Opel gives Mokka injection for MPV market

2015-09-16 06:00
The new Opel Mokka.

The new Opel Mokka. Photo:Quickpic

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AT the end of March Opel introduced its third new model, in as many months in South Africa, the Mokka, a compact SUV.

As with the other two models launched by Opel this year, the focus in the Mokka is on German technology, high spec levels and lots of comfort features in an affordable price range – in essence showing German technology can be affordable and be found in a fun, stylish spec-laden vehicle.

And it seems they got the recipe right with the Mokka which was recently announced as the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) most preferred by women in the 2015 Women’s Car of the Year Awards. The coveted Women on Wheels (WOW) Awards are the only car awards in South Africa that are decided by women. Thousands of votes were cast by WOW readers and combined with the judges’ votes the winning cars in 11 categories were chosen.

The Mokka is not only a multi-purpose vehicle, but also multi-segment as it is able to compete in two segments in the popular SUV market - the smaller SUV’s such as the Ford Ecosport, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, as well as the bigger ones such as the Hyundai ix35, VW Tiguan, Kia Sportage and Ford’s Kuga.

The Mokka is available in four models with two trim choices i.e. the basic spec Enjoy and higher spec Cosmo with prices ranging between R298 500 and R335 500. All four models are powered by Opel’s 1.4-litre-turbo engine.

It’s available in a six-speed manual and six- speed automatic versions in both trim levels.

Express on Wheels spent a week testdriving the high spec automatic version, the Opel Mokka 1.4 Turbo Auto Cosmo.


The Mokka is an attractive vehicle with compact and muscular (yet not too manly) styling. In the Cosmo spec level it also has 18-inch wheels as standard.

I liked the bulky bold front as well as muscular side lines. I was not so sure about the rear, however. It looks a bit awkward with the top half of the rear, looking too narrow in comparison to the broad bottom part. But that could just be nitpicking on my part. This looked better in the silver and white models than the red models. Like it or not, this rear view does give it a distinctive look making it stand out in the parking lot.


Inside it looks stylish and offers a whole lot of comfort and space. There’s a real quality in the look and feel of the materials. Black materials (cloth in the Enjoy model and leather in die Cosmo model) with a stitched leather look on the seats, dashboard and side panels, as well as chrome touches every here and there, add to the luxurious feel.

The feel of the seats only adds to the sense of luxury. It is superbly comfortable and can be manually height adjusted with electric lumbar and cushion length adjustment.

Three children or two adults will comfortably fit on the backseat and my children enjoyed the high seating position and towering feel. The high seating position also creates a lot of leg and foot room for the rear passengers. They also have the use of an armrest with cupholders.

The Mokka also sports a good-sized boot. The bootlid is not too heavy and can be opened and closed with ease and the height of the loadbed makes loading it easy. The spare wheel is stored under the loadbed.

The Cosmo model also has the IntelliLink infotainment system with 7-inch high resolution screen as standard. This is available as an optional extra in the Enjoy variant which has Bluetooth/USB, MP3/Aux input and Radio/CD as standard.


All four models in the range are equipped with Opel’s 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 103 kW and 200 Nm of torque.

The one test driven (Opel Mokka 1.4 Turbo Cosmo) was coupled to an automatic gearbox. On the open road the gear-changing was sluggish at best when putting your foot down to overtake. It doesn’t like a heavy foot on the accelerator and the transmission was slow to react at times selecting too low a gear for the speed required.

In city traffic, however, the automatic gearbox was smooth and gave no problems at all. To be fair - it is a city runner and not meant to be driven as a sports car.

A great positive is the feeling of spaciousness and height it gives, without giving you grey hair in the parking lot.

With heavy rains experienced during the road test week, many potholes reared their ugly heads on our daily commute and despite the poor road surfaces, there were no rattles to be heard. It feels stable and well planted on the road.

The Mokka’s fuel economy is rated between 6L and 7L per 100km depending on the model.


Standard features in the basic Enjoy model include front and rear fog lights, daytime running lights, cruise control with speed limiter, speed-sensitive power steering, steering wheel audio controls, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, aux and USB input, a driver’s armrest, electronic climate control, a trip computer, electric and heated side mirrors, power windows, 17-inch alloy wheels with a full-size steel spare and black cloth upholstery.

Additional features in the Cosmo are, among others, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights, front and rear parking sensors, IntelliLink Infotainment system, reversing camera, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, and heated steering wheel – which is a bit of an overkill for the local market. Even the exceptionally cold and rainy conditions during the time of the test drive did not compel me to turn the heat on in the steering wheel.

The Mokka Cosmo offers a comprehensive list of safety features, including six airbags, ABS/EBD, ESP (electronic stability programme), automated high-beam lighting control, Isofix child seat anchorages and hill-start assist. All models come with a five star Euro NCAP rating.

Prices range from R288 500 to R335 500

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