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Vauxhall Mokka Review

6 / 10
7 March 2024
Vauxhall Mokka EV driving, green

If you’re after something stylish and SUV-ish – with modern equipment and pleasing engines – the Mokka is absolutely something you should consider.

But it’s not posh, there’s not much space in the cabin and the boot is a bit disappointing. Living with it won’t be as fun as looking at it.

What we like:
  • Looks great
  • Brilliant petrol and EV options
  • Good value
What we don't like:
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Cramped
  • Small boot

Should I buy a Vauxhall Mokka?

Despite sharing its name with its predecessor, the Vauxhall Mokka is a totally different offering to the old Mokka X. The previous car’s frumpy styling has been swapped for a clean-sheet design that really stands out. It’s a Vauxhall that you can call stylish! Unfortunately, Vauxhall also threw out the old car’s practicality, and the Mokka feels cramped inside compared to most rivals.

Even after you’ve digested the styling, the Mokka offers plenty to like if you can put up with its compromises. Its engine range is fantastic, with eager turbo petrol engines and a refined fully electric offering that’ll slash your bills if you can charge at home. The interior looks vastly more modern than Vauxhall’s other small SUV, the Crossland, and comes well-equipped. And, to top it all off, the Mokka is excellent value – especially as a used buy.

The Mokka desperately needs unique selling points like this, because there are so many other small SUVs that you might choose instead. We could spend all day listing the Mokka’s rivals, but you’re better off just reading our guide to the best small SUVs currently on sale.

Interior and technology

First impressions are good – the Mokka boasts a sleek, edgy dashboard that looks more dramatic than what you get in the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and SEAT Arona. High-spec cars get a full-size digital instrument cluster and a large touchscreen, which looks very impressive and futuristic.

But lower-spec cars make do with a pair of small screens here, which aren’t so convincing. You might also notice some cost-cutting with the materials and switchgear – the quality is varied, with a lot of flimsy plastics dotted around. The air con dials are taken directly from a car with two-zone climate control – a feature the Mokka doesn’t have.

The cheap feeling continues in the rear seats, where all trace of nice materials is lost and anyone sitting back there is greeted by a hard, scratchy wall of plastic on the door card. But that’ll probably be low down on the list of gripes your passengers will have…


…because they may already have bashed their head on the door frame as they got in, and they might feel claustrophobic in the back of the Mokka. If you’re around average height, you’ll find your head very close to the roof and your legs very close to the seat in front. The small windows and dark headliner make it feel even more hemmed in.

Opening the boot reveals a merely ‘okay’ amount of space, too. It looks like there’s barely any more boot space than the Corsa has, despite there being 50 more litres on paper – the Mokka’s 350-litre space is among the smallest of its many rivals. It’s worth noting that the Mokka is physically smaller than most rivals, so perhaps that’s not surprising.

Further forward, the Mokka’s French underpinnings – it uses the same platform as the Citroen C4 and Peugeot 2008 – mean you only get a half-width glovebox, as the fusebox isn’t moved over for right-hand-drive cars. The door bins will hold a large water bottle, even if the cupholders won’t, and there’s a tray for your phone under the main centre console.

Engines and performance

Excluding a rare few diesel Mokkas registered in 2021 and 2022, your choice of powertrains is either petrol or electric. And that’s no bad thing at all. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is familiar from a whole host of cars, including the Corsa and 2008, and it’s a fizzy little thing that feels raring to go.

The petrol engines bring the sort of motorway competence that you’d get from a bigger engine, and the fuel economy of a fairly modern diesel. We particularly like the 130hp version, which offers lively acceleration and makes the Mokka feel as sporty as it looks.

The electric Mokka is smooth and easy – just point and squirt, with no gear changes to worry about. It’s been deliberately tuned to feel a bit like a petrol engine, so it doesn’t quite have the shove-you-in-your-seat rapidness of many EVs, but it’ll be a seamless transition to electric power if you’re used to petrol cars.

Driving and comfort

With willing powertrains up front and the dashboard cocooned around you, the Mokka feels quite sporty before you get going. The steering is well weighted and adds to the athleticism, but any notions that this is anything like a hot hatch are expelled when you get up to speed. You’ll notice the slightly raised driving position when the Mokka rolls and leans through corners – the Corsa stays much flatter through fast bends.

It’s the opposite story with the ride and comfort, which is better at high speeds. You feel some vibrations through the seats at town speeds. In truth, you’ll probably get used to it pretty quickly, and the main thing is that sharp impacts like potholes are dealt with nicely enough.

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