You’ll have read plenty on this subject before, because Opel initially launched the Mokka to the European press, and we reported on it.
That was before Vauxhall decided not just to retune the Mokka’s steering and suspension for UK consumption, but to respecify it. At which point we reported on it again.
However winding its route to this point may have been, the Mokka is now finished, and it’s good. It isn’t great to drive and isn’t as finely honed as a Nissan Qashqai, or even a Kia Sportage. But it’s competent, inoffensive and good enough.
Vauxhall’s attentions have delivered light, smooth and consistent steering and a fairly pliant ride, while also preserving strong grip levels, good body control and clean directional responses.
The Mokka can be threaded through corners precisely and with balance, and it feels wieldy as you feed on more steering angle at roundabouts. It’s quite an agile, compact-feeling machine – more so than you’d expect from something so high-sided. It will understeer, but only when provoked with power.
The car’s default real-world handling is neat and tidy, then. It’s not outstanding and neither is it a reason to buy, but it’s quietly creditable.
Rolling refinement isn’t quite as good. Vauxhall’s softer dampers for the front axle permit adequate compliance over bad roads, but the rear end of the car is less settled and bobs gently but ceaselessly as your speed increases.