Review: Vauxhall Mokka X (2012)

Rating:

Front wheel drive or four wheel drive. Good rear passenger room. Efficient 1.7 CDTi. 140PS 1.4T is the engine of choice. Mokka X much improved. Very few reports of problems.

Not particularly quick or refined. Relatively high list prices (but always heavily discounted). Does not delude you with the quality of its trim.

Recently Added To This Review

3 October 2019

Complaint that a 2017 Vauxhall Mokka had a fault that "almost caused it to catch fire. Owner was driving the car on the M25, a warning message popped up on the dash to say oil engine low stop engine.... Read more

2 October 2019

Report of electric power steering motor failing on 7th September on recently purchased 29k miles 2014 Vaixhall Mokka. Owner in a courtesy car waiting for parts from Germany to repair it. Read more

1 July 2019

Report of clutch pedal of 2014/64 Vauxhall Mokka "failing" at 37k miles due to hydraulic leak (presumed clutch slave cylinder leak onto clutch plates). Clutch needed to be replaced. Read more

Vauxhall Mokka X (2012): At A Glance

Prior to the Mokka, apart from the rarely seen Antara (a car outsold by its Chevrolet Captiva counterpart), Vauxhall's current line-up consisted of everyday hatchbacks and MPVs.

The Mokka is Vauxhall's attempt to appeal to outdoorsy family buyers. People who want a practical car but one that makes a statement. So expect to see lots of 'lifestyle' stuff in the marketing. Cue people on beaches kitesurfing. Of course in reality the Mokka is a car that will spend more time in the car park of the local Sainsbury's.

It's not a bad looker though with a distinctive front end that's more aggressive than the usual Vauxhall design along with a sharply rising window line. That said, the rear isn't as successful and overall there's a lot going on. It's certainly not the cleanest of designs. However, the tall shape means there's plenty of space inside with surprising amounts of room for rear passengers, much more than the Nissan Juke – a car Vauxhall is hoping the Mokka will rival.

The line up includes three efficient engines all of which are fitted with a start-stop system. There is a 1.6-litre petrol or a 1.4-litre Turbo petrol. The one diesel is a 1.7 CDTi with 130PS and 300Nm of torque. The latter two engines are available with a six-speed automatic as an option. Most models come with 18-inch alloys as standard.

When it was launched, you could could sum up the biggest problem for the Mokka in two words – Skoda Yeti. The Yeti was a better car in every department from performance and refinement to quality and value for money.

However, in 2016 Vauxhall improved on some of the main criticisms of the Mokka, with the facelift model getting better infotainment and a redesigned interior. Indeed, by 2017 we had only recorded six complaints about the Mokka yet 73 about the Yeti.

Vauxhall Mokka 2012 Range Road Test

Vauxhall Mokka X 1.6 CDTI 2016 Road Test

What does a Vauxhall Mokka X (2012) cost?

List Price from £19,775
Buy new from £16,495
Contract hire from £140.08 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Vauxhall Mokka X (2012): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4271–4278 mm
Width 1777–2038 mm
Height 1654–1658 mm
Wheelbase 2555 mm

Full specifications

The interior quality is a bit hit and miss. First impressions are good with the usual Vauxhall cabin layout which looks pretty good, helped by touches like the chrome ringed instrument dials and the neat gear lever.

But when you start to investigate you'll find a few rattly bits of trim and some hard plastics. The finish isn't quite as good as it looks. Even the leather on the seats of top spec models feels on the thin side. You don't imagine it would wear well after several years of use.

The boot is usefully large with 356 litres - slightly more than an Astra - and the load area is wide with no load lip. The seats fold down with the usual 60/40 split and the bases flip up, but they don't feel especially sturdy and in terms of flexibility it lags behind other SUVs.

One neat optional feature is the latest generation of the integrated Flex-Fix bicycle carrier that slides out of the rear bumper and can carry up to three bikes at once. Elsewhere there's good storage, but for a family car of this ilk you'd expect a few more useful touches.

 Standard features include:

  • Switchable Electronic Stability Programme
  • Traction Control
  • Descent Control System
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Driver’s and front passenger’s airbags
  • Front seat side-impact airbags
  • Full-size curtain airbags
  • Air conditioning
  • Steering column adjustable for reach and rake
  • Silver-effect roof rails
  • Electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors
  • Electrically operated front windows
  • CD/MP3 CD player/aux-in socket (CD 400)
  • DMB digital radio
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • Multi-function trip computer
  • Cruise control
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat back
  • 16-inch wheels with 205/70 R 16 tyres
  • Alloy-effect protective front skid plate
  • Side-protection mouldings
  • Remote control alarm system with central locking
  • Daytime running lights

Exclusiv

adds the following over S:

  • Dual-zone Electronic Climate Control
  • USB connection with iPod control
  • Bluetooth® functionality
  • Leather-covered steering wheel
  • Front centre armrest
  • Automatic lighting control
  • High beam assist
  • Rain-sensitive windscreen wipers
  • Electro-chromatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror
  • 230-volt rear power outlet behind front seats
  • Electrically foldable door mirrors
  • Electrically operated rear windows
  • Front fog lights
  • Front and rear parking distance sensors
  • Stainless steel exhaust tailpipe
  • Sterling silver-effect 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/55 R 18 tyres

