I had the pleasure of testing the Mokka X, and no, it’s not some kind of over-sized coffee, it’s Opel’s all new SUV that is meant to rival the likes of the Renault Kadjar.
Now the definition of SUV is Sport Utility Vehicle, which is classed as a light truck but is often used as a family vehicle, and within my first couple of days driving the Mokka X Enjoy, which is the entry level model of this range, it became absolutely clear to me that although the vehicle felt big because you feel high off the road, it is by no means any bigger than the average hatchback.
Let’s put this into perpective: If you have toddlers and you have two car seats to transport them, there will barely be enough space to squeeze an extra adult passenger in the back.
Another example that could be used is that of a pram, and we are talking an actual pram and not the stroller type. Yes, a pram fills up the entire boot leaving virtually no place to cram an extra baby bag or groceries in the space.
And this leaves me with the question – is this SUV really a “family car”, or is it just an over-sized hatchback with improved ground clearance to help you navigate the potholes and poorly constructed roads of South African cities?
Although the size of this SUV was a tad disappointing, they made up for their shortcomings with an impressive interior, with a dashboard clad in tech-rich features along with a 1.4 litre turbocharged engine with 103kw and 200Nm of torque which puts the sport into SUV.
I was pleasantly surprised at how quick the Mokka X accelerated, especially because the vehicle felt so big when driving it. The particular test unit I drove had been delivered with a slow puncture, which I probably would not have known about had it not been for the tyre pressure sensors. That shows the huge technological strides that have been made in the motor industry in the past 10 years, something even more noticable if you drive a vehicle that was manufactured before the turn of the millennium.
Fuel stats were everything short of impressive. I did not expect a 1.4 litre SUV to use so much petrol … I used an average of 10.2 litres per 100km and I’m pretty sure I can attribute this to the six-speed auto gearbox.
It felt like either you put your foot flat on the throttle and get propelled at high speeds or you can slowly ease away from the traffic light at low speed, there is no in-between, unless of course you use the car in manual mode, where you can control the shifts in an attempt to save fuel.
Watch the video of my time with the Mokka X
My impression of this SUV is that it would be a great car for a woman to use around the city on a daily basis but it will truly struggle to compete with some of the bigger family SUVs because your family would need to be small.
And, with a price tag of R328 400 for the 1.4T Enjoy 6AT, there might be better options if you are looking for a real family SUV.