By Patrick James on 2017-07-29 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Vauxhall Mokka X 1.6
CDTi Design Nav
SOMETIMES when you drive a car you take notice of others driving the same make and model - and realise just how many of them there are on the roads.
Vauxhall's Mokka X SUV is a case in point, it has exceeded 120,000 sales in the UK since its launch and was in the top 10 of cars sold last year.
A bit like its slightly bigger rival the Nissan Qashqai, it took the motoring world by surprise and was also number one in its segment in 2015, topping its class for fleet sales.
More and more people in this segment are looking for a straightforward, practical and reasonably priced family vehicle, and that's what they get with the Mokka.
Restyled for this year, it looks better and models now carry the signature X, which will become the norm on Vauxhall SUV and crossover vehicles.
Priced from £17,590, it is an attractive looking vehicle, if not as pretty as some of its competitors.
It has had tweaks to the front and rear, with new grille, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights and roof rails, while retaining a muscular stance around the wheel arches.
A new dashboard inspired by the new Astra is the new interior centrepiece, featuring a a revised instrument panel and the centre stack redeveloped around the seven or eight-inch touchscreens controlling the major functions. It feels uncluttered and easy to use.
Ergonomically it feels good with supportive seats and a classy adjustable steering wheel for optimum comfort. It is not a huge car and the three rear seats are a tight squeeze.
Boot space is adequate, easily swallowing half a dozen shopping bags and a bit more and as you would expect, the 60/40 split floding seats offer a number of stowage solutions. In addition, Vauxhall says there are 19 other stowage areas throughout the cabin. I didn't have time to use them all.
All models are well equipped with the usual electric aids like windows and door mirrors, plus air conditioning, parking sensors and a full range of safety kit.
Also available is Vauxhall's high-tech OnStar communication system which includes access 24/7 to an adviser when airbags are deployed to ascertain whether emergency services are required.
It also allows a Wi-Fi hotspot access to seven devices, from smartphones to tablets, to be connected simultaneously, plus IntelliLink infotainment gives smartphones connectivity via both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection.
The mid range Mokka X Design Nav I drove adds an eight-inch touchscreen display and satellite navigation and for even more bells and whistles you pick the range-topping Elite Nav.
The 1.6 ecoFLEX diesel is the lesser powered of the diesels. It is quiet, efficient and clean with the stop/start 110ps unit delivering a claimed 68.9mpg.
Acceleration is brisk if not startling delivering drive through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and it cruises comfortably at high motorway speeds, while being flexible enough for pottering around town. Wind and road noise can become intrusive at higher speeds.
On the road, considering the high stance, it feels agile and controlled on corners, while the steering is light and responsive. The ride however felt unsettled with the suspension not really soaking up the bumps and potholes on lesser roads. For the more adventurous, four wheel drive is available as an option.
There are four trims, Active, Design Nav, Elite and Elite Nav plus three diesel and two petrol options.
Vauxhall Mokka X 1.6 CDTi Design Nav ecoFLEX
Mechanical: 110ps, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 111mph
0-62mph: 12.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 68.9
Insurance Group: 12
C02 emissions: 103g/km
Bik rating: 22%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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