Vauxhall Mokka Elite

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Vauxhall Mokka, 2021, side
Vauxhall Mokka, 2021, front
Vauxhall Mokka, 2021, rear
Vauxhall Mokka, 2020, interior
Vauxhall Mokka, 2021, boot
Vauxhall Mokka, 2021, display screen

IT'S all change for Vauxhall's popular small SUV the Mokka - and it's all the better for it.

The previous version was not dynamic enough in appearance to set it aside from the competition but the new one is a breath of fresh air for the brand with crisp, bold styling and two-tone paintwork which elevates it to a whole new level.

For starters the newcomer is lower and wider giving it a much more sporty look.

It's shorter, however, so rear legroom is best described as adequate rather than generous although there's nothing lacking when it comes to headroom.

In Elite Nav Premium spec - as driven here - the new Mokka is impressively equipped making it an easy car to live with.

With a radical interior change you now get a virtual dashboard, so you can change the look and size of the dials as well as having satellite navigation or computer readout figures between them.

It's what Vauxhall calls its Pure Panel approach and sees the 12-inch instrument panel merging seamlessly into the 10-inch colour touch screen, ensuring a minimalist approach to switches and buttons.

That minimalist approach also extends to the automatic gearbox with the elimination of the traditional automatic gear shift in favour of a tiny toggle switch.

Alongside it is a rocker switch which allows you to change driving modes from eco to normal or even sport and you can liven things up a bit more by using the paddles behind the steering wheel.

Creature comfort touches include heated front seats and a rear view camera to back up the parking sensors and simplify reversing.

Power comes from a relatively small three-cylinder, 1.2-litre turbo charged engine which develops a beefy 130 bhp and certainly punches well above its weight.

It's surprisingly sharp off the mark and never feels lacking when you need power. In fact there were times on the motorway while overtaking when I found myself having to throttle back as the Mokka seemed to thumb its nose at the speed limit and power on with ease.

The eight speed auto box is seamless and a delight to use, giving an instant and very lively response to any kick-down on the accelerator when you need to power on.

It's hard to believe there's only a three-cylinder engine beneath the bonnet, both in terms of performance and sound. Only under very hard acceleration can you pick out the distinctive three pot note, as the cabin is very well soundproofed.

And while it's not designed as a sporting car the road holding and grip have little to be desired in what is a tall SUV.

A double decker boot system allows you to utilise the 350 litres of luggage space to the full and there are a number of useful spaces inside the cabin to accommodate smaller incidentals.

The Mokka's not lacking on the safety front either with features like lane keeping assist, blind spot alert, hill start assist, forward collision alert and speed sign recognition.

And perhaps best of all this spec model comes with Matrix LED headlamps, a real bonus for anyone doing a lot of night driving.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Mokka Elite Nav Premium

Price: £27,100

Mechanical: 130bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via eight speed automatic gearbox.

Max Speed: 124 mph

0-62mph: 9.2 secs

Combined MPG: 47.9

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 137g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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