Test Drive: Opel Mokka 1.2T 130 AT8: Identity Crisis

While waiting for the imminent arrival of the new Opel Astra, the Mokka surely best represents Opel’s future, sharing a large chunk of components with its French relatives. The least we can say is that it all adds up pretty well for Opel’s smallest SUV. It seduces woth both its modern lines and a trendy interior.


Compared to the previous generation, it seems more than a decade separates it from the latest Mokka. Long gone is the O.A.P.-aimed bland SUV, it now targets a much younger audience. The two-tone colour scheme as well as the interior colour accents (depending on the trim level) give the whole thing a fresh look.  Inside, there was a real revolution : there’s a complete break with older uninspired typical Opel interiors.


I like it

This is a matter of personal choice but the recent evolution of Opel design is quite successful. The vertical front end and the new light signature are very striking and lend the Mokka a concept car look. The GS-Line’s black, ribbed bonnet, wide fenders, slimmed-down taillights and dual exhaust tips add to its dynamism. The front seats are low slung and the driving position very car-like. Some punters may disagree but we love it. Once seated, you are surrounded by two huge screens. Right in the middle of the dashboard, that’s the old generation PSA multimedia system. Its graphics have aged but thankfully, it is still user- friendly with the switched located on either side of the steering wheel boss.


Quite clever

The 3-cylinder 1.2 Turbo engine may be lazy at low revs but put your foot down and a welcome and unexpected alacrity appears. When the turbo kicks in, there’s no doubt the 130 HP are there! Lively and joyful, it reinforces the positive feeling you get when you drive this small and dynamic SUV. In our dreams, we would love to test a sportier Mokka featuring a stiffer chassis and a 200 HP engine… enough to annoy the Ford Puma ST.


I don’t like it

We were less convinced by the rear compartment : there isn’t much room in there and it’s pretty gloomy as well. Probably, this is a trade- off for the Mokka “concept-car” appearance. It is pretty evident that, first and foremost, the Mokka targets childless couples, whatever their age. And that doesn’t mean the boot is cavernous : its capacity is just 350 litres. Forget about turning the Mokka into a moving truck!


Why I buy it

With its strong personality, the Mokka suddenly turns Opel into an attractive brand. Knowing how lacklustre it used to be, this was a really tough challenge. The brand’s stylists seem to have got it right and the little 1.2 Turbo PSA engine does a pretty impressive job, underlining the fine chassis tuning. Geeks will appreciate the two screens (12’’ and 10’’) forming the Pure Panel (as Opel calls it) which is  aimed towards the driver. Our test average fuel consumption was 7.5 l/100 km, without trying too hard.


Why I don’t buy it

Even though we often like to drive the most powerful and best-equipped versions that importers lend to us, we have to admit the 100 HP 1.2 T lump does a good job. It is only available with a 6-speed manual gearbox and costs from € 22,950. Selecting the French 8-speed automatic gearbox means you will have to pay at least €26,000. The competition includes the Peugeot 2008 starting from € 23,100, the Renault Captur from € 22,525 and the Ford Puma from € 21,250. However, the Ford can only muster 95 BHP. And don’t forget that both the rear seat and the boot are rather small and cramped, turning the Mokka into a 2 seater compact SUV… (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)


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