More frappuccin­o than espresso

The perky triple fizzes and gargles, delivering its power in an easily usable way It looks very of-the-moment. There are some lovely details, and the engine punches above its weight. But as an overall package… By Jake Groves


First impression­s mean a great deal. My Mokka gleaned many ooohs and aaaaahs when it arrived, with its impactful face and red trimmings.

Second impression­s were good too. The interior, while plasticky in places, has a good (ie low) seating position and a no-nonsense approach to putting the most important controls within reach and ensuring informatio­n is easily readable. The physical climate dials are simple to use, the instrument­s are simple to read (even if they look tremendous­ly dull) and there are quick-access buttons for tech like the (largely unused) steering assist for the adaptive cruise and the start/stop (which I usually switched off). Even the infotainme­nt, which I expected to be a nuisance, ended up being less of a fiddle once I was used to it.

The engine is really perky – fizzing and gargling under the bonnet, delivering its power in an easily usable way, with a characterf­ul engine note to match.

But there are plenty of gripes. At low speeds the auto ’box frequently made me feel like a learner at T-junctions waiting for the right gear to kick in. The door sills are too high and the tailgate button is in a stupid place. And the ride, particular­ly over the rear axle, irritated at low speeds with endless jolts and jittering – as if the Mokka’s had too much caffeine. It settles on motorway cruises.

The biggest grumble, however, is interior space. My colleague Tom Wiltshire found it claustroph­obic when he borrowed it for a few days, and I’m inclined to agree. While the ‘shallow glasshouse’ (as designers call it) looks cool from the outside, it makes the inside feel gloomy and tight. As I found on a trip to Northern Ireland, fully loaded with people and stuff, the boot is one of the smallest in the baby-crossover segment. As for rear space… I may as well have run a Corsa. For a car aimed at families, it’s cramped.

As I grab a coffee and reflect on my time with the Mokka, I have an epiphany. It’s like those cream- and syrup-laced buckets of calories with barely any coffee in them that are so popular at big coffee chains – the opposite of the wake-up call a double espresso can be. A bit showy, but very on-trend.

If that’s what Vauxhall was aiming for with the Mokka, then it’s a huge success. @_jakegroves

Count the cost

Cost new £27,755 Part-exchange £23,550 Cost per mile 17.7p Cost per mile including depreciati­on 51.1p

 ?? ?? Just don’t let him anywhere near a car called Litre of Gin
Just don’t let him anywhere near a car called Litre of Gin

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