Vauxhall Mokka 1.6-litre Whisper Diesel review
What is it?
THE popular Vauxhall Mokka now fitted with Vauxhall’s 1.6-litre ‘Whisper Diesel engine’. It’s a replacement for the old and rather unrefined 1.7-litre diesel and the same engine you’ll find in the Astra.
It may have a slightly smaller displacement but it’s more powerful than the 1.7 and crucially more economical. Vauxhall claims 65.7mpg and CO2 emission of 114g/km, meaning a company car tax BIK rating of 18% – a 3% improvement over the 1.7.
What’s also going in the Mokka’s favour is its size. It may be a rival for the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur but it’s considerably larger meaning more space for passengers and all of their luggage.
- We’ll start with the engine. The old 1.7 came under criticism for being a little clunky and loud and Vauxhall has certainly addressed this with the 1.6-litre unit.
- Vauxhall may have been a little ambitious with its naming strategy calling it the ‘Whisper Diesel’, as you’re welcomed with more of clatter than a whisper on start up.
- Get the engine up to temperature, though, and the 1.6 settles into a barely audible hum. It does become a little unsettled when you extend the rev range but there’s a good slug of low down torque which means you rarely have to stretch beyond 3,000rpm.
- The reserves of torque also mean you have to change gear less frequently. Even in sixth gear at 40mph, a prod on the throttle reveals a noticeable shove from low revs.
- These improvements mean 65.8mpg and 114g/km of CO2 is claimed – a 7.8mpg and 15g/km improvement over the old 1.7.
- That attracts an 18% BIK rating with the 20 and 40% taxpayer having to cough up £813 and £1625 per annum respectively.
- The Mokka also remains a very stylish option in the crossover segment. It’s mini-SUV proportions emphasize its big car feel but be careful about speccing larger alloy wheels as they can upset ride quality. But they do look good…
- Like rivals such as the Juke and Captur, the Mokka has a rather softer setup given its intended purpose, so the steering is light with some movement in the body during faster corners but it’s a comfortable and relaxing enough way to make progress.
- Another plus is that it’s significantly more practical than some rivals, highlighted by a spacious 362-litre boot.