Finished in White My Fire Brilliant paint and fitted with IntelliLink and 18-inch Manoogian Twister alloy wheels with 225/35 R 18 tyres as extras worth over £1000. Other essential includes Roof colour pack - I'll be black, Bluetooth includes phone connection and music streaming, Connections for USB and auxiliary audio devices, Rocks Air trim level, Sliding fabric electric front to rear sunroof, Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls and plenty more kits.
Petrol 52.3 combined MPG
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CO2: 125 g/km
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Audio system with CD player that reads MP3 CDs ; radio receives AM/FM, digital and RDS, IntelliLink and 18-inch Manoogian Twister alloy wheels with 225/35 R 18 tyres as extras worth over £1000. Other essential includes Roof colour pack - I'll be black, Bluetooth includes phone connection and music streaming, Connections for USB and auxiliary audio devices, Rocks Air trim level, Sliding fabric electric front to rear sunroof, Steering wheel mounted remote audio controls and plenty more kits.
|Badge Engine CC:||1.4|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Coin Series:||Rocks Air|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||6E|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||6|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||1|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||87|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||72|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||4|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||65|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||81|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||12|
|Service Interval Mileage:||20000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||60|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||100000|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||73.4|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||82.6|
|Engine Layout:||FRONT TRANSVERSE|
|Fuel Delivery:||MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||16|
|EC Combined (mpg):||49.6|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||60.1|
|EC Urban (mpg):||37.7|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||12.5|
|Engine Power - BHP:||87|
|Engine Power - KW:||64|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||6000|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||96|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||13.3|
|Engine Torque - NM:||130|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||4000|
|Tyre Size Front:||215/45 R17|
|Tyre Size Rear:||215/45 R17|
|Tyre Size Spare:||TYRE REPAIR KIT|
|Wheel Style:||SWISS BLADE|
|Wheel Type:||17" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||1966|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||38|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||1480|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||484|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||170|
|Max. Loading Weight:||320|
|Max. Roof Load:||50|
|No. of Seats:||4|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||9.8|
Odd name, interesting car. The Vauxhall ADAM is a city car with attitude. Jonathan Crouch reports.
The Vauxhall ADAM Rocks Air is a car that doesn't take itself too seriously and is the perfect antidote to the usual boring superminis. With jacked-up body styling and a sliding soft top roof, this car is at its best with the turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.
It's genuinely hard to know where to start with this one, but we really ought to get the name out of the way first. The Vauxhall ADAM Rocks Air must go down as one of the strangest car names since the Japanese discovered Google Translate and stopped sending us Pantry Boy Supremes and Giga Light Dumps. But what is this thing? If you hadn't noticed, Vauxhall has tried to claim a share of the niche small car market occupied by the likes of the Fiat 500 or the Citroen DS3. The trouble is, the ADAM is somewhat hampered by a badge that smacks of Luton rather than Turin and sales have been slow. The ADAM Rocks Air is a soft-top version styled with offroad-style design cues. We're still trying to get our heads round that one too.
The ADAM Rocks Air is available with a choice of three engines. The 70PS 1.2-litre engine and the 87PS 1.4-litre engine we've seen before and very serviceable units they are. Of more interest is the introduction of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder powerplant, good for 115PS thanks to its turbocharger. It's the first Vauxhall to get this engine, which is the mainstay of the fourth generation Corsa range. When plumbed into the open-topped ADAM, it's capable of getting to 62mph in under 10 seconds. Unlike most three-cylinder units, it's been designed to offer excellent refinement, with the characteristic warble of a three-pot only really audible when you mash the throttle. With 170Nm available at just 1,800rpm, it's a more relaxing engine than you'd imagine, albeit with a slightly elastic feel to the throttle response. The Rocks Air model adds another 15mm to the stock ADAM's ride height. This isn't going to equip you to tackle the Dakar Rally, as underneath it's still the same front-wheel drive chassis architecture, but Vauxhall has done a thorough job in retuning the springs, shocks and roll bars. Therefore this Rocks Air version still corners well and ride quality isn't bad either. In fact, you'd be hard pushed to feel much in the way of difference. Ease of use on urban roads is enhanced by a CITY mode, which increases the electronic power steering system's assistance at lower speeds.
