mReview: 2022 Opel Mokka-e - Cooler Than ICE

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665959953682 Mokka E FeaturedI truly believe that Opel understands the art of concocting well-rounded economy cars. It’s all about blending the right components with the right amount of flair to create an affordable yet effervescent vehicle.

That isn’t to say that the Mokka models (I’m referring to both the ICE and EV versions of the car) are perfect. There’s just no singular, affordable automotive panacea; every single mass-market car you see offered on sale today has some sort of compromise.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960227090 Mokka E 25It is then a question of the automaker’s priorities. What should they focus on when developing a vehicle? How can they bring out the best of its flavours, whilst minimising the telltale signs of a light roast?

The Mokka Difference

When creating a low-cost, mass-market vehicle, some car building facets may have to be under-steeped. An overly-caffeinated buzz is perhaps not on the top of the priority list of a manufacturer, nor is style. An economy car just has to work, ferrying its occupants in some modicum of comfort without costing its owner significant amounts of money in running costs.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665959983309 Mokka E 12Any other positive trait is then a real bonus. And the Mokka-e comes with quite a few of them, bringing more to the table than just being a low-cost runabout. That’s because unlike a lot of the other cars in its price bracket, there’s really no sense, on the outside and from a visual standpoint anyways, that Opel had to cut significant corners to keep the car affordable.

Take for instance the unpainted plastic panels. Unlike other manufacturers that may have opted to keep body cladding in bare plastic as an afterthought, Opel has factored that in from the initial design sketches. Sharp creases pepper the surfaces of the vehicle, creating a contrast and a definition that you’d not have expected at a car in this bit of the automotive food chain.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960039202 Mokka E 15And as some consideration has been made from the initial conceptualisation of the CMP Platform for EV construction, there aren’t too many visual sacrifices or adaptations Opel has had to make in building an electrified Mokka.

In fact, save for the ‘e’ badging and the lack of an exhaust pipe, both the petrol and electric versions of the Mokka look identical. And that is no bad thing, as the Mokka is a very handsome compact crossover.

How Different Is The Driving Experience?

There’s actually a noticeable difference in the way both cars conduct themselves on the move. The lighter petrol Mokka appears to have softer suspension, which allows it to more competently absorb all but the worst potholes on our roads.

As the Mokka-e is significantly heavier, it does feel like the car has been fitted with stiffer springs to deal with the added mass. On the plus side, this translates into a better handling car should you really decide to drive it like a hoon, but the added harshness does mean a car that does not ride quite as well as its petrol cousin.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960053127 Mokka E 03Where electrification has completely transformed the user experience though, is in the way the car gathers momentum. Whilst you can definitely feel the 1.2 four pot struggling a touch under hard acceleration, the instantaneous torque of the electric motor means the car, despite its 130bhp output, is able to convincingly keep up with traffic.

As there’s no confused gearbox swapping cogs to keep you in the power band, the Mokka-e is much more comfortable than its petrol counterpart on the move. I’d even go as far saying it borderline feels like a premium vehicle.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960122701 Mokka E 17On the go, I’d like a touch more feedback through the steering wheel. The heavy power assistance has robbed the car of the ability to transmit information about front-end grip. When you are really getting into the throttle, there is also noticeable torque steer, which again doesn’t help to inspire confidence should you wish to really give it the beans.

Though that really isn’t a con. You wouldn’t exactly buy a Mokka-e expecting the same caffeinated buzz that you’d get in a hot hatch, won’t you? For a city roundabout, all the controls are well-weighted, and intuitive to use. Also, throughout the duration of the test drive, I averaged 15kWh/100km, or about 6.7km/kWh, which is bang on Opel's estimates.

Are There Any Changes In The Cabin?

Save for an additional EV specific button and sub-menu, the interiors are identical. This means a driver-centric dashboard with plenty of colour contrast bits and also Opel’s Pure Panel, which consists of two screens mounted on a curved enclosure.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960241335 Mokka E 22Driving data is displayed on a 12” Digital Instrument Cluster, and your infotainment needs are taken care of by a separate 10” screen. Whilst Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available, you’ll have to physically connect your smartphone to the car via a USB cable.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960260492 Mokka E 20‘Tall’ is what you’d say to your barista at your local coffee joint if all you were seeking is a small cup of hot mocha (as this isn’t the ICE Mokka....get it?). It is also what I'd use to describe the real estate in the back. With a stout transmission tunnel, and a generally narrow bodyshell, rear middle seat passengers will find themselves in some discomfort on longer journeys.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665960269839 Mokka E 23And it doesn’t help that there’s a high window line in the back. As such, without a glass roof, space in the back can best be described as lacklustre.

So Then, Should I Buy The Mokka-e?

It depends. If all you’re looking for is a stylish continental economy crossover, the premium over the 1.2 petrol may be a bitter pill for some to swallow. Whilst there is a significant improvement in driveability, it most certainly isn’t worth the extra cash.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1665959884010 Mokka E 02Where it really starts to make sense though, is when you put it up against its electric Stellantis counterparts. The style and quirkiness offered by the Mokka means it is a no brainer if you are looking specifically for an electric crossover.

Opel Mokka-e Specifications
Price: $174,500  VES Band: A1
Permanent Magnet
Synchronous Motor
363 km
130 bhp, 260Nm
Driven Wheels:
6.9 km/kWh
10.1 secs
Top Speed:
150 km/h
Battery Capacity:
50 kWh
4150 mm x 1790 mm x 1535 mm
Cargo Capacity:
     350 - 1,105 litres

Photo Credit: ACube Creative (@weareacube)

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