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Vauxhall Adam Slam Quick Drive Review

The Vauxhall Adam could be the car for you if you care about what you drive, but don’t really consider yourself a car enthusiast.

Confused? You shouldn’t be – the Adam is almost perfectly judged for just such a market. Not everyone wants the best handling car on the market, or the fastest, or the best value. But the MINI, Fiat 500 and Citroen DS3 show just how successful a style-biased car can be, and Vauxhall wants a piece of that action.

The Adam has the styling thing nailed. Like any of the overtly fashionable superminis the look will be an acquired taste, but most of the details are quite neat. The floating roof looks unique in a class where floating roofs are common, it’s well proportioned (closest to the Fiat 500, we reckon) and the two-tone colour scheme works well.

Ah, about that colour scheme. Were it not bad enough that our car is an Adam in sporty ‘Slam’ spec, the ‘James Blonde’ yellow paint covering most of the body and inserts on the (‘I’ll be black’-coloured) wheels is even more cringe-worthy.

It extends to some of the Adam’s interior detailing too, specifically the patterns in the seat fabric, some leather inserts in the wheel, gearknob and handbrake lever, and the odd ‘yellow universe’ pattern on the dash.

Unfortunately we were unable to get photos of our test car, so the press images you see here have the full yellow dashboard effect. It’s one of several other interior options that add up to the millions of combinations Vauxhall boasts about in its advertising.

Our test car also had a ‘Go’ chequered flag printed headliner and an IntelliLink infotainment system. It’s comfortable and seems well-built, but like several rivals, the boot is small.

It’s a pity a little more imagination didn’t extend to the way the Adam drives. The 1.2-litre, 70 bhp engine felt gutless and thrashy, a feeling borne out in the numbers – 14.1 seconds to 60, and a top speed of 102 mph.

The Adam’s sportiness is rather superficial too – The ride is on the lumpy side of firm – irritating around town, yet that’s where the Adam should be happiest with its quick steering and low-powered engine.

Price as tested: 15,055 (approx.)
Combined MPG: 56.5
CO2: 124 g/km


It’s a shame that the Adam isn’t much to drive, because it’s otherwise a likeable car. Even if Adam remains a stupid name for a car, the customisation options and unique feel are up there with the best in class. We’ve no doubt it’ll improve when a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine appears in the range soon. Until then the Adam’s talents are skin-deep and no more but, as we said at the top, that could be all that Adam buyers really want.

For more information check out our full summary of the Vauxhall Adam alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos!

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