Believe the press bumf and you might get excited that Vauxhall has created something genuinely good and original. Read between the lines a little and you might suspect that the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original aren't that good. Does the market need a soft-top faux-by-four? Didn't automotive evolution kill this genre off at least ten years ago, with most of us hoping it would never be resurrected? That said, Mark Adams' team has done a good job in the styling of this car. What sounds utterly ludicrous on paper works surprisingly well in the metal, with strong lines and a lovely chutzpah to its design. The allroad-style wheelarches work well with the 'floating' roof which is visually disconnected from the body. The electric folding canvas roof is operated via a button located in the front area of the headliner and folds back neatly on to the C-pillars in just seven seconds. The roof can be opened or closed while the car is moving at up to 85mph. The boot keeps the full opening of a hatchback and loading volume remains untouched. The entire roof module is acoustically tuned for noise insulation inside the cabin and the robust, three-layer fabric has a neoprene centre for weatherproofing and durability. The folding canvas roof is available in a choice of two exterior colours - Black or Sweet Coffee.
The ADAM Rocks Air ensures that it's not going to freeze you on cold winter mornings. It's the only vehicle in its class to offer the comfort of a heated steering wheel, driver and front passenger seats. Other interesting items of standard equipment include a Hill Start Assist which maintains the brake function for about two seconds after the driver has taken his/her foot off the brake pedal. This prevents ROCKS AIR from rolling back when starting on a slope or, when driving off from traffic lights or a parking spot on a hill. The standard infotainment equipment is a CD 3.0 BT system, with radio and a MP3/WMA compatible CD player featuring Bluetooth and USB connections, as well as a hands-free function. The tuner can be combined with DAB digital radio, offered as standard, for a broad choice of listening options. There is an Infinity sound system that's sure to be a popular upgrade for £300. This features eight speakers and a total of 315 watts with two tweeters, two front subwoofers, two rear wide band speakers, one mid-frequency range speaker and the sub-woofer box located in the trunk. An IntelliLink infotainment system is priced from £275, allowing seamless integration of Android as well as Apple iOS smartphone functionalities into the car. And yes, it does work with Siri.
Go for the 1.2-litre petrol engine and you'll see economy figures of 53.3mpg with emissions of 125g/km. The 1.4-litre powerplant offers up another 17PS with very little efficiency penalty, netting 52.3mpg and 126g/km. The star of the show is the 1.0-litre turbo unit which gets the best economy at 55.4mpg, the lowest emissions at 119g/km and is comfortably the quickest and most refined to boot. A 38-litre fuel tank rather caps the range a little, but the ADAM was never designed to be a GT car.
As car enthusiasts, we tend to be drawn towards all that is authentic and worthy and have a healthy scepticism for anything that looks like marketing puff. On that basis, we ought to abhor the Vauxhall ADAM Rocks Air. Nobody needs a convertible that plays at being a 4x4 supermini. It appears to be the work of a rather desperate marketing department playing catch up. Despite these initial suspicions, the car emerges as something surprisingly likeable. Don't take it too seriously and it's a vehicle that has a lot going for it. It looks interesting, it's well equipped and that 1.0-litre engine is a belter. Perhaps at times we're guilty of overanalysing; taking things a little too seriously. The Vauxhall ADAM Rocks Air is the perfect antidote to this tendency. It's a car that wryly pokes fun of the typical car anorak. Life's serious enough as it is. If we all bought on rational grounds, we'd probably all be driving Golfs. Here's a car that celebrates a little irrationality. More power to it.
The Vauxhall ADAM's late to the boutique hatchback party, but if you hanker after a bit of individuality, your car has arrived. Jonathan Crouch reports on the 1.4 87PS petrol version
The Vauxhall ADAM is undoubtedly one of the more interesting small car choices around. It's hugely customisable both inside and out and looks strong value for money. The 1.4-litre engines aren't that exciting but return decent fuel and emissions numbers. Here we look at the entry-level 87PS variant.
You didn't really think every other car manufacturer was going to let MINI have its own way as a manufacturer of boutique, highly personalised small cars did you? Other big companies eyed the profits BMW was raking in through MINI and set to work claiming a slice of that pie. Fiat launched its similarly retro-inspired 500 and then came Citroen with the DS3, a vehicle that owed nothing to prior designs. Vauxhall is now trying to elbow its way into this stylish clique with its ADAM, a small car very much in the DS3 mould. But where Citroen, Fiat and MINI all have a certain chic appeal to their badges, Vauxhall has never enjoyed that benefit. It's caught squarely in the blue collar mass market, not even cheap enough to employ the inverted snob appeal of a marque such as Dacia. So does the ADAM have to try harder in a market sector where 'try hard' spells social suicide? Time will tell how the market takes to this interesting car. We take a look at the 87PS 1.4-litre petrol model here as it's likely to be the biggest seller. If you like the thought of a car that's intimately personalised to your own tastes, this might just be your thing.
