Fantastic updates for the Opel Mokka X are set for a Geneva debut next month, and they bode extremely well for its American twin, the Buick Encore!
We really like the Encore. It’s punchy turbo engine delivers admirable thrust for the segment, while its very good Quiet-Tuned refinement is a huge step up from the Chevy Trax or Jeep Renegade.
This refresh brings an all-new nose, LEDs front and rear, and a total redesign of the cabin tech. The center stack — long the Encore’s sore point — is fresh with a giant new touchscreen and streamlined climate/audio controls.
We adore the new LED look in front. A double check-mark of white light is very cool and modern. A massive improvement over the blue-tinted halogen lamps of the current Mokka and Encore.
Why is this trucklet doing so well? It never feels cheap, it handles like a rockstar on twisty roads or highways, and it has a large back seat. Not o0bjectively large, of course, but simply gigantic versus any 5-door hatch like the VW Golf. This and the commanding drive position are earning sales gains for both brands at a rapid clip.
The Mokka X is ready for first arrivals around August, we estimate. This means the Buick versions could be in the USA by this time in next year, in 2017.
2016 OPEL Mokka X
Even More Adventurous – The New Opel Mokka X
- New look: Bold and masculine on the outside, refined elegance on the inside
- New choice: New gasoline 1.4-liter Direct Injection Turbo with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive
- New visibility: Adaptive LED headlamps and new generation Opel Eye front camera
- New infotainment system: With smartphone integration and OnStar services
Rüsselsheim. Ever since its launch in 2012, the Opel Mokka has gone from strength to strength. With its perfect size (4.28 meters long), its sporty look and elevated seating position, the sub-compact SUV appeals to the zeitgeist and has already been ordered over 500,000 times across Europe making it one of the most popular models in its segment. Now the new Opel Mokka X looks to add to this popularity. It will celebrate its world premiere at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show (March 3 to 13, 2016) and will hit the market this fall with a fresh iconic exterior design, a new interior and outstanding, new generation infotainment systems making it one of the best-connected all-terrain eye-catchers on the market. Alongside the recently launched new generation 1.6 “whisper diesels”, the new Mokka X will also extend its gasoline offer with a new generation 1.4-liter Direct Injection Turbo which will be combined with an automatic transmission, Start/Stop and all-wheel drive.
Bold and adventurous attitude
The Mokka could be labelled as one of the symbols of Opel’s successful comeback in recent years. The sub-compact SUV has attracted many new customers to the brand who are attracted by the body style of a SUV combined with a stylish design, a sporty, adventurous flair, and genuine off-road capabilities. The new Mokka X will be the first carline to introduce the segment identifier for future Opel SUV and crossover vehicles with the “X” emphasizing a more adventurous and rugged personality as the one displayed by more traditional body styles.
The Mokka X’ new exterior design displays a bold attitude. Its new front look is aligned with Opel’s new design including a wing-shaped horizontal front grille and the dominant, sharp double wing signature of the LED daytime running lights. The front fascia also gets more precisely and elegantly sculpted surfaces, with less plastic inserts. This gives the Mokka X a wider, more solid and masculine stance. It is continued at the rear with another double wing signature also features in the tail lamps – optionally available with LED technology. The body side retains its sculpted and elegant traits and sporty edge with muscular and athletic lower body lines, energized by Opel’s typical ‘blade’ that sweeps upwards to the rear. New vibrant colors such as ‘Amber Orange’ or ‘Absolute Red’ add to the desirability of the Mokka X.
On the inside, the Mokka X’ ambiance has been totally redefined. A completely new dashboard inspired by the new Astra makes its debut. The new instrument panel is organized around more horizontally shaped elements. It looks both simpler and purer, as well as sharper and more precise in its execution. The center stack has been redeveloped completely around the 7 and 8-inch touchscreens of the new generation infotainment systems. It now impresses with refined elegance and a purer design with less buttons – many functions are now accessible via the capacitive touchscreens.
