Vauxhall Mokka X

Vauxhall Mokka X review

Performance & drive
Manufacturer price from:£19,780
What Car? Target Price:£17,282
Search new deals
Review continues below...

In this review

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol engine doesn’t have a huge amount of low-rev shove, so has to be worked hard if you want to make decent progress.

The diesels are also frustrating, but for different reasons; they offer stronger mid-range pulling power, particularly the 134bhp version of the 1.6-litre unit, but have a very peaky power delivery. Put your foot down and there’s a short delay while you wait for the turbocharger to kick in, and the extra pace it provides is short-lived. Again, this forces you to change gear quite a lot to keep the engine in its sweet spot, making the Mokka X rather tiring to drive at times.

Watch the next video

Our favourite engine is the 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, which responds much more quickly. It also delivers its shove over a sufficiently wide range of revs, so it feels comfortable around town as well as on cross-country drives.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox can catch you out because the change from second to third gear is particularly notchy, but otherwise it has a positive action. The automatic gearbox (available with the higher-powered petrol and diesel) is smooth, but doesn’t respond particularly quickly when you press the accelerator hard.

Suspension and ride comfort

Ride comfort isn’t a Mokka X strength. Although the suspension feels pretty soft initially, because it’s poorly damped it fails to settle over broken surfaces at low speeds. Meanwhile, larger bumps send jolts through the interior.

These are qualities that make the Mokka X one of the least comfortable cars in its class. Try a Volkswagen T-Roc and you’ll find it rides much more smoothly over our typically scruffy roads; and even though the Seat Arona feels pretty firm, it’s far less bouncy over larger lumps and bumps. It’s the same story with the Renault Captur and Suzuki Vitara; both feel more settled over the rough stuff.

Handling

The Mokka X isn’t particularly good to drive. The problems start with its steering, which gives you precious little idea of what the front wheels are doing and how hard the tyres are working.

Traction on front-wheel-drive models is only average, so the front wheels spin up easily out of bends and the car’s front end will often push wide of your chosen course if you take a tight corner with anything approaching enthusiasm. Four-wheel-drive versions feel a bit more planted, but still have the same numb steering.

At least the steering is reasonably light at low speeds, helping to make the Mokka X easy enough to thread through town and manoeuvre into parking spaces.

The relatively soft suspension also means noticeably more body lean through corners than what you’d get in a Vitara, while for a small SUV that’s genuinely fun to drive, the Arona is your best option.

Vauxhall Mokka X

Noise and vibration

For the most peaceful progress, you want the 1.4-litre turbo petrol; the 1.6 petrol needs to be revved harder, while the diesels are noisy when idling and become even louder as the revs rise. The diesels also send a fair bit of vibration back through the steering wheel and pedals.

Refinement continues to disappoint on the motorway. The Mokka X’s large door mirrors kick up a noticeable amount of wind noise above 50mph, while road noise is also an issue.

It’s worth noting that the clutch and brake pedals feel quite snatchy, so in stop-start traffic it’s a tricky car to drive smoothly.

 

open the gallery13 Images
Trims
There are 6 trims available for the Mokka X hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Active
A 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£17,282
Average Saving £5,363
View Trim
Elite
Upping to Elite brings goodies including a leather interior, heated front seats with lu...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£19,613
Average Saving £5,532
View Trim
Griffin
We have not written anything about this yet...
View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£19,780
View Trim
OUR PICK
Design Nav
The sweet spot in the range is Design Nav, which adds a bigger 8.0in touchscreen with s...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£20,055
Average Saving £590
View Trim
Griffin Plus
We have not written anything about this yet...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£20,165
View Trim
Elite Nav
As Elite, but with sat-nav...
View trim
Fuel Petrol, Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£20,266
Average Saving £5,579
View Trim