Mokka back for another shot
THE original Vauxhall Mokka, which landed in 2012, was an awful thing, writes William Scholes.
Unusually for a modern car, it served as a compelling argument for taking public transport. Or walking everywhere.
That first Mokka left one with the distinct impression that it had been launched on an unsuspecting public before it was finished.
A heavily revised model came a few years later. Dubbed Mokka X, presumably in an effort to distance it from the dreadful original, it was actually OK - the engine and suspension worked, for example - and went on to sell very well.
Which brings us to this car, the all-new Mokka. The X suffix has been dropped so we're back to plain old Mokka.
However, that's just about all that looks plain about this swish new Vauxhall SUV. It's a distinctive little car, isn't it?
"New Mokka is the start of a new direction for the Vauxhall brand," said managing director Stephen Norman.
"Vauxhall may be Britain’s oldest car manufacturer but with New Mokka it is defining itself to lead in an exciting and innovative future."
Vauxhall is part of the Peugeot family these days, a situation which has already yielded benefits; the new Corsa is paired with the latest Peugeot 208, for example, and the Grandland X SUV is a relative of the Peugeot 3008 and Citroen C5 Aircross.
Unusually for a modern car, the original Vauxhall Mokka served as a compelling argument for taking public transport. Or walking everywhere. This new Mokka should be dramatically better
The Mokka is another to benefit from this French cross-pollination, being essentially Vauxhall's take on the new Citroen C4. Such is the way of the contemporary motor industry.
It means that the Mokka arrives from day one with an electric Mokka-e version as well as internal combustion engines.
The electric car uses a 50kWh battery and a motor with 134bhp and 192lb.ft, netting a range of up to 201 miles.
The new car's wheelbase is a mere 2mm longer than the outgoing Mokka's and the car itself is 12.5cm shorter; however, it is as spacious inside for passengers and luggage. It's 10mm wider and the car seems to have a really pleasing stance.
Inside is a digital dashboard, which Vauxhall calls 'pure panel'. It consists of two widescreen digital displays, with the one in front of the driver measuring up to 12 inches in size. There's a lack of clutter and switches on the dashboard, another way the new Mokka is removed from the original.
Passenger comfort is has been prioritised - Vauxhall has some of the best seats in the business these days - and there are many in-car connectivity features.
The new Mokka goes on sale soon - we'll have more details by then - and is expected to reach Northern Ireland dealers early next year.