Opel Mokka – Review

The Opel Mokka is Opels compact SUV. The styling on the Mokka has always been quite desirable but until now it has been paired to a rather “old fashioned” 1.7 diesel unit. Opel has now fitted its 1.6 CDTi “whisper quiet” diesel so we took ownership of it for the week to put it through its paces. Don’t let its cute looks make you think its not up to the job, the Mokka is a very capable car.

A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Opel Mokka SE
Engine: 1.6 diesel  – 136hp and 320Nm
Transmission: Manual, front wheel drive
Price: The Mokka range starts from €20,995, with the SE starting from €27,745. As tested – €30,561.

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The looks haven’t changed over the previous model. We like the cute, cheerful look of the Mokka. Our test car was finished in Carbon Flash, which was a pain to keep clean! The SE comes standard with 18 inch alloy wheels, bi-Xenon headlights and front fogs to spruce up the look of the Mokka.

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On the inside, the interior quality is pretty good. We were impressed with the overall finish. The cheap scratchy plastics, like the ones that covered the cabin of the Corsa OPC we had driven a couple of weeks earlier, are replaced with soft touch, leather effect on top half of the doors and the dashboard.

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Thanks to Mokkas low boot lip, the boot is easily accessible. It is also a decent size at 362 litres with the seats up and 1372l with the seats fully folded away. It has the biggest boot out of its closest competitors, but only just. The Nissan Juke has 352l and the Peugeot 2008 has 360l.

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DSC_0024Up front, the cabin storage is plentiful. With storage for bottles and books in all the doors and two cup holders in the rear arm rest and two cup holders up the front, passengers will struggle not find somewhere for everything. There are even two glove boxes, one small enough for a tablet or phone and one big enough for the usual travel essentials.

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While the Mokka won’t win any awards for its handling or speed, it is certainly no slouch. The 136hp and 320Nm diesel engine does not leave the driver wanting more. Although named a “whisper quiet” diesel, we found this not to be the case. At both low and high speeds, the 1.6 unit is a tad noisy. We weren’t the only ones that thought this either as some passengers we had in the car were quick to point out the noisiness too. Though putting this aside, the Mokka is a nice place to be. The driving position is comfortable and there is good visibility. The Mokka is also a very comfy car for those long motorway journeys. Taking the Mokka down a county lane is not to be dreaded either, it soaked up the pothole riddled roads pretty well.

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The Mokka in SE trim comes fairly well equipped. As standard are Bi-Xenon Headlights, Rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, front and rear parking sensors, leather seats, Bluetooth, USBDSC_0025 and iPod connection and Dual-zone Electronic Climate Control, to name but a few features. Optional extras on our test car included Two Coat Metallic Paint (€550), Adaptive Forward Lighting (€1016) and Navi 950 Intellink (€1250). Navi 950 Intellink is the Sat Nav system in the Mokka. It is a very old fashioned system. Controlled by buttons and a dial, rather than a touch screen, trying to spell streets or finding an address can a be a chore. But once you have found it, the system works just fine.

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The running costs on the Mokka are reasonable. Road tax for the year is just €200 thanks to its low CO2 emissions of 114g/km. Throughout the week, we averaged a reasonable 5.8l/100km but saw as low as 4.8l/100km at one stage too. Opel reckons drivers can achieve a combined figure of 4.3l/100km.

Onto the price. The starting price of the Mokka is €20,995. This is compared to €19,290 for the Peugeot 2008 and €19,995 for the Nissan Juke. The SE (our test car) and SRi trim levels start at €27,745. It is available in both front wheel drive and four wheel drive.

Overall, Opel is serious about the Mokka. Since its launch in 2012, the Mokka has sold very well. How do we know? Because they are EVERYWHERE! If you are in the market for a crossover, it will certainly tick lots of boxes and should not be over looked, even if it is that little bit more expensive than its competitors.

