Audi Q4 e-tron vs VW ID.4 vs Skoda Enyaq: rivals comparison

These three electric SUVs from Audi, Volkswagen and Skoda share a number of parts but which one is best?

If you’ve considered a petrol or diesel family SUV in recent years, at least one of the Audi Q3, Volkswagen Tiguan and Skoda Karoq may have been on your shortlist. All three of these mechanically similar cars now have electric equivalents: the Audi Q4 e-tron, Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq iV.

All three have new names to make them feel fresh and distinct too but the Q4 e-tron, ID.4 and Enyaq continue the VW Group’s part-sharing programme. They’re not completely identical; the Audi focuses on luxury and the Skoda offers impressive practicality, for example, but all three should make it easy to switch to electric power thanks to long ranges, different charging options and prices that aren’t significantly higher than the conventional SUVs already mentioned.

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2021

There aren’t all that many family-size electric SUVs at the time of writing, besides the Kia e-Niro and perhaps the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and the Q4, ID.4 and Enyaq are all likely to be big sellers. Here, we consider which is best.

Styling

All three cars look smart and sophisticated. The Audi cuts a dash with its intricate headlights, grey grille and full-width rear lights that all look like they’ve been carried over from the concept car. As is the way with recent Audi SUVs, the chunky-looking Q4 is joined by a more rakish Q4 Sportback version that trades a little practicality for style.

Volkswagen Tiguan vs Volkswagen ID.4: rivals comparison

VW has used clean and simple styling for its electric ID. range and the ID.4 is clearly related to the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback. The window surround, finished in silver or black, is a nice touch that makes the exterior design more interesting, and the overall look is a bit sleeker than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Enyaq is styled to look quite similar to Skoda’s Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs. We’ve no complaints about how those cars look, and the Enyaq still manages to look appealing without resorting to more outlandish design touches. SportLine cars stand out with glossy black trim pieces and bigger wheels.

Interior and technology

The brand hierarchy within the VW Group used to be easy to see. Skoda models would have scratchy plastics to remind you that they were more affordable, while Volkswagens felt more luxurious inside and Audis were another step up again. Of these three cars, the Audi still comes out on top, with a high-tech, high-quality feel. That’s helped by the large Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster and the futuristic-looking steering wheel. The iPod-like scroll wheel next to the gear shifter isn’t convincing but we’re delighted that Audi has fitted proper buttons for the climate control.

Volkswagen’s climate control sliders have proven contentious because they’re harder to use than physical dials. Unfortunately, the Enyaq also gets these sliders, and you might find your passenger regularly turning the whole system off when they try and lower the temperature. In other respects, the Enyaq is impressive inside thanks to premium materials, a well-integrated digital instrument cluster and an airy feel. The way that the dashboard extends out under the screen gives you a place to steady your hand while using the touchscreen.

Surprisingly, the materials just aren’t as nice in the Volkswagen as the ones in the Skoda, and it feels like a few corners have been cut. Some aspects feel like they’re different for the sake of it; the button to switch the window controls to the rear ones is an unnecessary and frustrating addition. The white steering wheel fitted to 1st Edition cars is perhaps another example. While it looks funky and eye-catching, how practical it is remains to be seen.

Performance, range and charging

Electric cars can have lightning fast acceleration but these three have been tuned to feel little different petrol or diesel cars. Each one gets a 201bhp electric motor capable of 0-62mph in under 8.5 seconds, while the Volkswagen and Audi are also available as a 168bhp version (called Pure Performance and 35 e-tron respectively) that posts a nine-second 0-62mph time. VW offers a 148bhp entry-level version too, which is a little slow for our liking, while the Skoda’s least powerful motor produces 177bhp. All are available as four-wheel-drive cars that have a second, front-mounted motor, and they have 295bhp in the Audi Q4 50 e-tron and Volkswagen ID.4 GTX (the Skoda Enyaq 80X has 262bhp).

The platform that underpins these cars is designed specifically for electric cars and the heavy weight of the batteries is kept very low. As such, none of these cars produce lots of body roll, so all feel quite sporty. In the Volkswagen and Skoda especially, the steering is accurate and well-weighted, and you might go as far to say they’re fun to drive.

Given that the Audi and VW use the same 52kWh (usable) and 77kWh batteries, it’s not surprising that both offer similar range figures. The 77kWh battery offers around 320 miles, with the smaller one returning around 210 miles on a charge. Skoda also uses the 77kWh battery but its smaller offering is 58kWh, which ups range to 256 miles. With all three, it’s worth bearing in mind that adding bigger wheels, four-wheel drive and other options will reduce the maximum possible range.

Using a home wallbox, the 52kWh battery will take around 7.5 hours to fully recharge, while the 77kWh one will take more like 11.5 hours. Fast-charging at a public charger should allow you to get to 80% capacity in roughly half an hour.

Practicality

Because of the dedicated EV platform, designers have also been able to make the most of the car’s sizes to maximise space. All get a flat floor in the rear - there’s no bulky transmission tunnel to straddle - and all feel more spacious than their petrol equivalents. You’ll find a storage area under the boot floor in each car, where you can place the charging cable when you’re not using it but in an ideal world they would have a small front trunk under the bonnet so you can still access the cable when the boot is full.

The Skoda has a vast 585-litre boot, which extends to 1,710 litres with the seats down - that’s more than almost any electric car. Skoda also includes plenty of ‘Simply Clever’ features to make life a little easier. You get 543 litres of space in the VW, and 520 in the Audi.

Prices and specifications

With the £2,500 plug-in car grant now only eligible for cars costing under £35,000, Volkswagen and Skoda have introduced entry-level models that just dip underneath the threshold. The Enyaq starts at about £500 less than the ID.4 but upgrading to the ‘80’ model with its bigger battery and longer range costs nearly £5,000. You can spend over £46,500 on an Enyaq before any options. With that said, you can spend £55,555 on a fully loaded ID.4 GTX Max, while the Q4 starts at just under £41,000 and rises to over £64,000 in Vorsprung 50 e-tron quattro guise.

Verdict

All three models are spacious and easy to live with. Whichever one you buy or lease, you’re unlikely to feel like you made the wrong choice (even if the Volkswagen’s infotainment system will frustrate you from time to time). The Audi has the best interior but the Skoda still feels quite upmarket inside, yet has a bigger boot and slightly better statistics for less money. If you’re looking for a mid-size electric SUV, our recommendation is the Skoda Enyaq iV.

Read our guides to the best electric cars and the best hybrid SUVs, or check out our comparison of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

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