The headline news with the Vauxhall Mokka is the new 1.6-litre diesel engine. It’s a big improvement over the old 1.7-litre diesel in every respect, with less engine noise and improved economy and emissions figures.
It also has plenty of poke for towing. Pulling from 30-60mph, as you might when joining the motorway, took 13.6 seconds.
In terms of stability, though, there are better tow cars than the Mokka. In the extreme conditions of the lane-change test it clings on pretty well, but at motorway speeds we found the Mokka less stable than its rivals. Throughout the test route the Vauxhall felt wallowy and vague, failing to inspire confidence. In addition, the handbrake needed a firm pull to stop car and caravan from rolling backwards in the hill-start test, but otherwise the Mokka handled the 1-in-6 slope reasonably well.
As an everyday drive, the engine is the highlight of living with the Mokka. It shifts the car along at a decent rate. However, numb steering gets in the way of any fun. The car handles neatly enough, but you wouldn’t say it’s entertaining.
Inside, passenger space is more generous than you might expect from the Vauxhall’s compact shape. However, the boot is small, so you’ll need to travel light or invest in a roof rack.
If you get close to the official combined economy figure of 65.7mpg you’ll enjoy low fuel bills, and by Vauxhall’s standards, the Mokka holds its value surprisingly well. However, the list price looks stiff compared with some rivals’.