Vauxhall Mokka review - high on kit, low on thrills

Vauxhall Mokka sells well but key rivals are better

Evo rating
from £17,590
  • Roomy, well-built, quiet 'Whisper Diesel' engine
  • Poor ride, inert steering, noisy petrol engines, can be pricey

evo Verdict

Vauxhall's first attempt to delve into the ever-burgeoning B-segment full of city sized hatchbacks and fashionable crossovers was inevitable but necessary. The first cars arrived for the 2013 model year, but will soon be available in Mokka X form with styling revisions and new engines. As it is, the Mokka comes with Vauxhall's usual attributes; inoffensive styling, a wide range of available engines and plenty of kit for the money. 

There are a few shortcomings where the Mokka fails to deliver against rivals – namely the cheap-feeling Astra inspired interior, some lacklustre engine choices and a bouncy ride. And if you're interested in the way a car drives as much as what it costs or how far it'll take your family on a tank of fuel, the Mokka falls well short. Several of its rivals are more fun. 

evo Tip

The recently-introduced 1.6 CDTi ‘Whisper diesel’ is the best engine by far. In more powerful tune it still delivers north of 60mpg and and it's punchy enough to get you down the road at a reasonable lick. Adding four-wheel drive just saps power and burns more fuel, so we'd not bother – if you truly desire off-road ability then a B-segment crossover shouldn't be your starting point. We recommend the front-wheel drive in TechLine trim as the best all-rounder.

evo Comment

When the Mokka first appeared in late 2012, ready for the 2013 model year, contemporary reviews of the Vauxhall crossover were not kind. The chief gripes aimed at these early Euro-spec cars focused on a particularly poor ride, a lack of refinement in terms of noise suppression when cruising and engines that were raucous when being asked for their so-so maximum performance.

Far from putting up a defensive wall and denying any culpability, however, Vauxhall bravely admitted more work was required to finesse the Mokka’s abilities and so, separate to Opel, it enacted some changes on the steering and suspension set-up to optimise the Mokka for the UK. To an extent, it worked, but the ride isn’t totally sorted even now, while the steering remains too light and lifeless. Still, that hasn’t deterred customers, who are buying the thing in their droves.

Performance and 0-60 time > Diesels definitely make the most sense and at least deliver some levels of performance. The rest of the range is fairly slow, motorway work will require a turbocharged version. Read our full thoughts on the Mokka's performance and 0-62 time

Engine and Gearbox > Two petrol engines and two diesel motors make up the entire Mokka range. Four-wheel drive versions are also available. Read about the Mokka's engine and gearbox here

Ride and Handling > Lifeless steering makes it difficult to tell what the front tyres are doing, understeer is also a significant problem. Read our Mokka ride and handling analysis here

MPG and running costs > Decent levels of efficiency make up for some of the other shortcomings of the Mokka. Going automatic harms emissions, while manual cars come with start/stop technology. You can read about how much it costs to run a Mokka here

Prices, specs and rivals > Besting the Ford EcoSport but well behind the likes of the Skoda Yeti, the Vauxhall sits at the lower end of the crossover competition. Read about its rivals here

Interior and tech > Adaptive forward lighting and an 8-inch touch screen is about as high tech as the Mokka gets. Interior design is spacious but very Astra-like with its functional look and feel. Read about the Mokka's interior here

Design > Car comes standard on 18-inch alloys. Large choice of colours but unfortunately all are cost options bar solid 'Flare Red'. You can have it in brown if you really want. Read about the Mokka's design here