The Vauxhall Adam: A City Car For The Fashion Conscious?

The Vauxhall Adam: A City Car For The Fashion Conscious?

When the new Fiat 500 first got launched back in 2007, everyone enjoyed the fact that there was now a car the fashion conscious could buy! Fast forward to 2013 and a new kind in town showed up to rival the iconic 500. I am, of course, talking about the Vauxhall Adam!

The car is also called the Opel Adam outside of the UK. You might be wondering why Vauxhall and Opel decided to give such a name to their new supermini. The story is the car got named after the founder of Vauxhall’s European counterpart: Adam Opel.

Now that you know a bit about the name let’s move on and talk about the car! The newcomer to the small hatchback market offers fresh competition to others cars like the Audi A1. And, of course, the BMW-built Mini.

So, what’s the Vauxhall Adam like? Should you go out and buy one, or should you avoid it like the plague? Find out below…


opel-adamThe Vauxhall Adam isn’t a car you should consider if you want a “hot hatch.” It won’t win any land speed records. But if you need a small city car or supermini, and you spend most of your time driving around town, this could be the car for you.

You can choose from one of the three engine choices, all of which come with a five-speed manual transmission. The first engine is a 1.2-litre unit that offers 69 brake horsepower. The second is a 1.4-litre power plant with 86 brake horsepower. And the final option is the 98 brake horsepower 1.4.

If speed is of no concern to you, I recommend the 1.2-litre. It gets you to 60 mph from a standing start in 14.9 seconds and has a top speed of 102 mph. The bigger 1.4-litre unit is 2.4 seconds quicker to 60 mph and can reach speeds of up to 110 mph.

The powerful of the three engines reaches 60 mph in 11.5 seconds and has a top speed of 115 mph. The Vauxhall Adam isn’t a model you’d associate with high-performance motoring. If that’s what you want, it might be worth considering the 202 brake horsepower Vauxhall Corsa VXR instead!

If you want to be a more eco-friendly driver, I recommend opting for the “ecoFLEX” package. It lowers emissions by way of start-stop technology. The only trouble is that it doesn’t reduce emissions for tax purposes.

Are you planning on buying a 2014 or newer model from a dealer such as the Pentagon Group?  If so, you might find the next paragraph interesting.

As of Spring 2014, Vauxhall included two extra engines to the Adam range. They are both 1.0-litre three-cylinder units. They feature direct injection and have turbochargers fitted. The first of the two offers 89 brake horsepower as standard, while the second is 113 brake horsepower. The “Adam Rocks” version also comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard.

Combined fuel consumption figures for the 89 bhp engine are an impressive 62 mpg. The engine emissions are also 99 g/km. That means free car tax if you live in the UK!

Ride and handling

The one bugbear of the Vauxhall Adam is its handling on the road. Even those this a car with great looks, the way it handles at speed isn’t as great as its competitors. For instance, the steering feels light thanks to the electric power steering. But some drivers will hate the fact that there is little feedback offered through the wheel.

One consolation is that when you drive around corners at speed, there is little body roll. Of course, you won’t know this is the case as you don’t feel “connected” with your car if you see what I mean.

Do you prefer a firmer ride in your car? If so, and you are buying a brand new Vauxhall Adam, you can specify your model with 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels. Doing so also incorporates a “sport” chassis as standard.

General Motors is  the parent company of both Vauxhall and Opel. They claim the handling is tuned differently between the British and Euro models. I’ve not driven the Opel variant at the time of writing, only the Vauxhall one. If you’ve driven both cars in the past, do let us know if you think there is a difference!


The Vauxhall Adam comes with just three trim levels. But the good news is there are scores of personalisation options! It’s the reason the car is aimed at those who are “fashion conscious.”

The first trim level is “Jam” and has an emphasis on style. The second, dubbed “Glam” is a more luxurious model. While the third, “Slam” is for those seeking a more sporty-looking vehicle.

As standard, the basic Jam model gets a leather steering wheel and air conditioning. It also comes with a CD head unit, Bluetooth connectivity, and DAB digital radio. You also get cruise control and a trip computer as part of the deal.

Opt for the Glam model, and you get climate control instead of manual air conditioning. You also get 16-inch alloy wheels and a sunroof. LED daytime running lamps and rear taillights are also standard.

The sportier Slam edition comes with bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as sports seats and suspension.

All three trim levels feature Vauxhall’s “IntelliLink” system. In a nutshell, it’s a way of connecting Apple and Android smartphones to the car. Content gets displayed on the Adam’s seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display.

You can connect your smartphone to the car using a USB cable or with a wireless Bluetooth connection. Although to charge your phone, you’ll need to use the USB option. The infotainment system is quite impressive given this is Vauxhall’s cheapest model.

It allows you to run some Internet-based apps. And you can even use it for navigation in Western and Eastern Europe, thanks to the BringGo app.

The level and standard of features on the Vauxhall Adam is sure to impress many a motorist.


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