Opel will be launching two new SUVs in 2017, the Crossland X and the Grandland X, but it’s the Mokka that has been holding the fort for Opel in the lucrative SUV market for quite some time now.

Mokka is now Mokka X. Opel has recently relaunched an updated version of the compact SUV and the ‘X’ will be the new moniker for all of Opel’s crossovers and SUVs.

This is one of the more convincing facelifts I’ve seen in a while because Opel has used the mid-life update as an opportunity to sufficiently modernise the Mokka X so that if you weren’t completely up to date on the comings and goings in the automotive industry you might think you were looking at a new model.

The Mokka X has had a serious nosejob, and the rather dowdy nose of the pre-facelift model is now gone and replaced with a cleaner and more sparkly look that is more in line with new Corsa, Astra and the rest of the Opel range. The rest of the car has mostly resisted the knife, but it looked pretty good from those angles anyway.

Opel Mokka X Review Ireland
The Opel Mokka X has a new front end that brings the car more in line with the rest of the Opel range

Inside, you sit higher in the Mokka X than some more low slung rivals like the Peugeot 2008, Skoda Yeti and the Renault Captur so there is a feeling of real SUV authenticity to the Mokka X. More of a surprise is just how premium the Mokka X now feels inside. The interior has had a real makeover: there’s a completely new dashboard built around the Intellilink infotainment system that comes with voice command, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on all but the base model. The material finishes look classy and contemporary and the instrument dials are also new and really complete the look.

In terms of interior space, the dimensions have not changed so the Mokka X is still a reasonably spacious family car with seating for five. The boot is a good 356 litres and is easy to access and load.

For the Irish market, there are three trims available – S, SC and Elite. Prices start at €21,495 for S and that car comes with a 1.6-litre 115hp petrol engine and includes air con, cruise control, Bluetooth, electric front windows and mirrors and LED daytime running lights.

Opel Mokka X Review Ireland
Interior of the Opel Mokka X has been vastly improved and Intellilink infotainment is standard on all but the base model

The SC trim starts from €23,795 and broadens up the engine range a bit more, including the 1.6-litre 136hp diesel and 1.4-litre turbo petrol (140 or 152PS). Equipment is more generous with 17” alloy wheels, Opel OnStar that now includes a WiFi hotspot, Intellilink, parking sensors, dual zone climate control and front fog lights.

The top of the range Elite models starts from €27,995 and includes a navigation system, leather seat trim, ergonomic front sport seats, heated steering wheel, heated front seats and 18” alloys.

4×4 is available from €25,795 and it is an ‘intelligent’ system that keeps fuel consumption low by using the front wheels to drive the car forward when roads are dry, only calling on the extra traction from the four wheel drive when it is really needed.

My test car had the 1.6-litre CDTi diesel with 136hp and it is the best for economy in the range returning up to 69mpg depending on wheel size. Opel calls this their ‘whisper diesel’ but it is not an entirely refined unit yet in the Mokka X and does make its presence known in the cabin. Once cruising it does fade into the background and the engine makes easy progress with 136hp at its disposal.

Elsewhere, the Mokka X has light steering that makes it easy to manouvre around town and in the car park, but at speed a bit more feedback would be great as it feels a bit soft and vague. You probably won’t want to push Mokka X too hard anyway because its tall body does lean in corners, but as long as you don’t prioritise pin sharp handling, the Mokka X gets by as quite affable and comfortable family transport.

Opel Mokka X Review Ireland
Opel Mokka X is available with four wheel drive for extra grip in adverse conditions

The Mokka X can get expensive very quickly for what is still a relatively compact SUV. My test car was a top of the range 4×4 Elite and had a hefty list price of €30,245. A more popular option is likely to be the 1.6CDTi SC with a list price of €26,295.

The Opel Mokka X is not particularly exciting but it is comfortable and cool transport for a small family. Opel has made good use of this facelift and have effectively modernized the Mokka X, in the superficial sense at least – the new nose and the new interior inject a much needed dose of modernity and contemporary style to the Mokka X and the premium feel and connectivity on board are surely now one of the Mokka X’s key selling points.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Opel Mokka X 1.6CDTi 4×4 Elite
€30,245 (Range starts at €21,495)
1.6-litre turbo diesel
10.3 seconds
CO2 emissions:  
Tax band:
€270 per year