SE

adds the following over Exclusiv:

  • Leather seat facings
  • Electrically heated front seats
  • Ergonomic sports front seats
  • Rear seat centre armrest with drinks holders
  • Bi-xenon headlights with dynamic beam levelling
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting
  • Electrically heated steering wheel
  • Driver’s sunglasses holder
  • Chrome-effect exterior door handles
  • Alloy-effect door sill covers
  • Dark-tinted rear windows
  • Midnight silver-effect 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/55 R 18 tyres

Child seats that fit a Vauxhall Mokka X (2012)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Vauxhall Mokka X (2012) like to drive?

The Korean-built Mokka lacks refinement. On the motorway there's a lot of wind noise at 70mph and a suprising amount of road noise too. On the plus side the ride is smooth and it feels stable at high speeds plus it's also more than adequate in corners with decent handling, only let down by a bit too much body roll.

The steering is nice and light in town which makes manouvering into small spaces easy, but rear visibility is severly limited by the thick rear pillars which makes reversing out of supermarket parking spaces tricky. This seems a big oversight for a car that will be used for plenty of urban driving.

The engine line-up is simple – there's a 1.6-litre petrol (front-wheel drive only) with a five-speed manual gearbox along with a 1.4 Turbo that has four-wheel drive as standard. The 140PS turbocharged engine promises much – especially with the 'Turbo' badge emblazoned on the boot - but it feels pretty lacklustre, especially compared to other small turbo petrols like Volkswagen's excellent TSI units.

With 200Nm available from 1850rpm and a six-speed manual gearbox, the 1.4 T should be pretty zesty, especially considering the Mokka only weighs 1350kg, but it lacks poke and has to be worked hard to get any meaningful performance. It's fine around town, but feels lacklustre when you're joining fast flowing traffic or overtaking. On the plus side it returns a reasonable 44.1mpg according to the official figures.

The most popular engine will be the 1.7 CDTi – a mainstay of the Vauxhall range. With 130PS and 300Nm of torque it has the pulling power that the 1.4 Turbo lacks and is the engine best suited to the Mokka, particularly on the motorway. It comes with a nicely positive six-speed manual with either front-wheel drive or 4WD plus there's a six-speed automatic with front-wheel drive.

The all-wheel drive models have an on-demand system, so in normal driving all the power is sent to the front wheels. However, if it detects a break in grip it can transfer the power up to a 50/50 split. Useful in snow and ice. There's also hill start assist and hill descent control - which controls the speed of the car down steep slopes - as standard.

Like all the engines, the CDTi has start/stop as standard and the good news is that the manual front-wheel drive version averages a claimed 62.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 120g/km, meaning cheap annual VED. The bad news is that the diesel engine really lacks refinement. It's noisy, both on start up and when revved, while there's a lot of clatter when pulling from low revs.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 Turbo 140 41–47 mpg 9.3–9.4 s 139–154 g/km
1.4 Turbo 140 4x4 39–44 mpg 9.4 s 149–154 g/km
1.4 Turbo 140 Automatic 40–42 mpg 10.1 s 116–162 g/km
1.4 Turbo 153 42 mpg - 150 g/km
1.4 Turbo 153 Automatic 4x4 44 mpg - 150 g/km
1.6 42–44 mpg 11.9 s 153–158 g/km
1.6 CDTi 110 66–71 mpg 11.7 s 105–114 g/km
1.6 CDTi 110 ecoFLEX 69–72 mpg 11.7 s 103–109 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 58–69 mpg 9.3–11.7 s 106–131 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 4x4 60 mpg 9.7 s 124 g/km
1.6 CDTi 136 Automatic 55–57 mpg 10.3 s 132–134 g/km
1.7 CDTi 63 mpg 10.0 s 120 g/km
1.7 CDTi 4x4 58 mpg 10.4 s 129 g/km
1.7 CDTi Automatic 53 mpg 10.9 s 139 g/km

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Mokka X (2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

85%

Real MPG

25–63 mpg

MPGs submitted

334

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Vauxhall Mokka X (2012)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Why does the turbo on my diesel whistle so much?

I recently had my engine and turbo replaced on my Vauxhall Mokka. I am not car savvy and had been on my way to a garage to get the high pitch dentist drill noise checked out. Once I had the car taken to the supplier I waited a month to get it back. When I received it back it was working brilliant, but recently it's starting to make the dreaded whistle again. Is it normal for a turbo to whistle all the time? This is my first diesel so I don't know if it's a normal thing. This time I cannot tell if the noise is noticeable from outside, whereas last time you could hear me coming a mile off with the siren sound of the turbo. It does not make the noise when idle only when accelerating.
The original turbo probably failed due to oil starvation of the turbo bearings because the turbo bearings oil feed and oil return pipes were blocked with carbon from switching the engine off when the turbo was too hot. If these pipes were not replaced at the same time as the turbo then that explains the short life of the new turbo.
Answered by Honest John
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