Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7

Vauxhall Mokka (2021) front view, driving

  • Two petrols and one diesel engine
  • The 130hp petrol is the star of the range
  • Diesel is a manual only

What engine options are there?

The Mokka’s engine line-up is familiar and well-proven. The petrol engines are the PureTech units found in a number of Peugeot, Citroen and DS products – and start with the excellent three-cylinder turbocharged 1.2-litre used in the Peugeot 2008. It comes with two power outputs – 100hp and 130hp. The less powerful version takes 11.0 seconds for the 0-62mph dash and delivers upto 51.4mpg Combined (WLTP) with CO2 emissions of 128g/km.

The 130hp petrol improves performance with a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds and has little impact on fuel economy and emissions, with up to 51.4mpg and 126g/km CO2. This model is available in manual and automatic transmission forms.

Petrol engine

Our first experience was with a 130hp 1.2-litre petrol, equipped with the optional eight-speed automatic. Acceleration is eager in the Sport drive mode (leading us to argue that this is the engine to recommend for most buyers, as we suspect the 100hp may feel a little weak for anything other than as an urban runabout) and comes with a characterful warbling noise. When you switch the car into Sport mode, that noise is marginally enhanced.

If you were to specify the eight-speed automatic, the gearbox is very smooth as it shifts through the gears itself. You switch it into drive or reverse in a similar way to cars like the Volkswagen’s Golf or Audi A3 – via a fingertip-small toggle on the centre console; no bulky gear selector here. You can also shift the gears yourself via steering wheel-mounted paddles – they feel a little plasticky in your fingertips, but response from the gearbox is swift.

Diesel engine

There's just one diesel model, again using a well-proven unit shared with Peugeot, Citroen and DS. It's a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit, which develops 110hp and returns up to 65.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 117g/km. It's available in manual form only.

We’re yet to try the manual gearbox, or the diesel engine, but will report back when we do.

Electric and hybrid engines

There are currently no hybrid or plug-in hybrid options for the Vauxhall Mokka, but there is the very capable Vauxhall Mokka-e electric car available. That is covered by its own separate review.

How does it handle?

  • Light and easy to drive
  • Steering is direct and well-weighted
  • Handling is safe, but lacks fun factor

Vauxhall’s new Mokka shares a lot of technology and engineering with the Peugeot 2008, including its engine range and the suspension underneath. But, while that would make it easy to compare the two, Vauxhall engineers have changed a few things in a way it thinks will suit its buyers better.

Most obvious is the steering. Peugeot’s 2008 has an incredibly light action when you turn the wheel, offering little resistance. Vauxhall has done away with that with the Mokka, adding some weight when you steer while still remaining as accurate. It’s not as precise as the live-wire steering in the Ford Puma, but that means it’s far less twitchy on the road than the Ford when cruising.

Overall, it's quite fun to steer in town, and once you're beyond the city limits and on a fast, sweeping A-road, it's not a bad companion, once you dial yourself into its bodyroll and slightly lazy reponse.

In short, it feels safe, comfortable and easy to drive – bullseye for most drivers. But if you want fun, too, head for a Ford Puma or Mazda CX-30. Although the SRi is presented as a sportier option, the suspension tuning - and thus, the handling - is the same on all models.