In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Mokka-e review

The latest contender in the small electric SUV class, the Vauxhall Mokka-e looks great and boasts a 201-mile range

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Stylish looks
  • Good standard equipment
  • Decent range and charging speeds

Cons

  • Not the most fun
  • Slightly cramped rear seats
  • Some rivals are more practical
Car typeElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric201 miles5hrs (0-100%, 11kW)30mins (10-80%, 100kW)

The Vauxhall Mokka was, in its original form, the brand's attempt to cash in on the small SUV boom in the early 2010s; it sold well, but soon started to feel outdated, even after a 2017 facelift. However, following Vauxhall's integration into the PSA Group (now Stellantis) – owner of Citroen, Peugeot and DS – the car was treated to thorough redesign on the same underpinnings as the Peugeot 2008.

The good news for electric-car fans is that this platform allows for electrification – much as the 2008 has the e-2008, so the Mokka has a Mokka-e variant. The pair share their 50kWh battery, 134bhp electric motor and 100kW charging capability, a setup that you'll also find in the DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE, Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e. This powertrain offers a good balance between efficiency and performance: 0-62mph takes 8.5 seconds, top speed is 93mph and total range is quoted at 201 miles.

So while we're familiar with its underpinnings, the Mokka-e does well to offer a unique small-SUV experience elsewhere. Its styling is all new, showcasing a fresh design language for the brand that harks back to some classic Vauxhall and Opel models of the '70s – a look that's best enjoyed with some of the suitably lurid colours available. It's a successful design that really turns heads on the road.

The 'Vizor' front-end treatment is echoed inside the cabin, where the dashboard takes on a modern, sharp-edged design, presenting the central infotainment screen and digital dials under one binnacle. It's not quite Mercedes-slick, but the overall effect is upmarket and much more on par with rivals than older Vauxhalls. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range, so if you're a smartphone user, there's not much need to pay extra for built-in sat nav.

Interior quality is good; there are a few hard plastics around, but Vauxhall has done well to make sure there are softer, more tactile materials in the places you're most likely to lay your hands. Shiny black trim looks good elsewhere, but is a bit of a fingerprint magnet.

Small SUVs are generally intended as a more practical alternative to superminis, so it's good news that the Mokka-e is more spacious and flexible than the Vauxhall Corsa, even when you take into account the space taken from the boot by the battery. The 310-litre load space is smaller than a petrol-engined Mokka but still beats the Corsa's 267-litre effort. Space in the rear seats is a bit tight for adults, however. 

The Mokka-e's practicality extends to its electric-car credentials, too: its 201-mile range will be useful for most, while the potential for 11kW AC charging means a five-hour charge is possible. Most will still use a 7kW wallbox at home, however, which should equate to a seven-hour charge. 

Crucially, if you're caught short when out and about, the car's 100kW DC charging capability means you can top up to 80% in just 30 minutes. A Mode 3 cable for AC charging is supplied as standard and you can pay extra for a three-pin plug that's best used in emergencies.

Four trim levels are offered: SE Nav Premium, SRi Nav Premium, Elite Nav Premium and Launch Edition. All get a decent amount of standard equipment, with entry-level cars boasting a seven-inch infotainment system with sat nav, plus 16-inch alloys, a panoramic rear-view camera and keyless go. 

Stepping up through the range adds the dual-screen infotainment system with 10-inch centre and 12-inch driver's displays, plus 18-inch wheels, a contrasting black roof, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry. Elite Nav Premium takes a more comfort-orientated approach, with smaller 17-inch alloys, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, while Launch Edition cars offer desirable technology like LED matrix headlights, a wireless phone charger and massage seats.

There's not as much instant shove as you might expect from an electric car, with the response of the accelerator pedal feeling more akin to that of a petrol or diesel car. This will make driving the Mokka-e much more intuitive if you're jumping straight out of an internal-combustion car. Put your foot down and things feel a bit more appropriate for an electric car. 

The Mokka-e handles well and is comfortable; it feels at its best at lower speeds around town, which makes sense given its most likely use, dealing with lumps and bumps well. Increase your speed and there's not the quite the same level of control, but the ride never gets very uncomfortable. Enthusiastic drivers, meanwhile, may be disappointed – the Mokka-e is stable and safe but not especially involving. If you want to have fun behind the wheel of an electric car in this price bracket, try the MINI Electric.

If you need a small electric car and love the way the Mokka-e looks, there are few reasons why you shouldn't add it to your test-drive list. It's not as practical as a Kia e-Niro, nor as futuristic-feeling as a Honda e, but it adds another sound choice to the pool of smaller, affordable electric cars.

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