What is it?
Not everyone needs the additional traction offered by a four-wheel-drive system, and not everyone does the mileage to justify opting for a diesel.
This is precisely why you can opt for the Vauxhall Mokka in lighter, less complicated two-wheel-drive form with the brand’s modern, downsized 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
Besides a substantial saving of £1540 compared to the equivalent four-wheel-drive variant, the claimed average economy climbs from 44.1mpg to 47.1mpg. Emissions also fall, from 149g/km of CO2 to 139g/km, resulting in a £15 reduction in annual road tax costs.
This particular example, in Tech Line trim, is also notable for being particularly well equipped. As standard it includes sat-nav, electric windows, a DAB radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, dual-zone climate, automatic lights and wipers, and parking sensors.
What's it like?
Barring the slightly differences in efficiency, the engine is identical to that found in 4x4 versions of the Mokka. It’s got a decent amount of low-end torque, and responds well, but at higher speeds it’s strained and vocal. Shift up before 4,000rpm and the problem is negated, though.
Unless you drive in inclement conditions regularly, or you are aggressive when deploying the Mokka’s 148lb ft, you’ll also struggle to notice any real difference between the two drivetrains.
It’s by no means an engaging car but it drives and rides in an acceptable fashion for an inexpensive SUV, and it’s free of abhorrent issues. The only real point of complaint was a plastic clutch pedal assembly which had a tendancy to squeak during operation, but this issue could probably be easily resolved.
Vauxhall's Mokka remains otherwise unchanged. It offers seating for four adults, a large boot, an adequately refined and finished cabin and – pleasingly – a spare wheel.
There's little to excite inside, but it looks suitably smart and myriad practical touches, such as a 230-volt power outlet behind the front seats, go a long way to making it particularly easy to live with.
During testing the Mokka averaged an indicated 37mpg, and with a little effort it'd probably easily return in the low 40s. For an inexpensive small petrol SUV, that's more than tolerable.
Many buyers will also appreciate the Vauxhalls 'lifetime' warranty, which covers the car up until 100,000 miles. If you're considering investing in a car that you'll be keeping for a while, this could help keep overall running costs down.
Should I buy one?
You might be doubtful, but there is much of merit when it comes to this particular Vauxhall Mokka.
Look at it this way – the cheapest Skoda Yeti is £119 less than this Vauxhall Mokka but it’s slower, has a much shorter warranty, emits more, isn’t and efficient and doesn’t have niceties like sat-nav or DAB.
So, if you want a practical and easy-going compact SUV with high kit levels, it’s worth casting more than a casual eye over the Vauxhall crossover.
Mokka Tech Line 1.4 Turbo 6-Speed Manual Start/Stop FWD
Price £16,719; 0-62mph 9.9sec; Top speed 121mph; Economy 47.1mpg; CO2 139g/km; Kerb weight 1394kg; Engine 1364cc, four cylinder, turbocharged, petrol; Power 138bhp at 4900-6000rpm; Torque 148lb ft at 4900rpm; Gearbox Six-speed manual