A niche within a niche
I was unable to attend the Opel Mokka launch back in March so I was very excited to get my hands on a test vehicle a few weeks back. I had heard much about this compact SUV, but was yet to experience it myself.
The Mokka, which has received international acclaim in Europe, is the third of what Opel calls the ‘new Germans’ (following the Adam and the Corsa) to be launched in South Africa in just three months.
If you are looking for its competitors, you may have a tough time. Opel has created a niche within a pretty niche market…although I can’t really call the ever-growing, hugely popular compact SUV segment niche any longer. You would probably call the Hyundai ix35, Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage its rivals, but these are a tad big to compete directly, so then you look to the smaller Ford EcoSport or Kia Soul perhaps, but again, these are tad too small. It’s sort of the Goldie Locks and the Three Bears debacle. So you could say it sits somewhere in between….comfortably.
What the Mokka does offer is oodles of standard spec. The entry-level Enjoy trim level includes front and rear fog lights, daytime running lights, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, speed-sensitive power steering with a multi-function steering wheel, USB and aux input, driver armrest, electronic climate control, trip computer, solar-absorbing windscreen, colour-coded door handles, electric and heated side mirrors, power windows with one-touch up and down all-round, a folding key, 17-inch alloy wheels with a full-size steel spare and black cloth upholstery. Phew!
The Cosmo models adds auto windscreen wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights with active high-beam assist, front and rear parking sensors, electric folding mirrors, an eyewear holder, heated front seats, interior ambient lighting, rear privacy glass, 18-inch alloys, leather upholstery, a heated, leather-bound steering wheel, a rear arm rest and a 230V power socket, ideal for charging phones or laptops.
All Mokka models are powered by Opel’s 1.4-litre turbocharged Ecotec petrol engine, there is no diesel available. The engine produces 103 kW and 200 N.m of torque and is mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The ride is comfortable as are the seats. It handles as one would expect a compact SUV to handle and steering is perfectly weighted.
Mokka’s compact proportions disguise its spacious interior, making Mokka an all-round vehicle where a vast array of lifestyle applications can be easily adapted. And, even though the boot isn’t as big as many of its rivals’, the luggage capacity is 356 litres; with the 60:40 flip and folded rear seats, it goes up to 1371 litres, it is still enough for those shopping trips to the grocery store or a weekend getaway.
So the Mokka is a bit of a question mark for some as they are unsure where to place it. But so what? It’s a car that doesn’t necessarily stand out and might not even be very memorable a few weeks after having driven it, but it’s competent, practical and effortless to drive. It is the sort of car you want for your every day commute, especially around the city, but even on the open road. So if are willing to pay that much extra for it, then it may be worth your spend.
Mokka Enjoy 1.4T manual – R288 500
Mokka Enjoy 1.4T automatic – R 298 500
Mokka Cosmo 1.4T manual – R325 500
Mokka 1.4 T Cosmo automatic – R335 500