbed our What Car? Car of the Year, like the Kia e-Niro was four years ago, doesn't mean it'll be a class leader forever.
As a used buy, the e-Niro's position in the electric SUV class is always up for scrutiny, as is that of its following generation, renamed Kia Niro EV. Since the e-Niro's win, many fresh-faced rivals have been introduced, therefore fuelling (or rather charging) the discussion. One of the most impressive entries and a closely matched competitor to our award winner is the Skoda Enyaq.
When both cars are two years old, the e-Niro is noticeably more affordable, although they began life with similar price tags. This should help it fend off the enticing Enyaq, but there's still a strong chance the added premium could prove worth it.
The Enyaq in question is the 60 version, which is the model's smaller (58kWh usable) battery offering. The e-Niro we've brought along is a 64kWh (usable) Long Range car, as opposed to its other, 39kWh offering. As you can see, we've put the two on as much of an even playing field as they can be, but only one can win.
Performance, ride, handling, refinement
Both cars have plenty of zip, but while the Enyaq is as punchy as a potent petrol-powered SUV, the e-Niro is even quicker in most situations, with the pace of some hot hatches.
From rest to 30mph, the Enyaq actually squeaks its bumper ahead, but from then on the e-Niro powers away; it’s a second clear by 60mph, with a time of 6.7sec. What’s more useful is its 1.7sec advantage between 30 and 70mph, which means you can sail past slower traffic with greater ease.
The e-Niro also manages its battery reserves more efficiently. We did our standard efficiency test at our private track, assessing both cars’ energy use in controlled conditions. The e-Niro used less energy per mile and, combined with its slightly bigger battery, had a projected range (on a warm, dry day with a simulated mix of town, A-road and motorway driving) of 243 miles. The Enyaq’s was 180 miles.
A big difference, then, and those figures roughly correlated with what we were seeing on our long drive back to London. The e-Niro’s bigger buffer meant not only fewer stops to charge but also less range anxiety when faced with another 150-plus miles to the next fast charger.
Which is more relaxing beyond any range unease, though? Well, that’s the Enyaq. It’s quieter than the e-Niro, with less suspension noise over broken roads and, in general, less road noise at 70mph; it only generates roar over particularly coarse surfaces. They both have light wind noise unless there’s a heavy crosswind, in which case you’ll hear gusting around their door mirrors.
The Enyaq is also more comfortable, if not quite as cushy as the best-riding petrol SUVs, because its heavy battery requires beefier suspension to support it. It’s the softer of our contenders and feels settled at motorway speeds, with a touch less fidget than the e-Niro. Around town, you benefit more from its extra give, because it’s less abrupt over any sharp imperfections. Mind you, the e-Niro is far from being a bone-shaker.
Both have good brakes, for electric vehicles (EVs). Each has a system that regenerates electricity (to top up the battery) as you slow that works in conjunction with their normal brakes. The two systems are integrated well, with both cars stopping effectively during hard braking while being predictable in traffic. That means you won’t end up screeching to a staccato halt or squeezing the brake pedal harder than you expect, as you do in some EVs.
Now, you might think the Enyaq’s more supple suspension would make it less nimble, but that’s not entirely true. Yes, the e-Niro does have less body lean and its quicker steering makes it feel slightly more willing to dart into turns, but the Enyaq’s more progressive, naturally weighted steering gives you at least as much confidence to hustle it along. It also has more grip, so you can carry a bit more speed should you wish.
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