Review: Vauxhall Mokka

Practical, safe and cheap to run small SUV

05 Jan 16 Tim Barnes-Clay

Pros

  • Cheap to run

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Very safe

Cons

  • Cabin is plain

  • Expensive to buy

  • Noisy in the cabin

Our expert rating

The Vauxhall Mokka has been manufactured since 2012. It was propelled into the money-spinning and quickly expanding compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) market.

At launch, Vauxhall’s aim was for the deftly styled, practical and well kitted out car to attract younger motorists with an active lifestyle.

Performance

There are two petrol powered Mokkas and one diesel engine to decide on. Some of the models come in front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive arrangement.

The 1.7-litre diesel version of the Mokka, with front-wheel drive, is one of the best to go for. It pulls well and can average up to 62.8mpg, but the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol powered unit is also frugal and worth considering.

Four, or all-wheel-drive, as Vauxhall calls it, is only obtainable on the 1.7-litre diesel and 1.4-litre petrol turbo. Four-wheel drive is worth having if you like the security of a car with extra grip in poor weather, but these models tend to be thirstier.

Vauxhall Mokka reliability is generally decent and the car is solidly screwed together. The Mokka is at the cheaper end of the scale when taking into account insurance, road tax and servicing costs.

Vauxhall Mokka engine

Ride and handling

The Vauxhall Mokka is really made for small families, so it’s not a vehicle designed to handle like a sports car. That said, it’s comfortable and electronic stability control is fitted as standard, helping make the car feel fairly planted through corners.

Hill start assist, hill descent control and traction control - even on front-wheel drive versions add a further ‘belt and braces’ safety layer. All these functions make the Mokka simpler to control, should an emergency arise.

The car’s body and its under-the-skin components are intended to take blows on the chin, protecting you and your passengers. As standard, the car comes with airbags, and ISOFIX child seat restraints.

The Mokka’s safety is improved further by sizeable front and rear disc brakes, an anti-lock braking system and an emergency brake assist function. The car has a five-star overall Euro NCAP rating, scoring particularly well for adult and child occupant protection.

Vauxhall Mokka interior

Interior space

Space inside the Vauxhall Mokka is good for five people, thanks to a well-proportioned cabin and boot. With the rear seats up, the load area can hold 362 litres. That’s actually more than in a 2011 Ford Focus.

Collapse the rear seats and luggage room balloons to 1,372 litres, making the car a useful tool to carry home longer items, like your ski gear or items bought from your local DIY shop.

The rear seats fold in a 60:40 split, so the Vauxhall can hold bigger items while keeping some of its rear seating. There are 19 stowage points spread around the cabin, including a generous glovebox and door bins that are made for holding bottles, which are handy if you have kids.

Four trim levels are available, starting with the S, then Exclusiv, Tech Line and the range-topping SE version. Standard Vauxhall Mokka specification levels are good, with even the basic S version having equipment such as cruise control and air-conditioning.

The S model is only available with the 1.6-litre petrol engine and front wheel drive. Go for the Exclusiv trim and you will also get a 230 volt charging socket behind the front seats, which is perfect for charging tablets or mobile phones.

The Tech Line version is aimed at company car drivers, so that makes a good used buy as it has a high level of spec and low emissions. Finally, the SE has plusher levels of trim, including heated leather seats.

Vauxhall Mokka boot space

What to know before you buy

Vauxhalls generally make cars which are dependable, and only occasionally suffer from small issues and shortcomings. Therefore, you should have little to worry about on the trustworthiness side of things with a Mokka.

It’s worth being aware that higher specification versions have bigger tyres which will cost more to replace than the entry level model. However, on the plus side, the Mokka has a Vauxhall's ‘Lifetime’ warranty, which is in force for the lifespan of the car, or up to 100,000 miles. So, look for a low mileage used model and you’ll have quite a bit of protection left.

Vauxhall Mokka rear view

Alternative cars

The Mokka is in a sea of similarly attractive, fairly practical used cars. These include the Skoda Yeti and Nissan Qashqai. As mentioned earlier, with the rear seats up, Mokka's boot can hold 362 litres.

Both of its rival have bigger boots - the Skoda Yeti has 405-litre boot and Qashqai's is 430 litres. When it comes to folding the rear seats down on the Mokka, the load area is still smaller than the Yeti’s when its rear seats are collapsed.

Vauxhall Mokka alternative

Overall verdict

The Vauxhall Mokka is a pleasing secondhand car proposition. It’s cheap to run and it’s practical, but some SUV rivals, such as Skoda’s Yeti, offer better load space. The cabin is also a little plain, and there's nothing to differentiate it from any of Vauxhall’s other products.

Challengers, like the Yeti, are more attention-grabbing and distinctive with regards to styling inside and out. That said, the Mokka’s safety score and lifetime warranty are very appealing.

Expert rating

Performance

Reliability

Space & comfort

Running costs

Value for money

Overall