Adam Rocks Air 1.0 Turbo
motorists name their cars,
so it was rather clever of Vauxhall to
do the same to their
city car meet Adam. The question
is: Like his name, does he rock?
We took him on a week-long road-trip
to find out...
CITY CARS THEY MAY ON PAPER BE, but the Adam family are much more adventurous
than that; while perfectly suited to a metropolitan lifestyle they are more
than comfortable everywhere else there are roads whether
they're hilly, snaking or just plain long and arrow-straight.
Essentially the Adam is a 2+2 three-door hatchback wearing a sharp set of clothes
that, while adventurous enough to appeal to fashionistas is still stylish enough
to get you into the VIP car park at Wimbledon without contravening the official
Our test car looked the biz and drew lots of thumbs-up both from other drivers
as well as car park foot traffic not at all surprising given it
was resplendent is bright metallic blue with its black glasshouse capped by
a jet black electric folding canvas roof.
with christening their motors, today's motorists also have an appetite for customising
their cars to reflect their personalities.
petrol engine is
a real live cracker
willing and eager
to give its all
and with impressive
Always eager to please, Vauxhall offers a range of personalisation options that
includes 19 body colours, 7 roof and mirror casing colours, plus 25 alloy wheel
designs. Combine these with the many trim and decal packs available and creating
a unique Adam that's unlike any other on the road should be a piece of cake.
As on the outside, so on the inside your Adam's cabin can also
be personalised to suit, courtesy of multiple seat trims, fascia colours and
different roof linings along with numerous 'decor' panels for the fascia which
have the added advantage of being changeable (your friendly Vauxhall dealer
will do it for you) so, like your kitchen, you can refresh as and when. Nice
While under the bonnet you can have anything from a 1.0-litre up to a turboed
1.4 driving the front wheels, Vauxhall's all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol
engine (mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a positive, slick-shifting
gear throw), is a real live cracker that's willing and eager to give its all
and with impressive smoothness too.
Fed by direct injection and boosted by a turbo it punches out a lively 113bhp
and it just loves to rev. Backing up the power is a useful 125lb
ft of torque that's available all the way from 1,800 to 4,500rpm. All of which
is enough to take you to a top speed of 121mph with the benchmark 0-62mph hit
and passed in an eager 9.9 seconds (it actually feels quicker).
If you're worried that just three cylinders and 998cc means extra work for the
engine with economy taking the fall for the peppy performance, then check out
the official consumption figures: 44.8mpg in town; 55.4 combined, and 64.2mpg
Confirming these, a week spent enthusiastically whizzing around saw our three-pot
Adam average 49.9mpg. Along with Stop/Start, an ECO mode which,
thankfully, doesn't appear to cramp the performance and emissions
of 119g/km, Adam is pretty cheap to run with no road tax to pay in the first
year and only £30 every twelve months thereafter.
that doesn't rock your boat then power open the big fabric sunroof and find
yourself some entertaining blacktop. Because despite the hint of off-road styling
(enhanced by black wheelarch protectors that sit proud of the bodywork), the
Adam is more than game for some 'catch me if you can'.
A week enthusiastically
whizzing around saw
our three-pot Adam
Add in low emissions
and that makes Adam
pretty cheap to run...
grip is surprisingly good (helped by 225/35 lo-pro Continental rubber) and it
can be pushed along snaking country roads with some enthusiasm. The light-ish
electrically-assisted steering is accurate and feeds back a fair amount of information
to the driver (for urban driving and parking you can, should you wish, press
the 'City' button to lighten it even more).
A fast-acting stability system keeps it all together even on the limit and on
motorways it feels reassuringly 'planted' at the legal limit. The brakes
discs at each corner are dependable and effective enough; you
probably won't even notice them doing their job. Which is exactly as it should
Ride-wise it's a tad on the firm-ish side but despite that still does a decent
job of coping with Britain's third world tarmac we certainly had
no complaints. That said, on speed humps and potholes it's wise not to push
The cabin, too, is a place you'll be happy to spend time. The first thing you'll
notice after the striking body-coloured fascia insert that's repeated
on the gearlever console and doors is the quality of the fit and
finish underscored by plenty of upmarket detailing to the switchgear and air
vents. A touchscreen is your interface with the infotainment system; many of
the traditional 'switched' functions have been migrated to the touchscreen and
it's all very easy to use.
