Launches & Reviews Review South Africa

On test: the Opel Mokka: striking

The first thought when you hear the name Mokka is coffee. Well, in my case at least. And you know that you are going to enjoy a good cuppa. But let's get to the Mokka of a different kind, one that comes with four wheels and in an appealing array of colours. It's one thing driving a car on launch but one really gets a better feel after spending time, at least a week, to better understand exactly what a motoring scribe is testing.
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

I put the Mokka through its paces on urban and freeway driving recently and can easily conclude that Opel has really produced a winner here. Good looks, good performance and a good all-around economy.

Powertrain: an ideal balance between sobriety and performance

The 1.2l turbocharged petrol engine delivers 96kW at 5,500r/min and thanks to low internal friction and responsive turbo technology, allows the delivery of high torque at low revs.

Despite its power, this all-aluminium engine with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with particularly smooth shifts offers impressive fuel consumption of between 5.4 to 6.1l/100 km on the urban and out-of-town routes. Combined, I managed to achieve 5.9ls per 100kms.

The new Mokka is up to 120kg lighter than the previous generation and with obvious benefits, lesser fuel consumption, more responsive, agile and importantly, fun to drive.

It’s about character

Building character is what it's all about. The Mokka displays great strength of character defined by short overhangs and a wide stance.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

From the front, the most striking element is the Opel Vizor, with its unmistakable design, which is a protective strip that covers the new front face of the Opel, combining in a single element the grille, the LED headlights and the new logo with the Opel lightning bolt. Great work by the engineers it has to be said.

Keeping you safe

We always look ahead at the vehicle in front and must be prepared to brake, sometimes hard, in need. With the new Mokka, a safe distance is set with the car in front, using radar sensors and cameras. It works between 30km/h and 180km/h.

Vehicle speed increases or decreases to follow the vehicle in front, but never exceeds the set speed. This is a huge assist to the driver. The interior is as sporty as you like.

Let’s go digital

A digital detox is essentially where the entire instrumentation cluster is digitalised. What a pleasure. Everything you need to know about the drive is right there. The structure is clear and understandable at a glance.

Opel designers have placed great emphasis on digital detox. In order to avoid distracting the driver, they have ensured that the system works intuitively. The buttons still control the most important functions without having to navigate through menus, which I have to add is a huge plus.

Driving aids

Again, the new Mokka continues the Opel tradition of bringing the innovative technologies that until recently were only available in the luxury car class to a wide range of buyers. Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection on GS Line models work at speeds above 5km/h.

When the Mokka approaches a vehicle or pedestrian too quickly, the system emits a warning signal and displays a message in the driver information centre. If a collision is imminent, the braking system is prepared and, if necessary, emergency braking is initiated to minimise the effects of a potential collision.


Everything about the Mokka was enough for me to write home about. Whilst the design is emotional and aggressive, everything else is as pleasant as you want it to be. Once on the open roads, you want to really floor it and that’s what I did, trying to stay within the speed limits.

The Mokka certainly did not disappoint and ticks so many boxes for a vehicle in this segment. There are two derivatives: The Mokka Elegance and Mokka GS Line, both powered a turbocharged 1.2l petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. You might have a battle finding the colour of your choice as the Mokka line come in quite an array of colours.

Peace of mind

Standard three years/120,000km warranty and Roadside Assistance. Service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km but are covered by the Mokka’s four-year/60,000km service plan.

  • Opel Mokka 1.2T Elegance - R469,900
  • Opel Mokka 1.2T GS Line - R519,900

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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