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Vauxhall Mokka: Test Drive Review

Date: 13 November 2012   |   Author: David Motton

Category: Crossover
Price: £17,390
Key rival: Nissan Juke

For a category which barely existed a few years ago, the crossover segment is getting crowded. Now the Vauxhall Mokka can be added to the list of contenders, and it's being launched with a trim level aimed specifically at fleets.

The Mokka Tech Line comes with satnav, DAB and 18-inch alloys to keep user-choosers happy. It's available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, and with two- and four-wheel drive.

It's the front-wheel drive diesel that makes most sense as a business tool. The 1.7 CDTi engine returns 62.8mpg and emits 120g/km. That beats the Nissan Juke 1.5 dCi's 57.6mpg and 129g/km, and means the Mokka sits one BIK band lower than its key rival.

Keen pricing cements the Mokka's advantage. The 1.7 CDTi Tech Line's P11D price of £17,390 undercuts the Juke 1.5 dCi Tekna's by more than £500. Combine the lower price and keen emissions and you have a £10 monthly BIK saving for 40% tax payers.

The Vauxhall's low emissions aren't achieved at the expense of performance. With 130hp, there's significantly more poke than you'll find under the bonnet of the Juke or a Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI 110. However, in this installation Vauxhall's 1.7-litre diesel sounds coarse when worked hard. Even if you change gear early there's too much clatter from under the bonnet, and wind noise also intrudes at speed.

We also drove the 1.4-litre turbo petrol, which is only available with four-wheel drive. It's a shame that it's hard to argue in favour of the petrol from a pounds, shillings and pence perspective - not least because it costs £755 more than a diesel - because it's a much nicer car to drive. The engine is far keener to rev than the diesel and a lot more refined, and it totes an official 44.1mpg and emissions of 149g/km - not bad for a 140hp petrol-powered 4x4. There's also an entry-level 1.6 petrol with 115hp.

Whichever engine is chosen, the Mokka rides and handles competently even if entertainment is in short supply. It's stable at speed and the suspension is well damped over dips and crests. Vauxhall says ride comfort has been a priority in developing the Mokka, but it's firm and controlled rather than plush.

Size-wise, it is in between Nissan's Juke and Qashqai. There's plenty of space up front and decent headroom in the back, but legroom isn't especially generous, although the high-up front seats have plenty of room underneath for passengers' feet. However, a Skoda Yeti is more accommodating.

The Yeti also has more boot space, with 416 litres compared with the Mokka's 362 litres. Every Mokka comes with 60/40 split rear seats, which can be folded flat to produce 1372 litres of luggage room, although you'll need to tilt the seat bases out of the way first.

Vauxhall Mokka 1.7 CDTi
16v (130PS) Ecoflex S/S Tech Line
P11d price£17,390
Model price range£15,995-£23,490
Residual value40%
Service, Maintenance
and Repair
Vehicle Excise Duty£200
National Insurance£1368
Cost per mile43.1p
Fuel consumption62.8mpg
CO2 (tax)120g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£52/£104
Service interval20,000 miles or one year
Insurance (1-50)15
WarrantyFirst owner/100,000 miles
Boot space min/max362/1372 litres
Engine size/power1686cc/130hp
Top speed/0-62mph116mph/9.9secs
On saleNovember 2012
Verdict:A stylish small SUV
with low emissions, but
engine refinement is
Score 7/10