The Vauxhall Mokka X might look more like an SUV than a family hatchback but its soft, wallowy suspension struggles with bumps and potholes
You can get the Vauxhall Mokka X with three petrol engines and two diesels and with either front or four-wheel drive.
Pick the 140hp 1.4-litre turbo petrol model if you do lots of city driving. It’s both quieter and nippier than the diesel models and it’ll return around 35mpg in real-world conditions.
If you spend more time on the motorway you’ll want to consider the 136hp 1.6-litre diesel. It’s a little noiser than the petrols at slow speeds and doesn’t feel anywhere near as perky around town but it settles into a fairly quiet cruise and will return approximately 55mpg (compared to Vauxhall’s claimed 68.9mpg).
The Mokka X is relatively easy to potter about in, but it isn't great on bumpy roads – it’s certainly much more roly-poly than a Nissan Qashqai
Besides the 152hp 1.4-litre petrol model, every Vauxhall Mokka X comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. It’s reasonably easy to use, but the optional six-speed automatic really helps give your left leg a rest in stop-start traffic or on long journeys. It’s reasonably smooth and costs £915 across the Vauxhall Mokka X range.
You can get four-wheel drive (for a little extra grip in slippery conditions) on 140hp petrol and 136hp diesel cars, but unless you live somewhere prone to snaps of wintery weather you’ll be better off with the standard front-wheel-drive model that’s cheaper to buy and run.
The Vauxhall Mokka X’s raised seating position gives you a good view out over the road ahead which, combined with its fairly light steering, helps make it reasonably easy to thread through tight city streets.
The pillars where the doors meet the windscreen don’t create any particularly awkward blindspots at junctions but its small rear windscreen can make parking rather tricky. Thankfully, every Vauxhall Mokka X comes with front and rear parking sensors as standard and you can get a reversing camera for an extra £285 for even greater peace of mind.
Over bumpy roads, however, the Vauxhall Mokka X starts to fall behind more accomplished alternatives. It tends to wallow and bounce over rough surfaces and its suspension does little to soften the thud of large potholes around town. Even at motorway speeds (where most SUVs cruise fairly comfortably) the Vauxhall struggles to settle down and it leans quite a lot in tight corners, too. If comfort is your main priority, a Nissan Qashqai is a much better bet.
The Vauxhall also comes with cruise control to help take the stress out of long motorway journeys and a system that’ll automatically apply full brake pressure when it detects you’re performing an emergency stop.
Euro NCAP hasn’t crash-tested the Mokka X but the mechanically identical Mokka received a five-star rating back in 2012. It’s worth noting that the tests have been made significantly stricter since then however, so newer five-star rated cars (such as the Toyota C-HR) will offer more protection.