The nuts and bolts first. The ADAM rides on a cut down version of the Corsa's chassis. It's been extensively re-engineered to suit the demands of the shorter wheelbase but it's quite a simple setup with a set of MacPherson struts up front while the rear end utilises a torsion beam set-up. The ride quality is firm although low-speed manoeuvres are easy due to a CITY mode, which increases the electronic power steering system's assistance at lower speeds. At higher speeds the steering isn't the most feelsome system around, but then the ADAM isn't being targeted at those who might otherwise choose a sporty VXR model. As an urban scoot, it's nigh-on perfect. There are two 1.4-litre engines with either 87PS or 100PS. We tried the lower powered of the two. Both are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox which again makes motorway journeys less than ideal as they could benefit from a longer gear for better refinement and economy. The engine is 'tried and tested' which means it's a little long in the tooth and needs working to get the best from it. Go with the 87PS unit and you'll see 62mph appear on the clocks in 12.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 110mph. In comparison, the 100PS engine's numbers are 11.5s and 125mph. Is the ADAM a great car to pedal along a back road? No. But then that's not what its focus is. A Lamborghini Aventador makes a lousy removals van.
This is a car that 's going to sell largely on whether the styling chimes with new car buyers and Vauxhall certainly can't be accused of going at it half-cocked. There's a lot going on, the design work attributed to Brit, Mark Adams' team in Europe. The ADAM incorporates a 'floating' roof which is visually disconnected from the body and which works particularly well with two-tone colour schemes. It looks like no other Vauxhall but still incorporates a bunch of existing styling cues such as the Astra's wing-shaped chrome grille bar and the blade shape in the lower doors. Like MINI, Vauxhall is looking to appeal to the customer's sense of individuality in the sheer amount of colour combinations and materials. Wheels range from 16 inches in size for entry-level cars and there are 17-inch options further up the range. Unlike many cars which offer striking exterior designs but an interior that betrays a sudden curtailment of development budget, the cabin of the ADAM is, if anything, even bolder than the exterior. There's extensive use of body-coloured trim inserts, not only on the dashboard but also reaching along the centre console and onto the steering wheel and these can give the interior a real riotous personality. You can even swap them out for a different colour or finish if you get bored. A seven-inch touch screen interface is the big point of interest from a technological perspective. It's both iPhone and Android compatible and can access internet-downloaded apps in the same manner as the latest Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. Where specified, the navigation and infotainment controls are all marshalled by the touch screen. There's even a choice of headlining, including an LED-lit starlight roof trim. The exterior colours include 'I'll be Black', 'Papa don't Peach', 'Purple Fiction', 'James Blonde', 'Saturday White Fever' and 'Buzz Lightgreen'.
The ADAM launches with three trim levels, JAM (fashionable/colourful), GLAM (elegant/sophisticated) and SLAM (racy/sporty) and both 1.4-litre engines are available with all three trim levels. JAM opens with air conditioning, a CD DAB radio with USB, AUX-in & Bluetooth, a leather trimmed steering wheel with deco elements, cruise control and infotainment control. Go for the GLAM and there's electronic climate control, front & rear LED lights, a fixed glazed sunroof and an exterior chrome pack. SLAM weighs in with 17-inch alloy wheels, Morrocana sports seats, and a two tone roof & darkened rear glass. The latest generation ESP system is standard on all ADAMs and it also includes a Hill Start Assist function. That wonderful star-effect roof and a heated steering wheel are options that differentiate the Vauxhall from the run of the mill city car contenders and these surprise and delight features are key in a market that's not always led fully by upfront pricing. Talking of which, prices for the 1.4-litre models open at just over £11,500 and top out at little over £14,000. What's more, the options prices have been kept very reasonable (unlike MINI) so should you really want to stamp your own impression on the car, it won't cost you the earth nor destroy the residual value of the car. Unless, that is, you go for a distinctly questionable colour combination!
