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Martin

Vauxhall Mokka

My hire car is a metallic blue Mokka 1.6 SE.  It's only just been delivered so nothing to say just yet other than I'm glad it wasn't the bright red 500L that pulled up first!!

I was due to get an Insignia or similar, which I wouldn't class this as, but looking at the list prices it's more expensive than a petrol SRi Nav Insignia with more power!  
Martin

I donít have a proper reference point for the Mokka, so itís difficult to assess how good it is, but Iíll try and summarise what I do and donít like.

Positives

It has pretty good showroom appeal.  It looks well put together, has some nice materials inside and has a really good level of standard equipment.  The SE model has heated leather seats (subtle 2 tone), heated wheel, electric lumbar support, Bluetooth, Audio Streaming, iPod control, folding mirrors, 18Ē alloys etc etc.  There are plenty of soft touch plastics in the upper half of the car and decent looking aluminium effect trim which brightens it all up.  I donít think it looks too bad (for this type of car!) from the outside either as it doesnít look quite as narrow and tall as some do.

The seats look good and are both comfortable and supportive with plenty of adjustment.  It has a nice steering wheel, so the main contact points are good, which is an area that a lot of manufacturers don't get right.  It also has a good stereo, or at least it has when you turn the bass right down as the speakers donít cope at all well otherwise and the trim all buzzes!

The only real positives when youíre on the move is that itís very easy to drive, with really light controls, good visibility (although the rear screen is small) and being fairly narrow, itís easy to slot through gaps and park.

Negatives

There are too many buttons inside the car and itís unnecessarily complicated, but the worst things are the very dated orange graphics on the two displays, theyíre almost identical to the ones in my Peugeot 406!  I donít like the driving position either, but thatís a personal thing as I prefer to be a lot lower with my legs straighter, this feels like youíre sitting at the dining table on your best behaviour!

It isnít all that great to drive (I'm trying to be kind), with the biggest issue being the engine, which is gutless, breathless and uneconomical.  Its only positive feature is that itís quiet, but you have to work it hard to keep up with traffic and despite taking it pretty easy overall (as there isn't any point trying to push it), it was less economical than the Boxster on a similar journey!! (31.8mpg).  It only has 5 gears, but despite it doing 4,000rpm at duel carriageway speeds, engine noise isnít an issue because itís drowned out by the road/wind noiseÖÖ

The ride is pretty poor, with an surprising amount of firmness when you hit a bump followed by softness and excessive body movement, which is the thing I dislike the most in the way a car behaves.  It also has quite noisy suspension, but I know itís not alone in that respect, a current shape Mondeo I passengered in was exactly the same, but at least it rode and handled well.  Ahhh, the handling.... Way too light steering with zero feel and too quick response just off centre, followed by too much body roll and terrible understeer topped off with the little power you have been taken away from you!  I found myself having to adjust the steering mid corner as it's so inaccurate and lacking in feel.  Itís not a car youíd want to push on in at all, after the first couple of roundabouts I slowed down and stopped bothering.  

Iím just glad Iím only going to have to do a 50 mile round trip for a couple of days and I donít have to go to Swindon.

As I said at the beginning, I donít really have a decent (recent) reference point as Iíve not hired a small car in years and never get a courtesy car, so I may be being unnecessarily harsh.  However, Iíve tried to take into account the price / price differential to what Iím used to (although itís no way worth over £20k).  It also may be a better proposition with the 1.4T engine or maybe even the diesel, but itís still going to ride/handle pretty poorly.  

So, if you want to wear a hat while driving, have something that is easy to get in and out of, donít really care about driving and think itís worth over £20k then it may be a good option for you!  

Driving a Mokka has made me even more astounded that people slate the MINI, as that proves a small car can drive brilliantly when itís well engineered from quality components.  Every MINI Iíve driven has been miles better than this and when you look at what you could get for a similar amount, itís a total no brainer.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Re: Vauxhall Mokka

Martin wrote:
My hire car is a metallic blue Mokka 1.6 SE. †It's only just been delivered so nothing to say just yet other than I'm glad it wasn't the bright red 500L that pulled up first!

Seriously? I'd have taken the Fiat every time.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Martin wrote:

Iím just glad Iím only going to have to do a 50 mile round trip for a couple of days and I donít have to go to Swindon.

Many people are glad that they don't have to go to Swindon by car !

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Martin wrote:
My hire car is a metallic blue Mokka 1.6 SE.  It's only just been delivered so nothing to say just yet other than I'm glad it wasn't the bright red 500L that pulled up first!

Seriously? I'd have taken the Fiat every time.

