Things are moving on fast in the all-electric era. Take the second-generation Vauxhall Mokka. I first drove the electric version (marketed as the Mokka-e) in 2021, soon after its launch.
Now, not only has Vauxhall changed the Mokka’s moniker to the Mokka Electric, but it has also given the urban crossover an updated powertrain, which boosts range and adds some extra performance.
The new 54kWh battery replaces the outgoing model’s 50kWh pack. The extra capacity allows for an improvement of 43 miles (now up to 252 miles in total) and it comes with a more potent electric motor.
Powering the front wheels, the motor produces 154bhp (a 20bhp power increase) and 260Nm of torque, allowing the Mokka Electric to reach 60mph from rest in under 10 seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 93mph, as before.
I haven’t driven the more powerful version yet, but apart from the extra oomph and range, it much the same car – which isn’t such a bad thing because the Mokka is a cool Vauxhall.
Sharing the same platform as the Citroen e-C4, Peugeot e-2008 and DS 3 E-Tense, it looks like no other car on the road, and stands out in Mamba Green.
Sporting the bold new brand ‘face’ of Vauxhall (known as Vizor) which “organically integrates the grille, headlights and badge into one dramatic sweeping module”, it has an athletic stance.
Then there’s that long, horizontal bonnet with the strong centre crease, which is such a unique pleasure in these days of ever shortening, tapered front ends.
Inside, the cockpit is dominated by a central infotainment screen and digital driver’s display. It’s attractive, but not state-of-the-art.
That said, it does the job and there are thankfully still a few switches, buttons and dials up front so that you can keep your eyes on the road, rather than prodding and swiping the touchscreen for essentials such as climate control.
Overall, the cabin is comfortable with plenty of space up front, even offering a lower, sporty driving position if you prefer.
It’s a little tighter in the back for adults, while the boot has a modest 310-litre luggage capacity, expanding to 1,060 litres with the rear seats folded.
It can be charged overnight if you have a home wallbox, while 80% of charge can be reached in as little as 30 minutes using a rapid 100kW public chargepoint. A more common 50kW fast charger will deliver around 100 miles in less than half an hour.
In real-world terms, we reckon the real-world battery range has now crossed the crucial 200-mile mark, thus reducing that all-import range anxiety on longer journeys.
With light steering and good visibility, the electric Mokka is easy to drive and silent. Swift rather than stupidly fast, if you want a bit of fun, you can switch the drive mode from Normal or Eco to Sport, for the odd blast.
However, you’re more likely to want to squeeze out as many miles as possible and stick to the comfort-focused set-up of the Normal mode.
The benefit of a relatively small battery pack is that it’s easier to see instant results from regenerative braking (which returns most of the energy from braking and coasting back into the battery while you’re driving), and the Mokka Electric’s system is particularly satisfying on long downhill stretches where you can literally add a few miles to your range.
It hides its 1.6-tonne weight well, but it doesn’t offer the most sophisticated handling and can lose its composure when pushed on trickier roads.
So, the Mokka Electric is more about style and comfort than performance and driving engagement.
Broadly speaking, electric vehicles’ brakes tend to be disappointing, and the Mokka Electric is par for the course. My test car’s system didn’t seem to be terribly progressive, but did the job.
The Mokka’s urban electric rivals include the MINI Electric, Peugeot e-2008, Citroen e-C4, Mazda MX-30 and Hyundai Kona Electric.