VAUXHALL has given its Mokka the X factor thanks to the introduction of a fresh new look, extra powertrains and lots more techno treats and equipment.
The compact SUV is the first in the Vauxhall line-up to receive the X rating and it will follow on all of its future crossover models.
The Mokka, which was launched in 2012, now looks more striking thanks to a completely new front end design featuring new square-shaped headlight clusters with L-shaped LED daytime running lights. The lower bumper looks neater and the redesigned grille is also eye-catching.
This car, in Elite trim, featured 18-inch alloys, side protection mouldings, front fog lights, dark tinted rear windows and silver-effect roof rails to complete the look.
Inspired by the Astra, the inside of the new Mokka X is less cluttered than before, yet there is plenty of on-board technology to be explored.
Creature comforts included dual zone electronic climate control, a heated steering wheel, a seven-inch colour touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, heated seats and plenty more besides.
There was no sat nav on this car, which is rather surprising on a vehicle costing Â£25,000-plus. However, the company's excellent OnStar system which connects the driver with a ‘real' person was included.
Powered by a 1.4-litre 140ps petrol engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the Mokka X could reach from 0-60mph in 9.3 seconds and maxed out at 116mph. According to official figures it could deliver combined fuel economy of 43.5mpg with carbon emissions of 152g/km.
Comfort levels within the new Mokka X are of a high standard and the elevated driving position results in excellent all round visibility, which is a major plus-point on a car that will often be used to transport children.
The boot can accommodate 356 litres of luggage (1,372-litres with the rear seats dropped flat) and there are plenty of handy storage areas scattered throughout the vehicle, including a compartment underneath the boot floor, deep door pockets, a glovebox and cup holders.
In town the Mokka X was easy to manoeuvre and the all-round parking sensors and camera made very light work of squeezing into tight spaces. On faster roads and country lanes the car accelerated nicely through the six speeds with a constant supply of power on tap.
The road-holding was assured and the car also featured 4x4 capabilities which is an added bonus in the colder, wintry months.
I did find there was quite a lot of wind noise at higher speeds which is quite normal in compact SUV models due to their shape and my only other slight concern was how easily the vehicle was buffeted by strong gusts when crossing the Severn Bridge. But that aside, the Mokka X was a delight to drive.
Vauxhall has packed the vehicle with safety features including anti-lock brakes, traction control, hill start assist, high beam assist and numerous airbags.