Oh, I don't know; I'd have taken the Mokka once out of curiosity, to see what it's like
simonp

Had one on the drive for 3 months and I've not driven it yet. The missus likes it, though, so that's what matters, I suppose.
Martin

simonp wrote:
Had one on the drive for 3 months and I've not driven it yet. The missus likes it, though, so that's what matters, I suppose.


Sorry, I forgot you had one....  

You're right, that is all that matters!

I didn't have the choice of the 500L, but I have a very strong dislike of them and no desire to try one, even out of curiosity!
simonp

Don't worry, if I liked it that much, I'd have had a go in it by now!
Martin

simonp wrote:
Don't worry, if I liked it that much, I'd have had a go in it by now!


I'm amazed you haven't, aren't you even a little bit curious?

Won't Mrs S let you have a go?    
Martin

Here it is.....and no, I didn't park it up on the kerb!

It makes a nice change for it to be one of my cars parked outside a kitchen window.



PG

The positives you list are really why all these small SUV-a-likes sell. Showroom appeal; higher driving position; easy to drive; an aura of space.

Any on road negatives are lost on many people.
Martin

I can't believe anyone would be happy with the ride or the engine, but I guess it depends on what your used to.  I've decided its a 5/10ths car, don't go above that and it's less frustrating.  A better engine would help, but driving sedately means it's less of an issue.  

Lindsay was chucking away when I walked in... "I saw it coming down the road and expected to see a proper mumsy woman behind the wheel!  At least it's a nice colour......"

I've found the silver lining.  I've got loads of cardboard and some other rubbish that needs to go to the tip, as most of the furniture we bought for the new house was assembled its a large amount and taking up a lot of space.  The Mokka ain't the largest car, but the tip is only 10mins away so I could clear it either Thursday night or Saturday morning. Excellent.
PR

Many of the on-road negatives could apply to my Captur experience: ride that manages to be both floaty and firm - making it feel disappointingly out of sorts on the French back roads where it should be most at home; zero-feel steering; early onset understeer. However the Renault at least steers precisely and predictably, and has enough torque from its diesel engine to maintain good progress, even if its six speed auto is a bit last century in the way it does its stuff.
Martin

Sounds very familiar!
PR

I keep reminding myself I could be driving a Corsa instead and suddenly I feel awfully lucky!!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

PR wrote:
Many of the on-road negatives could apply to my Captur experience: ride that manages to be both floaty and firm

Strange, mine's not that floaty but it's not as supple or smooth as the Scenic that preceded it.  Maybe it's the 16" wheeels/tyres on your French-spec version as apart from the "pits" base Expression model, UK cars get 17" wheels/tyres (tyres are usually Michelins on the 17" wheels, but a variety of makes on the 16")

PR wrote:
..... has enough torque from its diesel engine to maintain good progress, even if its six speed auto is a bit last century in the way it does its stuff.

The gearbox is an EDC (dual clutch) and it's super-smooth, with changes only detectable by a jump on the rev counter and a very slight change in engine note/noise. For "just" 90BHP it's extremely quick off the mark and I recon it's the best auto I've ever driven
PR

Aha, I did wonder as that would explain the lack of creep and the clutch slippy way it moves off the line. It does change gear very smoothly.
simonp

I liked the metallic blue Mokka, but Mrs P wasn't too struck on it. I doubt the ride will be much different, but hers will probably be a little nicer to drive being the 1.4T engine. I've never really noticed the poor ride from the passenger seat, but you notice more when you're sat on the other side I think.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Martin wrote:
I didn't have the choice of the 500L, but I have a very strong dislike of them and no desire to try one, even out of curiosity!

As I've said before, I'd always choose ugly over boring, and the Mokka has to be up with the Audi Q3 as the least interesting car on sale.

I actually had a 500L last month, it was incredibly enormous inside, which is always a selling point for this kind of car.
Martin

Got all of the cardboard and a few other things that were taking up space in the garage cleared out in two runs to the tip this evening.  That's saved renting a van.

I can't wait to get my car back.
PG

Interesting to hear views on these smaller SUV-a-likes. They're not "cars" in handling or ride terms and never really can be. I suppose I see that difference every week.  

The Jag v our Shogun is pretty much the same issue. Don't drive the Shogun at anything over 5/10ths really. It is a tool for the job. I took the Shogun on a 200 mile trip at the weekend, after having not driven it more than locally or with a trailer on the back for a while, and I spent the first 10 minutes thinking "holy fuck I'm going to go into a hedge". But then once I got back used to it and remembered how to drive it and steer it - relaxed, smooth, cruise - it did the job fine.

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