Vauxhall Mokka SUV
Price £15,999 - £23,949
- Spacious interior
- Reasonable off-road capability
- Lots of equipment
- Bouncy ride
- Noisy petrol engines
- Cheap interior plastics
At a glance
“The Vauxhall Mokka boasts bold off-road styling, a spacious interior and lots of equipment in its quest to take on the Nissan Juke.”
When the Vauxhall Mokka first hit the road back in 2012, competition from the Skoda Yeti, Kia Sportage and Nissan Juke was just too strong, but more and more people are now seeing the appeal in this crossover SUV.
The Mokka's chunky exterior dimensions and higher suspension make this small car look and feel significantly bigger. The Mokka has three engine options and three main specifications to choose from.
The three engine options are a 1.4-litre turbo petrol, a 1.6-litre petrol model and a 1.7-litre diesel. There are three trim levels compromising entry-level Exclusiv, mid-range Tech Line – equipped with sat-nav and reversing sensors - and top-of-the-range SE. The only real thing letting the Mokka down is the high list price - the Yeti and Juke are both cheaper. The Mokka is not as good to drive as these cars either but it is at least more spacious.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Diesel versions are capable of more than 60mpg
For the best efficiency from the Mokka we recommend the 1.7-litre CDTi front-wheel drive model, which returns an impressive 60.4mpg while emitting 124g/km of CO2. These aren’t bad economy figures but they aren’t as good as those of the Skoda Yeti Greenline or the Mazda CX-5, so the Mokka is more expensive to run than the most frugal rival models. Insurance costs will vary depending on whether you choose front or four-wheel-drive. Do remember that the car is unlikely to keep its high price - Vauxhalls do have a habit of losing their value quite quickly.
Interior & comfort
Suspension means the car rolls in corners
The Mokka's suspension was designed for UK roads and overall it's a pretty decent balance between comfort and handling, even if it does lean and roll quite a bit in corners. On the plus side though, the Mokka's steering and driving position are good, and the seats are supportive. Automatic headlights and windscreen wipers come as standard, and adjustable interior lighting comes with higher-spec models.
Practicality & boot space
Big boot and comfortable, with just enough space for five inside
One thing you wouldn’t guess is that the Mokka is based on a supermini - it has a surprisingly spacious interior, with its high roof making it easy for adults to fit comfortably in the back. There's no shortage of storage in the Mokka either, as there are deep side bins and plenty of little cubby holes for all the family's bits and bobs. The boot space is more than adequate too, providing a 356-litre boot, which is bigger than the MINI Countryman and the Nissan Juke, although it can't quite match the Skoda Yeti. The 60:40 split-folding seats are easily maneuverable to fold down flat, increasing the boot space to 1,372-litres; more than adequate for larger suitcases and outdoor gear.
Reliability & safety
Engines have been proven in the Vauxhall Astra and Chevrolet Aveo
Vauxhall doesn’t have the best of reputations when it comes to reliability. The company fell a massive 13 places in the manufacturer rankings in the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, coming in at 26 out of 32. However, the Mokka does share similar components with the rest of the Vauxhall range, as well as Chevrolet, so any problems should have already been ironed out. Many Mokka owners have reported problems with the AFL service light, so make sure to get this checked when buying.
Overall, the plastics used inside the car are of good quality, but some of the sections around the door look unlikely to withstand wear and tear. The Mokka secured a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety test and comes with Vauxhall's 100,000-mile warranty. The Mokka is equipped with electronic stability and traction control, hill start assist and hill descent control as standard.
Engines, drive & performance
Well-weighted steering makes town and motorway driving a doddle
The Mokka's 1.6-litre petrol engine is reasonably smooth under hard acceleration and pleasingly quiet for an entry-level model, even when driven on the motorway. We’d recommend the 1.4-litre turbo petrol for anyone looking for better performance, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and suspension tuned for a sportier drive.
Our overall pick is the 1.7-litre diesel, which has the best mix of speed and fuel economy and, despite becoming somewhat noisy, accelerates smoothly. The automatic gearbox isn’t very effective though, not changing gear as quickly as it should, so we suggest sticking with the manual. There is some body roll when driving through the corners, but it's reasonably controlled and handling is decent enough. The Mokka is also reasonably good off-road, with the well-weighted steering also making parking and changing lanes on the motorway very easy. You also get a good view from the driving position thanks to big mirrors and large front and rear windscreens.
Price, value for money & options
Front-wheel drive models offer the best value for money
The Mokka doesn’t offer a particularly exciting driving experience and is more expensive than its competitors but don’t rule it out completely. The Mokka is above its competitors in the race for space and offers a comfortable drive for long family road trips. The entry-level Mokka is affordable but only available with front-wheel drive and a decidedly sluggish 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Be very careful when adding extras – the price can skyrocket fairly quickly. You do get a lot of equipment though, especially with the Tech-Line model that comes with 17-inch alloys, sat-nav and DAB digital radio as standard, and is less money than the similar-spec Exclusiv. Don’t be scared to try and crack a deal with official dealers too.
What the others say
"The Mokka is breaking new ground for Vauxhall, and it could prove to be a big hit. It offers practicality, chunky looks, off-road ability and impressive on-road dynamics, too. It doesn’t have the bold styling of the Nissan Juke, but feels more grown-up to drive and offers a level of practicality that should appeal to family buyers."
"The Mokka has the potential to be one of the better small SUVs. However, Vauxhall will need to pick the correct steering and suspension settings and make sure the pricing and fuel economy are competitive."