Sexy new Opel Mokka helps brand revive the fun factor
Mokka's perky personality will go a long way in restoring excitement around Opel products.
The new Opel Mokka clad in eye-catching Matcha Green.
The new Opel Mokka clad in eye-catching Matcha Green.
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Back in the day, Opel was one of the most exciting brands on the automotive landscape.
Remember the Superboss that etched its name into folklore before the Golf GTI ascended the hot hatch throne? Or what about those red-hot 200TS and 200iS Kadetts and Astras that showed a car doesn’t need an M in its badge to rule the dragstrip?
Even non-performance Opels managed to turn heads. Whether you loved them or loathed them, those tortoise-shaped Corsas clad in purple metallic paintwork sure did warrant attention.
Sadly, Opel lost its mojo over time. Hardly surprising taking into account the number of changes it went through at the top over the last few decades.
The German moniker was first sold locally sold by General Motors South Africa before being offloaded to Delta Motor Corporation in the 1980s due to political reasons. GM again took the reins in 2004, only to sell the Opel brand to the PSA Group in 2017.
The PSA group and FCA amalgamated four years later to form Stellantis – the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer. In the process, the new owners vowed to stay committed to the Opel brand.
But the first few batches of Opels Stellantis endorsed locally – the Corsa and Zafira – didn’t exactly set the world alight.
The new Corsa rolled out early last year which shares a platform with the Peugeot 208 lacks the personality the hatchback of old once possessed, while despite the Opel Zafira’s honest appeal, there is a limit to just how much fun a van can be.
But then things changed dramatically which sparkled hope of an Opel feel-good revival. The new Opel Mokka was rolled locally out in April and managed to make a bold statement straight off the bat.
It’s funky exterior design, accentuated by the striking Matcha Green paintwork with blacked out elements rekindled a long, lost attraction for the Opel brand this writer has not felt in decades.
The week The Citizen spent with the Opel Mokka in GS Line guise recently justified the newfound hope we have in the German moniker.
Apart from the slightly stiff price tag of R519 900, there isn’t a lot not to like about the compact crossover’s latest reincarnation. In fact, we liked it so much that we took it to Gerotek for Road Test Editor Mark Jones to run it against the clock.
The Opel Mokka gets its power from a three-cylinder, 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine that produces 96 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque. The twist is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 9.97 seconds it took the Opel Mokka to reach 100 km/h from a standstill during our test might not set the world alight, it does feel faster than that.
Its capability to produce high torque at low revs gives the Opel Mokka a much racier feel than indicated by the data. Especially when you select the Sport driving mode, it really becomes quite playful through punchy acceleration.
The suspension is slightly firm but very solid on our imperfect roads, while the steering is light and easy and begs you to throw it into corners.
Our enthusiastic driving is probably the main reason we could only manage fuel consumption of 8.8 L/100 km over the course of 448 km, a far cry from Opel’s claim of 6.1 L/100 km for a combined cycle.
According to Opel, “the silhouette of the new Mokka stands out for the perfection of its volumes”. This is just fancy talk for it looks damn good.
These good looks are largely due to the Mokka being the first car produced by the German carmaker to incorporate the Opel Vizor design.
This frontend design imitates the look of a full-face helmet with the front face mirroring a protective visor. Look again if the helmet didn’t stand out enough at first glance and recognise how cool that actually is.
The Opel Mokka’s interior lives up to the hype created by the exterior styling through leather seats, carbon inserts and elegant soft-touch panel finishes.
The GS Line’s cabin is open and uncluttered, a design queue Opel calls digital detox. The highlights include a 12-inch fully digital instruments cluster and 10-inch infotainment system which is smartphone compatible.
Boot space of 351 litres isn’t the greatest, with the rear seats featuring a 60/40 split.
The Opel Mokka GS Line features a jam-packed list of safety specifications, which is in addition to its Elegance trim sibling features speed sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, active lane keep assist and departure warning, forward collision avoidance and mitigation and driver attention alert through road behaviour.
The new Opel Mokka has managed to carve a really nice little niche for itself. It is not only a funky-looking compact crossover SUV, but also a seriously fun car to drive.
It will go a long way in restoring Opel fans of old’s faith in the brand and more importantly, is destined to attract plenty of new ones.
Model: Opel Mokka 1.2T GS Line
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic transmission
Engine: 1.2-litre Turbocharged
Power: 96 kW @ 5 500 rpm
Torque: 230 Nm @ 1 750 rpm
Licensing Mass: 1 295 kg
Power to Weight: 74 kW / Tonne
Power to Capacity: 80 kW / Litre
0-100 km/h: 9.97 Seconds
1/4 Mile (402.34 m): 17.15 Seconds @ 132.26 km/h
1/2 Mile (804.68 m): 27.02 Seconds @ 158.76 km/h
1 Km (1000 m): 31.34 Seconds @ 166.92 km/h
60-100 km/h: 5.38 Seconds (in Drive Sport)
80-120 km/h: 7.14 Seconds (in Drive Sport)
60- 140 km/h: 14.94 Seconds (in Drive Sport)
Claimed Top Speed: 200 km/h
Fuel Consumption: 6.1 litres / 100 km Claimed (8.8 litres Test Average)
Fuel Tank Size: 44 litres
Fuel Range: 721 km Claimed (500 km on Test)
CO2 Emissions: 139 g/km
Vehicle Odometer: 2 123 Km
Test Temperature: 7 Degrees
Tyres Size: 215/60 R17
Tyres Make: Michelin Primacy 4
Warranty: 3-Year/120 000 Km
Service Plan: 4-Year/60 000 Km
Priced From: R519 900
Test Date: 1 June 2022
For more information and latest pricing visit the manufacturer’s website.
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