Used Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback 2012-2016 review

Category: Small SUV

The Vauxhall Mokka has been a commercial hit, so used examples are plentiful – but is it a good buy?

Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback (12 - 16)
  • Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback (12 - 16)
  • Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback (12 - 16)
Used Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback 2012-2016 review
Star rating

What's the used Vauxhall Mokka hatchback like?

When the Vauxhall Mokka launched in 2013, it was intended to inject new life into the brand. To an extent, it did just that and has been an impressive sales success ever since. So much so that it was only slightly altered when the facelifted Mokka X arrived in 2016.

It helped that the Mokka’s roll-out was timed perfectly to capitalise on the sudden growth in the market for compact SUVs. In addition, the Mokka was good value to buy new, scored top marks in Euro NCAP’s crash tests and the chunky styling still looks great several years on.


The Vauxhall Mokka has been a commercial hit, so used examples are plentiful – but is it a good buy?

  • Fairly spacious
  • Smart styling
  • Well equipped
  • Dull to drive
  • Rivals are cheaper
  • Poor ride

Unlike the Renault Captur, you don’t get sliding rear seats in a Mokka, but leg room and head room are still adequate for all but the tallest adults. The Mokka can, though, feel a little narrow, making it difficult to fit three across the back seat and increasing the chances of bashed elbows in the front.

At least that might distract you from looking at the mess of buttons that form the heater and audio controls or noticing the rather meagre in-car storage.

The boot is smaller than you’ll find in a Peugeot 2008 or Suzuki Vitara, but still large enough to take a couple of cases or a folded buggy, and it also benefits from an almost flat loading lip. However, while the rear seats do drop down, you first need to flip the bases out of the way, which feels old-fashioned in this age of one-touch seat folding.

Ride comfort is also somewhat lacking, with the Mokka picking up on all sorts of bumps and dips in the road. The car is not helped by seats that lack support and a body that leans over as soon as you turn into a corner. There’s a fair bit of road and wind noise to endure, too.

As for engines, the highlights are Vauxhall’s 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol and its smooth and punchy 1.6-litre diesel. It’s a shame you have to put up with a notchy gearchange and lifeless steering, though.

Unlike many of its rivals, you can also have Vauxhall’s compact SUV with four-wheel drive, which might appeal to those living in rural areas worried about getting stranded in the winter months.

So, the Mokka effectively straddled two classes, being somewhat larger than a Juke but smaller than a Qashqai, and it did so with some sales success. It now stands as an interesting used buy. It wasn't outstanding to drive, but it was a well-rounded and neatly styled package that delivered plenty of kit and a decent level of practicality. The Mokka became the Mokka X in 2016, with changes to the front and rear styling and a redesigned dashboard being enough to warrant the addition of the 'X' moniker, although the car retained the stature of the original and a lot of its underpinnings.

If you're interested in buying a used Vauxhall Mokka, or any of the other cars mentioned here, check out our used car classifieds site here.

Ownership cost

What used Vauxhall Mokka hatchback will I get for my budget?

Vauxhall Mokka prices start from the £4000 mark, but only if you’re prepared to take on a repaired insurance write-off or a very high mileage car. You need to add another £1500 to find the kind of clean examples that hold more appeal, although even then you’re mostly restricted to one of Vauxhall’s older and noisier 1.7 diesel or 1.6 petrol engines, with the former being in more plentiful supply but also typically having higher mileages.

Better, then, to increase the budget to £8000 to find a car with Vauxhall’s smoother and more powerful 1.4 turbocharged petrol engine, which also comes with four-wheel drive as standard on earlier cars.

The 1.6 diesel was introduced in 2015 and you can expect to pay around £8000 for one of these cars in good condition with an average mileage for the year and bought from an independent dealer.

Check the value of a used Vauxhall Mokka with What Car? Valuations

Find a used Vauxhall Mokka for sale here

How much does it cost to run a Vauxhall Mokka hatchback?

For the cheapest annual road tax bill, you’ll need the 1.6 CDTi diesel engine, meaning you’ll pay £20 per year. Certain versions of the 1.7 CDTi sneak into the £30 per year banding, while others tip over into £115 per year, so it’s worth checking before you buy. Petrols range from £150 to £190 per year.

It’s no surprise that fuel economy also favours the diesels, which should return 50-55mpg in normal driving, with no major difference between the 1.6 and 1.7 CDTi. Go for a petrol and you can expect 34-38mpg from a car with a manual gearbox or 30-32mpg from the 1.4 automatic with four-wheel drive.

Servicing is required annually or every 20,000 miles and is reasonably priced. The 1.7 CDTi and 1.6 petrol engine also need a new cambelt every six years or 100,000 miles at a cost of £269, so be prepared to factor this in when looking at used examples.

Our recommendations

Which used Vauxhall Mokka hatchback should I buy?

If you cover a lot of miles, a diesel Vauxhall Mokka might make sense and, of these, it’s the 1.6 CDTi that is far superior. If your budget will stretch, it’s the one to have.

Of the petrol engines, the 1.4 turbo is the smoother unit. Early cars with this engine are four-wheel drive only; if you want a front-wheel drive 1.4, look for a Mokka from 2013 onwards, which have the bonus of being £15 per year cheaper to tax.

Vauxhall launched the Mokka with S, Exclusiv and SE trim lines. They were later joined by Tech Line, which is aimed at company car drivers. All versions feature air conditioning, cruise control, a USB input and DAB radio, with Exclusiv adding dual-zone climate control, electric windows in the front and rear, as well as front and rear parking sensors. The top-spec SE, meanwhile, gets heated part-leather seats and tinted glass.

Our favourite Vauxhall Mokka: 2013 onwards 1.4T 140PS Exclusiv


What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Mokka hatchback?

The Nissan Juke is the car that started the trend for SUVs of this size and, thanks to the plentiful supply of used models, it’s well worth considering. Being that much older than the Vauxhall Mokka, this also means prices start at a couple of thousand pounds less.

The Skoda Yeti is another solid contender, being better to drive than the Mokka and with a brilliantly versatile interior. Again, having the march on the Mokka by a good couple of years makes it look like great value as a used purchase; even examples of an equivalent age and mileage are slightly cheaper to buy.

For something with a more spacious boot than the Mokka, the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 are worth considering, with the latter looking like particularly good value.