Fast Facts: Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line 1.6 CDTi (110PS) ecoFLEX
- Engine: 1598cc 4-cylinder 16 valve turbo diesel
- Price: £18,614
- Power: 110hp
- Torque: 300 Nm
- 0-62mph: 11.7secs
- Top speed: 111mph
- Fuel economy: 68.9mpg
- CO2 emissions: 109g/km
The Vauxhall Mokka has been around since 2013 and was thrust into the UK’s money-making and rapidly swelling compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment.
When it was launched, the Griffin-badged motor company’s aim was for the adroitly styled, down-to-earth and well-equipped vehicle to attract youthful motorists with a dynamic lifestyle.
That goal may have shifted somewhat as there are plenty of older people behind the wheel of the Mokka Tech Line now. And much of that has to do with the ever more efficient and green power units Vauxhall is lowering into the model’s engine bay.
The latest, on test here, is the 110ps 1.6 CDTi diesel, in Tech Line, ecoFLEX, front-wheel drive guise, costing only £18,614.
The Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line Drive
The Mokka is made with a four-wheel-drive or two-wheel-drive set-up, but the mid-range variant we drove comes as front-wheel-drive only, hooked up to a manual gearbox. This gives the SUV a tranquil character, which is most obvious when taking corners.
While the powered steering is swift and accurate, there is not much response coming through the wheel to make you feel bonded with the tarmac. Take a bend fast and the Mokka’s tyres slither and the small car starts to skate a little wide. A lot of this is to do with the Vauxhall being tall. On one hand, this height actually makes for a pleasing, elevated driving position; on the other, it means there is a tendency for the Mokka to lean on twisty roads – as we discovered on Bedfordshire’s rural routes.
On the positive side of things, the squishy suspension structure provides a pliable ride. This merges with the improved engine to make the Mokka a respectable long-distance cruising machine. Indeed, the recently added “whisper” 110ps 1.6 diesel, although not quite as hushed as the moniker given to it suggests, is not exactly raucous either. Even intense acceleration produces very little diesel protest. The smooth shifting six-speed gearbox adds a tick to the ‘positive’ box, too.
The power provision is even and direct, which means you aren’t irritated by lethargic movement at low revs, followed by a short swell of power once the turbo decides to act. The 0-60mph time is 11.7 seconds, which looks slow on paper – but it feels strangely speedier in the real-world.
Alas, the Vauxhall is less gifted around urban environments. While its switchgear is easy and pleasant to the touch, the wide A-pillars that hold the windscreen in place, meaning there are big blind areas at roundabouts, crossroads and T-junctions. The compact rear windscreen further restricts visibility when backing up. Nevertheless, the Mokka’s factory fitted parking sensors take most of the apprehension out of reversing manoeuvres.
Vauxhall has also installed traction and stability control, as standard, to the Mokka, and Hill Start Assist is also a part of the safety technology. This stops the SUV from moving backwards on a hill, making driving less demanding.
Inside the Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line 1.6 CDTi (110PS)ecoFlex
The Vauxhall Mokka Tech Line’s interior offers bags of space for four adults and just about enough room for a fifth person in the centre of the rear seat. At 356 litres, the boot isn’t the best in class but it will hold the weekly shop and a tot’s buggy, without issue.
Looks-wise, though, the interior is no oil painting. The dash, while laid out neatly, is spoilt by too many buttons. It’s a bit like ruining a beautifully iced cake by pouring, rather than sprinkling the ‘hundreds and thousands’ over it. The audio system is the main offender, and it makes the overall appearance look far too chaotic.
Another annoyance is the handbrake. Why Vauxhall has put the release button on the top of the handle is beyond us. It is irksome to use, too. Rather than grasping the handbrake naturally, you need to place your thumb against the topmost part of the lever.
All that said, there are lots of soft-touch plastics and the fit and finish are admirable. Nice touches comprise the chrome on the switchgear surrounds and the gloss-grey panel running across the dashboard adds a dollop of class.
Running Costs of the Vauxhall Mokka
The 1.6-litre CDTi ecoFLEX comes infused with fuel-efficient know-how – such as low rolling resistance tyres and higher gearing. So, choosing this turbo diesel will bring an official combined fuel economy figure of 68.9mpg and 109g/km CO2 emissions. This puts the Mokka in the top tier of this class of motor. It’s not a segment-leader, but it is still an affordable way to keep on the road regularly.
Should you buy it?
On the whole, it is not difficult to see why Vauxhall’s Mokka is a solid seller. It’s not a quick car, or a particularly dynamic one – especially on meandering country roads – but it is a comfy vehicle and it’s a piece-of-cake to drive. Also, as long as you have no aversion to diesel engines, it’s impossible not to appreciate the efficiency of the latest 110ps 1.6 CDTi oil-burner. Indeed, this car makes a lot of sense for a lot of people who simply want a small family vehicle that’s affordable to run.
Vauxhall Mokka vs. Nissan Qashqai vs Skoda Yeti
Crossovers have such a wide allure now that motor manufacturers are pushing the limits to ensure their car is the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Vauxhall has concentrated on ensuring SUV-like room inside its five-door Mokka and it has made sure the car radiates levelheadedness, rather than offering up super-sharp dynamics and handling ability.
As a consequence, the model is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. It has a stylish appearance and an accommodating cabin, but it falls short of the mark when it comes to making a massive impression on this sector of the motoring market. Don’t get us wrong, its popularity highlights that it’s a decent, affordable car, but there are others to consider – namely the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti.
