My second test car for www.runridedive.com arrived with a burst of colour: a bright “James Blonde” yellow Opel Adam 1.4. The Adam has to be one of the cutest cars around, with a smiley face grille, big, friendly bug eyes and a sexy, rounded rump.
Don’t let looks deceive you, though, the Adam is not just a Noddy car. Although the base model 1.4 has the naturally aspirated ECOTEC motor rather than the outstanding 1.0T 3 cylinder engine in the higher spec JAM and GLAM models, the Adam is a car you could live with happily every day.
As with the Corsa, this Opel impressed immediately with its solid build and quality finishes. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the interior design, with big, round dials and knobs giving a retro feel interpreted in an entirely modern way. I think the Adam design will age well, like a pair of Converse sneakers.
The 1.4 four cylinder engine is willing, with 74kW and 130Nm, but won’t put you on the front row of any traffic light GPs. Particularly at Reef altitudes, the 1.0T in the JAM and GLAM will give you a lot more fun and better fuel economy. The five speed gearbox does a good job of keeping the car humming along in traffic and on the highway, though, and performance is certainly adequate for most drivers.
Handling is great, with 15” alloys at each corner, although I would definitely prefer to see disc brakes all round – standard on the JAM and GLAM. Fortunately, ABS, ESP and EBD are standard on all models, as are 6 airbags. However, I could only find a four star EuroNCAP safety rating for the Adam – the Corsa I tested recently has a five star rating.
The driver and front passenger are definitely the winners when it comes to space: most drivers will find themselves very comfortable behind the wheel, with the steering wheel adjustable for rake and tilt and plenty of leg and head room. As for the rear seats, gnomes and elves will feel perfectly at home, adult companions less so.
The base model Adam lacks the 7” touch screen that comes standard with the higher spec models, but still has Bluetooth, a decent USB/MP3/Aux stereo system, air-con, electric front windows, city mode power steering and cruise control. The black cloth seats are particularly comfy, and if you go for a JAM or GLAM there are several other trim options available.
As a former Renault Clio V6 owner, I could live with the boot space but if you regularly load large, bulky goods you might need to make good use of the split, folding rear seats. Claimed fuel consumption is 5,3 l/100km for the combined cycle, and I managed 5,9l/100km without trying too hard. The Adam comes with a 5 year/120,000km warranty (with roadside assistance, a must have for women drivers), and a 3 year/60,000km service plan. Pricing starts from R191,800.00 for the base model tested here.
I really enjoyed my week with the Adam, and it’s a great option if you rarely have more than one passenger and appreciate a car that makes getting from A to B feel like a fun adventure. My choice would definitely be the 1,0T motor – along with the infinite range of design choices – you get with the JAM or GLAM options!