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
£20,900 - £29,810

Pros

  • Striking design
  • Efficient engines
  • Much improved interior

Cons

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

The Vauxhall Mokka and Mokka X have been important cars 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.

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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 stands 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 millimetres longer. It's also wider and lower for a more ground-hugging appearance, without sacrificing the fashionable 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. It has a pretty straightforward engine range, with a choice between petrol, diesel or electric power. Compared to the Nissan Juke, which is available with a sole petrol engine. 

There are just two versions of the Mokka’s 1.2-litre petrol engine.  One makes 99bhp and the other has 128bhp – both are paired with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the more potent version also gets 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 Design or GS Line versions for the best value, with the latter giving the Mokka a more distinctive and sporty look. The Ultimate trim is expensive and most Mokka buyers won't expect features like leather upholstery.

Vauxhall hasn't skimped on the 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.

Overall, the Vauxhall Mokka is a big improvement on its predecessor; it’s more stylish, better to drive and is available as a fully electric car. It's also pretty good value, especially if you stick to the lower trims, which are well-equipped.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo 100 SE Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,900

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo 100 SE Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,900

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 Turbo Elite Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,570

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