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Long Term Review

Living with a Vauxhall Mokka-e (Month 2)

Nothing nails the current motoring zeitgeist like an all-electric compact SUV so we’re trying Vauxhall’s Mokka-e for six months to see how it lives up to the promise

The Mokka-eis an all-electric small SUV which joins the impressive Corsa-e in Vauxhall’s freshly designed electric range. You can buy regular petrol or diesel versions but we’d strongly recommend going electric with this car - it is the spritely, composed, fun version with zero tailpipe emissions. What’s it like to live with, though? Time to find out.
Skip to: Month 1 – A real green machine Month 2 – Chilled Mokka

What is it?

  • Model: Vauxhall Mokka-e
  • Spec level: Elite Nav Premium
  • Options fitted: Premium metallic paint, Intellilux Matrix LED headlights with forward lighting
  • Cost as tested: £33,430 (after £2,500 Government grant)

We like

  • Good range for small car
  • Cheap to run
  • Easy to park

We don’t like

  • Sat-nav
  • Hard ride
  • Kids embarrassed by colour (I’m not)

Month 1 – A real green machine

Mileage: 620
What a great looking car the Mokka-e is. Vauxhall has clearly taken the chance offered by electrification to present a fresh, bold face for the brand and it works – a big glossy black front end, thin, horizontal LED lights, lots of gleaming silver framing, contoured bodywork and, of course, the frog-green bodywork which I adore but the kids are mortified by - the eldest is a teenager so anything that makes him stand out is to be detested. Inside, the seats show what can be achieved with fabric, and look far more contemporary and smart than any leather would. Greys and blacks are stitched together and the effect is urban and modern. I’ve been looking forward to driving the Mokka-e since my esteemed colleague at Trader Towers, Dan Trent, gave it a glowing review. And he’s a bloke, a former editor of PistonHeads and, accordingly, tends to favour sportier cars with internal combustion engines over small electric SUVs. If even he could be won over the Mokka it must be good. Turns out he’s right! In the first week I’ve had it, it feels composed, handles tightly, drives precisely and, of course, is quiet. It’s good for about 200 miles (the official max range is 211 but it tells me I’ve got 199 on a full charge), which is enough for most daily driving, but won’t be enough for those regularly doing decent motorway mileages. So far I’ve only driven it on the school run and round town. It has regenerative braking which is satisfying, so long as you remember to press the ‘B’ button by the drive selector when you set off. A shame it doesn’t default to this setting when you start the car really, because who doesn’t want to use regenerative braking on every journey to recover energy you’d usually ‘lose’ when slowing down? Above all else, it’s the small size of the Mokka-e that makes it so stress-free during the week. I’ve nipped into countless on-street parking spaces in town that other drivers in SUVs have had to eschew. Our Mokka-e has parking sensors and a rear parking camera which is lovely but not a necessity - the car has great visibility and a raised ride height so parking’s a doddle either way. We’ll report back in greater detail on charging and range next month; so far, we’ve only charged it overnight at home our PodPoint domestic charging unit due to all the short runs we’ve done. Oh, and remind me to tell you about the shark next month, too. Back to top

Month 2 – chilled Mokka

Mileage: 995 miles
The cold weather worries people considering an electric car. We all know the strain a frosty, early-morning start puts on the battery of an internal-combustion car when you have blowers, heated seats, lights, wipers, windscreen demisters, radio and all the rest all going full blast. You might expect to run out of charge before you leave the driveway in an electric car. But the Mokka-e has impressed so far. Like all drivers, I’ve kept a beady eye on the range as we’ve set off, and even the cold doesn’t make a depressing dent, equating to perhaps a couple of miles down on the car’s initial prediction as we trundle off to school. Accelerating up to 70mph on a motorway is far worse, though. We’re less enthusiastic about the My Vauxhall app you can download to accompany your electric Vauxhall experience, meanwhile. Every time I get in the car, I have to either ignore or accept the app on my phone before I can access any functions on Apple CarPlay, which is getting very annoying. One other issue to report this month - the passenger footwell light has fallen down from its perch and is dangling in the footwell. I’ll have to see if I can shove it back into place - not sure whether it’s poor build quality or one of my kids with a clumsy foot but I suspect the latter. If you’re tempted by the Mokka-e, or the Corsa-e, or one of Vauxhall’s plug-in hybrid models the brand has what looks like an amazing ‘Plug & Go’ offer for those considering the switch to electric. It includes a free home-charging unit (you get a choice, one of which is PodPoint with whom we’ve had a great experience and ongoing service with), eight years’ roadside assistance and six months’ subscription to BP Pulse, which has 7,000 public charging points on its network so far. This sort of package helps offset consumer concerns around going electric, because it’s as much about the hassle of organising the unknown as it is about price. The financial incentive is attractive but it also eases the pain of the ownership transition from petrol or diesel and into electric. On top of which the Mokka-e is a good-value electric car, with a range of about 200 miles and small footprint for easy parking. Happy days! Back to top

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