Vauxhall Mokka Road Test

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COFFEE TO GO


It would appear that the word Mokka enjoys a wide variety of translations, some good some bad. However, here in dear old Blighty it would seem to be an alternative spelling of the popular coffee concoction many of us require before starting our morning’s work. So since the caffeinated drink is a necessity it could quite rightly be applied to the Vauxhall of the same name in this case the Mokka X Elite.


Personifying the current market trend for the SUV format, whilst nearly every manufacturer has or will soon have a crossover of some description within their range, the style’s popularity cannot be overlooked nor be regarded as the preserve of the rural community. Equally, the current crop of SUV’s doesn’t actually have to have drive sent to all four wheels, two-wheel drive variants the most popular especially for those who will never venture over or attempt to cross anything more demanding than the supermarket’s car park.


Steering clear of the sharp, angular lines favoured by other manufacturers, the rounded lines of the Mokka actually emphasize the fact that it’s a compact hatchback. Visually friendly, and sat on 18” alloys fitted with 215/55 rubber, the elevated appearance due in the main to the independent coil suspension. Soft and pliant to improve ride quality and negate surface imperfections, the negative to Vauxhall’s choice is that the Mokka can at times wallow over undulating roads which in turn tends to reduce the sharpness of the car’s handling.


With body protection running around the entire lower part of the Mokka, the high waistline accentuates the four large doors and deep, full depth tailgate all of which underscores the practical intent of the vehicle. Inside the cabin once again the Mokka has been conceived to be user friendly, the controls sensibly and logically laid out, the instrumentation and onboard readouts easy to understand and access.


Standard trim on Elite specification are the leather Sports seats. Infinitely adjustable, especially from the driver’s perspective these are some of the most comfortable, relaxing and supportive you’ll actually sit in. At no point even on the longest journeys will up to five occupants feel the need to constantly modify their position. With the rear seats upright the Mokka offers 356 litres of cargo space more than doubling with the seats folded and a further 1,200kg of braked towing capacity.


Besides the usual Bluetooth connectivity one of the main features of the Mokka Elite is the OnStar system. This provides the driver and occupants with SOS or Automatic Crash Response that automatically summons the emergency services should the driver be unable to respond after a collision, 4G WiFi, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, full vehicle diagnostics and real time navigation via the human assistant awaiting your call. And yes, it works and works well, the satnav constantly updating route information as your journey progresses.


Under the bonnet there’s the 140hp 1.4 litre turbo petrol as tested, a 1.4 152hp in 4x4 guises plus a 1.6 whilst all the 1.6 diesels vary between 110hp up to 136hp. Reasonably willing the 4-cylinder 16v 1,364cc unit delivers 200Nm of torque via the 6-speed manual transmission, a 0-60mph time of 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 122mph. Fuel consumption from the 53 litre tank is a more than acceptable 47.3mpg average rising to 56.7mpg on constant throttle motorway driving meaning at least 430 miles between refills.


Performance isn’t the Mokka’s métier, comfort and ease of driving the overriding factors when driving it. Aside from the comfort, visibility is good whilst the steering via the multi-function leather steering wheel is sensibly weighted allowing ease of maneuverability when required. The soft suspension does at times amplify undulations and at times tends to encourage a hint of understeer during more enthusiastic cornering, something most Mokka owners will rarely if ever encounter. Instead it’s the family friendly looks and out and out practicality that gives the Mokka its appeal whilst the option of fully automated AWD and Hill Decent expands this Vauxhall’s appeal for those who require the facilities.


The entry level Design Nav will cost you £17,950 on the road rising to £23,575 for the OnStar capable Mokka X Elite as reviewed. Overall, Vauxhall’s Mokka X fulfills the demands of those looking for SUV style and practicality with the option of 4x4 whilst the pricing structure, leasing deals and options improve this Vauxhall’s appeal. Maybe now not quite as trendy as its competition, it’s also the Vauxhall reputation for common sense motoring that will sway those not so much bound up by lifestyle concerns in the direction of the Mokka. In other words for those looking for a common sense compact SUV Vauxhall’s Mokka X is probably the way to go.                         



By; Mark Stone

 



Vauxhall Mokka Elite Road Test