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New Vauxhall Mokka-e 2021 review

The new all-electric Vauxhall Mokka-e boasts 134bhp and a 201-mile range

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Verdict

The new Vauxhall Mokka-e is a well-judged creation that could well tempt a few regular Mokka customers over to electric motoring, thanks to its respectable range, sensible price and a driving experience that feels altogether conventional. We’d like a bit more interior space, perhaps, but as a style-focused offering with this size of battery, and at this price, it’s definitely worth considering.

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Vauxhall believes that about 16 per cent of new Mokka sales will be those of the all-electric version: the Mokka-e. We thought it a decent offering for the money in left-hand-drive form when we tried it earlier in the year.

Now it’s time to find out if it still stacks up in right-hand-drive and in UK spec, but also in the face of increased competition after the hasty price tweaks caused by the recent changes in the plug-in car grant.

The Mokka-e has a single front-mounted electric motor producing 134bhp and 260Nm of torque - enough, Vauxhall claims, for a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds. There’s just a single battery size, 50kWh, which sits squarely between the two sizes offered by the Kia and Hyundai with the e-Niro and Kona Electric.

The Mokka-e has a slightly simpler range of trim levels than the conventionally powered car, starting with SE Nav Premium at £30,540 after the PiCG and topping out with the fully laden Launch Edition. Its price, £32,495 after the grant, reflects a tweak on Vauxhall’s part to keep it just below the £35k threshold.

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The good news to report is that the transition to RHD hasn’t affected the Mokka’s basic driving dynamics. It’s a fairly inert creation, true, and not really up for much fun. But it is comfortable around town on 17-inch wheels and only gets upset at higher speeds when you hit a really pock-marked stretch of road. It’s no better or worse than many of its zero-emissions rivals at this price, then, although the MINI Electric (if you’re not bothered by its limited range) definitely has more front-end bite.

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The Mokka is also one of the most conventional-feeling EVs that we’ve yet experienced. The throttle modulation is extremely smooth, to the point where more seasoned electric-car users could find it a little short of that instant off-the-line punch so common in the genre. Everyone else - particularly those graduating from conventionally powered cars - may well find the Vauxhall easier to adapt to, making it a canny bit of calibration.

The Vauxhall doesn’t exactly feel slow, of course. 8.7 seconds to 62mph isn’t shabby, but some rivals, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, definitely have a bit more shove off the line. 

If you want to experience the electric Mokka’s full performance potential, you’ll need to play around with its driving modes, accessed via a small button on the centre console. In Normal the car is actually outputting 107bhp and 220Nm, while in Eco you’re limited to just 81bhp and 180Nm. This efficiency-focused setting does feel quite stunted, but it’s easy enough to keep up with traffic in the regular mode.

Sport, of course, unleashes the full 134bhp and 260Nm, but since the car has the same inert steering as the regular Mokka, it’s hard to imagine many scenarios where you’d find much benefit in the extra pace. We’d probably steer clear of the button altogether and just enjoy the extra range that comes with 107bhp; on our (admittedly warm) test day, it looked well capable of the claimed 201 miles.

The rest of the package mirrors that of the regular Mokkas - so the cabin is well enough finished, with decent enough in-car tech, but the rear cabin is pretty cramped for fully grown adults. The boot shrinks too on the Mokka-e, to 310 litres - but that’s still enough for a couple of suitcases or a big weekly shopping trip, and comfortably clear of what’s on offer in the likes of the Honda e or MINI Electric hatchbacks. 

Model: Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium 
Price: £32,080 (after PiCG)
Engine/battery: Single electric motor, 50kWh battery
Power: 134bhp/260Nm 
Transmission: Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
0-60mph: 8.7 seconds
Top speed: 93mph
Range: 201 miles
Max charging speed: 100KW DC
On sale:Now
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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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