The Opel Mokka arrived with a subtle presence. Although at first glance, it looks a lot like the generic, in between sized SUV offered by most manufacturers, on closer inspection it’s a good looking car.
The 17” alloy rims fill out the wheel arches, thanks to the 215/60 profile tyres – a sensible choice when tackling everyday potholes. Although the Mokka is by no means an off-roader, it has reasonable ground clearance and the black plastic lower mouldings give it a suitably rugged look. The front grille is similar to that of the new Corsa and Adam, and there is a lot to like about the new Opel identity – the bold Opel insignia is up to date and appealing, and the rear of the car is equally sporty and modern.
The Mokka is powered by a 1.4 turbocharged petrol motor, and I found it responsive and more than capable of doing duty around town and on the open road. With 103kW and 200 Nm, It cruises happily at highway speeds and has enough “go” to ferry a family around in comfort and safety. It helps that turbo lag is negligible. Overall, this is rather a grey suit kind of motor: reliably good at everything, but perhaps lacking a little in personality…
My take on automatic gearboxes is that the best thing about them is that they give me a chance to practice my left foot braking. Having said that, I have to concede that in most daily driving situations an auto box is a sensible choice and this one is no exception. Gear shifts are smooth and there’s no sign of the dreaded hunting up and down.
Ride comfort and handling was excellent for a car of this nature, and ideally suited to those who want a car that ticks all the boxes as an urban ride but can do equal duty as a weekend warrior. The Mokka felt safe and predictable in corners and on an average gravel road, and the raised seating position gives a good overview of the road ahead. Fuel consumption is frugal enough, with fairly robust driving under mainly urban conditions coming in at around 9l/100km. I couldn’t get close to the official 6,6l/100km combined cycle, though.
The interior of the Mokka scores it plenty of points. Finishes are top class, the black cloth seats are super comfortable and I really liked the driver’s 4-way adjustable seating position. All the controls are within easy reach and cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, and climate control are standard equipment. The sound system is good quality kit with 6 speakers and BT/USB/AUX inputs.
Safety features are right up to spec, with disc brakes all round, 6 airbags, ABS, ESP, and a full five star EuroNCap safety rating. There’s also a handy tyre deflation detection system and rear passenger legroom is good. The deep boot swallows a fairly average 356 litres of cargo, but expands to 785 litres if you make use of the rear split folding seats.
The Mokka is a handsome, high quality utility vehicle that can wear a number of different hats with aplomb. It would look as at home in the Montecasino parking garage as it would with a mountain bike carrier attached to its rear. It comes with a 5 year/120,000km warranty and an excellent 5 year/90,000km service plan. Pricing starts from R288,500.00 for the manual and R298,500.00 for the auto version tested here.