Opel Mokka is the car for those who want a crossover but don’t have the money for a crossover. Find out in today’s article why the Opel Mokka is selling like crazy.
I wanted to open with this joke about the Opel Mokka. In the past it was a saying: “If you want a convertible but can’t afford a convertible, you buy an Astra G.“. And you could bring that joke into the Opel Mokka’s backyard because a basic Opel Mokka is cheaper than a Hyundai Kona, Renault Kadjar, Skoda Karoq and more expensive than Dacia Duster, Suzuki Vitara, and Mitsubishi ASX. So the Opel Mokka is somewhat in the middle of the pack in terms of price. But does it sit in the middle of the pack in other respects?
The basic equipment starts at 120 horsepower which is somewhere in the middle, the quality of interior materials is somewhere in the lower end, but reliability is somewhere in the top. This is strange to say for an Opel, considering they didn’t have the word “reliability” in their vocabulary until 2012.
Is there a minus to the Opel Mokka though?
Yes, and that’s the price. Specifically, I mean the options you can put on it that explode the price more like in Michael Bay movies. A petrol model with a front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox costs around 18000 euros, while a diesel with an all-wheel drive and a manual gearbox (there is no automatic on the four-wheel drive) and with leather upholstery goes for 29000 euros. Tick all the boxes and you end up with just under 33000 euros. Not necessarily saying that’s a lot for an Opel, but it’s stratospheric for a crossover. And many options have prices that make you wonder if they’ve been slapped together by someone on a coffee break, convinced no one will buy them. Stuff like 800 euro detachable hooks and 100 euro premium carpets. Or the winter package that includes a heated steering wheel, as if I drive sitting outside. A basic Opel Mokka, configured for the city, is a decent car, halfway between the cross-overs group. An Opel Mokka with the extras on the other hand ends up being far too expensive for what it offers. Anyway, let’s face it, how many cross-over owners go off-road or know what “4×4” means? Most just want a car that looks like an SUV and can drive over a curb in an underground mall parking lot.
Opel Mokka Engines
- 1.4 Turbo of 140 and 152 horsepower – An excellent, trouble-free engine for the city. The few internet legends have been resolved in 2017 so you can ride this engine with confidence. Beware though that the engine doesn’t mesh well all the time with the automatic transmission.
- 1.6 MPI of 115 horsepower – An engine of the last century and aimed at those who aren’t rushing anywhere. An engine that sacrifices performance for reliability. I don’t blame it because there are people who don’t want sport and don’t care about performance.
- 1.8 MPI 140 horsepower – Another naturally aspirated late-model that’s better than the 1.6 but not better than the 1.4 Turbo. Maybe you don’t have the money for the 1.4 Turbo, maybe the newest piece of technology in your house is a 2004 printer because you don’t trust technology. Who knows.
- 1.7 CDTi of 130 horsepower – Made legendary since the days of the Astra H, this Isuzu-sourced van engine has long been the star of commercial cars from the Astra H Caravan to the Opel Combo. And on the Opel Mokka, it came to carry the last bags of potatoes and supplies from Tesco. But is that what Opel Mokka owners will do?
- 1.6 CDTi of 110 and 136 horsepower – Coming in 2015 to retire the sour 1.7 CDTi, this 1.6 CDTi has proven to be a reliable engine, on the Opel Mokka at least.
Opel Mokka General Issues
- The gearbox isn’t the best performing nutcase in the car industry and in particular, there have been reports of issues with the 1.4 Turbo engine in combination with the automatic.
- Diesel engines are as sensitive to city driving as a vegetarian when you ask them at which restaurant you can eat the best ribs, and the particulate filter often clogs. If you’re going to drive predominantly around town, your only salvation is the petrol engine.
- The quality of the interior materials are far from exciting, even for a low-cost Opel. For the basic versions, the materials are absolutely ok on the Opel Mokka, but when you tick a few boxes and get up to 30,000 euros, you may have higher expectations than a student dorm.
Opel Mokka verdict
I expected to laugh at the Opel Mokka. I expected it to be a car that breaks down every 100 yards. But the reality is different and the Mokka is a really reliable car. A middle-of-the-road crossover for middle-of-the-road people who know nothing about cars and don’t want to know. A car configured very well in the lower price range and very poorly in the “full without leather”, “full without hatch” or “full-full” area. Plus I doubt the typical Opel Mokka driver, and by extension cross-over, really needs 4×4 and even an automatic transmission. That’s why you can tell the list of options was made by someone who doesn’t care about cars, in a coffee break.
Which engine do I recommend? For the Opel Mokka, it makes the most sense to go with the petrol 1.4 Turbo, in front-wheel drive configuration and manual transmission. That way you have a reliable, fast, economical car that’s suited to the urban jungle.