Vauxhall Mokka long-term test: report 3

The Vauxhall Mokka is a big seller within the crowded small SUV market, but does it deserve its sales success? We're living with one to find out...

Vauxhall Mokka in France

The Car Vauxhall Mokka 1.2 136 GS 6-Speed Manual Run by Jonty Renk, senior videographer

Why it’s here To prove that small, petrol-powered SUVs can still hold value for buyers wanting to keep costs low

Needs to Be comfortable for five people and transport luggage with ease, be comfortable on long distances and function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 4659 List price £28,085 Target Price £26,475 Price as tested £28,085 Official economy 51.4mpg Test economy 41.1mpg


15 August 2023 – The French Connection

When reviewing high-end performance cars from the likes of Aston Martin and Bentley, so-called Grand-Tourers, it’s become a bit of a motoring-journalist cliche to muse on what they would be like driving it to the South of France.

Sadly, such musings aren't helpful for most of us, because when we travel to that popular holiday destination, we'd be doing it in a far more normal type of car – a car exactly like my Vauxhall Mokka small SUV, for example. So, with a 550-mile French holiday looming, how would my Mokka perform?

Vauxhall Mokka packed for 4am start

Things got off to a good start. The first big test for the Mokka came in the wee small hours when my three passengers got into the car for the first time with all of their luggage jammed into the boot. Maybe they were too tired to complain about any lack of space, but I take it as a compliment to the Mokka that my travelling companions quickly went back to sleep.

We made it to ferry in Dover easily, with the pokey 136bhp 1.2-litre engine singing its way through the Kent countryside, and it felt like no time at all before we were slapping the “UK” sticker to the back of the Mokka at the port – just one of the things one should do before taking your car abroad.

Vauxhall Mokka in France

It can be a bit of a shock to the system driving on the “wrong” side of the road and seeing speed limits in kilometres – but the Mokka has a handy feature to help with the transition. Of course, it can’t move its steering wheel to the other side of the car, but it automatically translates the French KPH speed limits into MPH and shows it on the digital instrument display. This was very handy if, like me, you forgot to dive into the infotainment system and change the system’s units to kilometres manually – something I did at my first refuelling stop.

We powered down the beautifully smooth French motorways, with our rapid progress only halted by the numerous payages, or toll booths – nice roads don’t come for free, apparently.

Vauxhall Mokka smart speedometer

After a number of hours on the go, everyone was becoming a bit fidgety in their seats. And my two passengers in the back were beginning to notice that the Mokka's small rear windows don’t make it feel particularly light and airy back there. But still, given the Mokka's remit as a small SUV, we were all in agreement that it was coping pretty well with the task at hand.

That goes for the boot as well. The space was big enough for all our luggage to fit under the parcel shelf, and the underfloor storage (where the space-saver spare wheel would normally be) was handy for the few items that didn’t fit in our bags.

Vauxhall Mokka in France

So we made it to France – a long journey in which the Mokka held its own as comfortable, capable family transportation. Across the 546 miles it also hit a not-too-shabby indicated average of 41.1mpg. Très bien, Mokka.

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