Vauxhall Mokka X (2012-2019) review
High spec and eye-catching looks mean the Vauxhall Mokka X is only let down by a dull drive
The Vauxhall Mokka X is an update of one of the popular Mokka crossover, and it builds on that car's strong points. What counts in favour of the Vauxhall is that it looks really good and has a good-quality interior that is packed with even more equipment in the update. Unlike many other cars in the class, it’s also available with four-wheel drive.
At launch, the Mokka X was let down by a range of old engines, yet things improved greatly with the arrival of a 1.4-litre turbo petrol unit and Vauxhall’s 1.6-litre CDTi ‘Whisper’ diesel.
All Mokka Xs come generously equipped, although we’d be tempted to splash out on the top-spec Elite model. We’d opt for one of the standard front-wheel drive models, too, because the 4x4 versions increase running costs without any real off-road benefit.
Sadly, while the Mokka X is perfectly fine to cruise around in – with a comfortable ride, strong economy and quiet new engines – the handling is lacklustre and the performance is middling at best. And to top it off, the newer Vauxhall Crossland X is nearly as big as the Mokka X, is more efficient and better to drive.
The Vauxhall Mokka X was the company's first small SUV, but now it's for sale in an expanded SUV range alongside the Crossland X and the larger Grandland X. It used to be called the Mokka, but the X was added when Vauxhall added the other two models to the range.
In terms of dimensions, the Mokka X is slightly longer and wider than the Crossland X, although its higher roof makes it look taller and narrower than its sibling. While they're similar in size, they couldn't be any more different under the skin, because the Mokka X is based on the platform of the Vauxhall Corsa, while the Crossland X shares running gear with the Peugeot 2008.
Rivals for the Mokka X include the Crossland X itself (although it does costs slightly less), plus the 2008, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke. These are the more established models in the class, but newer models such as the Citroen C3 Aircross, SEAT Arona, Kia Stonic and Hyundai Kona offer a more modern experience than the Mokka X delivers. That's because the Mokka X uses relatively old running gear, as it was first launched in 2012, with an update in 2016.
The Mokka X was offered in a variety of trims with a number of different engines. However, as of 2019, the model range had been pared down to Design Nav, Active and Elite trims. All cars are pretty well equipped, with cruise control, parking sensors, electric windows, folding mirrors, cruise control, high beam assist and a touchscreen infotainment system all included.
On top of that, Design Nav uses Vauxhall’s Intellilink sat nav and infotainment system, while top-spec Elite models add a heated steering wheel, privacy glass, sports seats and some upgraded trim. Vauxhall added Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as part of a 2016 facelift.
The engine range has also been pared down, with a single petrol and one diesel engine on offer. A 1.4T 140PS petrol is available, which is the perfromance model of the range, while the 1.6 CDTi Whisper Diesel is a 136PS unit. All cars are front-wheel drive with a six-speed manual gearbox, but unlike many small SUVs - Crossland X included - Vauxhall offers a 4x4 transmission on Elite models.
Prices for the Mokka X start from just under £21,000 and rise to nearly £30,000, so it falls squarely between the Crossland X and Grandland X in terms of price.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingHigh spec and eye-catching looks mean the Vauxhall Mokka X is only let down by a dull drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveInert handling lets the Mokka X down, but the excellent 1.4 Turbo petrol and comfortable ride are strong points
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe 1.6 CDTi Mokka X is reasonably cheap to tax and fuel, but the petrol engine isn't quite as impressive
- 4Interior, design and technologyStylish exterior looks and a well equipped, high-quality cabin ensure the Mokka X doesn't lack for all-round appeal
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceConsidering its supermini-related underpinnings, the Mokka X has reasonable space for five adults
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Vauxhall Mokka X has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, but it needs to improve its performance in our customer satisfaction surveys