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First drive: 2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.

First drive: 2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype
We try a prototype version of Skoda’s forthcoming Elroq electric SUV to see how this crucial car is shaping up.

   



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2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype

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It may sound like a provincial Spanish airport, but the Elroq is Skoda’s new electric SUV, sitting beneath the Enyaq in the Czech brand’s range. It’s going up against some big hitters, including the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona EV, but will it carry over enough of the Enyaq’s charm to be a contender? We sampled a pre-production prototype to find out whether the hugely important Elroq has promise.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2025 Skoda Elroq 85 Prototype
Price: TBC
Motor: 210kW electric motor
Transmission: single-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power: 286hp
Torque: TBC
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: >348 miles
0-62mph: TBC
Top speed: 112mph
Boot space: 470-1,580 litres

Styling

It’s quite tricky to talk about the Elroq’s styling at the moment, given the only car we’ve seen has been covered in dazzle camouflage and, intriguingly, some pictures of flamingos. But for all Skoda’s obfuscation, we can tell this is going to loosely follow the design laid out by the Enyaq, with sharp lines and an inoffensive-yet-chiselled appearance. We are expecting changes to the nose, however, where Skoda is promising to apply a Tech-Deck Face element in place of a grille. Although it sounds new and exciting, we aren’t expecting the Elroq to look especially remarkable, but nor are we expecting it to be butt ugly.

Interior

Skoda has quite literally kept the Elroq’s cabin under wraps, so we can’t pass judgement even though we’ve driven the car. What we have been able to gather is that recycled materials will play a key role, with fabrics made using recycled plastic bottles and more eco-friendly production processes, while tech is also set to star.

The car gets two screens, with Skoda being quite candid about the fact the Enyaq’s digital instrument display has simply been carried over. That’s joined by a 13-inch touchscreen, which sounds very similar to that seen in the Superb and Kodiaq, and an optional head-up display, which also sounds familiar. We don’t know that much about the touchscreen, although we’re expecting it to house all Skoda’s latest software, but we do know the head-up display will offer augmented reality displays that allow it to pick out white lines on the road and highlight hazards.

Practicality

Skoda prides itself on practicality, and the Elroq’s 470-litre boot should stand it in good stead on that front. Certainly, that’s more luggage space than you get from some rivals, but it isn’t spectacular. However, Skoda has confirmed its Simply Clever solutions will be included, such as a net for holding charging cables out of the way under the parcel shelf. It sounds like a good idea, but if you put the cable away when it is wet, gravity will ensure at least some of that water is transferred onto your luggage.

More impressive, then, is the interior space, which is perfectly ample. Despite being smaller than the Enyaq, the Elroq still has plenty of rear-seat capacity for adults, with more than enough head- and legroom for all but the very tallest to enjoy. And that’s still true even if you stick two six-foot adults in the front seats.

Performance

When it’s launched, the Elroq is expected to come with a choice of four different powertrains, ranging from the basic ‘50’ model to the more powerful ‘85’ and ‘85x’ models, via the mid-range ‘60’ version. The nomenclature is vaguely familiar from the Enyaq, and although details are as yet unpublished, the small morsels we’ve been given suggest the structure will be similar.

At the foot of the range, the 50 will get a 170hp, rear-mounted electric motor and a 55kWh battery capacity, although only 52kWh will be usable. The 60, meanwhile, gets 204hp and a 63kWh battery, while the 85 and 85x models both get an 82kWh battery pack. However, the x denotes all-wheel drive, so while the 85 has a 286hp motor powering the rear wheels alone, the 85x gets two motors powering all four wheels, and serving up a combined total of 300hp.

Performance figures are still unknown, save for the 112mph top speeds of the 85 variants, but we know the 85 tested here was plenty fast enough, and it came with an official range of around 350 miles. Whether it’ll do that in the real world remains to be seen – our test drive wasn’t long enough to build a clear picture – but it should do the best part of 300 miles over a mixture of roads and in the right conditions. On the motorway, it should be capable of topping 200 miles on a single charge.

Whatever, when the time comes to charge it up, the 85 and 85x both benefit from 175kW DC charge speeds, allowing a top-up from 10 to 80 per cent in less than half an hour. Charging speeds for the smaller batteries are still unknown, but Skoda has said they too will be able to charge from 10 to 80 per cent in less than half an hour at maximum charge speed. And the company says pre-conditioning systems will be available to help the battery gather charge as fast as possible.

Ride & Handling

It’s fair to say that the Elroq still isn’t finished – if it were, we wouldn’t be looking at first deliveries in 2025 – but Skoda has more to do than simply decorating the cabin and finalising performance figures.

No, there are mechanical facets that still need attention, and the most pressing of those issues is the suspension. Even on the smooth asphalt of the Netherlands, where our test drive took place, the stiffness of the ride was exposed by the slightest pothole, manhole cover or other short, sharp bump. While it’s true our test car was fitted with sizeable alloy wheels and the Elroq’s ride was better at higher speeds and over less abrupt imperfections, the Skoda will still need plenty of tuning before it comes to the UK. Here, surfaces will be much less forgiving, and if changes aren’t made, we could find ourselves looking at a bit of a boneshaker.

That firmness could be forgiven were the Elroq especially adept in corners or blessed with other-worldly body control, but our test drive found nothing of the sort. It’s pleasant to drive in a mundane kind of way, and body control is decent, but it isn’t especially remarkable. We were impressed with the lightness and manoeuvrability, though, which is promising.

Less promising, however, were the brakes. We’re well aware that balancing efficient regenerative braking with powerful callipers is tricky, but Skoda hasn’t quite nailed it yet, and that leaves an inconsistent feel through the brake pedal. It isn’t the end of the world and there’s plenty of stopping power in there, but the pedal just doesn’t quite feel right yet. Again, though, there’s time to sort that out.

Value

Skoda hasn’t told us how much the Elroq will cost, but we’re expecting prices to start at something around the £35,000 mark, allowing it to slot in beneath the Enyaq in Skoda’s range. We’re expecting plenty of kit to be thrown in, too, with two-zone climate control, a 360-degree reversing camera and various safety systems thought to be in the offing, along with the two-screen dashboard and the optional head-up display.

Verdict

Driving an unfinished prototype doesn’t tell us exactly how the Elroq will feel, but it’s a good indicator of how Skoda’s SUV is shaping up. And it’s exactly what we expected it to be: a baby Enyaq that majors on space and practicality, while also offering commendable range and road manners. We’re a bit worried about the suspension, and we’ll wait to find out more about the real-world range, but if those issues are ironed out and the Elroq is priced correctly, Skoda could be on to a winner.



James Fossdyke - 1 Jul 2024



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2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.

2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.2025 Skoda Elroq Prototype. Image by Skoda.







 

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