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Vauxhall Mokka (2020 - ) Review

With its bold new design and completely upgraded interior, the latest generation Mokka bears very little resemblance to the outgoing version. And that’s not a bad thing.

Vauxhall Mokka (2020 - ) Review
By Maxine Ashford
Jun 15, 2021
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Pros:
  • Modern interior and packed with technology
  • Great choice of engines and trim levels and also available as a fully electric Mokka-e
  • Dynamic new styling and it’s shed some weight too
Cons:
  • Quite a price hike from previous generation car
  • Rear legroom is cramped
  • Competing against stiff opposition in bustling small SUV sector
Regit rating:
“ 7 / 10 ”
Starting price:
£20,735 (Test car was £27,095)

Introduction

The latest generation Mokka is completely different from its predecessor with athletic styling, new dimensions and a smart, modern interior. The changes are so dramatic, I had to convince a friend that it was a Mokka and they still wouldn’t believe me until they inspected the badging.

Customers can choose from trims called SE, SRi, SRi Nav Premium, Elite Nav, Elite Nav Premium, Ultimate Nav and a limited Launch Edition with prices ranging from £20,735 to £28,645.

And the all-electric Mokka-e starts from £30,540, after the Government’s plug-in grant has been deducted, and rises to £32,495.

On The Road

Vauxhall Mokka

Performance

With powertrains and trim levels to suit every budget and requirement, the latest Mokka hopes to pick up on the sales success of the first-gen model and run with it. We opted for the three-cylinder, 1.2 petrol model delivering 130PS with 230Nm of torque matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

This model, in Elite Nav Premium specification, could complete the 0-60mph dash in a respectable 9.2 seconds and topped out at 124mph.

Vauxhall’s engineering team have worked hard to reduce the weight of the new Mokka and it has shed up to 120kg. As a result, the car is more fun to drive out on the open road. The responses are faster and it certainly feels agile through the country lanes with plenty of power on tap from the three-pot engine.

The acceleration through the automatic gearbox is nicely timed – it’s not exactly speedy through the gears, but you can take control via steering wheel-mounted paddles and the drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport alter the mannerisms of the car.

With its lower stance, the Mokka feels more balanced through tight corners and the road holding also impresses with minimum body sway. There are more exhilarating models out there, but the improvement on this new Mokka is vast.

Vauxhall Mokka

Ride Handling

Not only has the new Mokka dropped its weight, but the dimensions are completely different too. This is because the new model is built on the. Common Modular Platform – the same platform that stablemates Peugeot 208 and Citroen C4 use. As a result, new Mokka is 4,151mm long (124mm shorter), 1,791mm wide (excluding mirrors) which is 100mm wider and 1,531mm high with a wheelbase that has increased by 2mm. 

In addition, the car boasts one of the lowest drag rates of the sector which is most noticeable on motorways where the drag has been reduced by 16 per cent.

It’s a car that cruises effortlessly at 70mph on motorways and is agile on country lanes. It also copes well in busier town centres with a good turning lock and more compact dimensions that make it easier to park.

The flat-bottomed steering wheel offers ample driver feedback and there are controls to features such as the cruise control and sound system.

Our car was sitting on 17-inch wheels which perfectly suited the vehicle. Go any larger and the ride would probably get a bit too wallowy. And credit to the impressive suspension set-up too which did a worthy job of smoothing out poorer road surfaces and is a major improvement on the previous model with its very firm ride.

Vauxhall Mokka

Styling

With its dynamic new styling the latest Mokka has certainly raised its profile in the eye candy stakes. It is the second model after the Crossland to feature Vauxhall’s distinctive new Vizor front end. This involves a single dark module running across the front of the car encompassing the LED headlights and new company Griffin logo. At the back, the Mokka name is stretched across the tailgate with the shorter rear overhang complemented by LED lights.

Additional design cues include a black painted rear spoiler, chrome window trims, a black roof, matt chrome skid plates and black alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the Mokka has been completely transformed. Gone are the drab trimmings and instead, the vehicle boasts Vauxhall’s new Pure Panel digital instrument display which means there is a reduction in physical buttons and switches. 

The Pure Panel is available in two formats – a seven-inch digital instrument panel with seven-inch touchscreen increasing to 12- and 10-inch respectively on Premium models, such as our test car.

When it comes to driver refinement, the main area of improvement is the ride quality thanks to upgraded suspension. The car also underwent high speed testing in Germany to fine tune the stability, comfort and interior acoustics. As a result, the cabin remains well protected from most engine and road surface sounds, although the three-pot engine gets a little raspy under heavy acceleration – which I actually quite liked.

