The Mokka has had a facelift inside and out as Vauxhall aims to give this compact sports utility vehicle a bit more sparkle.

And if it’s all about giving a vehicle the X-factor, then why not make your intentions clear and slap an X on the end of its name?

So the Vauxhall Mokka X - the new letter denoting its SUV/crossover status - is the upgraded version of the small Vauxhall SUV that sold so well even though it wasn’t thrilling to drive.

In terms of looks, the Mokka’s appearance has undoubtedly been improved by the reworking of the front grille and rear end.

Meanwhile, its strong shoulder-line and smart roof rails give it a hint of ruggedness.

The stylish look is completed by the 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, which come as a standard feature.

It’s the sort of car you could look at and feel proud to own, while also being conscious that it won’t necessarily stand out from the crowd or turn many heads.

Despite the external nips and tucks, the most noticeable difference comes to light when you get inside the vehicle.

For starters, there’s an entirely new dashboard, which takes its inspiration from the sleek layout found in the Astra. This change has made the dash a lot more user-friendly, ridding it of the confusing multitude of buttons on the previous model.

There are four main trim levels to choose from - comprising Active, Design Nav, Elite (tested here) and Elite Nav.

In Active trim, standard equipment includes Vauxhall’s Intellilink 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is a superb piece of kit. You also get the benefit of Vauxhall’s 24/7 emergency assistance and concierge service, called OnStar. Fortunately, I didn’t need to use it, but it’s a reassuring feature.

DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come as standard, making for a pretty impressive all-round offering.

If you want SatNav, you’ll need to upgrade to Design Nav trim, while those craving a little more luxury and comfort may enjoy the leather upholstery offered with Elite models. I certainly found the seating to be as comfortable as anything in this class.

In terms of space and practicality, there was no shortage of room in the front, with plenty of seat adjustment available to the driver and passenger. Things are not quite as spacious in the back, but you should be okay so long as it’s children rather than adults in the rear seats.

While the boot may not be quite as big as some in this class, the absence of a load lip makes it easier to use than most.

Behind the wheel, it still isn’t brimming with excitement, but that’s fine because people looking to buy a compact SUV aren’t necessarily in the market for a vehicle with blistering pace. That said, the turbocharged 1.4-litre engine is capable of getting a move on when you work it hard and can go from a standing start to 60mph in 9.3 seconds, which isn’t completely disastrous.

It’s just that the engine feels a little flat in the lower rev range, so you find yourself driving closer to 4,000rpm to extract the best performance.

Of course, working the engine that little bit harder brings an inevitable consequence as you become further removed from the official stated fuel economy figure of 47.1mpg on the combined cycle.

In terms of handling, I found the steering to be light and accurate, making for reasonable cornering abilities and meaning the Mokka is a bit more fun through tight bends than some of its rivals. Body roll is also very minimal, which gives the driver great confidence in the car’s agility.

All in all, the Mokka X is an appealing package. Its appearance is stylish although not especially memorable, its sleek interior is a match for anything in class, and its performance is plucky enough even if it wouldn’t set a driving purist’s pulse racing.

Will's Ratings

SPACE: ****
VALUE: ****

The Lowdown 

Vauxhall Mokka X Elite
PRICE: £23,360 on the road
ENGINE: 1.4-litre turbo
PERFORMANCE: Top speed of 122mph and 0-60mph in 9.3
ECONOMY: 47.1mpg combined and emissions of 140g/km
TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual