Skoda Elroq: first driving impressions of the new all-electric compact SUV

Ahead of the Skoda Elroq launch, I drove the covered car through Amsterdam

Skoda Elroq
(Image credit: Skoda)

The Skoda Elroq is only the company’s second fully electric vehicle, following on from the hugely popular Skoda Enyaq, which launched back in 2021. The new model is literally the electrification of the Skoda Karoq SUV (ELectric kaROQ = ELROQ) but has a bold new look. 

While it sits on the same MEB platform as the Enyaq it is 17cm shorter and is the first to feature Skoda’s new “Modern Solid” design language that was previewed back in April 2023. The remaining three new models – a small, estate and seven-seater – are likely to follow in quick succession over the next few years, along with an update to the Enyaq. 

That design language includes new Skoda lettering on the bonnet instead of the traditional badge and a tech-deck face, with LED headlights. All of this was hidden on the camouflaged Elroq prototype I had the chance to drive in Amsterdam last week. Wrapped in the new corporate green Skoda colours the final details of the bodywork remain hidden but the driving experience was there for the taking. 

From the press release, we know that the Elroq features a new tech-deck face instead of the traditional grill. It also features the new Skoda lettering on the bonnet in place of the badge, though both of these were fully covered on the car I drove, so I couldn’t confirm. The overall shape though has some familiar Skoda elements to it and doesn’t appear to be much smaller than the Enyaq. 

Skoda Elroq

(Image credit: Skoda)

On the road

For the road test, I drove the Elroq around a large loop of Amsterdam, taking in inner city roads, motorways and some quant Dutch country lanes. There are four models coming to the Elroq range, with differences in battery size, power output and drive train. The 50 and 60 models use smaller 55kWh and 63kWh batteries, respectively, while the 85 and 85x use the larger 82kWh battery, which gives up to 348 miles of range. The 85x is the only all-wheel-drive model – the rest are rear wheel drive. 

Inside the car is a similar set-up to the Enyaq. There’s a 5-inch driver’s display, a 13-inch central display and an optional head-up display. The interior has been designed to be more sustainable using upholstery made from recytitan fibre (a mix of recycled PET, new PET and recycled fibres). At this point though, I’m not allowed to comment on how this looks or feels. 

Setting off on my tour in the Elroq, the SUV has plenty of power and feels pretty agile. Much like the Enyaq, it has a more saloon car-like driving position, rather than the overly upright style of some larger SUVs. The only reason you’ll need to sit up here is to see the head-up display, as this is designed to be viewed from a higher seat position. 

The steering is responsive without feeling too light – it actually feels a little heavier than some other EVs at slow speeds. Once on the move though, this is far less noticeable and behaves much like any modern steering. 

I was very aware that the brake pedal felt quite springy, with a great deal of travel from first press to being all the way to the floor. When the car applies the auto handbrake (after coming to a standstill), you can feel the extra resistance in the pedal. It’s certainly a more manual-feeling brake than on most modern cars, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. 

The Elroq is designed to sit below the Enyaq in the Skoda EV range, so aside from a little trimming in size, the biggest difference is likely to come in its feature set. The biggest difference in the drive for me came in the Elroq’s suspension. Driving over speed bumps and ramps you feel every bump in this car. Having previously driven the length of Morocco in the Enyaq, I have a pretty good knowledge of how that car feels, and the suspension on the Elroq certainly feels harder. 

There are plenty of times when you want a harder suspension – particularly if the car is in sport mode – but for day-to-day driving I prefer something softer. The choice of wheel size and tyre of course have an impact here, and opting for a 19-inch rather than the largest 21-inch wheels will definitely help with ride comfort too. 

Skoda Elroq

(Image credit: Skoda)

First impressions

From what I’ve previously seen of Skoda’s new design language and this first drive of the Elroq, I’m excited for this car to be released. The Enyaq already offers a better value proposition than stable mates such as the VW ID.4 and the Audi Q4 e-tron, but the Elroq could potentially do even better – if it comes in at the right price. 

Aimed at the compact SUV segment, it’s slightly smaller without losing much space inside and the driving experience is very similar to the Enyaq – aside from the suspension and brake pedal. This EV will compete against the likes of the Volvo EX30 and the Kia EV3, but could come in cheaper than both. Though the price is yet to be confirmed, I suspect it will be in the region of £30-35k. 

A base model like the Elroq 50 or 60 will make a very appealing budget EV offering, while the top-end Elroq 85X is likely to provide a genuine alternative to premium SUV offerings. While the driving experience reveals some aspects of the car, it will be the cabin finish and tech that really cement the Elroq’s worth, and of course on-the-road price (or leasing deal) – none of which I’m able to comment on based on this covered drive. If you are looking for an affordable SUV-style EV though, the Skoda Elroq could be worth waiting for. 

Skoda Elroq

(Image credit: Skoda)
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.