Nissan Qashqai vs Vauxhall Mokka
Unlike the Vauxhall Mokka, the Qashqai doesn’t suffer from body roll when driving through corners. The Nissan also comes with respectable amounts of traction and steering that weights up encouragingly as you rotate the steering wheel.
The Qashqai is also a comfortable motor for most of the time. Sure, the ride can be a little hard at low, urban speeds, but the suspension evens out beautifully when munching motorway miles.
The Griffin-badged automaker’s Mokka is okay on the straights, but on short shopping runs into town it tends to bang and crash over scarred pothole-ridden surfaces. Similarly, snaking country corners tend to rain on the car’s parade due to the Mokka’s erratically weighted steering.
Alas, the Qashqai and the Vauxhall both have a wide front and rear windscreen pillars that obstruct the view. However, the Nissan is ahead of the Mokka and the Yeti in terms of interior quality, with soft to the touch materials running all around the cabin. The Qashqai’s boot is bigger than the Mokka’s too – at 430 litres, compared with the Vauxhall’s 356. That could make all the difference for a family’s needs.
The nearest engine to the 110ps 1.6 CDTi Mokka we tested is the 1.5 dCi 110ps powered Qashqai. The Nissan is propelled to 62mph in a similar timeframe – 11.9, compared with the Vauxhall’s 11.7 second effort. The Qashqai is two seconds faster on the max at 113mph, as opposed to 111mph, but that, in the UK at least, is irrelevant.
Perhaps more significant is the Qashqai’s excellent 70.6mpg and 103g/km of CO2. That just beats the Mokka’s 68.9mpg and 109g/km of emissions. But it trounces the Yeti’s 62.8mpg and 118g/km CO2. There’s one fly in the ointment, though – the Nissan, as tested in Tekna trim, is a whopping £25,830. That’s over £7,000 more than the Vauxhall and £6,000 above the similarly powered Yeti’s asking price.
Skoda Yeti vs Vauxhall Mokka
Skoda’s Yeti may not be the most handsome out of the three cars here, but it is actually the most fun to drive. Who’d have thought it? Yes, the brand that everybody used to ridicule is now a great marque to steer. The Yeti, in particular, keeps its slightly clumsy-looking body effortlessly in check through the bends.
In mid-range SE 2.0 TDI 110ps guise, the Skoda also has the most precise and easy-going steering out of the trio. As mentioned, it will do 62.8mpg and emits 118g/km CO2. That’s compared with the 68.9mpg and 109g/km from the 110ps 1.6 CDTi diesel Mokka.
The Tech Line, ecoFLEX front wheel drive Vauxhall also costs £18,614 compared with the £19,850 Yeti. The Yeti is similar in terms of acceleration – doing the 0-62mph sprint in 11.6 seconds, and both cars top out at 111mph.
Apart from aesthetics, the Yeti’s only issues are an occasionally jerky ride and a lack of standard equipment. That said, it is more comfortable than the Mokka, and just a notch or so away from the Qashqai’s excellent refinement. Similarly, the Yeti’s switchgear is damped nicely and the Czech-made car’s dashboard is strong, yet pleasantly soft to touch.
Visibility is loads better in the Skoda Yeti than the other two models. Its narrow windscreen pillars and high windows offer a brilliant, 360-degree panorama.
The best thing about the Skoda, though, is its adaptable seating. All three of the car’s independently mounted rear seats glide back and forth, or tilt back individually. You can even detach them from the cabin completely if you wish.
Furthermore, the Skoda’s boot is 60 litres bigger than the Vauxhall’s at 416 litres, but 14 litres smaller than the Nissan’s.
The Mokka is relatively quiet – and that counts for a lot. There’s also a lot of headroom in the Vauxhall.
Then again, there’s decent room in all three motors. Taller rear-seat passengers will be grateful for the Nissan Qashqai’s superior legroom, while the Yeti and the Mokka provide comparable room in the back. However, the Yeti’s broader cabin means the fitting of three child seats is far more realistic than in the other two cars.
As stated earlier, Nissan’s Qashqai has the largest load area, but the Yeti’s boot is loftier and broader, so it is far more straightforward loading or unloading items. The Mokka has the least amount of boot space, but, one thing going for it is that it is an honest, practical square shape.
The cars here don’t have particularly sparkling performance on the open road, but they’re all efficient to a greater or lesser extent. The Nissan is the most economical and the Skoda is the least, with the Mokka falling between the two.
However, weighing it all up, the Mokka ends up moving behind the Nissan Qashqai and the Skoda Yeti, due to its poor cornering ability and lack of fun. Of course, the car is not without its virtues. It’s the cheapest to buy at £18,614 – and for that meagre outlay you get efficiency and loads of standard kit.
Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to balance the skittish ride on rural routes and around town. Yes, it’s fine as a cruiser, but that can’t make up for the fact that the Vauxhall Mokka is also the least practical motor out of the trio put under the spotlight here.
Contemplate the Nissan Juke or MINI Countryman as alternatives to the cars we’ve examined here. Both models are well known for being a bit different and are debatably as good looking as the Mokka and Qashqai – but unquestionably more handsome than the fine driving, yet aesthetically-challenged Yeti.
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He’s a member the Midland Group of Motoring Writers and is now focusing on what he loves – test driving the latest vehicle releases and writing about them.
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