Though the driving experience on offer remains unremarkable, there’s plenty of equipment, an affordable 4x4 option and a smartly-trimmed cabin to charm prospective buyers.
Plenty of changes have been made in the creation of this rejuvenated Mokka X model, but few of them have much to do with engineering or driving dynamics. That probably won’t bother many prospective customers, people likely to be enthusiasts for life rather than for cars. That’ll be part of the reason they’re considering a Crossover like this in the first place, rather than a conventional supermini or family hatch. They’ll like the high-set seating position, the trendy Sloane Street styling and the optional possibility of off road shenanigans.
All these things remain present and correct in this improved Mokka. As before, it isn’t an especially rewarding car to drive – the extra weight and the higher stance of the Crossover genre count against it here – but then if you come to almost any car in this class expecting fun at the wheel, the truth is that you’re probably going to be disappointed. At least in this one, the steering is light, quick and accurate and there’s the kind of affordable AWD option that most rivals don’t offer.
Engine-wise, customers who’ve wisely avoided the entry-level 1. 6-litre petrol unit get two main powerplant options. For petrol people, a 1. 4-litre turbo unit offers 140PS – or 152PS if you order it with AWD and auto transmission. Here though, we’re trying the 1. 6-litre CDTi diesel, offered with either 110PS or, as in this case, 136PS. Go for this pokier unit in ‘ecoFLEX’ form and you can expect 68. 9mpg on the combined cycle and 106g/km of CO2.
So, does this Mokka have that extra ‘X-Factor’? It’s certainly a less apologetic-looking thing than before, the more aggressive front end giving this revised design a sense of sprit and purpose that the original model lacked. In short, British designer Mark Adams and his team have breathed fresh life into this little Crossover.
Time to take a seat inside. The centrepiece of this restyled dash is this beautifully-integrated Intellilink infotainment screen which incorporates the usual DAB stereo, Bluetooth ‘phone and informational functions. Include the optional satellite navigation system and the screen size increases from 7 to 8-inches and you’ll be better set up to use this car’s other key technical innovation, the OnStar ‘personal connectivity and service assistant’. This includes a vehicle tracking system in case of theft, creates in your Mokka X an in-car wi-fi hotspot and will allow you to monitor key vehicle information via a downloadable ‘MyVauxhall’ smartphone app. ‘OnStar’ will also automatically alert the emergency services if the airbags deploy. And if you press the system’s blue button on the roof here, you’ll be connected through to an operator who can find just about any information you might need throughout your journey. If Navigation has been specified, the ‘OnStar’ representative will download any directions needed directly into the Intellilink sat nav system.
Let’s take a seat in the rear. Inevitably, getting three people back here would be a bit of a squash, but a trio of smaller kids should be able to fit in without starting World War Three between them.
Finally, let’s take a look out back. Lift the tailgate and you’ll find that there’s no high boot lip preventing you from easily accessing the 356-litres of provided carriage space.
And in summary? Well overall, we think that Vauxhall has done just about enough with this mid-term Mokka update. The looks are smarter, the cabin’s classier and the infotainment features are now class-leading. Plus, unlike most of its segment rivals, this model offers 4WD as an affordable option. This is, in short, a car with an appeal that builds as your interest in it grows. The kind of car Vauxhall needs to make. For a more fashionable future.