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Opel Corsa OPC – Review

If you’re in the market for a hot hatch, you should not dismiss the Opel Corsa OPC. What you might think is a niche market, it is far from it. The Corsa OPC has many rivals such as the Peugeot 208 GTi, Renault Clio RS, SEAT Ibiza Cupra and the Ford Fiesta ST. All of which are very good in their own way, so can the Corsa live up to its OPC title?

A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Opel Corsa OPC
Engine: 1.6 Turbo Petrol  – 205hp and 280Nm
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual, Front Wheel Drive
Price: The Corsa range starts from €14,895 with the OPC starting at €29,995, as tested – €33,170, including options.

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Straight away, the Opel Corsa OPC is set apart from its much more tame counterpart, the Corsa. The test car we had was painted in Flash Blue and had the optional 18 inch alloys. IMG_7740The OPC sits 10mm lower than the regular Corsa so it has a sportier and aggressive stance about it.  The brave new styling to the Corsa is definitely, well, brave. Although it took us a while to getting use to, we really liked the styling of the OPC. It looks mean and would look quite scary approaching you while out on the race track.

Here are a few numbers for you; The Corsa has 205hp and 280Nm, (this includes a 35Nm overboost). It will launch you from 0-100kmh in just 6.5 seconds thanks to its 1.6 turbocharged petrol engine.

All sounds good so far, right? Well don’t get too excited yet as the Corsa OPC does come at a price. The starting price is €29,995 but adding tinted rear windows (€155), IMG_7598optional 18 inch alloys (€750), front and rear park assist (€420) and the OPC leather pack (€1850) brings our test car to a hefty €33,170. The starting price is over €1200 more than the Peugeot 208 GTi, over €3600 more expensive than a Ford Fiesta ST and a staggering  €7370 more than the Ibiza Cupra.

But lets say you have €33,000 to spend on a hot hatch, will you make up for it on running costs? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The tax for the OPC is €750/annum due to the C02 emissions of 174g/km. IMG_7765This is compared to €270 in the 208 GTi, €280 in the Fiesta ST and €390 in the Ibiza Cupra. Also, Opel claims the car can get 7.5l/100km, we averaged 10.5l/100km. We must admit though that we weren’t “taking her handy”. Its easy to have too much fun in the OPC.

From the moment you turn the key and the 1.6 turbo petrol engine burbles into life, thanks to the Remus sports exhaust, the Corsa OPC welcomes you with open arms. IMG_7662It urges you to push it harder and to go fast on the windy and twisty roads it was made for.

The OPC is equipped with a Koni damping system known as Frequency Selective Damping, so therefore the car sits 10mm lower than the regular Corsa. FSD adapts to the drivers style of driving so it knows to maintain body control at high speeds but once the car is taken into the city, the ride is not compromised. This worked well as we found that the car absorbed the bad Irish roads quite well. Aswell, the car is brought to a stop with thanks to 308mm front brake discs.

The OPC keeps you on your toes. It has a hint of torque steer, much like the Astra H OPC had. IMG_7708Michelin 215/45 R17 tyres are standard on the car. In the dry, the grip is good from the OPC but in the wet, it feels as if you are driving on racing slick tires. Very little grip is to be found even under low acceleration.

The Recaro seats hug you in all the right places and even warm you up on those cold winter mornings. If having toasty buns isn’t enough for you, keep those mits warm with the heating steering wheel. IMG_7795InteliLink comes as standard and the user can connect their iOs or Android phone to use apps, play music or use the BringGo Sat Nav system. However, we didn’t like the overuse of cheap ‘scratchy’ plastics used on the dashboard and doors, for example.

All in all, the Corsa OPC is great for hooning around the back roads on a Sunday morning or doing a few laps of Mondello. IMG_7722The chassis updates certainly make the car a lot more capable over its predecessor and the new Remus exhaust will definitely wake you up on those cold, dull mornings. Although, a lot is left to be desired in terms of interior quality, certainly when you are spending €33,000. Getting by these flaws however, the OPC is a serious contender in the hot hatch segment.

Photography: Darragh McKenna