BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Advertisement feature
View the latest news
Car Review

Vauxhall Mokka review

£17,929 - £34,940
Published: 04 Feb 2021


What is it like to drive?

Let’s talk Mokka-e first. Wait, don’t skim-read to the bottom just yet. This might be more viable than you think.

Juiced by a 50kWh battery, the Mokka-e claimed a 201-mile range, which puts it on a pretty equal footing with its Peugeot e-2008 cousin. The Koreans will go further – Kia’s Soul EV promises 280 miles from a 64kWh battery pack – but they cost a few thousand more. 

Advertisement - Page continues below

On a mild winter’s day, using the heater and phone-charging and all the usual mod-cons, we managed 3.3 miles per kWh out of the Mokka-e, without having to venture into the Eco Mode, which castrates throttle response and winds down the air-con to add about ten miles to the indicated range. 

So, you’re about 0.3 miles per kWh down on what you’ll get from an electric supermini, like the Mini Electric or Honda E, but that’s the price you pay for having a taller, heavier crossover. It’s still on for a 160-mile range. Fine for the school run in your slippers and a day gadding about town. It’ll do 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds – half a second quicker than the considerably lighter petrol variant.

Stab the throttle and performance is brisk enough to spool up the front wheels on greasy roads and offer a momentary hint of torque steer, but we’re nit-picking. This smooth, effortless powertrain adds a real dollop of maturity to the Mokka. Makes it feel expensive, especially as you whisper along at 75mph with just a faint rustle of wind noise to disturb the peace. 

The Mokka-e suffers from two chief flaws. There’s the ride, which takes the already taught manners of the petrol car and adds more jostle and head-toss despite the low centre of gravity. Avoid the 18-inch wheels, if you can. 

Advertisement - Page continues below

Worse is the brake pedal, which gets awfully confused when trodden on. “Oh, erm… how much re-gen should I deploy? Hmm, maybe I’ll use the brake pads? Cripes, I’ll just sink into the footwell. Tell me when we’ve stopped.” Hardly inspires confidence. 

Prodding the ‘B’ button doesn’t have the same touchdown-on-an-aircraft-carrier slowdown effect as, say, a Nissan Leaf either. Hopefully Vauxhall translates the instructions from French and recalibrates it soon.

Going further? Then there’s a 1.5-litre 109bhp turbodiesel, but Vauxhall didn’t lay one on for test. Read into that what you will. The volume seller, for the time being, will be the 1.2-litre petrol tri-cylinder, which chirrups along at a decent lick, though the eight-speed automatic – a £1,640 option on the 128bhp version, and not offered on the entry-level 99bhp version – fluffs its lines occasionally. 

All told though, the Mokka is a pleasant, neat-handling car. The steering’s a little slower than we’ve become used to in modern cars,  but that helps the car settle at a cruise – it doesn’t need mollycoddling adjustments to stay straight and true. 

Yes, a Ford Puma is better set-up – a genuine giggle in the corners, in fact –  but the Mokka’s exactly as adequate as it needs to be, and manages to pull off feeling daintier on its feet yet leagues more mature than the old one. 

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Vauxhall Mokka 1.2 Turbo GS 5DR
  • 0-629.1s
  • CO2
  • BHP130
  • MPG
  • Price£26,195

the cheapest

Vauxhall Mokka 1.5 Turbo D Design 5dr
  • 0-6210.8s
  • CO2
  • BHP110
  • MPG
  • Price£24,420

Variants We Have Tested

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine