RAC Cars News


Vauxhall plans SUV new model assault

By raccars Published

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Vauxhall has decided to really get to grips with the ultra-competitive SUV market.

Vauxhall has a competent and successful SUV in its current line-up in the form of the Mokka compact SUV or crossover, which regularly features in the UK's top ten bestsellers list. However the company is planning a comprehensive range update.

This will include new SUVs, starting with the Mokka X seen at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, followed by a larger SUV based upon the Insignia, which will compete with the likes of the Ford Edge. This is effectively a replacement for the ageing Antara and is due to reach the market in 2018.

The Mokka X compact SUV

The Mokka X replaces the current Mokka and goes on sale in the UK in October, priced from £17,590 and set to rival the Nissan Juke. Four trim levels will be available, all with the IntelliLink infotainment system with built-in sat nav and eight inch screen, front fog lights, 18 inch alloys and OnStar, Vauxhall's communications system.

At the most economical end of the scale, the 109bhp diesel model returns 72.4mpg and 103g/km in CO2 emissions. There's also a speedy little 1.4 litre petrol model with 150bhp, which takes 9.4 seconds to get to 62mph and reaches a top speed of 120mph.

Future SUVs

Vauxhall believes that it is now in an ideal position to capitalise upon the popularity of the Mokka and add larger SUV models to its range, without sacrificing the valuable MPV category. Another possible future large SUV could be based upon the Zafira Tourer and / or the Meriva. The next generation Meriva and Zafira models will retain all the space of an MPV but could be styled as SUVs or, as Vauxhall prefers to call them, compact utility vehicles.

This means that within a few years Vauxhall's portfolio could expand from one to four SUVs. The SUV new model assault is part of a wider strategy which by 2020 will see the Vauxhall/Opel product line-up include 27 models with 17 new engines. The plan is already underway and is considered a strong signal of the importance of Vauxhall/Opel within parent company GM's strategy for Europe.

Insignia-based large SUV

The new Insignia hatchback and Sports Tourer estate models will be released before any SUV based upon the same model but 2018 is looking good for Vauxhall. The flagship SUV will be design-led but is not supposed to rival Ford's luxury Vignale sub-brand, according to Vauxhall.

However, the firm is hoping it may be able to mop up some premium German brand buyers, so it's clearly planning something rather plush. The Ford Edge SUV appears to be a suitable rival within this market sector. In the past the Insignia has sold well for Vauxhall but is now much in need of an update to ensure that it remains competitive with rivals such as the smart new Ford Mondeo and the BMW 3 Series.

Updated Zafira Tourer

Meanwhile the current Vauxhall Zafira Tourer has also been given an update and is due to reach forecourts this October. Prices for the seven seater start at £18,615, which includes some premium design features but without sacrificing the car's trademark MPV practicality. A seven inch IntelliLink infotainment system will feature as standard in all models, together with the OnStar communications system, 17 inch alloys and parking sensors front and rear. The top spec model is the Elite Nav which includes built-in Sat Nav, a panoramic sunroof, climate control and heated sports seats in the front.

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