Vauxhall Mokka Crossover full 9 point review
The entry-level 114bhp 1.6 petrol engine isn’t especially rapid, but is adequate if most of your journeys are in and around town. The 1.4 turbocharged petrol is stronger; there’s a bit more pull from low revs and the power keeps coming until beyond 5000rpm. The 128bhp 1.7 diesel is also fairly strong, but it’s inflexible, so you need to get the revs above 2000rpm before it really starts to pull.
Ride & Handling
Vauxhall has opted for a stiff suspension set-up, which has the advantage of keeping the Mokka upright through twists and turns. Don’t expect to have much fun, though, because the steering is light and nervous. That wouldn’t be such a problem if the payoff was a comfortable ride, but the Mokka fidgets around at low speeds on poor surfaces, while larger bumps and expansion joints send jolts through the cabin.
The diesel is gruff under acceleration and grumbles away even when cruising at motorway speeds. The petrols are slightly quieter, but still get decidedly boomy when you work them hard. Worse still, the Mokka’s door mirrors generate a lot of wind noise at anything above 50mph and there’s lots of road noise, too.
Buying & Owning
Tech Line editions are reasonably priced, but the other trims are way too expensive. Big discounts are available, but these have to be weighed against the fact that the Mokka won’t hold onto its value particularly well. Fuel economy, CO2 emissions and leasing rates don’t match those of the class leaders, either, but insurance costs are comparatively low.
Quality & Reliability
The Mokka’s cabin looks smart enough, but once you start poking at the plastics you'll realise that they aren't quite as sumptuous as they first appear. Still, the Vauxhall’s closest rivals don’t have particularly classy interiors, either. Vauxhall's reliability record is more of a concern; the company finished second to bottom in the latest JD Power survey and near the bottom of the 2012 Reliability Survey.
Safety & Security
All models get stability control to help you avoid sliding off the road, but in case you do, there are front, side and curtain airbags to help keep you from harm. Hill descent control is also on hand to help you get down slippery slopes. The car has received the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. All the security measures you'd expect are present and correct, too.
Behind The Wheel
The Mokka’s dashboard layout is very similar to the Astra hatchback's, which isn't a good thing because it means there are too many poorly marked buttons. On the plus side, forward visibility isn’t bad thanks to a lofty driving position. Rear visibility isn’t as impressive, because the thick rear pillars restrict over-the-shoulder vision.
Space & Practicality
There’s plenty of head- and legroom in the front and back; four six-footers will easily be able to travel in comfort, and even five won’t feel too cramped on short trips. The boot impresses, too. It’s not quite as big as a Nissan Qashqai’s or a Skoda Yeti’s, but it’s usefully shaped, while the rear seats fold down almost flat if you flip up the bases before dropping the backrests.
Entry-level S versions come with air-conditioning, electric front windows, cruise control and a DAB radio. Step up to Exclusiv trim and you’ll get Bluetooth, a leather steering wheel, climate control and alloy wheels. However, Tech Line models make the most sense; they have the same kit as Exclusiv models plus a sat-nav, and they’re also cheaper. Don’t ask us why.