Review

Vauxhall Mokka SUV

Price  £16,199 - £24,149

Vauxhall Mokka SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Spacious interior
  • Lots of equipment
  • Reasonable off-road capability
Cons
  • Bouncy ride
  • Noisy petrol engines
  • Cheap-feeling 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 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 of this crossover SUV.

The Mokka's chunky exterior and raised suspension make this small car look and feel significantly bigger than it actually is. The Mokka has three engine options and three specification levels to choose from.

The three engine options are a 1.4-litre turbo petrol, a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.7-litre diesel. There three trim level are the entry-level Exclusiv, the mid-range Tech Line (equipped with sat nav and parking sensors) and the top-of-the-range SE. The only real thing letting the Mokka down is its high list price – the Yeti and Juke are both cheaper. The Mokka is not as good to drive as those cars either, but it is more spacious inside.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best SUV by watching our video below.

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

Diesel versions are capable of more than 60mpg

The most efficient Vauxhall Mokka is 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 figures at all, but they're not as good as what the Skoda Yeti GreenLine and Mazda CX-5 can manage, so the Mokka will be more expensive to run. Insurance costs will vary depending on whether you choose front or four-wheel drive. Remember also that Vauxhalls have a habit of losing a lot of their value quite quickly.

Engines, drive & performance

2.2 / 5

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, as it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and suspension that's been tweaked for a sportier drive.

But our favourite engine overall is the 1.7-litre diesel, which offers the best blend of speed and fuel economy. It accelerates smoothly, too, although it does get a bit noisy when worked hard. What's worse, the automatic gearbox isn’t very effective, not changing gear as quickly as it should, so we suggest sticking with the manual.

There is some body lean when driving through corners, but it's reasonably well controlled and handling is decent enough. The Mokka is a pretty good off-roader, while its well weighted steering makes parking and changing lanes on the motorway very easy, too. You also get a good view from the driver's seat thanks to big mirrors and large front and rear screens.

Interior & comfort

2.7 / 5

Suspension means the car rolls in corners

The Mokka’s suspension was designed for UK roads and overall it strikes a pretty good balance between comfort and handling, even if it does lean quite a bit in corners. On the plus side, the Mokka’s steering and driving position work well and the seats are supportive. Automatic headlights and windscreen wipers are standard, and higher-spec models have adjustable interior lighting.

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

Big boot and comfortable, with just enough space for five inside

You wouldn't guess that the Mokka is based on a supermini – it has a surprisingly spacious interior and its high roof makes it easy for adults to fit comfortably in the back. There’s no shortage of storage in the Mokka, either, with deep side bins and plenty of little cubbyholes for all the family’s bits and bobs.

Boot space is more than adequate at 365 litres, which is more than what the MINI Countryman or Nissan Juke offer, although not quite as much as the Skoda Yeti. The 60:40 split-folding seats are easily lowered, increasing the boot space to 1,372 litres, which is more than enough for larger suitcases and outdoor gear.

Reliability & safety

3.6 / 5

Engines have been proven in the Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to reliability. The company fell a massive 13 places in the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey manufacturer rankings, coming 26th out of 32 brands. However, the Mokka shares many components with the rest of the Vauxhall range, so any problems should have already been ironed out.

Overall, the plastics used inside the car are good quality, but some sections around the door look like they'll struggle to withstand wear and tear. The Mokka secured a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests and is equipped with electronic stability and traction control, hill-start assistance and hill-descent control as standard.

Price, value for money & options

3 / 5

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. It's more spacious than rivals and remains comfortable on long family road trips. While the entry-level model is affordable, we wouldn't recommend it, as it's only available with front-wheel drive and a sluggish 1.6-litre petrol engine.

At the same time, you should be careful when adding extras, as the price can skyrocket fairly quickly. You get plenty of standard equipment, especially with the Tech Line model – it has 17-inch alloy wheels, sat nav and a DAB digital radio. And finally, Vauxhall dealers are always keen to offer a generous discount to make a sale, so make sure you haggle and shop around for the best price.

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 1 review
4 / 5
"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."
Last updated 
25 Mar 2014

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