Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium

Road Test: The Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium

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The car that claims to be a stylish game-changer

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Jeremy Taylor drives Vauxhall’s battery-powered, multipurpose family car (with a very silly name): the Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium.

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Road Test: The Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium

Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium

PRICE £32,080 / BATTERY 50 kWh lithium-ion / POWER 136 PS 0-60MPH 8.7 seconds / RANGE 201 miles / STREAMING Black Coffee In Bed – Squeeze

TOWN

I hoped Vauxhall might have got the message after launching a car called Adam. It’s not quite as funny a moniker as the Ford Probe, Mitsubishi (no) Carisma or the, ahem, Dodge Swinger, but then along came the Mokka. Apart from sounding like a sickly latte, the electric version of Vauxhall’s compact SUV is actually delightful to drive. Even better, it looks fantastic and is every inch as desirable as the excellent – but more expensive – Volvo XC40 Recharge. Which is a good thing because my test car was ‘green’ in every sense. Mamba Green to be precise and wow! the colour really stands out in a supermarket car park. The high seating position affords great all-round visibility for parking, as well as avoiding London’s kamikaze e-scooter riders. A rapid burst of acceleration from the battery pack also gives the Mokka-e a nifty turn of speed that’s sadly missing from its petrol siblings. Feather-light steering won’t appeal to enthusiastic drivers but makes urban manoeuvring a doddle. A pair of six-foot adults can fit on the back seat with ease but boot space isn’t that impressive, impaired by the battery paraphernalia beneath. The buttons and dials have been swept away in favour of a digital dashboard, complete with a ten-inch touchscreen. Hook up to your mobile phone and enjoy the ride.

RATING: 4/5 HANDBAGS

COUNTRY

Small electric cars aren’t best suited to long journeys because they don’t have the battery capacity to cope. Vauxhall claims the Mokka-e is good for 201 miles between charges, but realistically you can expect around 160. That figure tumbles away rapidly in the sportier gearbox settings, while Eco mode wipes out any hope of purposeful acceleration. Still, that’s a common fault with all electric cars and not just the Vauxhall. If you want to go fast, pay more and buy a Tesla. After years of driving electric cars, I still feel a buzz pressing the start button and gliding away in silence. The Mokka also has a regeneration mode that helps recharge the batteries when braking. Consequently, I found myself on a permanent economy drive. Our top-of-the-range Elite version featured just about every conceivable extra too – the standard safety package includes forward collision alert, driver drowsiness alert and a host of other features to keep you safely between the white lines. If that all sounds mind-boggling don’t panic, the Mokka-e isn’t a complicated machine. It’s a great first step into the world of electric cars for a small family buyer. I can’t say the trim quality feels especially premium but the Vauxhall is still a lot of car for the money.

RATING: 3/5 WELLIES

THE DRIVE

DESTINATION: CABALVA ESTATE, HAY-ON-WYE

 Car Review: Vauxhall / Cym Pelved farmhouse

Cym Pelved farmhouse enjoys an extraordinary location

Francis Kilvert never restricted his word count describing a rural scene – especially if several hundred were available. His voluminous diaries on British country life in the 19th century are packed with forensic detail and often compared to the writings of Thomas Hardy.

Despite its remoteness, Cwm Pelved farmhouse, spectacularly situated on a hillside near Hay-on-Wye, didn’t escape his attention. When the learned Reverend explored the Welsh Marches he ensured the house was immortalised for generations to come.

Now restored to a six-bedroom selfcatering property, Cwm Pelved is part of the Cabalva Estate, with lush green fields and woodland stretching down to the banks of the River Wye below. In the distance are Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains – on a clear day guests can see as far as the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire.

Cwm Pelved is an extraordinary setting. With no near neighbours and only the cries of sheep and red kites to disturb the peace, it’s unlikely much has changed here since Kilvert wandered along the nearby Offa’s Dyke trail with notebook in hand.

It’s ten minutes to the bustling book town of Hay-on-Wye, a refreshing mix of independent bookshops, cafes and galleries. However, I imagine many guests just pull up a seat in the garden, open a good novel and don’t move until the sun gently sinks beyond the hillside. As the setting suggests, this is definitely a location best-suited to a four-wheel drive. So for this adventure I’ve chosen an SUV with genuine go-anywhere ability, loaded with equipment and ultimately responsible for creating the luxury SUV sector.

The Range Rover celebrated its 50th birthday in 2020 and is still the king of the off-road. Land Rover will launch a new version next year in an everchanging line-up of vehicles that will eventually include six all-electric models.

Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic

PRICE £144,265 / ENGINE 5.0-litre V8 petrol / POWER 565 bhp 0-62MPH 5.1 seconds ECONOMY / 18.9mpg (combined) / STREAMING Into The Mystic – Van Morrison

The ultimate version is the Autobiography Dynamic I tested on this trip, hugely expensive but powered by a petrol engine that returns sports car-like performance figures. It’s also dripping in luxury equipment, such as rear entertainment screens, reclining back seats and even pre-heaters to take the chill off the cabin.

You might wonder at the sense in driving a £144,000 car up the rutted track to Cwm Pelved but that’s what the Range Rover was designed for. All it needs now is an all-electric model and the peace of this glorious setting will be fully restored for the next generation of guests.

BOOK IT

From £1,650 for seven nights, six-bedroom house. cabalva.co.uk

IN THE BOOT

What to take on your adventure…

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CIMalp Advanced waterproof jacket

WINTER WARMERS

CIMALP’s Advanced waterproof jacket and trouser set is a stylish combo for staycationers. Jacket and trousers, both £332. cimalp.co.uk

The Extra Mile Book

OFF-BEAT FEAST

The Extra Mile is a collection of cool foodie locations just off the motorway – avoiding packed service stations. £14.99, theextramile.guide

Chapman's Weekender

PACK IT IN

Made in Carlisle from canvas and vegetable tanned leather, Chapman’s Weekender has bags of style. £650, chapmanmade.uk

Featured image: The Vauxhall Mokka-e Elite Nav Premium

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