On paper, four-wheel-drive and a punchy turbocharged engine should make the Vauxhall Mokka one of the best petrol cars in this year’s tests. In reality, though, the Mokka was disappointing.
More than one judge had nervous moments towing with the Vauxhall in strong winds, although it actually clung on well in the lane-change test.
The hill-start test didn’t play to the Mokka’s strengths, either. The handbrake held with a firm pull, but it took careful juggling of clutch and revs to coax the Vauxhall up the slope. In reverse, the clutch was soon smelling.
The 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine may not have as much torque as most diesels, but it coped reasonably well with a suitably matched caravan, going from 30-60mph in 17.9 seconds.
If the drivers were lukewarm about the Mokka, the practicality testers were decidedly unimpressed. The small boot failed to cope with our typical load of holiday luggage. On the plus side it is permissible to use the compact spare when towing if you’ve had a puncture, provided it’s fitted to one of the front wheels.
As a solo drive, the Mokka doesn’t ride comfortably or offer much in the way of entertainment. On the plus side, Tech Line versions are much better value than more expensive models, and sizable discounts are available.