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, 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, which can make the Mokka X rather tiring to drive.
Our favourite engine is the turbocharged 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol, which responds much more quickly. It also delivers its shove over a sufficiently wide range of revs that it feels comfortable around town and on cross-country drives alike.
The standard six-speed manual gearbox can catch you out because the change from second to third gear is particularly notchy, but otherwise it’s got a positive action. The automatic gearbox (available with all engines apart from the entry-level 1.6 petrol) is smooth, but it doesn’t respond quickly when you press the accelerator hard.