With the successful launch of the new Opel Adam, the German automaker double-barrels with a crossover SUV – the Opel Mokka.

First impressions are priceless. The Mokka has a raked in positive and muscular stance – chromed accessories brighten up its rather honed athletic front-end, while accentuated aerodynamics eye-line the detail of its bodywork and casting the rest of the Mokka’s proportions into balance.

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Exterior convention also translates this SUV’s interior pod, graced with a plentiful of space, useful utility areas, and a peripheral of cup holders. Piano-black accents highlight the fascia and detail on the button control panel – dashboard is robust with a modern shimmer. An Intellilink Infotainment System uploads you to the AUX/USB, Bluetooth functions, which is as easy – as rolling play doe. The complete package would include a reverse-camera or at least reverse-parking senses – disappointingly, the Mokka has neither and there is nothing worse than guessing how far your bumper is from the island pavement in a parking bay.

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Though the performance is linear, the 200nm of torque is on tap giving decent throttle response in every gear, with the six-speed auto-transmission rationing power to the front wheels. The Mokka’s 103kw 1.4L Turbocharged Ecotec motor feels just short of sporty, with little consolation from the Aveo platform, and sometimes-vague steering response – the Mokka’s handling gags as you try grinding through a corner, (which left me guessing, how the Mokka would behave in an emergency/sudden brake and manoeuvre scenario). Yet the Mokka is a real go-getter on the open road; its compliant suspension will not taser your passengers while you involuntary roll over any lumpy tarmac, and on a good day the Mokka averages a fuel economy of 9L+/100Km.

Therefore, what is the point of yet another crossover SUV, produced by an automaker, who together with their subsidiaries is cloning more offspring that are less original – but more ‘general’. For one the entry level spec Mokka (ENJOY) will cost you R288 500, with its cosmetically enhanced sibling – the Mokka (Cosmo) priced at R325 500(add R10 000 for the automatic versions).

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The Mokka is not going to show you how to make friends with interesting people, however it will appeal to a less pretentious but sizeable portion of the market. The new Opel Mokka is either going to be a water under the bridge moment or a watershed moment for the German automaker – Only time will tell!

Dean Joseph