The new Vauxhall Mokka is a much smarter, bolder, more ambitious and more desirable car than its predecessor, by margins nobody could miss.

For all of that, we should award it due credit; because if Vauxhall had given us a modernised take on the dowdy and awkward-looking first-generation version, it wouldn’t now be nearly so well placed to pick up sales, and to bring new customers into its showrooms.

The driving experience sells a brave design effort just a little short

This car looks fresh and appealing, feels modern and interesting on the inside and drives easily, comfortably and competently enough. Nevertheless, it is a little lacking in the more measurable on-paper strengths that might have elevated it into the compact crossover top five you see below. It isn’t the most practical car in its class. It doesn’t threaten the plusher operators for upmarket ambience or material quality, either.

Neither is it sufficiently refined, polished, energetic or engaging to drive to really distinguish itself dynamically.

But we suspect none of that will prevent it from succeeding even better than its predecessor in sheer sales terms. If the looks are what you came for, the Mokka’s drive should certainly be good enough not to sour the ownership experience.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Vauxhall Mokka

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