The head-turning Vauxhall Mokka-e is a bold new EV from the popular British brand – and it performs as well on the road as it looks
The new Vauxhall Mokka-e is a small SUV that aims to build upon the success of its predecessor, the Vauxhall Mokka X. That car was only available with petrol or diesel engines: there’s a replacement, simply called Mokka, which continues with regular ICE motors, but it’s only the pure electric Mokka-e that JGEV is interested in.
It’s a fairly unique model right now, because not many car makers offer pure electric versions of their small crossover SUVs. Only Peugeot, with the e-2008, and the MG ZS EV, offer an alternative – models such as the strong-selling Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur have yet to launch pure EV models (although Renault does sell a Captur plug-in hybrid).
New Vauxhall Mokka-e prices start from £30,840 after the Plug-in Car Grant and the firm sells it in a range of trims including SE Nav Premium, SRi Nav Premium, Elite Nav Premium and the well-equipped Launch Edition, which costs £34,970.
The Mokka-e has a single battery option, a well-sized 50kWh unit that gives a driving range of up to 201 miles. As standard, it has a three-phase 11kW onboard charger (rather than a basic two-phase setup). Using a domestic 7kW wallbox, 0-100% charge takes seven hours 30mins; via a 22kW public charger, it takes just over five hours.
The Mokka-e can use 50kW rapid chargers, which will deliver an 80% charge in 45 minutes… and it’s also ready to use the growing number of 100kW rapid DC public chargers. This will give it an 80% charge in just 30 minutes. The regular charge port is Type 2, with CCS used for fast charging.
Vauxhall gives added reassurance to used car buyers of the Mokka-e too: the battery is guaranteed by an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, on top of the car’s regular three-year warranty.
The Vauxhall Mokka-e oozes showroom appeal. It looks extremely modern and distinctive, with a chunky, sporty stance and characterful attitude. The so-called ‘Vauxhall Vizor’ is a distinctive feature at the front: instead of a traditional grille, there’s an aerodynamic sealed gloss black panel, behind which are hidden all the active safety sensors and radar. It gives the Mokka-e a clean, contemporary appearance.
There’s plenty of personalisation available. My test car was finished in a bright electric green with contrast black roof and optional contrast black bonnet. It also had a set of wheels seemingly modelled on those from a Matchbox toy car. It was a definite head-turner and, if you don’t like such a vivid look, plenty of other custom choices are available.
A good level of equipment is included in all models, with sat nav, 7.0-inch touchscreen and 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster all standard. SRi Nav Premium and above have a 10.0-inch touchscreen and the giant 12.0-inch instrument cluster, giving the full ‘wraparound’ effect.
The interior doesn’t disappoint either. All the SUV essentials are in place: the driving position is nice and high up, the view down the bonnet is commanding and visibility is good despite its sporty lines. I found the firm, supportive seats a feel-good treat to sit in, and the driving position offered plenty of adjustment.
The highlight is Vauxhall’s new dual infotainment screen setup. All models have both digital instruments and an additional touchscreen mounted high up in the centre – and this second screen is inclined towards the driver, giving a cockpit-like feel. It looks really fresh and modern, is convenient to use and gives a standout appearance to the Mokka-e’s interior.
Space is good in the back, and the boot swallows 310 litres. Impressively, it’s identical in size to the regular version above the boot floor – the batteries don’t encroach into the load area as they’re mounted low down beneath the passenger seats. All it lacks is the under-floor storage area enjoyed by the petrol and diesel versions.
The Vauxhall Mokka-e is a very confident-feeling car to drive. Visibility is excellent and the high bonnet makes you feel safe behind the wheel. The silent-running electric motor responds smoothly and it feels precise and modern to drive.
The steering has a nice weight – and the steering wheel is lovely to hold – making it easy to place on the road. And because the heavy batteries are mounted down so low, it doesn’t lean over too much in corners. The planted feel is again safe and reassuring, while the big 18-inch wheels of the Launch Edition car I drove served up plenty of grip.
The ride quality could be a little bumpy when tackling city potholes at low speeds, but things smoothed out nicely as speeds rose. On the motorway, the Mokka-e is a very settled-feeling car, with a big car sense of comfort. The excellent seats help here, supporting well even over long distances.
There are three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport. Normal is standard, which caps power back to 105hp. The idea here is to serve up just enough for daily driving, while conserving a bit of battery power. If you aren’t worried about range, Sport serves up the full 136hp and even filters a sportier sound artificially through the speakers.
The Vauxhall Mokka-e is a fresh and welcome new entrant into the small SUV sector. One of the first to go pure EV, it does so with a really well-developed electric drivetrain and generous battery capacity, for enough range in everyday use with the added benefit of fast charging on longer journeys.
The fact it looks so good, with distinctive and modern styling, and has an excellent interior, adds to the appeal. That it costs just £5k more than the equivalent petrol version means many buyers may be asking themselves what’s not to like. Expect this to become a popular small SUV EV.