Opel is being rejuvenated on the Irish market, now significantly boosted by the arrival of the new Mokka range. Michael Moroney took Mokka’s electric version, the Mokka-e, for a test drive and came away a dedicated fan of the style and performance.
For the Opel brand, the electric drive option has brought opportunities for some fresh design. That’s particularly obvious when it comes to the new Opel Mokka, a compact SUV that the German brand has now electrified to add to the fresh appeal.
The new Mokka design is striking. The exterior view is clearly individual and modern, and I quickly found it appealing. Many of the comments about the car’s design were equally supportive and while its distinctive, it is so in a way that attracted many positive comments.
The Mokka-e shares all of the design style of the petrol or diesel models in the range but at a more premium price point. Electric car technology is still ranked as a premium purchase and that’s probably one reason that the change from internal combustion engines in cars such as this new Mokka, may be slower.
If you can take the electric option, then the Opel Mokka-e is one that I would rate highly among the choices. The electric performance is impressive from the 50kWh battery system, and most of all the car’s dynamic in terms of the layout, weight and road holding makes it a very enjoyable car to drive. Add the 18in alloy wheels on the test car and it sits proudly on the road.
The design and function of the dash area was another plus for me. This felt like a real car rather than a laptop or tablet-controlled vehicle. That’s probably me hankering back to more traditional designs and the relatively high dash gave a cocooning effect, which is probably not always the best expression, given what we have all experienced over the last 18 months of Covid-19 lockdowns.
The Mokka-e has a very acceptable range at 324km on a full charge, which was exactly what Opel had claimed. Out on the road the driving performance was impressive with good acceleration and the option of a more eco-friendly driving style to preserve that range. The Eco option limits the power and torque outputs to 60kW and 180Nm respectively and a more leisurely driving experience that gets easy to live with.
Tap into the Sport option and you can experience the true acceleration ability of the car, but range will quickly suffer. And that’s to be expected from every electric powered car.
The car can support up to 100kW rapid DC charging, and that gives an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. Charging at home via my ESB dedicated wall-box takes longer and Opel claims that a full charge will take over 7 hours or essentially, overnight.
Opel has a dedicated MyOpel app, or via the centre console, drivers can also schedule delayed charging, taking advantage of lower electricity tariffs during off-peak hours. The driver may also choose from two settings, immediate charging (the standard setting) which starts charging as soon as the vehicle is docked or delayed charging if you want to use cheaper night electric rates by simply entering a charging start time.
The car comes complete with a host of safety and security kit, including Enhanced traffic sign recognition lane keep assist with centering, collision avoidance sensor with brake assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection alert, adaptive cruise control with auto start & go and parking sensors rear with 180 degree panoramic rear view camera pack.
Despite that equipment level, it still only registered a 4-star safety rating in the latest Euro NCAP testing programme. What is worrying is that Euro NCAP reported that the car failed to break the five-star threshold in any area of assessment, including that of child occupant protection.
Euro NCAP’s Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said, “The new Mokka lacks some critical safety systems that have become increasingly commonplace by now. The latest edition clearly lacks the ambition of the previous Mokka that was a runner-up of 2012 Best in Class in the Small Family category.” That report is not necessarily alarming, but I found it to be concerning for a car such as the Opel Mokka-e that I so enjoyed driving and became so comfortable and confident with.
Adding the electric option makes the Mokka-e the premium car in the range when it comes to pricing. Entry prices start at €33,038 that’s almost €8,000 more than the very economical 1.5 litre diesel version that’s also available. If the pricing was more affordable, then the electric Mokka-e would be the automatic choice for its style, form and function.
|Opel Mokka-e Electric SUV – specifications|
|0 – 100km/hr||8.7 seconds|
|Battery Energy Capacity||50 kWh|
|Road Tax Annual||A1 €120|
|Main Service||12 months|
|Euro NCAP Rating||4 Star (2021)|
|Turning Circle Kerb to Kerb||11.08 metres|
|Luggage Capacity||310/1060 litres|
|Battery Warranty||8 years/160,000km/70% capacity|