Compact crossovers have proven hugely popular in the last decade or so, and not least for Vauxhall as its Mokka has accumulated more than 200,000 sales in the UK since its introduction.
But despite its popularity, it failed to compete for class honours, with an uninspiring driving experience letting the side down.
However, Vauxhall’s new Mokka promises to be a rather different kettle of, with a striking new design, completely redesigned interior and a claim to be more involving to drive.
And while the original Mokka was a model developed under General Motors ownership, the new car has come from under the brand’s current keepers – PSA Group, which includes Citroen and Peugeot. There’s also a new electric Mokka-e buyers can choose as Vauxhall looks to expand its electrified portfolio.
But can all of this lead to a better all-round package? Let’s find out.
Choice is key on the Mokka, with the model available with petrol, diesel and electric powertrains.
Kicking off with the petrol model, Vauxhall offers a turbocharged 1.2-litre unit, which is available with outputs of 99bhp or 128bhp – the latter being particularly zippy, with its 0-60mph time of nine seconds.
For high-mileage drivers, a diesel continues to be offered - something which is increasingly rare in this class. The unit is a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine producing 108bhp, and delivering strong efficiency – Vauxhall claiming it will return 65.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
And if you’re looking to go electric, there is the new Mokka-e, which shares a powertrain with the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense and Peugeot e-2008. Combining a 50kWh battery with a 100kW electric motor (134bhp), this model offers brisk performance with its impressive torque, while also being able to travel for 201 miles on a single charge. Thanks to 100kW rapid charging, it also means the battery can be charged to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, too.
Ride and handling
With the new Mokka being up to 120kg lighter than its predecessor, it’s certainly helped to improve the way this crossover behaves behind the wheel.
While not as involving as the Ford Puma, it’s more agile and sharper than before, while the ‘Eco’, ‘Normal ‘ and ‘Sport’ driver settings allow you to configure the car depending on your preference – the latter mode helping to make it feel far more responsive.
It’s also refined and largely very comfortable, too, though as with most things, we reckon a smaller set of alloys would improve things further. Interestingly, the Mokka-e is actually more comfortable, despite its increased weight due to the heavy battery.
Interior and equipment
Just like how the exterior of the new Mokka paves a new design direction for the Vauxhall, so does the interior.
Headed up by what Vauxhall calls the ‘Pure Panel’, this sees a digital dial system merge with a main infotainment system, with the screen size depending on trim level. The digital dials are especially impressive, being very clear and easy to use. The new Mokka also has a higher-quality interior than before, with more upmarket materials being used throughout – not least on high-spec Launch Edition models that get leather seats and fancy stitching.
The Mokka’s only real downfall is space, as its 350-litre boot isn’t especially roomy by class standards, and while rear space is plentiful for adults, it’s not quite as accommodating as a model like the Renault Captur.
When it comes to trim levels, there are a whole range of options available on the new Mokka, though even the standard kit on the entry-level SE model is impressive, including a seven-inch touchscreen, digital instrument cluster, cruise control and air conditioning.
SRi models bring large 18-inch alloy wheels with red accents, a black styling kit and a more aggressive overall design, though climate control, a reversing camera, heated front seats and adaptive cruise control are all included too. An SRI Nav Premium model brings the large digital instrument cluster and 10-inch touchscreen.
Upgrade to Elite Nav to get more premium chrome styling, a heated steering wheel and 17-inch bi-colour alloy wheels, while the ‘Premium’ version features keyless entry and start, blind spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors.
Next up is the Ultimate Nav, which gains Matrix LED headlights and Alcantara seats, while the flagship Launch Edition gains leather seats, a massaging driver’s seat and park assist.
Unsurprisingly the latest Mokka’s more upmarket focus has meant prices have risen, though with models available from £20,735 it still remains great value for money at this entry point, while standard kit is comprehensive as well. High-spec models aren’t cheap, though, as at nearly £30,000, much more well-rounded models from the class above are within easy reach.
Electric models are also quite pricey, with the range starting from £30,840, though this is roughly on par with rivals.
Given the Mokka paves the way for the things to come from Vauxhall, it’s a very positive sign of the future for the brand. Bringing a well-rounded driving experience, style and quality to the crossover segment, this new model is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor.
While not the most practical or affordable model in this segment, it ticks plenty of the right boxes for buyers and should prove to be a very popular choice.Enquire on a new Vauxhall Mokka