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In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Mokka X (2012-2019) review - Engines, performance and drive

Inert handling lets the Mokka X down, but the excellent 1.4 Turbo petrol and comfortable ride are strong points

The Mokka X’s relaxed nature is most evident when cornering. While the electrically assisted steering is quick and precise, there’s very little feedback through the wheel to make you feel connected with the road. Where a SEAT Arona grips hard, the Vauxhall’s tyres slip and the car starts to slide wide. That’s not our only criticism, either, because the Mokka X also suffers from a lot of body roll.

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Vauxhall Mokka vs rivals

On the plus side, the soft suspension set-up delivers a supple ride, which combines with the refined engine and low levels of wind and road noise to make the car a decent long-distance cruiser.

Unfortunately, the Mokka X is less accomplished around town. While its controls are light and progressive, the thick A-pillars create large blind spots at junctions and roundabouts. The small rear window also limits visibility when reversing. At least standard front and rear parking sensors take some of the guesswork out of the parking process.

Traction and stability control are fitted as standard to the Vauxhall, as is Hill Start Assist – which prevents the car from rolling backwards on a slope – and Hill Descent Control – which allows it to drive down steep slopes at a controlled speed. You can have the car with four-wheel drive, but it’s not a proper off-roader.

Engines

A range of petrol and diesel engines were offered in the Mokka X, but this was pared down to just two motors by 2019, the 1.6 CDTi ‘Whisper’ diesel is a particular highlight. It offers plenty of torque, so overtaking on the motorway is easy, while the petrol engines are nice and quiet around town.

Even so, we’d only recommend looking at the 1.4 Turbo petrol model if you’ll be sticking to short trips. It comes with 138bhp at 4,900rpm and 200Nm from just 1,850rpm. That makes for a 0-62mph time of 9.3 seconds as a front-wheel-drive six-speed manual. Add the auto gearbox, and this grows to 10.1 seconds, but adding the 4x4 system doesn't affect the car's acceleration.

The 1.6 CDTi Whisper Diesel has 134bhp, and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 10.3 seconds.

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