Just like Vauxhall’s current Corsa, which arrived in the UK 18 months ago, the new Mokka uses the PSA-lately-turned-Stellantis-group’s Common Modular Platform (or CMP) as its mechanical basis. Just like the Corsa, it offers a choice of petrol, diesel and all-electric propulsion. But as a compact crossover SUV rather than a conventional supermini, its closest relation is probably the DS 3 Crossback (with which it shares a production line in Poissy, France – although Peugeot’s 2008 must also be a pretty close sibling).
Quite plainly, this is a car with which Opel and Vauxhall are seeking to make an impact – and they should. That’s why its proportions have changed so much: the new Mokka is 124mm shorter than the old one, with a roofline almost 130mm lower, and a stance that has grown by 10mm in overall width and by 2mm between the axles. The bet that Vauxhall has made is that more customers will be attracted by the car’s new-found style than may be turned off by any loss in head room, raised-hip-point-related ease of entry or general practicality.
Much of the Mokka’s styling has been derived from the firm’s pillarless GT X Experimental concept car of 2018. Vauxhall’s habitually conservative paint palette has also been expanded to include Mamba Green, Voltaic Blue and Power Red (as tested).
Our test car ran the more powerful of two available 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engines, producing 129bhp and 169lb ft. There is also a 1.5-litre turbo diesel, whose 109bhp of peak power makes it slot in between the two petrols. All combustion-engined versions use a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and the upper-level petrol is available with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic as an option (which our test car had). All versions have strut-type front suspension, a torsion beam rear axle and front-wheel drive.
The electric Mokka-e tops the range for both price and power. It’s the only Mokka for which a 0-62mph claim of less than nine seconds is made, and then only by a whisker.
However, all versions offer some succour to the idea that this might now be one of the more interesting cars to drive in a pretty dynamically uninteresting class. They are up to 120kg lighter than the old Mokka as well as being smaller, lower, wider tracked and, depending on the model, up to 30% torsionally stiffer.