Vauxhall Mokka

8 Oct, 2012 8:00am Paul Bond

We get behind the wheel of the long-overdue Vauxhall Mokka to find out if it's been worth the wait


We’ll reserve final judgement on the Mokka until we drive the 1.7-litre CDTi on UK roads, but on this evidence it’s not likely to shake up the fiercely fought crossover class. Chunky exterior styling and a spacious interior aside, the Vauxhall doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table. A firm ride, poor refinement and high prices are likely to hold it back.

As you might have already guessed, the Mokka is not Vauxhall’s entry into the coffee market. Instead, it marks the company’s long-overdue arrival in the booming crossover class. We drove a promising prototype back in May; now we’ll find out if the production car, seen here with Opel badging, delivers.

It certainly has its work cut out, with talented rivals like the Skoda Yeti, Nissan Juke and Kia Sportage all proving popular. So where does the Mokka fit in?

Well, it’s closer in size to a Yeti than a Sportage, and makes the most of its compact proportions thanks to some striking off-roader styling. Up front, the wide grille, tall bonnet and oversized lights give the Mokka a wedge-shaped stance. The big wheelarches are filled with 17-inch alloys on all but the entry-level model, while thick plastic bumpers complete the rough-and-tumble looks.

Sadly, the styling verve stops when you climb aboard. While there’s some nice detailing across the dash, the steering and centre console are from the GM parts bin – and the counter-intuitive layout means it’s difficult to find the right button to press while you’re on the move.

Still, the Mokka makes up for this lack of sophistication with sheer space – there’s easily enough room for three adults in the back, and headroom is decent despite the gently sloping roofline.

The seatbases also pop up to provide a flat load bay, while a maximum boot capacity of 1,372 litres means the Mokka is better suited to family buyers than the cramped Juke.

We tested a 4x4 Tech Line model, which comes bursting with equipment and undercuts Exclusiv spec by nearly £2,000. The only engine we could try was the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, with 138bhp and 200Nm torque – but it doesn’t suit the Mokka.

Although acceleration is reasonable, the relative lack of torque makes it feel sluggish. Pushing the throttle pedal harder quickly spoils refinement.

We criticised the prototype Mokka’s vague and inconsistent steering, and this hasn’t been fixed on the production model. While it’s quick and weighty enough to feel stable at speed, there’s limited feedback on offer.

Firmly sprung suspension means there’s not much body roll, but the downside is a firm ride that may well be a bit harsh for UK roads.

CO2 emissions of 149g/km and 44.8mpg fuel economy sound reasonable on paper, although fuel efficiency will suffer if you’re working the engine hard by carrying several passengers and luggage.

The cleaner front-wheel-drive 1.7-litre diesel is likely to be the default choice for UK buyers – especially as it’s not only faster than this 4x4 petrol version, but also more efficient, with fuel economy in excess of 60mpg.

Disqus - noscript

"the steering and centre console are from the GM parts bin" - where would you expect them to be from, the Ford parts bin?
"it’s difficult to find the right button to press while you’re on the move" - what does this mean? It's no more difficult than any other layout, once you get used to it...

at £18K it costs more than a Tekna spec Juke that has everything on it. even a 1.6 DiG-T costs the same, I wonder if you need to guess which one will be ranked higher in the Driver Power survey next time round!
Worth noting how the Juke's top Spec Tekna models were criticised for being pricey, put the same kit on a contryman and you get closer to £28K

Yet another ugly brute, whatever its mechanical virtues may be!

Have to agree, though perhaps worse, it's a visually me-too product, with nothing unique to mark it out. I think the Juke is a pretty nasty-looking thing, but it scores on difference, so good for Nissan.

would it be unfair on all spoilt muttering rotters that the ease by which they can connect their iphones or play their music on the cars speakers seem to be the deciding factor if a car is any good (or how much the manufacturer complains when you hand back a damaged car?) should I stick a few allegedlys in there :-))

It all sounds a bit uninspiring for 18k

I am just waiting on the Dacia Duster to arrive and shake this market up for a fraction of the price.

Expect big big discounts on these and hefty depreciation. Will make a great second hand buy in a couple of years - that is if anyone is daft enough to buy a new one.

But being a Dacia, it will go the same way as Proton did - sell strongly for the first 3 years, then, when initial owners go to trade in, they'll get the shocks of their lives at the horrendous depreciation! Proton used to sell 20,000 new cars a year in the UK, now they sell less than 500. The Mokka is very overpriced for what it is, and ugly too, though not as hideous as the countryman or juke. Sticking to my Yeti - strong off road, top notch quality and class leading residuals.

The people who buy a Duster wont do it for street cred, it will be because it does what it says on the tin, If the 9K Duster loses two thirds of is value over 3 years it will still be far less than the 18K Mokka's 50% depreciation over the same period, which is the total cost of a New Duster and add the cost of the finance makes the Duster look an even better buy.

18000 is not much for a 4x4 1.4 litre turbo engine car, especially when its all brand new and affiliated with the Vauxhall/Opel/ Chevrolet brand.
The 1.7 litre diesel engine may suit it better but will most probably be more expensive.
This is not a small SUV to be compared with the Duster (this one suffers in quality as the interior is from years ago) but more like with the Yeti, Juke and not Qashqai
or Sportage.
What is the price range for 4x4 Yeti and Juke? That's where the comparison should focus.

Vauxhall list prices are a joke.
No one in their right mind would pay it.
Sadly, Vauxhall are stupid.
If they reduced their list price, depreciation would look less of a problem

Not quite sure why this always gets lumped with the Juke when it's more towards the Qashqai both in price and size.

How do major
manufacturers get it so wrong when they have a blank piece of paper.
Nissan got it wrong with its cramped Juke, as have many others, so
why don't they ask the motoring public?
With all their
resources you would have thought that Vauxhall would have put out
something a bit more bullet proof, and whoever picked the name Mokka !!

Unfortunately it's not Vauxhall's decision, it's GM Europe, they make all the decisions so they tend to mirror Opel's strategies.

Key specs

  • Price: £18,200
  • Engine: 1.4-litre 4cyl turbo petrol
  • Power/torque: 138bhp/200Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62/top speed: 9.8 secs/116mph
  • Economy/CO2: 44.8mpg/149g/km
  • Equipment: 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors, climate control, auto lights, USB and Bluetooth
  • On sale: Now