Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Vauxhall’s new Mokka

Vaux

When are car designers going to wise up to the sample fact that people are now big and getting bigger?

Looks, colour, performance and affordable used to be the prime considerations for most people setting out to buy a car.

Now the tick-boxes have been joined by one for accessibility and too many cars fail on that issue.

Trendy low rooflines might be aesthetically pleasing but try pointing that out to someone who has bent, contorted and huffed and puffed to just get into the thing.

With their new Mokka, and it really is all-new, Vauxhall have met the issue full-on and, despite its relatively modest exterior size this new contender for the contents of your bank account gives super-generous head, leg and shoulder room for everyone on board.

The Mokka adds a compact SUV to a now commendably comprehensive model line-up, providing strong competition to vehicles like the Skoda Yetti and Nissan Quashqai in this fast-growing market segment.

Solidly built, spacious and loaded with safety features, the Vauxhall Mokka is designed to appeal to a wide range of buyers. The typical target customer leads a highly active lifestyle where leisure activities play a central role in his or her life. That is why the Mokka offers a whole range of optional extras, like the clever FlexFix bicycle carrier, to make it a perfect solution for people who want to balance their busy daily lives with leisure activities.

Just over half of all Mokka customers are expected to opt for the front-wheel drive variant, while the most popular engine will be the 1.7CDTi, likely to account for 42 per cent of sales. The 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 1.6-litre will account for 20 per cent and 38 per cent of sales respectively.

There’s strong appeal to technology-savvy people who rate safety and comfort features high on their agenda. The Mokka provides many technologies that are unique in the segment such as optional ergonomic premium seats, several front camera system functions and Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+).

Three-quarters of compact SUV customers are private buyers, while the rest are likely to be fleet and business. There’s a specific Tech Line trim aimed at company car drivers. With prices starting from £15,995, Mokka Tech Line offers company car drivers exceptional levels of standard spec, combined with low P11D prices and attractive benefit-in-kind charges. Tech Line models can already be found in the Astra and Insignia model ranges.

Vauxhall is not new to the SUV market and has established a successful track record in this segment over the past two decades. In 1991, the company launched the all-wheel drive Frontera off-roader. British-built in Vauxhall’s Luton plant, this was the first European combined off-roader and SUV model. A year later came the Vauxhall Monterey, which was a mid-size pure off-road vehicle. After a brief absence from the SUV market, Vauxhall returned in 2006 with the Antara. This crossover model was updated last year with a comprehensively refreshed appearance, powertrain line-up and ride and handling.

Now along comes the Mokka. Its rather bloated, American-style bodywork might not be to your taste but if you want a vehicle that’s practical, affordable and easy to get in and out of then this could be the one for you.

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