Opel Mokka (2015) First Drive

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The next model from Opel has hit our shores and I was on hand to experience the all-new Opel Mokka in the the Eastern Cape.

The Opel Mokka is the third model from the German brand after the Adam and Corsa were launched not so long ago. The Adam in particular is selling really well and Opel is faced with a stock shortage - not the worst problem to have! Opel's Mokka takes on the sub-compact SUV segment, which is hotly contested in South Africa. Think of products like the Nissan Juke, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai iX35. Initially, I thought this would be a rival to the Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport, but in reality it feels and is priced like a more premium product.

Speaking of pricing, it comes in at a starting price of R288 5o0, which will get you the 1.4T Enjoy manual gearbox. The top of the range is the 1.4T Cosmo with an automatic transmission. On launch, we sampled both gearboxes. The Cosmo is the higher spec of the two and comes with a seriously generous helping of standard specification. When last did you hear of a heated steering wheel and a 230V power socket on a car costing under R350k? If you're after a detailed report on specifications and pricing, click here.

Opel Mokka: First Drive

The Opel Mokka launch took us through the heart of the Eastern Cape. Conditions were a little challenging, due to unpredictable weather, animals on the road and deteriorating tarmac surfaces. The Mokka took it all on and holds the road well. Ride and handling is good, although some road noise is apparent when you're at the national highway speed limit. I will admit the road surface wasn't the best, so I'm prepared to give the Mokka some slack in this regard.

In terms of transmission and driving, the Opel Mokka is a pleasant drive. The six-speed manual has a positive action and the 1.4-litre turbo engine offers adequate performance to get around. It's interesting to note that market trends have shown that all-wheel drive and diesel powerplants are not that crucial to our market, despite our fondness for the great outdoors so while the Opel Mokka may not be a dedicated offroad warrior, it has more than enough ability to drive on gravel and sandy roads.

Summary

Overall I was impressed with the little package that is the Opel Mokka. At launch there are four models in the range with two trim levels, two gearboxes to choose from, and all are powered by the same 1.4-litre turbo engine. Not only is it generously specced, it also offers good performance from a tried-and-tested engine. The Intellilink infotainment system is just superb and shows you don't need to fork out huge amounts of money for a decent system. I would think the one you'd want is a manual Cosmo as the standard specification is simply too good to ignore.

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