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Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0


  • Youthful appeal
  • Tons of personalisation features
  • Wide range of petrol outputs


  • Not particularly frugal or cheap to tax
  • Not as fun to drive as rivals
  • No diesel option


The Vauxhall Adam is a new small hatchback that aims to appeal directly to youth and the young at heart. It looks like an Audi A1 but Vauxhall claims that what makes this car stand out as unique is the high level of personalization a customer can specify thanks to more than a million design combinations.

The three-door, four-seater goes head-to-head with the Fiat 500 and the MINI, and features a ‘floating’ roof that makes the car look lower and emphasizes its airy nature. Not only does it have a myriad of options and a fancy two-tone paintjob, it was one of the first cars in the small hatchback category to have the option of LED daytime running lights.

Trims and interior design options

Everything about the Adam is designed to appeal to the fashion conscious, and it becomes obvious when you consider the three trim names: JAM, SLAM and GLAM. The entry level JAM is, purportedly, fashionable, mid-spec GLAM is supposed to be elegant and top of the range SLAM emphasizes the racy side of ADAM.

Top of the tree is a sporty warm-hatch, the Adam S, which was going to be called the Adam Grand Slam, but adopted a simpler name in line with the European model.

There is also an off-road model called the Adam Rocks, which is covered under a separate review and has the option of a folding fabric roof.

There are plenty of visual combinations, with a wide variety of exterior colours (with such names as ‘James Blonde’) including two different roof colours, four interior colours, 15 different seat colour schemes and a whole host of different materials, design schemes and trim options. Customers can even choose their headlining, including an LED-lit starlight roof trim.

Petrol line-up with six power options

There is a mix of four- and three-cylinder petrol engines: a 1.2-litre 69bhp, two 1.4-litre engines with either 86bhp or 98bhp, and from 2014 a 1.0-litre ECOTEC with 89bhp or 113bhp. Stop/start functionality is standard on both, and optional on the first three, while a a five-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission option.

The 89bhp three-cylinder engine has a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 62mpg which is impressive and CO2 emissions of 99g/km which will keep monthly tax bills for company car drivers low.

The racy Adam S is powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged unit with 148bhp, which can propel it from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds.

Safety systems and technology

Buyers can also specify an automated parallel parking system as well as blind spot alert but standard safety features include two sets of ISOFIX child seat attachments, stability control and hill start assist. There’s also a button to increase the electronic power steering system’s assistance at lower speeds, which is especially useful for city driving and parking.

Inside there’ll be an infotainment system that’ll incorporate Bluetooth as well as connectivity for smartphones with Android or Apple software. This enables access to internet-based applications, including GPS navigation as well as music playlists, pics and phone book which can be accessed via the seven-inch, full-colour touchscreen.

From June 2013, the ADAM is also available with Siri Eyes Free, voice activation technology which enables drivers to make calls, select songs, send a text message, email, access calendars and ask Siri questions. Siri is available free of charge in all IntelliLink-equipped ADAM’s and for those customers who brought an Adam with IntellilLink prior to this date, a free update available.

The ADAM comes with a warranty that covers first owners for the lifetime of the car, or up to 100,000 miles. Read the Vauxhall ADAM review to see whether the small hatchback will be a smash hit.

What owners say about this car

Over priced car and completely over rated under powered old engine style less than 18000 miles and code 84... Read owner review

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