Vauxhall Mokka X new car review

Vauxhall Mokka

VAUXHALL MOKKA X 4X4

The Mokka X is a revised version of Vauxhall’s popular Mokka crossover, and with smart looks, extra equipment and the option of four wheel drive, it can take on the best in this fast-growing segment.

There is a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, with the 1.6 diesel a highlight, but so too is the 1.4 turbo-petrol engine which offers 0-60 mph in well under 10 seconds, yet can still return combined fuel economy of 43.5 mpg.

Mokka X prices start at £18,930 and entry level version is well-kitted with standard features such as cruise control, parking sensors, power windows and door mirrors, high beam assist, 17-inch alloy wheels and a touch-screen infotainment system.

That list covers what most people want but up the range more and more equpiment is added to the point where top-spec models can top £27,000. My test model was in in upper-range Elite trim and with auto gearbox, four wheel drive and 1.4 litre petrol engine it costs £26,360.

For this price you get too much to list but kit includes larger 18 inch alloys, roof rails, side mouldings, leather heated sports seats and heated steering wheel, 7-inch touch-screen, connectivity including Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto, and Vauxhall OnStar which offers a range of driver aids. You also get climate and cruise controls, auto lights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors among many other features.

The Mokka X has strong visual road presence and displays a certain cachet which is important in a sector where kudos can sometimes outweigh commonsense. It also scores well for its practicality, surprisingly roomy inside thanks to clever design and with plenty of cabin storage for oddments.

It can just about accommodate three adults in the rear with reasonable comfort. The 356 litre boot is among the biggest in the class and can be increased to 1,372 litres by folding the rear seats, which drop flat easily.

The cabin has a quality appearance with attractive design touches, chrome detailing and well-ordered layout of controls and overall, the Mokka X interior is a pleasant place to be. Only quibble is with the oddly-designed handbrake release which is awkward to operate.

On the road, the 150 hp 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine is refined and quick, with a 0-60 mph time of 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph. Fuel economy is 43.5 mpg combined. The controls are light and positive, giving assured handling and minimal body-pitch on the corners, and ride quality though firm is still comfortable.

Mokka X is right among the best in the compact crossover class, with impressive styling, good driving dynamics and plenty of standard equipment. So much kit in fact that many buyers will find best-value at entry or mid-range levels.

FOR: Stylish image, roomy cabin, plenty of equipment.

AGAINST: Awkward handbrake.

Vauxhall Astra Elite

Vauxhall Astra Elite

Vauxhall Astra Elite new car review

Vauxhall Astra Elite new car review

The Vauxhall Astra has been a very familiar name on the UK motoring scene for almost 40 years and the latest seventh-generation model shows just why it has enjoyed such long-term success.

Since first launched in 1979, the Astra has been a strong seller in the hatchback sector, vying with the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf at the top of the sales chart though not always perceived as having quite the same overall quality.

But that is no longer the case. The latest Astra earns top marks on all counts – sleek styling, excellent driving dynamics, roomy interior, laden with latest technology and with a wide range of efficient petrol and diesel engines including a nifty 1.0 litre three-cylinder unit.

Prices start at £16,145 for well-kitted entry versions, and diesel models will be the obvious choice for many, especially business users. My test model was a Vauxhall Astra Elite 1.6 litre bi-turbo diesel offering 159 hp. With a 0-60mph time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph, it has sporty credentials yet can return a fuel economy figure of 67.3 mpg.

Standard kit on this Elite Nav flagship model, costing £22,815, includes 17-inch alloys, rear spoiler, leather trimmed sports seats, sat-nav, cruise control with speed limiter, dual-zone climate control, auto lights and wipers and On Star connectivity. Continue reading