The Opel ADAM has a few surprises
- 07 June 2013
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This is Opel’s brand new car, the ADAM. When I say brand new, what I mean is in the super-mini sector (the Corsa couldn’t begin to compete with the Mini or Fiat 500) the name and body are new. The engine has been tweaked to catch up with the other eco friendly engines available in the Super-Mini class. The eco setting is a must in a city car, as this is where it will spend most of its time. This is the ADAM’s playground. The stop start works well at traffic lights that take an age to change, you must have the car out of gear first for it to shut down and idle silently.
Long journeys in the ADAM are possible but I wouldn’t recommend it, the engine needs to work hard to keep up with the flow of traffic and this strains fuel consumption. The seats are reasonably supportive but you seem to sit on the seat rather than in it. It’s meant to be a car you jump in and out of; to the shops, quickly to the next destination through town in a flash. There’s no fuss about it, jump in, start up and go. The only fault I came across was when the key fob had started to stick. Instead of a quick flick, then insert into ignition, I had to nudge it open. This could become frustrating if you’re in and out of the car a lot during the day. Also something that will bother commuters who like to drink their morning caffeine fix en route is the awkward placement of the cup holders. A bit of cirque de soleil is required to manoeuvre your cup in and out of the holder. What I did like was the stop start clutch. It’s similar to having a button on the dash to start the car but you pound your clutch foot to the floor to start the engine. Nice.
You get plenty of space in the front for two reasonable sized adults, the boot will take a couple of shopping bags and I’d no problem fitting in two camera bags; once you figure out it’s a simple push click on the Opel emblem to open it. There’s no boot release on the key fob or inside the car. The back seats will fit your friends for the shortest of distances before you start to receive Joe Duffy Liveline sized complaints. Ah here, leave it out, it’s a city car!
With the city setting you can very easily manoeuvre into any space, and I mean ANY space. With a simple click the steering gets even lighter and you can turn the wheel easily, child’s play. It’s a setting I had a lot of fun with and didn’t forget to use, as you might with some optional extras.
Adam is chasing fashion-conscious buyers with its funky design and almost limitless personalisation options. I even caught the 98fm team in their funky Fiat 500s having a peek to see what was driving ahead of them. Mainly I’d say most people’s eyes were caught by the particular colour of this car. The official marketing name of the paint code on Opel’s options list is ‘James Blonde Yellow’ but this shade was soon referred to as ‘Ermahgerd Yerller’. It’s an emulsion resembling those you’d see on farm houses dotted randomly and inexplicably throughout the country. The particular alloy option available on the Jam is attractive. This one had black alloys which worked well to offset the yellow and then for just another splash of colour there’s a matching, solidly fixed in place cover on one of the spokes.
But is the 1.4 Jam as charming as the rest of the range? While the 0-62mph time is sluggish as if struggling, it promises 5.1L/100km economy and 119g/km emissions (the stop-start system improving the figures over those engines without it). From the Jam’s smart cabin – with its decent-quality surfaces and finishes – the 1.4 delivers what it says on the tin. At full throttle, you don’t get a knock-out punch, but a refined and slightly muted engine note that doesn’t sound half bad. The Adam serves up a slightly high driving position but with reasonable steering calibration. The electric steering has made city life easier and if you like your options lists and customisable personalisation preferences, this is absolutley the car for you.
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||11.5 seconds|
|Road Tax||Band A4 €200|
|Price as Tested||€18,800|