If you want a car named after a hot drink you can have this Vaux- hall Mokka or the Suzuki Cappuccino. Unless MG built a Bovril Shooting Brake we don’t know about. Helping it to sound less like a Starbucks order, the Mokka badge has gained an X suffix, which you’ll soon see on the bootlids of Corsa and Astra-sized crossovers.
As well as a new name, the Mokka X has received updates aimed at smoothing off the old car’s rough edges – its cluttered cabin, uninspiring engines and incongruous exterior styling, to name but a few. Sales of compact SUVs are marching inexorably onward after all – with market share increasing from less than one percent in 2010 to 7.5% in 2015.
Outside, most of the changes have been made around the front of the car, with an Astra-cised bumper and grille arrangement and a new lower section for the rear end.
The old Mokka had a scattered switch-fest of a centre console – we drove one with three ‘Nav’ buttons. Migrating most of the controls to a 7m touchscreen has cured this, and a larger 8in system with sat-nav is an option.
Either way you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus OnStar’s emergency and concierge services.
Niceties such as 18in alloys and LED daytime running lights are also standard, and if you upgrade to the top-of-the-range Elite trim you’ll get leather, tinted rear windows, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
The 1.4-litre petrol is now available with an extra 12bhp, with six-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive only – well worth the upgrade if you’re considering the latter two options.
It’s alittle less efficient than the lower-powered variant but endows the Mokka X with the power it always needed – it’s quiet too, the gearbox prioritising low revs. That’s not ideal on a spirited drive, and the oddly placed override buttons on the top of the gearshifter don’t exactly deliver in terms of engagement.
The 4×4 system is handy in inclement weather but it’ll still understeer surprisingly easily in the wet, plus there’s a fair bit of bodyroll. Steering’s good though, accurate and nicely weighted, but offering zero feedback.
Overall this new Mokka X looks and drives (with this engine at least) much better than the old car, so that’s a success. Rivals still offer superior dynamics and styling, but at a cost.
Vauxhall Mokka Elite 1.4T 152 auto 4×4
Engine: 1399cc 16v turbocharged, 4-cyl
Power: 151bhp @ 5600rpm
Torque: 181lb ft @ 2200-4400rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Top speed: 120mph
On sale: October
Old Mokka gripes sorted out