Mokka SE 1.7 CDTi 4x4 Start/Stop
a trend out there
a big one; and its
so-called crossovers or, as theyre
correctly known, compact SUVs.
It really got into its stride a year or
so back, fuelled by a fresh supply
of more sophisticated crossovers
that keep increasing the choices
compact SUVs like the
wheel-drive Vauxhall Mokka...
TECHNICALLY, A COMPACT SPORTS UTILITY VEHICLE is one that measures less than
4.3 metres in length. While the Japanese have been ahead of the curve for twenty
or so years, in Europe and the UK they're the most rapidly growing new car sector,
taking in, to name but a few, the likes of Nissan's Juke and Qashqai models
along with Skoda's Yeti.
These compact SUVs epitomise the all-your-toys-in-one-box solution for multi-tasking
cars that downsizing drivers are clamouring for, spurred on by excessive fuel
prices, escalating motoring taxes and a pound that buys less by the week.
racing to do battle with the already established crossovers comes Vauxhall's
new Mokka, offering both 2WD and 4WD variants of the dynamic-looking all-new
five-door lifestyle model that sells from just £15,995. And if you're going
for 4x4 looks you may as well go for 4x4 traction, too. Which is why we ended
up behind the wheel of the SE 1.7 CDTi 4x4 Start/Stop model reviewed here.
If youre going for 4x4
looks you may as well go
for 4x4 traction too
because when we British
motorists arent being
snowed under were in
danger of being washed
away. At least 4WD puts
the odds back in the
Makes sense, too, because when we British motorists aren't being snowed under
we're in danger of being washed away at least four-wheel drive
puts the odds back in the driver's hands. And did somebody mention the ever-worsening
roads? Off-road-tuned suspension helps out there too.
So what's the Mokka got? For a start, five doors integrated into a stylish,
almost-coupe-look bodyshell that's chic enough for those who are merely interested
in making a fashion statement, and, for those who aren't or who genuinely enjoy
an active lifestyle, a high-riding stance for tackling more challenging terrain
than city kerbs. Protective cladding around the bumpers and wheel arches plus
protective skid plates (nose and tail) underscore the 'rugged' look without
going over the top.
What makes the Mokka so likeable is that its four-wheel drive system looks after
itself, being of the on-demand variety. We could go on about the main components
of the AWD system the front axle differential, drive shaft, 4x4
rear axle drive and the control module, as well as the electro-magnetic multi-plate
clutch but for most of us, the only question is: 'What button
do I press?'
Actually, you don't even need to do that. Under normal conditions (when the
road surface is dry) the front wheels drive the Mokka forwards. However, depending
on the road conditions, the drive (or torque) mix delivered to the front and
rear wheels runs from 100% front-wheel drive to a maximum of 50% each to the
front and rear axle; for example, when there's surface water or snow on the
road it dishes out drive equally to the front and rear for genuine four-wheel
drive. The drive mix is managed by an electronic torque transfer device that
automatically, and seamlessly, decides when to send drive to the rear wheels.
The AWD system is activated automatically within a fraction of a second as soon
as any wheel slip due to a lack of traction is registered, and in the process
sharpens up the Mokka's handling characteristics most notably
when negotiating corners at higher speeds or accelerating with some verve.
4x4 SE rides on substantial 18-inchers but it was very easy on passengers over
speed humps, and while there's some body lean surging through twisty bends it's
well-controlled, and doesn't hamper the Mokka which grips reassuringly and holds
its line. For a four-by-four, the ride comfort is very good.
What makes the Mokka
so likeable is that its
4WD looks after itself;
of the on-demand
variety, AWD is activated
automatically as soon
as any wheel slip due to
a lack of traction is
registered and in the
process sharpens up
the Mokkas handling
Under the Mokka's short but shapely chrome-rich snout beats a willing 1.7-litre
CDTi 128bhp turbodiesel but it can just as easily be an unleaded-drinking
138bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre or a naturally aspirated 1.6i with 113bhp. For
those who don't much like using their left hand to stir a manual gearbox, an
auto option is available; but only for the front-wheel drive diesel.
The 1.7-litre unit puts out a beefy 221lb ft between 2,000 and 2,500rpm and
is good for 120mph; so no problems loping along at the legal limit, and no problems
zipping along at close to 100mph if you're on the 'foreign' side of the Channel!
Zero to 60mph is done and dusted in 10 seconds.
In six-speed manual guise you also get Start/Stop and an official combined cycle
fuel consumption of 55.4mpg (45.6 urban and 64.2mpg extra-urban) plus CO2 emissions
of 134g/km. Our usual hard driving style saw a week's average of 53mpg. Amazingly
good or a 4x4 given that our 600 test miles included plenty of town work and
quite a bit of load-lugging.
Spec-wise, the SE is Number One, capping the range above S, Exclusiv, and Tech
Line with prices starting at £15,999 and topping out at £23,490 for the Mokka
SE 1.7 CDTi 4x4 Start/Stop with a six-speed manual transmission.
