Carzone drive’s Opel’s newest SUV contender, the Mokka X
Pros: Great diesel engine, improved styling, economical
Cons: Rivals are more desirable, small boot
With so many new models to consider in the SUV segment this year, the Opel Mokka was starting to look a little jaded next to the competition, so Opel has released a newly-updated version of the car, the Mokka X. With sharpened looks, a revised interior and a new diesel engine, the Mokka X should appeal to Irish new car buyers, but can it tempt them away from best sellers in the class such as the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai? We recently put the Mokka X through its paces on Irish roads to find out.
What is it like?
The Mokka X doesn’t look hugely different to the model it replaces, but it is definitely improved. Tweaks to the front grille give the car a sleeker look and bring it more in line with the design of Opel’s latest generation Astra. This is the range-topping Elite model, so it gets 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim and LED headlights, however base specification models have to make do with steel wheels and standard trim.
The interior of the original Mokka was quite cluttered and there were simply too many buttons on the dashboard, but the Mokka X is much better in this regard. The layout of the driver’s area is more clean-cut, thanks to a new touch screen display boasting Opel’s Intellilink system. Everything in the cabin feels well-built and there is enough space to seat five adults in comfort, however boot space is small at 356 litres and lags behind cars like the Hyundai Tucson.
The Mokka X is available with two petrol engines and a new 1.6-litre CDTI diesel engine which is the version we tested, and we were impressed with how sprightly it is. The 1.6-litre CDTI makes 136bhp and good torque, which means it can cover the 0-100km/h in under 10 seconds. There is plenty of power right through the rev range, even at higher speeds, and fuel economy is good at 60MPG (if driven reservedly). Our test car had a six speed manual transmission and there is also the choice of an automatic gearbox.
Out on the road the Mokka X definitely feels like an SUV due to its high driving position, but it doesn’t handle quite as nimbly as other small SUVs on the market. The steering is light and quite precise, however it suffers from body roll in tight corners. Although handling isn’t a strong point in the Mokka X, comfort and ride quality is, especially over bumpier back roads. This combined with the quiet nature of the diesel engine and comfortable driver’s position make the Mokka X a good long distance cruiser, which we found during a long drive from Dublin to Mayo.
In our time with the Mokka X we found running costs to be quite competitive. The 1.6-litre diesel will average 50mpg with a mixture of urban and motorway-based driving, while annual road tax is €200 as it slots into the band A4 emissions bracket. Our test car is the standard front wheel drive version but there is also an optional four-wheel-drive version available too. We don’t see the need for a four wheel drive version as the Mokka X isn’t a true off roader by any means.
Starting prices for the new Opel Mokka X are €21,495, which is quite good when you pitch it against other mid-sized SUVs on the market. The base specification ‘S’ model gets air conditioning, a DAB digital radio, cruise control and automatic lights as standard. The higher specification ‘SC’ and ‘Elite Nav’ models benefit from a lot more equipment with front and rear parking sensors, and Opel’s IntelliLink system.
Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
The Mokka X is a well-rounded package and proves strong on fuel economy, practicality and everyday drivability. We like the addition of the new 1.6-litre diesel engine which is a strong performer, offering great economy and decent performance, and it’s well suited to Irish driving. The Mokka X falls slightly short compared to its main rivals however which have raised the bar significantly recently, and for that reason it fails to appeal in the same way. That’s not to say it isn’t a good option however, and the price point is quite competitive even for higher specification models.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Opel Mokka X Elite
Prices from: €21,495
Price as tested: €29,570
Annual Road Tax: €200
Engine: 1598cc four-cylinder diesel
Power/Torque: 136bhp, 320Nm
Top Speed: 189 km/h
0-100km/h: 9.9 seconds
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Body style: SUV
Boot Space: 356 litres