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Vauxhall Mokka interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

Some SUVs try to give you the space of a world-famous band’s stadium tour, but the Mokka is more like watching that band in a small bar with a handful of other people. It’s cosy and intimate. You might say cramped. But we like the way the dashboard wraps around you – you feel important as the driver, and a bit like a fighter pilot in a plane’s cockpit. Just don’t try to engage any missiles on the M1.

However, there’s no doubt that the windscreen is fairly narrow and the pillars are fairly thick, making visibility a little bit worse than in many rivals. Ironically, we also found that the low-mounted rear-view mirror blocks forward visibility.

There’s enough headroom immediately above you but, where the roof meets the door, is right next to your head. Move your head to check your mirrors and you might find you’ve clonked your bonce on the side of the car.

Your eyes and fingertips will encounter a wide selection of materials and trim choices – some good, some less good. High-spec cars get a nice suede-like material on the seat inserts, while there’s some gloss black trim on the dash. There’s even some faux carbon fibre – Vauxhall shorthand for a ‘sporty’ feel. Generally, the material quality is good enough considering the car’s inexpensive price.

Standard equipment

The Mokka’s trim level hierarchy is simpler than it initially appears. The car was launched with five trim levels – SE Edition, SRi, Elite Edition, Elite Premium and Ultimate – while more recent models come in three guises, with Design essentially replacing SE and GS replacing SRi below the top-spec Ultimate.

SE Edition kicks things off with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with high-beam assist, cruise control and lane-keep assist. When Design trim took over, Vauxhall added bigger wheels and a bit more equipment, including parking sensors and a reversing camera.

SRi and GS trims are the ones with the sportiest looks – equivalent to Ford’s ST-Line pack. Red accents throughout are sporty, okay? Heated seats and adaptive cruise control are among the equipment additions, plus 18-inch rims.

Elite Edition is mid-range, with most of the features you get in the SRi trim without the sportiness. Elite Premium and SRi Premium add keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, bigger screens and front parking sensors.

Ultimate has more equipment than you’d reasonably expect for this car. There are Matrix LED headlights – which adjust the full-beam pattern while you’re driving to not dazzle other drivers – as well as massaging seats, self-parking assistance and upgraded upholstery.

Infotainment and audio

SRi Premium, Elite Premium, GS or Ultimate have a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen, whereas entry models come with a pair of seven-inch screens. The bigger screens fill their surroundings much better, and boast extra functionality with built-in sat nav and rear-seat USB ports.

However, the entry-level touchscreen still comes with DAB radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity, so it includes the key features that most buyers look for.

The infotainment system is a reskinned version of the Peugeot 2008’s system and works the same way. It has a couple of quirks but most of the main features are easy to find and the screen is pretty quick to respond to your prods.

Make sure to check the audio system is to your tastes if you’re a keen listener, as there’s no option to upgrade.

Rear seat space

You might expect that the Mokka’s SUV body style means it has lots of interior space but, unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Once you’ve slid into the rear seats – minding your head on the roof – you’ll find that your knees are brushing up against the seat in front and your head is very close to the ceiling. If you’re very tall, you might also find your head butting up against a structural bar between the rear seats and boot.

Anyone sitting behind a tall driver is going to be wishing they got the front passenger seat instead, and seating three adults across the rear bench won’t be comfortable for any of them. Vauxhall’s other small SUV, the Crossland, is much better for rear-seat space.

The Mokka’s limited rear-seat space also means it can be a challenge to get kids in and out. Bulky rear-facing child seats might not fit, while kids in front-facing car seats will easily be able to kick your seatbacks. What’s more, the small windows don’t afford a good view out for little ones.

Boot space

Boot space is another area where the Mokka falls short of rivals. Its 350-litre space is enough for the weekly shop or a couple of medium-sized suitcases, but almost any other small SUV you care to name has more boot space.

And, in the electric Mokka, you might find that you have to keep cables in the boot, which robs space for other things. Even if you’ve managed to stash the cables elsewhere, the boot is 40 litres smaller than petrol versions, so you’re already at a disadvantage when playing luggage Tetris.

Flipping the seats down gives you another 700 litres or so if you’re not carrying rear-seat passengers.

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