By Dumi Xaba

In the previous column, the Opel Mokka was mentioned as one of the petrol-savers. I was invited to sample a brand new Mokka offering from Opel.
The crossover market’s popularity is, in fact, overtaking the sedan market. This is mostly because of our terrible roads that are dotted with monstrous potholes. A few years ago, crossover vehicles like the Toyota RAV4 and the Kia Sportage became popular with lady drivers.
Currently, the SUV reigns supreme across all buyers’ segments in South Africa – only second in popularity to hatchbacks.
We first noticed the first generations of the Mokka on our roads in 2015, with a frugal yet punchy 1.4 litre engine delivering 103kW and 200 Nm of torque. Consumption then was only 6.6 litres of petrol per 100km.
For a small crossover, that’s more than enough power to make day-to-day driving a breeze. With a small turbo-charged engine, this model got as close as possible in terms of power and even better torque to the RAV4 with a 2 litre engine.
As we all know, sales are mostly based on brand loyalty and reliability, as such the RAV4 has always been ahead. The Mokka second generation has come out with guns blazing. Seemingly, it is aiming at brands such as the VW Trock and the well-established RAV4. This is a highly contested market that needs surgical precision and nerves of steel. Cars like the Honda HR, the Mazda CX30 and the Hyundai Kona have left nothing to chance when they entered this market. The Koreans are also not taking prisoners, they throw everything in the direction of the Germans and the Japanese products, especially with lots of extras coming as standard. Let’s dissect the 2022 Mokka and see if it’s up to the challenge.
This is one of the new products from Stellantis Corporation. It has a bit of Italian whiff. It also shares its underpinnings with the likes of the Peugeot 2008 SUV. When it comes to looks, the Mokka really looks the part. It’s a premium quality vehicle. Some brands specialise in practicality. Others on looks. And brands like Mercedes balance it all. The previous generation was more of the mommy’s taxi, totally family-orientated. The current generation has more of an ‘I have arrived’ kind of vibe.
It is youthful and also family-appealing. This is the kind of vehicle young professionals wouldn’t mind rocking up with in a school reunion meeting… with its clean flowing lines on the sides.
The LED daytime lights, like in the new Opel Astra, are stunning. It has a sort of Chevy Camaro DNA.
The almost-boxy rear lights have also been replaced by lovely-looking long lights that hug the boot beautifully. The test model was a two-tone colour GS.
The 18-inch rims are offered on a matching two-tone colour-coding. I was greeted by a perforated leather interior. There is a lot of chrome inside which I think it’s likely to show the nastiness of fingerprints.
Even the pedals are covered in silver chrome to give them that sporty premium look. The digital cockpit screen flows nicely into the generous 10-inch infotainment. It needs a bit of getting used to though.

How does it handle?
Press the START button and the cockpit comes alive. You get that reassuring grip from a full leather steering wheel. The two-pipe exhaust comes alive.
The engine has been down-sized from 1.4 to 1.2 with the reduction of power from 106 to 96. The torque has been increased. There was a bit of annoyance on the start-stop system though, especially in heavy traffic. I went on the N12 with a bit of inclines with two passengers on board and the car never felt under-powered. The gearbox is crisp and works well with the 1.2 engine.
At some point, it felt like the 1.2 is better powered that the previous 1.4, which was let down by the six-speed gearbox. The car is a bit bumpy and rigid on uneven roads. Its suspension is more on the stiff side, but handles well.

The package

  • Adjustable full leather steering wheel.
  • Full leather interior.
  • Adaptive Cruise control.
  • Apple android car play.
  • Brake assist system.
  • Climate control.
  • Curtain airbags.
  • Daytime running lights.
  • Full electric windows.
  • Reverse camera.
  • Traffic sign recognition.
  • Auto dimming mirrors.
  • Rear park assist sensors and camera.
  • Hill start assist.
  • Driver assist.
  • ABS, to mention just a few.
    Service intervals are at every 15,000km.
    Engine – 1.2 turbo.
    Cylinder – 13.
    Consumption – 6.1 litres per 100km.
    Fuel tank capacity – 44 litres.
    Fuel Type – 95 unleaded.
    Fuel Range – 720km per tank.
    Power – 96KW.
    Torque – 230 Nm.
    Maximum speed – 200km per hour.
    Speed – 9.2s from 0 to 100.

All this is covered by a three-year or 60,000km, or whichever comes first, warranty. Included in the package, is a 120,000km or a four-year warranty, or whichever comes first.

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