In a segment where motorists are spoilt for choice, the new Opel Mokka X confirms its credentials as a frontrunner, writes Bruce Fraser
What is this car all about?
While many new-car segments can be described as ”sluggish” at best when it comes to sales, the compact SUV division continues to show positive growth and attracts an assortment of motorists. The Mokka X provides the image – and ability – to cross different motoring genres.
What’s under the hood?
No changes here with Opel’s tried-and-test 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged ECOTEC petrol engine doing duty. There is the option of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed auto gearbox and on tap you will find a reasonable 104kW.
Does is stand out from the crowd?
While the design of many vehicles in this segment tend to blur in to one, the Mokka X thankfully has some distinguishing features. The most obvious change to a vehicle first launched 18 months ago is the move to a new, stylish headlight cluster that combines daytime running lamps and LED technology. The overall design is still one that appeals equally to male and female drivers and there is a hint of individuality to its appearance.
What’s noteworthy on the inside?
Elements of the extremely good Astra have filtered through to the Mokka X, so expect to find – depending on which model you choose – features such as Milano jet black seating, a dashboard that is relatively fuss-free yet still incorporating materials of the highest order. For the more techno-inclined there is an infotainment system with R4.0 IntelliLink and a driver display. Also being a family-orientated vehicle, space is pretty generous both up front and for rear passengers.
Is it good to drive?
Sampling both variants on the open roads of the West Coast, I was surprisingly taken by the willingness and more engaging drive provided by the manual box, and with a gale blowing outside, the Mokka X stayed true and straight with zero outside noise intrusion. Mind you, if you you find yourself sitting in traffic on a day-to-day basis, the auto should be your choice.
Who’s going to lose sleep about this car?
The Mokka X provides a nice left-field alternative for those wanting to enter the compact SUV segment. While it is presently dominated by the likes of the Ford EcoSport, this offering from Opel is a reminder that German precision and quality comes in all shapes and sizes.
Fast Facts: Opel Mokka X
Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged ECOTEC petrol
Power: 103kW between 4 900 and 6 000rpm
Torque: 200Nm between 1 850 and 4 900rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual; 6-speed auto
0-100km/h: 9.8 seconds (manual); 10.7 seconds (auto)
Top speed: 196 km/h (manual); 191 km/h (auto)
Fuel: 5.9 to 6.5l/100km (combined)
CO2: 139g/km to 160g/km
Price: From R317 500