Right, pay attention here because things get a little more involved. You remember I said there were two versions of the 1.4-litre engine. I lied. Only a little but there are in fact four. Each version of the 1.4-litre is available in either a standard guise or as an ecoFLEX version with Stop/Start. This clearly has the biggest impact on emissions. If you're a private customer, you'd probably need to keep the ADAM for at least three or four years before you realised the financial benefits but the few business buyers that will choose the ADAM might look straight to the ecoFLEX versions. Both 1.4-litre engines emit 129g/km in standard form, dropping to 119g/km with the ecoFLEX equipment. Likewise fuel economy goes from 51.4mpg on the combined cycle to 55.4mpg in the ecoFLEX version..
Can the Vauxhall ADAM compete with the likes of the Citroen DS3, the MINI and the Fiat 500 in terms of pure style? That's a subjective call, but even if you're not quite convinced, there's a lot else that could endear the ADAM to you, particularly in 87PS 1.4-litre form. The prices are reasonable and if you really want to go to town with personalisation and fun extras - and Vauxhall reckons there are over a million different combinations of options - it's a car without parallel. Remember, there's something about coolness which involves taking yourself quite seriously and not everybody wants to do that with their car. Sometimes it's fun to just be a bit goofy and not care and the ADAM fulfils that requirement perfectly with its wacky paint finishes, decals and interchangeable trim parts. While it's not the most exciting car to drive in its class, it's soundly engineered and most agree that the styling job is neat and well resolved. It's no class leader but it might just have found the wiggle room for a new niche within a niche.
The pokiest mainstream version of Vauxhall's little ADAM lifestyle citycar has a 1.4-litre 16v petrol engine with 100PS. Jonathan Crouch tries it.
Bored with the sight of the reinvented BMW MINI on every drive? Unmoved by Fiat's funky 500, French designer chic from Citroen's DS3, or designer cool from Audi and their A1? Vauxhall thinks you desire an alternative, so they have a freshly fashionable hatchback called ADAM to tempt you with an encyclopaedic list of options, bidding for individuality beyond the hatchback herd. Let's try the pokey 100PS 1.4-litre petrol version.
Smaller hatchbacks dressed in nostalgic retro themes proved smash hits for BMW with the reincarnation of MINI and Fiat's reborn 500. But what if you don't have a diminutive automotive Golden Oldie to reprise? Well you can do as Audi did with the A1 and create a smaller scale echo of your upscale offerings. For Vauxhall this was not an option. As for Citroen with their popular DS3, Vauxhall invented their own appealing recipe for a chic, compact, hatchback: one that could be profitably personalised with a vast range of options. An approach which has brought us this car, the ADAM. At launch, the quickest version was the 100PS 1.4-litre petrol model that we test here. Essentially, this is Vauxhall providing a chic lifestyle little car like an Audi A1 at a much more affordable price. The MINI and the Fiat 500 both claim to do that too, but neither can offer the huge level of personalisation available to ADAM customers. So, have Vauxhall succeeded in bringing competitively priced design flair, plus an involving drive, to the cost-conscious masses? Let's find out, at the wheel.
Driving dynamics are the most controversial aspect of ADAM: Vauxhall had to tweak them to suit British roads before the UK launch. With that done, the car now handles competently on its MK3 Corsa-derived underpinnings. It's not Fiesta-frisky but it'll probably be good enough for the target market. That target market has the option of a 1.2-litre petrol entry-level model, an 87PS petrol 1.4 and the 100PS 1.4 we tried. This variant delivers the benchmark 0-60 routine in 11.5 seconds, coupled to a 115 mph maximum, which is more akin to Fiat's remarkable 0.9 litre Twinair 500 model, which delivers similar fuel economy, lower emissions and a 0-60 mph pace within a tenth of the 1.4-litre Vauxhall. In development, the ADAM's body benefited from a diet, weighing in at 30 kilograms less than a comparably powerful MINI and a substantial 74 kg less than the 1.2 Citroen DS3. Such slighter weight certainly benefits this car's acceleration. The ride quality depends noticeably on which suspension option is chosen, for the wheel and tyre selection is critical. The ADAM we tried sat at the top of the specification tables in Slam 1.4i format, which means sportier suspension allied to wheels up to 18 inches in diameter. Such wheel sizes were standard equipment on high performance saloons like BMW's M3 not so long ago. They look better to the styling department and showroom salesmen, but such heavy rollers can deliver a jarring ride on a smaller car, generating more road noise.
