(Pocket-lint) - The original Vauxhall Mokka was typical of early crossovers. It was tall, slightly ungainly and perhaps a little odd. It was small but large, practical but … ugly. That's all changed with the new Vauxhall Mokka, a car that ushers in mainstream electric motoring in a crossover designed to appeal.

Some might see Vauxhall's shift in design as being slightly less distinctive, but seeing as compact crossovers are are the most sought-after models on forecourts, we can't help feeling that Vauxhall is putting its efforts in the the right place with the Mokka-e.

It's 12.5cm shorter than the previous model, it's wider and slightly longer (2mm), so it has a sportier and more aggressive stance. Sure, it looks like many of the compact German SUVs and yes, there will be an Opel-badged Mokka too for those on the continent.

Vauxhall

In terms of the power, there's a 50kW battery - not the largest, but not the smallest - with a 100kWh motor resulting in 136bhp equivalent. A range of 201 miles WLTP is cited and we'd imagine that in the real world you'll be looking at something topside of 150 miles.

There's support for 100kW charging, getting back up to 80 per cent in 30 minutes, while 11kW charging is supported from a three-phase supply at home, if you're lucky enough to have one. That all sounds interesting and mainstream from an electric car point of view.

But there's a shift in identity too: the Mokka debuts what's being called the Vauxhall Visor, a new face for the design. Looking at the Mokka it looks nothing like current Vauxhall models and we like what we see. It's clean and futuristic.

Vauxhall talks about "opening up innovative technologies from upper classes to a wide range of buyers" and there's talk of Alcantara seats with heating and massage functions, while the interior is treated to an all-digital display layout with two screens - and a lot of clever tech, like LED matrix lights.

Vauxhall

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on the list, while a lot of driving technology will also be available, like adaptive cruise control and lane guidance.

It all sounds refreshing and exciting, with Vauxhall adding an electric car in a competitive category. This is the sort of car that's likely to appeal to families for the shopping and school runs, with the benefit of home charging and zero emissions.

A lot will hang on the price however. Vauxhall has been known for being more accessible than some other marques, but electric cars are more costly than fossil fuel rivals. The question will be whether Vauxhall can bring this in at a price that offers the universal appeal it wants to offer.

The Vauxhall Mokka-e will be available from late summer 2020 - and if the electric version is too expensive, there will be petrol and diesel versions too.

Writing by Chris Hall.