Vauxhall Mokka: which version should you buy?

  • All you need to know about buying Vauxhall's small SUV
  • One of Britain's best-selling models' range explored
  • Find out which engine, gearbox and trim we'd pick

The Vauxhall Mokka is an incredibly popular car, with over half a million units sold in Europe since its launch in 2012.

It hit the market at just the right time, taking on Nissan’s Juke (which started this craze back in 2010) and the likes of the Renault Captur and the Peugeot 2008 in the rapidly expanding compact SUV marketplace, becoming Vauxhall’s best-selling model in the process.

There are five trim levels, three engine options, manual and automatic gearboxes and – not that many cars of this size need it – a 4x4 system.

Why buy?

There are plenty of reasons to buy, or indeed lease, a Vauxhall Mokka. It’s cheap to buy and to run, yet comes with a lot of kit on its trim levels.

Our testers remarked that it’s easy to drive, with a spacious and practical cabin and unobtrusively attractive styling.

It’s a popular company car too, with a specific trim level aimed at business drivers called Tech Line. Unfortunately most Mokkas are leased to private individuals, however, and this model doesn’t qualify for the sort of PCP deals that are so favourable for the rest of the range.

Which trim?

Your quartet of options are Exclusiv, Tech Line, SE and Limited Edition. Since we’re talking about retail rather than business drivers in this article, we’ll discount the Tech Line and its non-lease-friendly numbers.

The base-spec trim is also the top-seller and one look at the spec sheet shows why: Exclusiv models get loads of standard kit.

Highlights include:

  • Automatic windscreen wipers and headlights
  • Alloy wheels (17- or 18-inch depending on engine choice)
  • Cruise control
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Multimedia system with Bluetooth, USB, DAB radio, CD player and steering wheel-mounted controls
  • Tyre-pressure monitoring system

That’s an impressive line-up of equipment for a car starting at £18,854*.

If you move up to SE specification you add leather sports seats along with the Winter Pack, netting you heated front seats and steering wheel. With the same engine this costs £21,354*.

Then at the top of the tree is the nattily named Limited Edition, which confuses things somewhat because you can only have this with either 1.4 turbo petrol or 1.6 diesel engines. The main addition here is the OnStar multimedia connectivity system (explained here) that you control via a seven-inch touchscreen. You also get 19-inch alloy wheels, special white paint and all of the kit on Exclusiv models. Prices for the Limited Edition start at £21,267*.

Does the Vauxhall Mokka need optional extras?

Not really, but there are a couple that have proven popular with buyers: sat-nav (called Navi 950 Intellilink and costing £1,055*) and a reversing camera that costs £200*.

What’s the best engine?

The first question here is whether you need petrol or diesel. Frankly, unless you’re doing huge mileage and long journeys regularly, it’s going to prove cheaper to go for petrol - both in terms of fuel and buying the car in the first place.

There are two options here: a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine or a 1.6 that goes without a turbo but isn’t as expensive, costing £789* less.

While the 1.6 is the most popular in terms of outright sales, and indeed isn’t bad to drive, the one we’d pick here is the 1.4T. Its superior power and torque figures (138bhp and 200Nm over 113bhp and 155Nm) mean it’ll cover 0-62mph in nine seconds flat compared to the 11.5 seconds the 1.6 takes. That means it’s significantly quicker, yet it’s also cheaper in terms of fuel economy (45mpg for the 1.4 and 41mpg for the 1.6) and tax – its 145g/km CO2 output means VED band F for £145 per year, while the 1.6 emits 159g/km in the same specification meaning band G and £180 per year for the current 2016/17 tax year.

With that in mind it’s clear to us that the 1.4 is the engine to go for – especially if you’re leasing and spread its extra cost out over the course of your time with the car.

Do I need a 4x4 Mokka?

In a word: no. The Mokka’s part-time four-wheel drive system is more of a gesture than a sign of off-road capability, and is added at the expense of running costs. It has relatively good ground clearance for a car of this size, but don’t confuse that with the ability to tackle challenging terrain. If you’re worried about its performance in snow, a set of winter tyres will be infinitely more useful to you. Spend the £1,725 you save on those and perhaps an optional extra or two instead.

Gearbox options are either five- or six-speed manuals and a six-speed automatic, but we’d avoid the latter unless you really need it. It doesn’t seem to suit the otherwise characterful nature of the car.

Verdict

So there you have it. A little specification investigation and an exploration of engines throws up an obvious choice here. Our Parkers Pick for the Vauxhall Mokka is the Exclusiv 1.4T. Full specifications are available here.

Click here for our full Vauxhall Mokka review.

*All prices are correct at time of publication

Are you still not sure which car you should choose? Perhaps the following could be of assistance:

Dawn of the SUV age: is it game over for hatchbacks?

Why you should buy a 16-plate car

Nissan Juke: which version should you buy?

Off-road but in budget: 10 cheap 4x4s

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