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Vauxhall Mokka X SUV (2012-2019)

"A new design and equipment list add appeal to the Vauxhall Mokka X, but it still has the niggling shortcomings of its predecessor"

Carbuyer Rating

2.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

2.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Impressive connectivity features
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Looks much improved

Cons

  • Rivals are better to drive
  • Suspension can be bouncy
  • Entry-level petrol engine uninspiring

The Vauxhall Mokka X was one of the first cars in the manufacturer’s expanded SUV line-up. It’s a competent car, but not one that excels in any particular area. It does, however, have the SUV styling currently popular with buyers, and those with a loyalty to the familiar Vauxhall brand are bound to consider it as an alternative to a standard family hatchback.

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The Mokka X is an easy car to drive and live with on a day-to-day basis, especially with the 1.6-litre diesel engine which offers a claimed economy figure of 50mpg. The car is small enough to use comfortably around town, but there’s also a decent amount of room inside. The most challenging aspect of considering the Mokka X is when you look at its rivals; the Mazda CX-3, for example, has a better interior and is more fun to drive, while the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 are both less expensive, but just as capable.

If you know and like Vauxhall’s cars, chances are particularly high that the Mokka X will impress. Its dashboard is familiar from the latest Vauxhall Astra and represents a massive step forward from that of the previous Mokka, in terms of both design and build quality. The Mokka X is available with four-wheel drive, which it gives it an advantage over some of its rivals if you need this feature, as many of them don’t. Buying a Mokka X with four-wheel drive increases the price of the car by a significant margin.

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Carbuyer's best small SUVs to buy now

Four-wheel drive improves grip in poor conditions and on loose surfaces, but most of the time you won’t notice any difference, other than slightly more vague steering than models with front-wheel drive and a somewhat bouncy ride. Unless four-wheel drive is absolutely essential, we’d recommend saving the money and instead going for the 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol or 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel front-wheel drive models.

Although it can’t quite outshine its rivals, the Mokka X is still a definite improvement over its Mokka predecessor. With that being said, our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey saw the Mokka X ranked 93rd overall out of 100 cars listed, while Vauxhall came an equally disappointing 29th out of 30 manufacturers. 12.3% of owners reported a fault in the first year of ownership, which isn't a bad score.

The car’s safety is a strong suit, though. The original Mokka received a full five-star crash-test rating from independent experts Euro NCAP, providing excellent protection for adults and child occupants alike and boasting a 100% score for safety assistance technology. The tests have been made more stringent since these 2012 results, though.

The Mokka X isn’t a car that you’re likely to horribly regret buying – indeed, you’ll probably enjoy it very much. But we feel its rivals offer much more. With good looks and decent economy, it’s a package that delivers what it claims to, but falls short on inspiration against increasingly talented rivals.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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