The Nissan Juke has a new rival – this is the Vauxhall Mokka, a small SUV that’s aiming to take a big chunk of the growing compact 4x4 market.
The Mokka is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March and will reach dealers by the end of 2012, priced from around £15,000 – slightly more than an entry-level Juke. It will also rival the Skoda Yeti and a new Ford Fiesta-based SUV called the EcoSport.
It’s clear that the Mokka takes visual inspiration from the Corsa and Astra, and it features ‘eagle-eye’ headlights and a ‘signature blade’ on either side. Protective cladding around the bumpers and wheelarches, front and rear skid plates, roof rails and standard 18-inch alloy wheels add some chunky SUV detailing.
At 4.28 metres, the Mokka is slightly longer than a Juke and the same size as Vauxhall’s Meriva. Inside there’s space for five, and the raised seating position should give a great view out. It’s pretty versatile, too, with up to 1,372 litres of luggage space – 542 litres more than a Juke. Plus, there’s an integrated bike carrier that pops out of the rear bumper, just like on the Corsa on which the Mokka is based.
Two and four-wheel-drive versions will be available – the latter operates mostly as a front-drive car, sending power to the rear wheels only when grip is lost.
The raised ride height isn’t simply for show, either. Off-road ability is enhanced by traction and stability control, plus systems such as Hill Start Assist – which prevents the car from rolling backwards on a slope – and Hill Descent Control, which allows it to negotiate steep slopes at a controlled speed.
And the gadgets don’t end there, as the Mokka comes with many of the features you might expect on a much larger SUV. It boasts adaptive headamps, which change the beam width and reach of the xenon lights according to differing speeds and road conditions.
A front camera system also allows the Mokka to recognise road signs, warn you if you are straying out of your lane on the motorway and provide alerts if a collision is imminent. The Mokka has a rear parking camera, too.
There’s a choice of three engines – a 113bhp 1.6-litre petrol, a 138bhp 1.4-litre turbo petrol and a 128bhp 1.7 CDTI diesel.