Review: Vauxhall Adam (Overall score 3/5)

Testing a car that entered the market as long ago as 2012 might seem odd, especially as in the case of the Vauxhall Adam, it is due to be killed off in 2019. But a large number of Intelligent Instructor readers have asked us to review this Corsa spin-off, keen to know just what it’s like. Bearing in mind the Adam is based on the Corsa built between 2006 and 2014, you’d expect it to feel hopelessly outdated but, in many ways, it still feels quite fresh and certainly looks smart. Available in several bright colours and with plenty of opportunities for personalisation, the Adam seems to have been overlooked pretty much since its debut. There are better small cars out there, and the Adam misses out on most of the driver aids that now proliferate in this segment, but get the right deal and it might still be worth a look, especially as dealers look to clear stock.

Cabin (3.5/5)

Even in this small car segment, cabins have become increasingly highly equipped in recent years, especially when it comes to high-tech infotainment systems. While the Adam is no class leader in this respect, it equips itself pretty well with a multimedia system that is intuitive and user-friendly, and well designed using some premium feel materials.

Practicality is compromised though, as it’s only available in three-door form, restricting rear-seat access, while the sloping roof line limits head room in the back too. The sculpted backs of the front seats improve rear seat leg room, but space is tight all the same for those in row two. Up front things are better, with decent cubby hole space, seats that are comfy and supportive, plus a
steering wheel that adjusts for reach and rake.

Driving (3/5)

Although Vauxhall has an excellent turbocharged 1.0-litre engine in its armoury, the Adam comes only with a rather wheezy 1.2-litre unit or a much more pokey (148bhp) 1.4T unit; there’s no diesel option. We drove the 1.2 and it’s decidedly short of zip, while the 1.4T engine is probably too pokey for most instructors and certainly for new drivers, so the limited engine choice is a shame. Whereas the 1.2 comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, the 1.4T gets an extra ratio; there’s no auto available.
The Adam is unexceptional to drive in every respect, but it is easy, with a City button that lightens the power steering for parking – not that it’s heavy. At speed the Adam is refined and stable, but, when manoeuvring, it’s hard to gauge the back of the car, despite the compact dimensions. There’s no camera option but sensors are available.

Costs (3/5)

Vauxhall has slimmed the Adam range right down to just three models: 1.2 Jam (£13,850), 1.2 Energised (£15,700) and the turbocharged 1.4 S (£19,280). The Jam gets Bluetooth as standard, but the touch-screen infotainment system is a £785 option. The only standard driver aid is cruise control with a speed limiter; rear parking sensors cost £285 extra. Air-con is included, while a Winter Pack with heated seats and steering wheel is £225.

A space saver spare wheel costs £110 (otherwise you get a tyre inflation kit). The Energised comes with more free paint options (as opposed to the extra-cost finishes of the Jam), bigger alloys (17″ instead of 16″), standard infotainment, posher (part-leather) interior trim and sports suspension.
Meanwhile, the 1.4T S gets a DAB radio, sportier trim inside and out, privacy glass, climate control, 18″ wheels and stronger brakes.

If you’d like to lease a Vauxhall Adam as your next car then you can enquire about this vehicle with Dualdrive.