Climb aboard. Despite the 'jacked up' look, access to both the front and rear
cabin is very easy, and there are damped pull-down grab handles above the door
frames JIC the driver doesn't need one and instead gets a handy
Inside the Mokka it's all very civilised and, in the SE models, very comprehensively
equipped. It's also unexpectedly having earlier used the 'C' word
(compact) roomy, with a good six inches of headroom above the
front seats and loads of elbow and shoulder room.
Best of all, though, are the 'ergonomic' sport seats they're nicely
'huggy' and proved to be extremely comfortable especially over very long distances.
And so they should be with every-which-way adjustment, extending under-thigh
support and decent bolstering.
seatbelts, generous steering wheel adjustment (both height and reach), a close-to-hand
gearlever (with an easy change action), a traditional handbrake with a new take
(a shorter handle with the release button on top instead of at the end, so it's
easier to release with your thumb), a proper 'captain's' inner armrest (so much
better than sharing a central one with your front seat passenger) plus very
smart tan-and-black leather upholstery all contribute to the premium feel, with
three-stage seat heating and, helped by high-mounted seats, A1 visibility all
round, putting the seal on a first class and relaxed driving position.
Fit and finish is
could be in a prestige
and its obvious
that a lot of thought
has gone into making the
a great place to be...
and finish is impressive you really could be in a prestige model
and it's obvious that a lot of thought has gone into making the
Mokka's cabin a great place to be. The cabin is both well thought-out and well
served with cubbies, cup-holders and practical-sized two-tier door pockets (there
are even two gloveboxes).
colour-keyed tan dash is neat, as too is the instrument pack and clear digital
speed readout, the centre stack's 'busy'-looking switchgear logical, the dual-zone
AirCon serves up plenty of air as icy cold or as hot as you like, and the multifunction
(cruise, speed limiter, voice, phone, and audio) leather wheel's thick and meaty
rim is satisfyingly grippy. The optional SatNav works just fine, which is precisely
how you want it to work.
When we said 'comprehensively equipped' we meant it: standard fit items (too
many to mention them all here) include powered and heated door mirrors with
powerfold, electric windows, CD/MP3 CD player with aux-in socket + digital radio,
USB connection with iPod control Bluetooth functionality, leather rim steering
wheel with audio controls, multi-function trip computer, cruise control, dual-zone
AirCon, auto-dipping rear-view mirror, 230-volt rear power outlet (behind front
seats), parking distance sensors (front and back), leather seat facings, ergonomic
sports front seats with heating, heated steering wheel, dark-tinted rear windows,
roof rails, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
is equally well specified with a switchable Electronic Stability Programme,
Traction Control, Descent Control System, Hill Start Assist, Driver's and front
passenger's airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, full-size curtain airbags,
auto lights, high beam assist, rain-sensitive wipers, running lights, and Adaptive
Forward Lighting Bi-xenon headlights with dynamic beam levelling. Plus, for
peace of mind, there's a lifetime 100,000-mile warranty.
Mokka's boot is regularly shaped and will take 356 litres of your luggage. When
you need more, folding and tumbling the 60:40 split rear seats opens up a practical
(and very big for a small car) 1,372-litre cargo bay with a totally flat floor
that, thanks to a mid-thigh loading sill height, is easy to fill and unload.
The Mokkas boot is
regularly shaped and will
take 356 litres of your
luggage. When you need
more, folding and
tumbling the 60:40 split
rear seats opens up
a practical (and very
big for a small car)
1,372-litre cargo bay with
a totally flat floor...
The lightweight rear parcel shelf doubles as a luggage cover and can be removed
in a jiffy; it's also easily stowed away without wasting any load space. Four
sturdy bag hooks make the boot shopping-friendly; lashing eyelets on the boot
floor allow you to secure large or heavy objects.
You'll also find a first aid kit and a puncture repair system (in a side cubby)
along with some extra storage under the lift-up boot floor.
Adding to the Mokka's versatility is its braked towing weight of 1,200kg as
well as, for those with a love of two wheels as well as four, a unique-in-segment
option of a fully-integrated bike carrier system (Flexbike) which when not in
use can be stored in the rear bumper.
Rear passengers benefit from privacy glass and get one-shot power windows just
like those seated ahead of them; and their windows also drop fully down into
the rear doors. Neither do back seat passengers lose out on comfort because
their seats are every bit as supportive and comfortable, Two can share a well-padded
central armrest with cup-holders; and if they have to give it up for a third
rear passenger all three will still enjoy the ride and there's
more than enough foot room to go round.
Bearing in mind we get to drive some truly fabulous cars Audi's
V10-powered R8 Spyder and the Ascari KZ1, to name a couple of the most desirable
it says a great deal about the hard-to-fault Mokka that we were
genuinely sorry to see it go back. Just goes to show that automotive satisfaction
is out there and affordable. MotorBar
Mokka SE 1.7 CDTi 4x4 Start/Stop | £23,490
Maximum speed: 120mph | 0-60mph: 10 seconds | Overall Test MPG: 53mpg
Power: 128bhp | Torque: 221lb ft | CO2 134g/km