New six-speed automatic with adaptive all-wheel drive
After the introduction of the new generation 1.6 “whisper diesel” units with 81 kW/110 hp and 100 kW/136 hp, the powertrain portfolio of the Opel SUV will now be extended on the gasoline side. The new generation 112 kW/152 hp 1.4-liter Direct Injection Turbo that recently made its debut in the new Astra will be available in combination with a six-speed automatic transmission, Start/Stop and adaptive all-wheel drive (CO2 emissions and fuel consumption combined according to preliminary data: 154 g/km, 6.6 l/100 km). The all-wheel drive technology with an electro magnetic multi-plate clutch is clever and efficient. When the road surface is dry, the front wheels drive the vehicle forward (except when starting when the car is in AWD) meaning that fuel consumption remains low. Depending on the road conditions the range automatically and seamlessly varies from 100 percent front-wheel drive on dry road surfaces benefitting fuel consumption to a maximum distribution of torque of 50 percent on the front and rear axle, for example when the roads are covered in a thick film of water.
AFL LED headlamps and new generation Opel Eye front camera increase safety
In addition to the AWD system, the Opel engineers have once again followed Opel’s strategy of making innovative technology available to a broad group of buyers by introducing Adaptive Forward Lighting LED headlamps. The new AFL LED system adapts the headlights lighting patterns automatically to the driving situation so that the best possible light performance is given without glaring other drivers. It features nine different functions/lighting patterns such as town light, country light, tourist mode, a curve and cornering function, backing-up /maneuvering light and a stop mode light (eco). This LED system replaces the previous BiXenon AFL. On one hand, LED features a light quality that allows seeing the ‘true’ colors of things, to the benefit of visual comfort. In addition, as there is no mechanical operation within the lamp module, it is faster and more accurate in its reaction, while also being highly reliable over time.
Furthermore, the new generation of the Opel Eye front camera with a higher resolution and an increased image processing power has a positive impact on all the functions it supports, including the High Beam Assist of the AFL LED lighting system. Due to the improved camera and the optional navigation support, the enhanced Traffic Sign Assistant of the Mokka X has a further increased detection rate. The Following Distance Indication (FDI) utilizes the front camera to detect moving lead vehicles, and the Forward Collision Alert is now enhanced with a reflective LED Alert Display. When the distance between the car and the vehicle ahead diminishes too quickly, red LEDs reflect in the windscreen. In addition, an audible caution alerts the driver that braking is necessary. The Lane Departure Warning is activated automatically at speeds over 60 km/h and warns the driver, in case the lane if left unintentionally with a telltale in the instrument panel and an audible warning.
Best connected and most comfortable car in the segment
Just like the new Opel Astra, the Mokka X will be available with all Opel OnStar services from its launch. In addition, two versions of the new generation of the IntelliLink infotainment system will celebrate their debut in the Mokka X. IntelliLink will bring the world of smartphones to the car via both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection.
Apart from being the best connected car in the sub-compact SUV segment the new Mokka X can also claim to be one of the most comfortable. Like in most Opel models, the AGR (Campaign for Healthier Backs lead by independent back health experts) tested and certified ergonomic seats, unique in the segment, make long highway journeys just as enjoyable as excursions into rough terrain. The Mokka X also receives a further comfort feature: Keyless Open and Start. The driver does not need to actively press the button on his car key to open or lock his car. He just keeps the key in his pocket or bag and presses the small button on any door handle to enable or disable access to the passenger and cargo compartments of his vehicle. The vehicle’s start / ignition interface is also keyless.
With its new design, complemented powertrain lineup, proven off-road capabilities, outstanding connectivity offer and its outstanding comfort features the new Mokka X comes with the perfect prerequisites to continue the winning ways of its predecessor, which, amongst others, won two “All-wheel Drive Car of the Year” awards and two “Company Car of the Year” awards in Germany.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.