Naturally every potential customer will have their opinion on the appeal of the ADAM's styling, especially as there are so many choices to dress it up. Without extras, ADAM is a bit of a bland metro-man, but when you hit the option list hard inside and out, his appearance transforms and may appeal more to the female buyers who will be vital to ADAM's commercial success. The smart layout in the front row of the cabin earns our praise for its innovative attractions, which can be altered at the tick of a box on the options list, but the back seat accommodation is less generous. Conscientiously trimmed it may be - and with a quality feel that is a credit to Vauxhall's social climbing ambitions, but back seat space is as cramped as is the norm for contenders in this sub 4-metre class. Few rivals have standout back seat space, but you might be better opting for less expensive and less pretentious choices from Fiat [Panda], VW's Up or the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto brothers should less plush padding and plenty of working space in minimalist exterior dimensions by your priorities. The ADAM is built in Eisenach, the East German town that was home to BMW before the war, but today Eisenach is home to Opel, manufacturing Corsa and ADAM for Vauxhall.
Pricing for the ADAM in this top 1.4i 16v 100PS guise sits in the £12,000 to £14,500 bracket. This is actually the only engine directly shared with Vauxhall's more conventional Corsa supermini. So-equipped though, a Corsa will cost you around £1,000 more. Should you decide to purchase, Jam, Glam and Slam are three prime trim choices. We tried the top level Slam specification, which is biased toward 'racy/sporty' tendencies. Glam is meant to convey elegance and sophistication and Jam is effectively the entry point, which Vauxhall want us to see as colourful and fashionable. From Jam starter helping upward, all models feature air conditioning and remote control deadlocking: a system that conscientiously extends to the fuel filler flap, defending the increasingly expensive contents. All ADAMs carry cruise control, while 16-inch alloy wheels add a touch of sporty class and a plump leather-rimmed steering wheel delivers accessible touch controls for audio. In-car entertainment covers DMB digital radio and CD players, though technically aware buyers will supply their own sounds via USB port, also appreciating an auxiliary power socket, trip computer and Bluetooth connectivity. Ascending the range, Glam specification additionally offers more sophisticated climate control air conditioning, also a fixed glass roof panel with sliding blind. Plus a bit of bling via LED running lights, chrome style highlighters strategically applied to emphasise roofline, door handles and doorsills.
The most powerful 100 PS ADAM 1.4i that we tried manages 51.4mpg on the combined cycle without its extra cost ecoFLEX Stop/Start system - or 55.4 mpg with it. All Stop/Start models assist economic progress with a gearshift indicator and ignition cut out, activated when neutral is selected with clutch out at rest. The CO2 return is 119g/km. Insurance is not going to be a costly surprise. We expect most owners to pay between £300 and £400 annually. ADAM's official service intervals of 20,000 miles/1 years are inline with current practice and in a 3-year running cost comparison against its Vauxhall Corsa stable-mate, independent figures show substantial savings. Adam also looks good in calculations against Citroen DS3. The bold 10-year/100,000 mile Vauxhall warranty is not quite so generous as it seems. For it applies only to the first owner, unlike the transferable Hyundai/Kia 5 and 7-year warranties of unlimited mileage. Perhaps of more public concern will be the quality and durability of ADAM as Vauxhall has not been a front-runner in quality surveys. Perhaps the most reassuring fact is that the Eisenach ADAM factory is also home to the Corsa-- and that aging design has proved durable enough to become the default choice for many driving schools.
The ADAM is the sort of refreshing car and lifestyle statement Vauxhall must make, if buyers are to become enthusiastic about its products and is a brave move from the brand in its efforts to catch a more prosperous and open-minded small hatchback customer. One who demands a fresh approach. Those perhaps, who opt for a Samsung or Blackberry products, instead of fashionably expensive Apple produce. Such people are probably going to want an ADAM variant that can function beyond the city limits - maybe undertake a medium distance motorway trip or two even. The 1.4i 16v 100PS model we tried is best suited to that remit - and was a car we ended up rather liking. Which means that if you're thinking of buying a small lifestyle-oriented little runabout, this one should be on your list.
Mrs Claire Boswell - 16/10/2017, owner of a Vauxhall Adam 1.2i Energised 3dr
User rating: 5/5