Vauxhall is out to prove that electric cars do not have to be boring, utilitarian and underwhelming.
In fact, there’s trouble brewing for rivals to the new ‘clean and green’ Mokka SUV/Crossover styled hatchback family car from Vauxhall with its high specification and options.
Mokka-e gets the new look Vizor front end styling treatment which takes its name from the appearance of a Crusader’s helmet and it certainly turns heads.
The latest Vauxhall Mokka-e is not a stand-alone model but one of the offerings in a compact SUV series which includes both cheaper petrol and diesel engines and indicates the future direction of its model series as it drives towards the pure electric future in the 2030s.
In the case of the Mokka-e all models feature a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 100 kW (136 PS) electric motor with 260 Nm (192 lb.ft) of torque as standard. The Mokka-e has an 11 kW on-board charger and WLTP tests indicate a range of up to 201 miles per full charge.
Customers can choose between three driving modes, Normal, Eco and Sport to suit their requirements and energy consumption, which alter the throttle and steering response, but also adjust the power and torque available.
- Eco:Power and torque limited to 60 kW and 180 Nm (133 lb.ft) – maximises vehicle range
- Normal:Power and torque limited to 80 kW and 220 Nm (162 lb.ft) – ideal for daily driving
- Sport: Full power and torque (100 kW and 260 Nm or 192 lb.ft) – maximises performance.
Supporting up to 100 kW rapid DC charging, an 80% charge takes just 30 minutes in the all-new Mokka-e, with the lithium-ion battery guaranteed by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty alongside the usual mechanical guarantee.
Through a domestic 7kW Wallbox, a 0 – 100% charge will take 7 h 30 min, while a full charge through a 2 2kW public charger will take 5 h 05 min. An 80% charge, using a 50 kW rapid charger will take 45 minutes. Through the MyVauxhall app, or via the centre console, drivers can also schedule delayed charging, taking advantage of lower electricity tariffs during off-peak hours.
It’s well equipped with Bluetooth, DAB radio, hands free operation and SMS messaging as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, satellite navigation with live traffic updates is available and the acclaimed Vauxhall Connect has e-Call and b-Call emergency and breakdown systems. The test car even had a heated steering wheel and heated front seats along with air conditioning, so you have to juggle their use with energy consumption and ultimate range.
These are in addition to a raft of driver aids and safety systems, including intelligent LED headlights, cruise control and speed sign recognition, plus drowsiness alert with lane departure warning. Upgrades include adaptive cruise control, wide-angle rear view camera, parking assistance and remote key and start.
The Mokka-e comes as SE Nav Premium, SRi Nav Premium and Elite Nav Premium. Mokka-e carries a price premium over its closest petrol and diesel stablemates but you save on registration and fuel costs although there’s dearer insurance.
The electric motor and driveline is elementary; just start, select mode and go, in near utter silence and with little hesitation and a lot of urge once the torque builds. It’s quick to 60 mph and has no trouble maintaining a good main road speed.
Motorways tend to rapidly drain the charged battery and the stated 201 miles range is likely to substantially diminish unless you can knock it back to about 50 mph. I found going on main roads much better to conserve charge utilising regeneration and hill descent.
There was not a lot of sensitive feedback through the steering except when hitting a pothole or raised bump but the turning circle was good. The natural tendency seemed to be running wide on bends but there was little body roll and it all came back quickly if you eased off the pedal.
The brakes combined with the electrical retardation provided very sharp slowing ability with minimum pressure underfoot and the automatic hill-hold did a good job every time.
Access was very good to cabin and boot, the capacity was ideal for a family car, and it could be easily increased as the seats folded. Room was plentiful for a six-footer without impinging too much on those behind and it would take five. Oddments provision was also good in front or behind and there’s plenty of power points to keep young minds active on a longer journey.
Another good feature in a family car is the visibility and there were few blindspots in the Mokka-e because of the sensors and camera, which provided a very good clear image and AI system to park it as if directly looking down. It just needed care pulling away from a kerb or into a line of traffic from a sliproad or junction.
Anyone experiencing an electric car for the first time always comments on how quiet it is. The Mokka-e produces the usual thrum from the motor when running and its note changes to a whirring as speed rises but it’s never loud or annoying. Some road shocks can be felt and heard and the way the car shuts down over a period can produce unexpected clicks and knocks.
Vauxhall do not supply a home charge cable and I believe the inclusion of a home-charge domestic cable would actually lead to more sales of what is, after all, a very sophisticated and well equipped compact family car with a lot of potential.
For: Very well equipped and comfortable, quiet, good performance, adequate room and good boot space easy to load, zero emissions motoring, zero taxes, popular compact SUV styling.
Motoring Milestones and Wheels-Alive Tech. Spec. in Brief:
Vauxhall Mokka-e SRi Nav Premium.
Mechanical: 50 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 100 kW (136 PS) electric motor, 260 Nm (192 lb.ft) of torque, automatic, front wheel drive.
Max Speed: 93 mph.
0 – 62 mph: 8.7 sec.
Range: 201 miles.
Insurance Group: 22.
C02 emissions: ZEROg/km.
Bik rating: ZERO%.
Warranty: 3-years /60,000 miles mechanical & 8-years /100,000 miles battery pack.
Size: L 4.16 m (13.65 ft), W 1.80 m (5.91 ft), H 1.54 m (5.05 ft).
Bootspace: 310 to 1,060 litres (10.95 to 37.43 cu.ft).
Kerbweight: 1,598 kg (3,523 lb).