The marketing spin that accompanied the launch of the Opel Mokka back in 2015 included the words, “Mokka targets consumers who have active lifestyles and a taste for adventure.”
In marketing language, not much has changed and, if anything, the newest iteration takes comfort from those famous words from The Rocky Horror Show in the song ‘Time Warp’ – “It’s just a jump to the left. . .” – with striking colour combinations to go with a left-of-field design.
Experimental, conceptual design
The influence of the new design is the GTX Xperimental Concept Car. It is one of the first Opel models to feature the new Vizor design that draws inspiration from a full-face crash helmet with the visor down and combines, in a single element, the grille, the LED headlights and the new logo with the Opel lightning bolt.
The Opel Mokka is a compact five-seater, 4 150 mm long and 1 790 mm wide. However, the squarish shape of the body standing on 215/60 R17 rubber – even though that is one size smaller than its price band opposition – gives it a muscular stance that generally garners more than a quick second look when it arrives anywhere.
Conceptual and experimental design
At the rear, the model’s name, Mokka, appears in a landscape format at the centre of the tailgate with a specific font.
Inside, it features the new Opel Pure Panel that incorporates two large screens to leave room only for the essentials. Unlike dashboards overloaded with information and controls, the Pure Panel is clear and easily understandable.
Referred to as ‘digital detox’, driver distraction is minimised by intuitive functioning, and fact-buttons still control the prime functions without navigating through menus.
Powered to perform
Powered by a 1,2-litre turbo-charged petrol engine that delivers 96 kW at 5 500 r/min and 230 Nm of torque at 1 750 r/min, the all-aluminium motor drives through an eight-speed automatic gearbox with average fuel consumption of 6,4 l/100 km on our test cycle.
Powered to perform
Compared to its predecessor, the new Mokka is more fuel-efficient - 120 kg lighter and a more rigid body – two factors assisting with fuel use, making the vehicle more responsive and fun to drive.
It responds smartly to steering and throttle inputs. The auto box is quick enough through both up and downshifts to allow for livelier driving activity, where it acquits itself more than adequately considering its SUV status.
With a top speed of 200 km/h, it moves from rest to 100 km/h in 9,4 seconds. It also has a slightly lower ground clearance – 120 mm – than its immediate rivals, such as the Hyundai Kona 1.6T Executive, Mazda CX-30 2.0 Carbon Edition and Subaru XV 2.0i-S ES. But this hardly hampers its ability to perform on good dirt roads.
Modified for safety and comfort
An array of safety features bolsters urban cruising, and on, and off-road-zesty driving, including Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection on GS Line models.
Safe and comfortable interior
The system works at speeds above 5 km/h. When the Mokka approaches a vehicle or pedestrian too quickly, the system emits a warning signal and displays a message in the driver information centre. It responds to imminent collisions by preparing and applying emergency braking. Below 30 km/h, the system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop, whereas the driver must brake hard if the speed exceeds 30 km/h.
Adaptive cruise control that works between 30 km/h and 180 km/h is included and can brake the car to a standstill and follow the vehicle in front in traffic jams.
Also, standard are front and rear park distance controls, lane-keeping assist, six crash bags, anti-lock braking, hill start assist and traction control.
Sadly, it does come with a space-saver spare wheel, but this does allow a luggage capacity of 310 litres, rising to 1 105 litres with the split rear seats folded. The GS Line has a 10-inch high-definition IntelliLink colour touchscreen with the addition of built-in navigation.
The Mokka is fun to drive, and positive reaffirmation automotive designers still have active imaginations.