Vauxhall Mokka long-term test

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...

Stood with Vauxhall Mokka

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 9415 List price £28,085 Target Price £26,475 Price as tested £28,085 Test economy 40.1mpg Official economy 51.4mpg  Dealer value now £20,048 Private Value now £20,394 Running Costs (excluding depreciation) Fuel £1116.67

20 October 2023 – Merry Mokka Memories

When I first took delivery of my Vauxhall Mokka, I wanted to find out if a small SUV would be able to suit my mega-mileage, load-lugging lifestyle. I chose the Mokka because, as one of the best-selling cars in the country – the Mokka is currently the eigth best-selling car of 2023 – I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and on a personal note, I really like what Vauxhall is doing in its design department of late.

Throughout its time with me, the Mokka has risen to every challenge. It's been camping, it's been to France, it's been loaded with camera equipment and been a key part of the What Car? YouTube channel’s production process. And for the most part, it hasn’t missed a beat.

Vauxhall Mokka 2023 long-term bootful

 I went for mid-range GS trim because it seemed to offer the most bang for my buck in terms standard kit, while still being priced reasonably compared with its rivals. And now having put more than 9000 miles on the clock, I reckon I made the right choice. The GS gave me a larger infotainment screen than I'd have had with the entry-level trim, making its functions easier to use and easier to see. And the variable British weather made me very grateful for the heated seats and heated steering wheel, as well as the rain-sensing wipers. The flashes of red trim really help lift the ambience inside, too.

Should I have gone for range-topping Ultimate? Well, at no point in my time with the car did I feel I was really missing out on a wireless charger, keyless entry or even adaptive cruise control or high beam assist. So I’d sooner save the extra £4500 and stick with GS.

Jonty with Vauxhall Mokka

I wasn’t the only person to drive the Mokka during its time on the What Car? fleet. Invariably, when other members of the What Car? team drove it, they would return the keys to me with a comment along the lines of “you know what; that’s really good”. And I think that's a fair summary. The previous Mokka X was not a car we rated very highly; this latest Mokka is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, and I’ve found it to be a properly good all-rounder.

Nothing is perfect, though. And as mentioned in my previous reports, if you’re looking to be regularly carrying adults in the back of your small SUV, my trip to the south of France put the Mokka a tad out of its comfort zone. Then again, if rear space is your number one priority and you'll regularly be filling every seat, I’d suggest a small SUV might not be right for you; for occasional use by tall adults, however, the Mokka’s rear seats will do just fine.

Vauxhall Mokka 2023 long-term legs out

Elsewhere, the Mokka was not the most inspiring car to drive; the suspension is quite soft, which makes the handling feel a little vague on twisty country roads. But the flip side is that over battered urban roads it soaks up potholes and speed bumps nicely.

You may remember that I quite quickly decided to turn off the Mokka's rather enthusiastic parking sensors, and I’m happy to say that I am handing the car back without any bumps or scratches on either bumper or alloy wheels. This is not merely down to my cautious approach to parking, but a nod to just how easy the Mokka is to move around built-up cities. The visibility from the driver’s seat is top-notch, and makes it very easy to judge how big the car is at all times, even without parking sensors.

Vauxhall Mokka 2023 long-term parking

So, was the Mokka all I wanted it to be? Yes, I can absolutely see why it's so popular. Not only did it tick a lot of my "sensible" boxes but, to my eyes, it looks great, too. I’ll miss mine, but because it’s so popular, at least I’ll be able to give a friendly wave to the many others I’ll be driving past over the next few years.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Also consider