Was GM wrong to sell the German brand?
The Buick Encore is essentially a rebadged version of Europe's Opel Mokka crossover, also known as the Vauxhall Mokka in the UK. But now that General Motors no longer owns Opel and Vauxhall after selling the brands to the PSA Group, the Buick brand is starting to suffer. The Buick Regal is being discontinued in the US, but the Opel Insignia it's based on is still being sold in Europe and was recently given a refresh.
Now, Opel has launched an all-new version of the Mokka that that will be forbidden fruit in the US. Sadly, it shows how the Buick Encore could potentially have evolved, as GM's partnership with Opel had great potential. We will also be surprised if the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EUV looks as good as this.
Based on the company's new CMP platform developed by PSA Group that also underpins the Peugeot 2008, the new Mokka gets a bold new look based on Opel's new Vizor design language, and we think you'll agree it looks great. This is a very sharp-looking crossover with stunning proportions. LED headlights and taillights now come as standard, which can be upgraded to glare-free adaptive beam LED matrix lights with 14 elements available for the first time in the segment.
Thanks to PSA's new platform, the new second-generation Mokka is 265 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Despite having a 0.08-inch longer wheelbase, the new Opel Mokka is 4.9 inches shorter than the last-generation model thanks to its shorter front and rear overhangs but still offers 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a similar capacity to the old model and the Buick Encore.
With a length of only 163.3 inches, the new Mokka is easier to maneuver and park in crowded urban and suburban areas. Inside, the new Mokka is also much more technologically advanced and is available with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Entry-level versions come with a seven-inch touchscreen. Essential functions still have physical buttons, however, and traffic sign recognition also comes as standard. Other available tech includes a 180-degree panorama rear-view camera and advanced cruise control with stop and go function.
For the first time, the Opel Mokka will be available as a fully electric crossover powered by an electric motor producing 136 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque to rival the Hyundai Kona Electric.
Top speed is electronically limited to 93 mph to preserve the energy stored in the 50 kWh battery and the range. Using a 100 kW DC fast-charging system, the battery can be charged up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes.
According to the WLTP, the Opel Mokka Electric has a range of 200 miles when driven in normal mode. Gasoline and diesel variants will also be available, but Opel hasn't released any technical details of the combustion-powered next-generation Mokka yet. In Europe, the new Opel Mokka will go on sale in late summer 2020 and be available in dealerships from early 2021.