- Endless list of customisation options
- Plenty of standard kit
- Stylish cabin
- Engines aren’t the most efficient
- Not the greenest city car
- Very little space
Trendy city car with unbeatable personalisation
The Vauxhall Adam is a city car that’s all about style. Named after the founder of Opel/Vauxhall, and introduced in 2013, the Adam is one of the most unique cars that money can buy. With more personalisation options than any other car, the Adam is a city car for those who want a car to match their personality. Up against other premium city cars, such as the Mini, the Fiat 500, and the Citroen DS3, the Adam has some tough competition. It’s not as fun to drive as rivals, nor is it the most spacious, but the Adam is certainly one of the funkiest cars on the market.
Contemporary, classy cabin, but not a lot of space
One area in which the Adam excels is in its cabin. There’s tonnes of personalisation options available, whilst materials, no matter which ones you go for, are of a high quality. The Adam isn’t the most spacious, but for most buyers this won’t be of primary importance.
The dashboard design is as simple as it is attractive. With so much customisation available you can create an interior that matches your every need. It’s pretty difficult to be disappointed with the Adam purely because of this, but the high quality materials used also impress. Vauxhall hasn’t skimped with the Adam, and it’s easily a match for the Fiat 500’s. Controls are also well-placed, and well-damped, and the touchscreen infotainment system is incredibly intuitive.
One area that may disappoint some buyers in the Adam is the amount of space that it offers. There’s not an awful lot of room in the back seats, and it’s only really suited to children or small adults. The 170 litre boot capacity is also far from impressive, and you’ll struggle to get anything other than a bit of shopping in the back. That’s lucky, because the high boot lip would make getting heavy and bulky items in and out a pain, thankfully, they wouldn’t fit in anyways.
Equipment levels in the Adam are generous when you consider its purchase price. Even the entry-level Jam trim comes with air-con, electric windows, alloy wheels, and a touchscreen infotainment system that controls the DAB radio, Bluetooth, and USB input, all of which come as standard. You can personalise the interior trim as well, with countless options available, with most being pretty reasonably priced.
When you consider just how impressive the interior of the Adam is in terms of its aesthetics, it’s pretty easy to ignore its practicality issues. This isn’t a family car, nor does it claim to be, but for style, class, and quality, the Adam is one of the best city cars out there.
Fun around town, but not the best on open roads
City cars are designed primarily to be used around town, and when it comes to fun in the city, the Adam is pretty impressive. Steering is nice and light, so nipping in and out of traffic and parking are a piece of cake, especially when you engage the ‘City’ button. Out on the open road the Adam doesn’t perform anywhere near as well. The light steering might be great around town, but it’s not ideal for throwing the car into a B-road bend. Adam’s equipped with the sports suspension system are a little better, and there’s plenty of grip no matter which model you go for.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement isn’t one of the Adam’s strong points. No matter which suspension setup you go for it isn’t going to be a particularly comfortable car to be in. Entry-level models with the softer suspension wallow over lumps in the road, whilst sports suspension Adams jolt over speed bumps and potholes. Bigger alloy wheels make the ride even harsher, so they’re worth avoiding if you don’t want to be bashed around too much. There’s not too much road and wind noise though, so the Adam is at least a quiet car to drive.
Gearbox options in the Adam come in three guises. Entry-level Adams come with a five speed manual transmission that features a sharp, short throw, and suits the car well, especially around town. The 1.0 litre petrol model comes with a sixth gear, which makes it a more flexible car to use out of town. There’s also an automatic transmission available with the 1.4 litre petrol engine, though it’s not really worth considering as it doesn’t suit the Adam’s dynamic.
Petrol only, and they’re not the greenest in the class
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Adam, you’ve only got one fuel source: petrol. All engines are dcent around town, though you’ll have to go for the turbocharged models to fully make the most of the Adam.
If you’re all about performance, there are two obvious choices - the 1.4 TS, with its 150bhp engine, that can hit 62mph in just 9.5 seconds. Or, if you want something that gives you all the performance you could ever want, but with better economy and emissions, the 1.0T ecoFLEX does 0-60 in 9.9 seconds and produces 115bhp. For a city car, both of these engines feel exceptionally nippy, and offer greater flexibility than the 1.2, and the 1.4 litre non-turbocharged petrols.
If you’re more about saving the planet or saving your cash, there is one stand-out performer. Unfortunately however, it is far from being the best in the city car class. The 1.0T ecoFLEX engine produces 114g/km of CO2 emissions, which is quite a distance away from the magic sub-100g/km mark. It’s especially disappointing when you consider that nearly every other rival offers a model that achieves this. Money savers will also want to go for this model, as it can achieve up to 57.6mpg. But once again, it’s nowhere near as good value as the Adam’s closest rivals.
The engines available in the Adam are decent, but they’re hardly stand-out performers. They’re not the most efficient, nor are they the greenest, and you’ll have to go for one of the more expensive turbocharged engines unless you very rarely take the Adam out of the city.
Below-average NCAP results
Unlike a lot of its key competitors, the Vauxhall Adam failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Key rivals such as the Fiat 500 and the DS3 beat the Adam on paper, but the Adam was still only one percentage point away from achieving the maximum 5 stars. The Adam also comes as standard with six airbags, stability control, and hill-start assist. It’s low score of 72% in child occupant safety might put buyers who travel with children regularly off however.
Average running costs for the class
The Vauxhall Adam represents decent value for money, though it’s certainly not the best value city car. It’s more expensive to buy than the its closest rival, the Fiat 500, whilst it’s also more expensive to run. Nevertheless, CO2 emissions are relatively low and fuel efficiency is decent, so it’s not especially expensive. Unfortunately however, you can save yourself more money day-to-day by buying one of the Adam’s rivals.
Insurance groups, again, vary completely depending on the model you choose. Starting at insurance group 2 for the entry level models (such as the 1.2i Energised), but continuing all the way up to insurance group 15, if you fall for the sportiness of the 1.4T Grand Slam. Generally speaking, regardless of the option you choose, it’s likely that it costs similar to more or less any other car in this class.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Adam, but is mainly of concern if you’re buying a new one. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Vauxhall Adam is one of the most stylish cars currently on the market. With a plethora of customisation options, no two Adams are the same, so if you’re all about individuality, you’ll love the Adam. It’s not the most spacious, nor is it the most comfortable, but if you want a car that’s going to stand out in a crowd, you should seriously consider the Vauxhall Adam.
Buying a used Vauxhall Adam online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Vauxhall Adam for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Vauxhall Adam. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Vauxhall Adam online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Vauxhall Adam? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Adam, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Vauxhall Adam, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Vauxhall to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.