In The Car

Vauxhall Mokka

Behind the Wheel

With manual seat and steering wheel adjustment, getting a comfortable driving position inside the Mokka is a fairly simple process although you do have to squeeze your hand quite a way back to adjust the seat back.

The all-round visibility is good forwards, backwards and sideways, but the wide B pillars rather obscure the over-the-shoulder view.

All the instrumentation works well with nice sharp graphics on the touchscreen along with separate controls to operate the air conditioning which is nice. On-board tech is impressive with the likes of a multi-media nav system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, DAB radio, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system and heated front seats to fend off the winter chill.

There is a definite influence from Peugeot inside the latest car, which once again is not a bad thing as they are renowned for developing high-end furnishings, but the Mokka still maintains its Vauxhall identity.

Although our car didn’t feature them, the Mokka is available with IntelliLux Matrix LED headlights costing an extra £700. These are superb when driving along dark country lanes automatically switching to high beam outside urban areas. The system is cleverly controlled by a high-resolution camera, so the light beam continuously adapts to the surroundings and traffic to ensure the maximum light output without dazzling other drivers. Any vehicles in front of the car are simply cut out of the light pattern so preventing any glare.

Vauxhall Mokka

Space & Practicality

Up front there is ample space for a couple of six footers inside the new Mokka, but like most compact SUVs the back-seat passengers do not fare quite so well. If the front seats are pushed well back, the rear leg space is cramped at best and the narrow rear windows won’t be appreciated by anyone who suffers from claustrophobia.

Although there is officially space to seat three across the back, even youngsters will start complaining about space after a short while.

When it comes to storage, the boot can swallow 350 litres of kit, a limit that increases to 1,105 litres with the split-folding rear seats folded flat. Elsewhere there are some storage options scattered throughout the car, including door bins with a space allocated for a bottle, a compact central cubby box, a tiny glovebox, seat back pockets and front cup holders – there are none for rear seat passengers.

Parking is made quite easy by the car’s smaller scale and there are front and rear parking sensors to assist too.

Ownership

Vauxhall Mokka

Running Costs

The new Mokka line-up is extensive with prices ranging from £20,735 to £28,645 for the ICE models and £30,540 to £32,495 for the Mokka-e.

Our test car, in Elite Nav Premium specification, cost £27,095, although specialist paint saw the price rise to £27,645. 

According to official figures, under stricter WLTP testing, the Mokka could deliver a combined 47.9mpg with carbon emissions of 137g/km.

This CO2 emissions figure would result in a first year Vehicle Excise Duty charge of £220 dropping to the standard rate of £155 after 12 months.

If you are planning on covering long distances and think a diesel-powered car would be preferable, then you can opt for the 1.5-litre diesel version that can deliver a combined 65.7mpg with carbon emissions of 114g/km.

The Mokka Elite Nav Premium is in insurance group 18.

Vauxhall Mokka

Quality & Reliability

Although the technology on the latest Mokka is very new to Vauxhall, much of it has been tried and tested on other vehicles within the PSA (now Stellantis) stable. The running gear that is based on the Peugeot 208 and 2008 cars has been working well with no particular problems of note.

And it’s worth noting that Vauxhall went to extreme measures to test the car for its durability with months of rigorous testing to ensure a smooth and reliable drive.

Engineers took to Lapland to fine-tune the electrical stability control system and chassis and frequented the high-speed German circuits to improve suspension and handling.

The car feels well put together with a minimal amount of switchgear. The touchscreen is easily wiped of fingerprints and all the upholstery feels durable and made to survive the test of time. There is a fair amount of hard plastic surfaces which are practical, but may start showing scratches with time.

The Mokka comes with Vauxhall’s three-year, 60,000 mileage manufacturer’s warranty.

Vauxhall Mokka

Safety & Security

The latest Mokka has not yet been tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating but the car is packed with features to protect occupants, other road users and also help prevent accidents happening in the first place.

Our test car included an Active Drive Assist Plus package as standard that featured driver drowsiness alert, forward collision alert, automatic emergency city braking, adaptive cruise control, lane positioning assist and Vauxhall Connect with e-Call.

This e-Call system replaced the Vauxhall OnStar set-up that connected you with a real person in Luton to ask for guidance and all manner of tips. At the touch of a button you are now connected with a trained advisor in the event of an accident - any impact detection also activates the e-Call system. 

This system can be used further via the MyVauxhall app for functions such as remotely locking or unlocking the car, live navigation and charging functions for electric vehicles.

Also included as standard on our car was a tyre pressure monitoring system, remote control central locking, speed sign recognition, a panoramic rear-view camera, six airbags, hill-start assist, blind spot alert, parking sensors and a top-notch alarm system.

Speak with our Concierge team to discuss your car buying options
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By Maxine Ashford
Jun 15, 2021