By Simon Acton, IEVOA Chair, May 2021

Opel, like many manufacturers, are now on a mission to electrify their model range. I headed down to Opel Liffey Valley to test drive the two latest arrivals, the handsome Mokka-e compact crossover and the Vivaro-e van.

Last year I test drove the impressive Corsa-e, which I loved for its great dynamics, equipment and nimble handling, but there is no denying that with Irish consumers current preference for crossover and SUV style vehicles the Mokka-e is a more significant addition to Opel’s model range and will undoubtedly sell in greater numbers.

As with its Corsa sibling, power comes from a 100kW motor (136bhp) and a 50kWh battery pack giving a WLTP driving range of 324km and 0-100km/h in just 8.7 seconds.  In real-world driving conditions you can expect closer to 300kms of range, which in reality is more than enough for most people’s needs.  Charging is by CCS for DC rapid charging at up to 100kW and by Type 2 for AC slow charging at up 7.4kW. At a100kW capable rapid charger this means an 80% charge in 30 minutes, but in reality you’ll likely charge at home most of the time and a full charge overnight on a 7kW home charger is easily achievable.  Opel’s battery warranty is excellent with cover for 8 years / 160,000km guaranteeing a remaining capacity of at least 70%.

First Impressions

The Mokka-e strikes a stocky pose, emphasised by a blunt front end and short overhangs, sitting on 18” wheels resplendent in metallic green paint, there is no denying that with its quirky retro styling this is a striking car.  My eyes are immediately drawn to details such as the central bonnet crease which hark back to the much loved 1970s Opel Manta. This is a neat trick by Opel in a crowded market where so many brands are reviving popular models from bygone times in an attempt to tug at our heart strings. This is a refreshing change of direction from the previous generation Mokka which was really quite bland.

Inside the cabin is a nice place to be too, with pleasing use of materials, everything has a quality feel from the seats to the steering wheel, media unit and controls.  Everything is nicely laid out and easy to reach and I quickly feel at home with most controls and features simple and obvious to use, unlike some of its more, err, progressive competitors which can take a while to get your head around. 

 

Driving

As with most electric cars the Mokka feels smooth but punchy from low speed and immediately inspires confidence at junctions and roundabouts as I nip out ahead of traffic.  While combustion cars mess with their archaic gears and clutches you’ve already gone, with zero effort or fuss.

There are three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport.  Eco preserves range by dulling acceleration, limiting the maximum speed and turning down the air conditioning.  Normal mode gives brisk acceleration and Sport mode dials this up another notch. Pressing on in Sport mode there is a hint or torque steer, as with any reasonably powerful front wheel drive car, but the traction control takes the sting out of this. Seperate to this is also a B mode on the drive selector for regenerative braking assistance.  The braking effect is strong but progressive when you back off the accelerator and with a little experience you can make single pedal driving work for most situations other than coming to a complete halt.   

For a crossover style vehicle with a high seating position the chassis has great poise and remains impressively flat in the corners with barely perceptible body roll, the battery pack under the floor giving a low centre of gravity delivers dividends here.  The ride is firm but good, even on those 18” rims (smaller wheel sizes are available if you prefer).

At speed the Mokka-e feels very refined, confident on the road, with great progressive acceleration throughout the range which is reassuring in overtaking situations.  There is minimal noise, even for an electric car, the cabin is a very quiet and pleasant place to be.

Interior & Equipment

The test car has half leather seats with some nice detailed stitching on the upholstery sections which is echoed on the interior door panels which also include some attractive carbon fibre style inserts. The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive with good adjustments including to the height with plenty of headroom available.   Rear leg room is limited but this is a compact model and the space available will certainly be sufficient to comfortably seat smaller adults and kids.  In the boot, space is better than in the Corsa with 350 litres available extending to 1105 litres with the rear seats folded down.  An additional storage area is available under the boot floor which should allow you to keep your charging cables out of the way.

The level of equipment is impressive, full details of which are included in the specification details below.  The customisable 12“ driver instrument cluster provides the information you need directly in front of you whilst the 7” or 10” infotainment touchscreen display,which is nicely tilted towards the driver, offers full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  One nice highlight is the conductive phone charging pad which is not always found on many higher spec cars I’ve recently tested.

The Mokka-e also includes a full suite of driver assistance features, such as Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning, Mokka-e’s Automatic Emergency Braking system monitors the road helping to avoid collisions. At 30 km/h and under the Automatic Emergency Braking system will even bring the vehicle to a full stop. At higher speeds the system will slow the vehicle by up to 50 km/h, significantly reducing the impact of a collision.

Charging

The Mokka’s charge port is located on the passenger side rear quarter panel. Personally I still find side mounted charge ports can be awkward in certain circumstances, with public charge points in particular where cable reach can sometimes be an issue, meaning you need to be reversed in, ideally in the right hand bay.  Charging is by CCS for DC rapid charging at up to 100kW and by Type 2 for AC slow charging at up 7.4kW.  Inside the charging port flap are LEDs to help you determine the state of play and a button to disable the charging timer function which is a very handy feature.

In Summary

There is no denying that the Mokka-e is a striking and competent car, this will be a good, and likely very popular, choice for anyone buying at the compact end of the market. I loved the styling, dynamics and equipment levels, and would I go for that metallic green paint? Yes, I believe I would.

The Mokka-e starts at €33,038 (inclusive of VRT rebate and SEAI grant) for the SRi edition and €34,444 for the Elite edition with more kit onboard.

Specification Details

Standard Features

  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • 7″ Touch Screen Display
  • Rear View Camera & Rear Parking Sensor
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Rear legroom heater
  • Automatic lighting control with tunnel detection
  • Solar absorbing windows: front and rear side and tailgate
  • Electric child-locking functionality on rear doors
  • Theft Deterrent Body Security System
  • Enhanced traffic sign recognition
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Collision avoidance sensor with brake assist (low speed)
  • Pedestrian detection alert.

SRi Additional Features

  • Half Leather Trim
  • Black Roof
  • Sports alloy pedals
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Front centre armrest
  • Additional x 2 USB ports in rear
  • Tinted Rear Windows
  • Adaptive cruise control with automatic Start & Go
  • Electronic climate control
  • Electro chrome anti-dazzle rear view mirror
  • Rain-sensitive windscreen wipers
  • LED front fog lights.

Elite Additional Features OVER SRi

  • Leather Interior with massage seat
  • 10” Touch Screen Display with Navi
  • 17” Alloys with Bi-Colour
  • Acoustic improvement pack
  • Opel Connect

With many thanks to Opel Liffey Valley for the opportunity to test and review these fantastic new additions to their model range.

Full details of the Mokka-e are available here:

https://www.opel.ie/cars/mokka-models/mokka-e/overview.html