There was an intention here, quite plainly, to make the Mokka at least a little bit fun to drive. It stands out from its competitors in other ways, after all, so why not?
Vauxhall has therefore gone for slightly firmer-than-class-average suspension rates in the car and has conjured just the merest hint of tenacity and roll resistance in its handling, for your driving pleasure. Unfortunately, and for a few reasons, it hasn’t quite delivered the fully resolved, gently amusing and engaging drive that it might have been aiming for; and neither, predictably, has it given the Mokka what you might consider a Vauxhall-typical sense of ride comfort or everyday dynamic versatility.
That the Mokka’s steering is particularly light and anodyne at low speeds may make it easy to park and well suited to the typical compact crossover customer, but it’s no great invitation to enjoyment. It actually weights up quite a lot as your speed increases, and so the car generally follows the path you’ve chosen for it obediently enough around town, and has reasonable stability on A-roads and motorways, being more easy to place precisely than you’d first believed it might be.
But the car never quite feels even moderately agile or keen underneath you. Handling response and cornering balance are respectable if underwhelming, with the always-on electronics activating early (although progressively) to counteract understeer before it can build if you go at a bend with any vigour. Which may be fair enough, because Mokka owners probably won’t do that (and some of them might need a little looking after when they do).
But instead of giving the car good close body control and the pleasing sense of energy and poise at speed of something like a Ford Puma, the Vauxhall’s particular suspension tuning often just makes it feel reactive and tetchy when roused and leads it nowhere.
Firm bushing and compression damping make the ride feel a little wooden and under-isolated over sharper inputs, while the lack of rebound control sometimes makes the car threaten to leap out of dips and off the top of fairly gentle crests and transverse ridges. Head toss, although not severe, is a regular factor on uneven surfaces as well.
Vauxhall Mokka comfort and isolation
The Mokka’s driving position offers good visibility to all quarters and is fairly adjustable and well supported.