£16,789 - £25,264 Price range
65 - 43 MPG
The Mokka’s interior is neither the most classy, nor the most intuitive. It is, however, robust and the high driving position, giving a nice overview of the road ahead, is praised by reviewers. The boot is bigger than in a car, but some SUV rivals offer more space.
There is nothing really bad about the way the Mokka drives, but there isn’t anything really good about it either. The little SUV grips well and the steering is light to aid urban manoeuvring, but the Mokka doesn’t stand out in any particular area. There are better-to-drive small SUVs out there, chiefly the Nissan Juke.
Choosing which engine to go for isn’t easy. On the one hand you have a frugal, but very noisy and unrefined diesel and on the other you can have a quiet 1.4-litre petrol that is far from fuel efficient. Your best bet might be the least powerful petrol, but it is only available in front-wheel-drive form.
The Mokka’s best feature is the massive amounts of equipment that comes standard. Even the entry level models get dual-zone climate control, DAB digital radio, cruise control and automatic wipers. Higher trim levels get more creature comforts and gadgets such as sat-nav and leather upholstery, but they also make the Mokka quite expensive.
All in all, the Mokka’s interior isn’t too bad. There’s plenty of kit, but with Vauxhall this means there’s plenty of buttons and it’s not the most intuitive of dashboards to navigate. It’s also not the highest of quality when it comes to materials nor the prettiest, but at least feels pretty well bolted together.
Vauxhall Mokka passenger space
There’s decent space with seats that will fit four adults. However, it might be a bit of a bind if you regularly go five up – there are concerns it’s a bit claustrophobic in the back, so most suggest it’s better for kids. For the driver, a high-set driving position and good ergonomics make it a comfortable place to be.
Vauxhall Mokka boot space
With all the seats up there is 360 litres of space that rises to 1,372 litres with the rear seats folded. That may be more than in a Focus or Golf and enough for most buyer’s needs, but the Skoda Yeti has 60 litres more with the seats up and an extra 400 litre when they are flat on the boot floor. Cubbyholes are abound though and there’s a neat three-pin 230V power supply for charging up your devices without having to remember to bring a special lead.
The Mokka isn’t an entertainer, as one reviewer puts it. It does nothing particularly badly – though that’s partly because after some truly awful early reviews, Vauxhall quickly revised it for the UK market. The steering remains light, without a great deal of feel and is not particularly direct even after the tweaks.
It gets around bends okay but does so without flair. Grip is decent and despite the car’s relative height it stays level in quicker corners. It’s not as fun as a Nissan Juke though, and one or two testers remark that the driving experience is also spoiled by poor refinement and a notchy gearbox.
Engines used to be one of the Mokka’s weakest points, but the range was revised in 2014 and is much better for it. There is now a 1.6-litre diesel offered with either 109 or 134hp, which is much quieter than the 1.6-litre unit it replaces. Two petrols are also available – a basic 113hp 1.6-litre and a turbocharged 1.4-litre with 138hp.
Vauxhall Mokka diesel engines
Both diesels offer a decent amount of torque that makes them feel quicker than they sound on paper. If your not fussed about performance the basic model will do just fine. It gets from 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds, costs £20 a year to tax and returns fuel economy of 68.9mpg. That latter figure is matched by the more powerful diesel, and its extra power brings a useful boost to performance, dropping the 0-62mph time down to 9.9 seconds. Not many people will be put off by the extra £10 a year it’ll cost to tax.
Vauxhall Mokka petrol engines
The 1.6-litre petrol is the under performer of the range and also the oldest. Despite being quite a lot slower than the 1.4-litre model (0-62mph takes 12.5 seconds versus the 1.4’s 9.9 seconds), it can’t match the more powerful model’s fuel economy of 42.2mpg and both cost £180 a year to tax. Both are said to be noisy when worked hard.
It also makes around 140 horsepower, and does a respectable 47.9 mpg on the combined cycle. There's useful torque on offer, so moving people around shouldn't be a chore - but it isn't as flexible as the diesel, and ultimately won't return economy on quite the same level. For some though, the extra refinement will be worth the drop in fuel efficiency.
It's the quietest engine in the range and respectably smooth, but not overly quick. 11.9 seconds to 62 mph and a top whack of 106 mph is respectable, but you'll have to work the car hard to get there - one reviewer says it's "a bit flat" even with just one person on board. 43.5 mpg is also the lowest on offer in the Mokka range, but around town that won't be so much of a concern.
Unfortunately, the 1.7 is also unrefined, loud, and clattery. While it pulls well from low revs (128 bhp and 221 lb-ft are the big numbers) it simply lacks the refinement found in virtually every other vehicle in the class. The mooted new 1.6 CDTi engine can't come soon enough.
When Mokka was tested at launch in 2012 it scored five stars. This doesn’t quite tell the whole story though – the Mokka averaged 90% in the Euro NCAP test, more than many other cars even score in a single category. In other words, the Mokka’s safety is deeply impressive.
A perfect score in the safety assists category is backed up by 96% in adult occupant safety and 90% in child occupant safety – a truly extraordinary set of results. Looking at the safety kit it’s unsurprising – alongside all the expected airbags (six), ISOFIX mountings, three point belts and pretensioners, there’s stability control, hill start control, hill descent control (even on front-wheel drive cars) and traction control. You can also specify a forward facing camera with collision alert, lane assist and traffic sign recognition.
You’ll pay a price premium to put a Vauxhall Mokka SUV on your drive compared to a similarly sized Corsa hatchback, but the company softens the financial blow by offering strong levels of standard equipment. There are four models to choose from – Exclusiv, Tech Line, SE and Limited Edition.
Vauxhall Mokka Exclusiv
SUVs cost a little more than hatchbacks of a similar size, but often come with extra standard equipment. That point stands for the Vauxhall Mokka, which even in baseline Exclusive trim comes with a Bluetooth phone connection, automatic lights and wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels and climate control. One of our favourite features, however, is the inclusion of all-round parking sensors, which make the car a doddle to park.
Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line
Tech Line only brings one equipment upgrade, but the addition of sat-nav is bound to appeal to a lot of buyers and means you don’t need an ugly looking aftermarket system stuck to the windscreen.
Vauxhall Mokka SE
Choosing SE trim brings a luxury feel to the Mokka’s interior with upgrades such as leather seats that are heated in the front, a heated steering wheel, a rear seat centre armrest and tinted windows. Aside from the fuel-economy biased ecoFLEX models you also get 18-inch alloy wheels (instead of 17-inch ones) that smarten up the outside.
Vauxhall Mokka Limited Edition
The Limited Edition model essentially makes the Mokka look more distinctive, but does a comprehensive job of it, so you get 19-inch alloy wheels, plus black roof rails and door mirrors, which contrast with the Summit White paint finish that is unique to the car and the only colour option available on the model.
Mokka does precious few things better than its rivals, or indeed better than average. The safety score and lifetime warranty are very attractive indeed, particularly as a family car with mild off-road qualities, but unfortunately these are just details that you will learn once you’re interested in the car – they don’t grab your attention in the first place.
What does grab your attention is how far off target the Mokka is. Its range of noisy engines really lets it down, but the Mokka is no more than competent in most other areas. There’s simply too much to interest customers in this class – many are more fun to drive, others more practical and most are more refined.