Opel’s Mokka latte sense
The German engineers have been working magic on their oil burners and launched the new range of engines in Ireland earlier this year. The occasion was a big one for Opel Ireland, bringing the world’s motoring press to Ireland to test the new power plants.
Great noises came from the event – the reviews, not the engines – and my fellow Motormouth spoke highly of his test. And I got to see for myself what these ‘big noises’ were all about as I took the updated Opel Mokka for a week’s test.
Opel has been refreshing their line-up of late and with the new Corsa has proved to be a hit. The imminent launch of the new
Astra will give them a really competitive showroom.
Smaller cars are what Opel has always done really well, with the Corsa proving popular here. Throw in the innovative Meriva, the funky Adam, and the new value-for-money Karl, and you have something for everyone.
The Mokka in its second generation is a much better car. When it first arrived, it was jumping on the Crossover bandwagon, and felt like it was a car made from the parts bin. Somehow, this new version, with a few style tweaks inside and out, plus, the excellent new ‘whisper’ 1.6 diesel engine, feels like a different car.
It’s different in a good way though, as I was impressed with the overall drive and look. It’s a compact crossover, but behind the wheel it feels like a much bigger SUV-type car, with raised seating position and plenty of practical storage.
The Mokka’s main competitors are Nissan’s Juke and Ford’s EcoSport, and on looks alone the Mokka gets my vote. The others aren’t that bad, but I can’t warm to the wacky Juke and the awkward EcoSport style. The Mokka is supermini-based, but the size is much larger when you are in the cabin. The boot isn’t massive, but you’ll get your weekly shop in with no problems. Five adults are treated to decent leg and headroom and comfort levels are high for all occupants.
The designers haven’t gone mad on the inside either, as it has a similar feel to the outgoing model. I would have liked to them to tidy up the centre console, which is dominated by various buttons for climate and entertainment. A cleaner finish would benefit the overall look, much like the latest Insignia and Astra models.
The biggest change has to be under the bonnet, where Opel has added a new range of ‘whisper diesel engines. The 1.6 CDTi (134bhp) diesel in my test car will be the big seller here in Ireland. It is a vast improvement on the 1.7 diesel it replaced and was really refined. It has plenty of power with 320Nm of torque giving really good in-gear acceleration and can reach 100kph in 9.9 seconds. This unit, as well as being powerful and refined, is very frugal also. The old 1.7 was thirsty on fuel, but this new 1.6 addresses that issue with excellent fuel economy. Expect to see more than 800kms for a tank of fuel, which is much, much better than before.
The Mokka isn’t a trendsetter in the crossover world, but it goes about its business very well. The new diesel engine makes it more appealing for those worried about the running costs, and with Opel’s renewed focus on pushing the brand in a more premium direction, the Mokka could well be the crossover that you’ve been looking for.
Model: Opel Mokka
Price: From €20,995
(test car €31,016)
Tax: Band A4 €200
Max speed: 194kph
Economy: 4.3l/100km (claimed)
Boot capacity: 362 litres