The cockpit also uses a variety of trim materials to add tactile interest to
the ambiance; and it's all very appealing. The tall glasshouse (and long side
windows) not only creates an airy cabin but also provides excellent visibility
in all directions, for both the passengers and the driver. Helpful for placing
the car while driving as well as making light work of parking
parking-phobes will be pleased to know that for £450 you can specify Vauxhall's
Advanced Park Assist automated parking system. Wish that had been an option
when I took my driving test!
wide cockpit and high roofline (to give you an idea how tall, it's some 80mm
higher than a MINI) offer plenty of space and there's generous room for everything
from your feet to your head.
The Adam is more than
game for some catch
me if you can. Grip is
surprisingly good and it
can be pushed along
snaking country roads
With decent bolstering that holds but doesn't pinch, the front seats are comfortable
and supportive, with long outer armrests on the doors and all-season-comfortable
fabric centre panels. Both, incidentally, are adjustable for height. Another
worthy 'plus' is how the driver sits straight-on to the pedals and steering
wheel absolutely vital for back and hip comfort on long trips.
driving position is good: ahead of you is a leather-wrapped steering wheel with
a satin chrome and satin black treatment that houses a comprehensive array of
remote controls (cruise, speed limiter, voice, fone, and media). The instrument
pack is easy on the eyes and very readable, even with the large roof open. Marked
out by its pleasant-to-use, knurled, non-slip rotary knobs, the AirCon also
scores well with an abundant supply of cold air delivered quietly. Plenty of
in-cabin storage space and a traditional handbrake are further plusses.
Press the appropriate button and the sturdy fabric sunroof hence
the 'Air' in the name folds back past the front headrests, stacking
neatly at the end of the roof. It's a quality item with a front deflector to
ensure there's no buffeting or windrush and you can talk easily to your passengers
at out-of-town speeds, so there's no penalty for having a view of the sky.
Standard kit includes the electric folding canvas roof, unique front and rear
bumpers, side sills, door moulding and wheel arch extensions, increased ride
height (by 15mm), black roof and door mirrors, dark-tinted rear windows, AirCon,
CD player, USB and Aux-In, digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control,
trip computer, tyre pressure monitoring, LED daytime running lights and tail
lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, half-a-dozen airbags and electronic stability control
as well as blind spot monitoring.
you fancy upping the kit quota there's a lot to choose from. Our press car came
with a number of fitted options, all of them close to 'must have'.
included the £275 IntelliLink (for smartphone and tablet connectivity), a Winter
Pack (heated front seats and a heated steering wheel for what we'd say is a
very reasonable £215 the heated wheel, by the way, is absolutely
first-rate), a Sight and Light Pack that gives you rain-sensitive wipers along
with an automatic lighting control with tunnel detection plus an electro-chromatic
anti-dazzle rearview mirror all for £230. Then there's the gleaming metallic
paint at £545, stand-out 18-inch 'Turbine' style alloys for £800 and climate
control for £300.
The roof powerfolds
back past the
front headrests and its
a quality item no
windrush and no
penalty for having a
view of the sky...
might not guess it from outside but two grown-ups can travel in the shapely
rear seats; knee and foot room are both adult-sized. Access through the long
side doors is easy, helped by smooth-operating tilt 'n' slide front seats. Even
with the roof closed it's pleasant; with it open it's brilliant. Kids will be
just as happy there as riding shotgun up front.
A light press on the Griffin badge opens the tailgate; it's light to lift and
opens to a head-friendly height to expose a deep 170-litre boot. The 50:50-split
back seats fold flat to create a useful 663-litre loadbay. There's a sturdy
bag hook and if you like to park 'n' ride (a bicycle, that is) then you'll be
interested in the optional rear-mounted cycle rack. While we're round at the
back we should mention that the Adam comes with a rear wash/wipe
many cars in this sector don't have them so it's extra points to Vauxhall for
attention to detail, especially given the UK's weather.
Good to drive, easy to park, cute yet functional and a pleasure to live with.
As eye-catching as it is driveable and offering huge scope for personalisation,
this new Vauxhall is clearly upwardly mobile and decidedly more premium than
volume market. Powered by Vauxhall's new 1.0-litre three-pot petrol engine it's
a winning small car. So, does Adam rock? He rocks.
Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air 1.0 Turbo
Maximum speed: 121mph | 0-62mph: 9.9 seconds | Test Average: 49.9mpg
Power: 113bhp | Torque: 125lb ft | CO2 119g/km