What, no grab-handles?! And that is, for me, the only slight smudge on the All-New Vauxhall Mokka.
Now I’m not saying that a car should be designed around grab-handles, just that they are pretty handy. That thought out of the way and what we have here is a splendid compact SUV.
It has a charming, perky character, with its 1199 cc, 3-cylinder engine growling away through an automatic 8-speed gearbox.
Is there a simpler-to-operate gearchange out there? I don’t think so — certainly not a dinkier one. The little lever is set into the piano-black central console, wherein also is the Drive Mode switch (sport, normal, eco) and park brake control. It’s all very neat.
The whole of the interior design has a classy, efficient feel to it, with the main digital instrument panel and infotainment screen set in a sweeping binnacle. The colour scheme of black, grey and dull metal is from a combination of materials and the stitching in the door panels and on the steering wheel is particularly smart.
Settling into the driver’s seat (the usual manual adjustments made after the delivery driver, who was somewhat bigger than me, went on his way), I felt totally at home and comfortable, and it stayed that way throughout my week in the car.
If you want the easiest of drives, the All-New Mokka provides it. The main functions of steering, handling and braking also made the car fun to drive, and it felt safe.
The ride, too, was smooth and able to deal with poor road surfaces as well as any, thanks to a combination of quite soft yet supportive seats and the suspension system.
There is reasonable space for two adults in the rear, three at a squeeze.
Stowage for small drinks bottles and such smaller items is well thought out, although occupants in the back are limited to pockets in the front seat-backs. There are, though, two USB ports for the rear (and one in the front).
Boot space with the back seats in use is limited, although there is a double floor with the ‘hidden’ lower floor ideal for stowing laptops and the like. Folding the seats forward to enlarge carrying capacity could hardly be easier, although this can be done only from within the car rather than also from within the boot itself, no great hardship, however! The tailgate can be unlocked remotely, as can the rest of the car, of course; the electronic key provided also detects for up to about two metres when you have left the vehicle with the key in your possession and automatically locks up, letting you know with a double-‘beep’…if you didn’t want this, as might be the case if you about to return to the car, then once you are within a metre or so, the car will automatically unlock again.
The Mokka has the start/stop system to aid fuel economy; I found it best to disarm this in slow-moving traffic or when manoeuvering into tight spaces, as, with it on, it tended to be a touch jerky. Is it just me, or are supermarket car park spaces shrinking? The Mokka’s front and back park alerts were helpful, as they all are.
The car is relatively quiet out on the motorway, with the engine at around 2600 rpm at 70 mph. The climate control worked very efficiently on soggy, misting-up days.
Generally, performance is lively, with the engine producing 128bhp and getting the car to 62mph in 9.2 seconds. The overall top speed is 124mph.
Vauxhall Connectivity appears to be comprehensive for drivers and passengers who must stay in touch with the outside world, as are the driver-alert safety features.
Precisely half the miles chalked up in the Mokka were on the motorway; petrol consumption was recorded at an acceptable 45.5mpg. However, given that the displayed increments came up in sevenths, this is a touch approximate. This figure is a little below the WLTP combined low/high 47.1-47.9mpg. The fuel tank’s 44 litres equates to a useful range of more than 400 miles.
This Elite Nav Premium version of the All-New Mokka is priced at £27,750. From outside to inside, it’s a prospect as attractive as any on the market for either a small family or a single person who needs some versatility in a fun car. If you are now considering an electric car, Vauxhall also have that covered with the All-Electric Mokka-E.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
Well, how about this!? – A sizeable and very sporting family saloon that’s £10k cheaper than all those ‘premium’ marques Although the Insignia does not feel exactly quite as ‘tight’ as some of those, it has everything available in all other respects from the engineering point-of-view, including a wizard, 9-speed automatic gearbox. The test car’s 2-litre engine produces 197bhp and …
“What on earth is that?” asked the window-cleaner’s lad – the one who always takes a keen interest in the test cars that come to our house every week – looking at the stylish looking number outside our doors. “Coming down your drive, I thought you’d got a Tesla Model 3.” “Not at all,” I answered. “It’s the new Corsa.” …
Built from 1903, Vauxhall’s first year of car production, and known as the ‘Light Car’, the model featured a slow-revving, single-cylinder engine producing just five horsepower. Perhaps showing Vauxhall’s roots as a producer of marine engines, the Light Car was steered by a tiller, with its speed regulated by a brass hand-wheel next to the driver. A two-speed epicyclic gearbox …