In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Mokka SUV review

The Vauxhall Mokka has a sharp design and low running costs, but it's not especially practical for an SUV

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£20,005 - £28,975

Pros

  • Striking design
  • Efficient engines
  • Much improved interior

Cons

  • Cramped rear seats
  • No sliding rear bench
  • Lack of driver involvement

The Vauxhall Mokka and facelifted Mokka X were important models for the brand, helping it jump on the SUV bandwagon, with more than 200,000 buyers in the UK alone. But, the old car wasn't great to drive, and its ageing engines weren't especially refined or efficient.

Top 10 best small SUVs 2021

With entirely new underpinnings, engines and the option of an all-electric powertrain for the first time, the latest Mokka is a very different proposition. It's impossible to confuse the two, thanks to a sharp design, and the arresting 'Vauxhall Vizor' front end, which is how you can expect all future Vauxhall models to look. A single black band makes up the grille, flanked by narrow LED headlights for an ultra-modern look. The crossover market is fiercely fought, but the Mokka should stand out next to the Ford Puma, Renault Captur, Skoda Kamiq and Nissan Juke.

It might be around 120mm shorter this time but the Mokka's wheels have been pushed right out to the corners, so the gap between them is a few millimeters longer. It's also wider and lower for a more ground-hugging appearance, without sacrificing the SUV aesthetic. The interior is completely different too, ditching analogue gauges in favour of a digital approach. A central touchscreen and digital gauges flow together for a high-tech look that should appeal to savvy buyers and measure 10-inches and 12-inches respectively in top versions. The Mokka has lots of appeal as a family car, but while its 350-litre boot is a reasonable size, its rear seats are slightly cramped.

The engine range is pretty straightforward with a choice between petrol, diesel or electric power, the choices thereafter are pretty limited. In the petrol camp there's just two versions (with 99 or 128bhp) of the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the more potent version getting the option of an eight-speed automatic. It's a smooth, efficient engine, and we think the 128bhp manual is the pick for most drivers. The 1.5-litre diesel costs more upfront, and is best suited to motorway drivers, while the pure-electric Mokka-e that we've reviewed separately has its own list of merits.

Trim levels are slightly more confusing, but it's best to stick with the SE or SRi versions for the best value, with the latter giving the Mokka a more distinctive and sporty look. Elite trims add convenience features, while the Launch Edition is expensive as most Mokka buyers won't expect features like leather upholstery.

Vauxhall hasn't skimped on safety kit, loading the Mokka with standard autonomous emergency braking that's active between 3mph and 53mph. Top trims also gain features like blind-spot monitoring and LED Matrix headlights that adapt to the road and traffic conditions.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo 100 SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,005

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo 100 SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,005

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo SRi 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,875

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