Motoring / Motoring News

Glen Hill
6 minute read
27 Mar 2015
8:00 am

Opel Mokka rockets onto the scene

Glen Hill

Opel have dived into the baby SUV market with their Mokka – Opel's first sub-compact SUV world wide.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

The appeal of SUVs generally is attributed in large part to the higher seating position and the illusion of safety created by this. The Mokka delivers on this front with its commanding seating position and the car feels bigger than its modest dimensions suggest. However it remains easy to thread in and out of traffic and in combined spaces.

In truth SUVs, because of their shape, introduce safety challenges through their higher centre of gravity. Given that the Mokka is a front-wheel drive only vehicle, a growing trend for SUVs generally, we must accept that their original offroad purpose is substantially reduced and they are primarily a fashion statement. To this end Opel have gone a long way to ensure that the Mokka is a safe family vehicle that can be easily operated by even a novice driver.

Opel Safetec is a fully-comprehensive safety system which integrates and synchronises all aspects of active and passive safety. Every Opel vehicle begins with a rigid safety frame, to which energy-absorbent bumper systems with crash boxes front and rear, progressively deformable structures and high-tensile steel side protection bars, are added. The design and structure of these elements also means that the new Opel Mokka meets all pedestrian safety standards. Importantly, the new Opel Mokka carries a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating. Importantly ABS with EBD and BAS liked to all-round disc brakes are fitted as standard, along with a tyre pressure monitor.

All versions of the new Opel Mokka are equipped with latest-generation ESPPlus. Oversteer or understeer is corrected with even greater efficiency and sensitivity than with previous systems – ESPPlus is almost undetectable in operation.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

Passive safety systems include smart seat-belt reminders front and rear, dual pre-tensioned front seat belts, and front, side and curtain airbags (six in total). In addition the Pedal Release System protects against lower-leg and foot injuries in major impacts. ISOFIX child seat anchors are also fitted. an anti-theft alarm and immobiliser, and remote central locking.

A rear-view camera is available on Cosmo models only, linked to front and rear parking sensors. With a 130-degree view, dynamic parking assistance lines shown in the infotainment screen indicate the vehicle’s trajectory according to steering input, allowing for perfect parking every time. But if you do err, a major advantage of Opel technology is that in low-speed impacts, deformation damage is minimised to reduce repair costs. For example, the bumpers are self-repairing after impacts of under 4 km/h.

The cruise control and speed limiter, while ultimately providing for comfort on longer journeys or around town, play a safety role as well. Easily overridden by fully-depressing the accelerator pedal, the speed limiter, which is available from speeds above 25 km/h, is especially ideal for avoiding costly speeding fines.

Ecoflex Drive Assist not only indicates optimal gear shift points for the driver, it also indicates which systems within the vehicle are using the most energy in conjunction with a fuel economy meter. Linked to an economy index – with a 50 km history graph – and the start/stop system fitted to manual models, Mokka ensures the driver is always informed as to how fuel can be saved. Hill Start Assist (HSA) is also fitted as standard.

The Opel Mokka is available as a four-model range with a choice of two trim levels and a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions. Opel’s 1.4-litre turbocharged Ecotec petrol engine, which produces 103 kW and 200 Nm, does duty in all four derivatives. It is, on the open road at least, happiest with the manual box.

Opel designers have given Mokka a proud, strong and aggressive stance in acknowledgement of how much of a part this plays in the buying decision. Opel say Mokka has been designed to extend the attraction to buyers who feel a monocab or normal hatchback is too bland for them.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

Inside black trim materials with chrome detailing for the functional elements and instrument rings add a classic upmarket accent. The design is friendly and understatedly modern, with a swept-around ‘wing’ style dashboard maximising the feel and allocation of space while being visually appealing.

Instruments and screens are clear, well-proportioned, optimally-placed and easy to read. With the 60/40 flip-and-fold rear seats fully folded, a flat floor is made available and ready to swallow up to 1 371 litres of cargo, with a total length of 1 449 mm and up to 898 mm of height. With the seats up, a generous 356 litres of boot space is available. A 16-inch spare wheel lies below the cargo floor.

Available as an option on Enjoy models and as standard on Cosmo, Opel’s IntelliLink infotainment system takes pride of place in the new Mokka. Linked to a 6-speaker radio/CD/MP3/USB/aux/Bluetooth audio system, IntelliLink brings the connected world of smartphones and apps into Mokka – fully compatible with the latest Apple iOS-based and Android smartphones.

Fronted by a 7-inch button-operated colour interface, phone, audio, gallery, settings and apps pages are easily accessed and navigated. Bluetooth and USB audio streaming also includes Gracenote music management and identification technology. Voice control for certain functions enhances safety as well, and the system allows for SMS display and audible read-out.

IntelliLink’s power revolves around apps, which can be downloaded to the smartphone. Included as standard is Stitcher – a global podcast radio app which allows for access to over 10 000 on-demand podcasts and live radio shows from around the world.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

High Beam Assist (HBA) for halogen headlights provides improved forward lighting at night by automated high beam control through the use of a light detection sensor mounted on the rear view mirror. This camera detects vehicle-specific light and ambient light (oncoming and leading traffic). Depending on the light level the system switches between high- and low beam, switching to low beam until the preceding or approaching vehicle is out of view, or the ambient light level allows for high beam usage. This system makes driving safer by maximising high beam usage and allowing the driver to focus more on the primary task of driving.

Standard equipment includes start/stop technology and the Ecoflex Drive Assist system (manual only), front and rear fog lights, the tyre pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights, cruise control with speed limiter, speed-sensitive power steering, a multi-function steering wheel, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, aux and USB input, a driver’s armrest, electronic climate control, a trip computer, a solar-absorbing windscreen, colour-coded door handles, electric and heated side mirrors, power windows with one-touch up and down all-round, a folding key, 17-inch alloy wheels with a full-size steel spare and LINE DRIVE black cloth upholstery. IntelliLink is the only available option.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

The new Opel Mokka. Picture: Supplied.

In the new Mokka Cosmo 1.4T manual and automatic derivatives, superb equipment levels ensure delivery of a premium-class experience. Raising the bar over the Enjoy, the Cosmo model brings with it rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights with Active High Beam Assist, front and rear parking sensors, electric folding mirrors, a sunglasses holder, IntelliLink, the reversing camera, heated front seats, interior ambient lighting, rear privacy glass, 18-inch alloys, JASMIN leather upholstery, a heated, leather-bound steering wheel, specialised ergonomic front seats, a rear arm rest and a 230V power socket (ideal for charging phones or laptops) – all as standard.

All new Opel Mokka derivatives are backed by Opel’s comprehensive 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and come with a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan linked to service intervals of 15 000 km.