What is the Vauxhall Adam?
The Vauxhall Adam is the smallest car the brand sells in the UK, slotting beneath the Corsa in its line-up, albeit as a more upmarket proposition. Available only as a three-door hatchback, this city car competes with rivals including the Ford Ka+, Fiat 500, MINI Hatch and Toyota Aygo.
The Adam majors on youthful style and individuality, and there are many ways to personalise this small car. Different coloured roofs, a choice of gloss black or silver alloy wheels, and vibrant interior dashboard inserts let buyers inject a degree of colour and individuality so that no two Adams need ever look the same.
You learn a lot about who this car is aimed at by some of the colourful options packs: the contrasting black roof is called Black Jack in the options list, while the white roof is dubbed White My Fire. Read on for our full guide to the Vauxhall Adam, giving you a taste of the whole range.
- Top speed: 103mph (all versions)
- 0-62mph: 14.9sec
- Fuel economy: 41.5-44.8mpg
- Emissions: 128g/km
- Boot space: 170-484 litres
Which versions of the Vauxhall Adam are available?
Vauxhall has lately compacted the Adam range, killing off some of the more interesting derivatives. It’s now a remarkably streamlined price list with just the one bodystyle, a single engine and just three trim levels to choose from.
The only powertrain option in 2019 is the 70hp 1.2-litre petrol engine, which comes with annual/20,000-mile servicing intervals. It’s simply a question then of picking which spec best matches your need for equipment and toys: the entry model is called Jam, the next level up is the Griffin while the range-topper is named Energised.
Even basic models come with air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control and remote locking. Step up to Griffin to add satellite navigation, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay plus Android Auto for your smartphone. Top-spec Adam Energised brings larger alloy wheels and a host of personalisation options bundled in to the price.
Vauxhall Adam styling and engineering
Vauxhall’s city car is a decent looking thing, but only comes as a three-door. If you regularly carry more than one passenger you might want to consider a rival with five doors.
The interior is bright and cheery (especially when you spec some of the more lively interior colour packs) but the quality isn’t quite up to what you’ll find in a MINI Hatch, the youthful car that the Adam shamelessly imitates.
The engineering underneath the chic wardrobe is rather more traditional. This is a basic front-wheel drive city car, with no hybrid or electric drivetrain available. Vauxhall plans to fix that soon though, and is planning a range of compact EVs before the end of the decade.
Is the Vauxhall Adam good to drive?
The Vauxhall Adam is quite old-school to drive; it doesn’t shine in any one area, if we’re being honest, and has a rather plodding character. Certainly, if you want driving fizz and fun, a MINI will knock it into a cocked hat.
The sole petrol engine available in 2019 is a far cry from the five motors available at launch. The 1.0 and 1.4 have been dropped, leaving just the 1.2. Performance is adequate rather than matching the zesty character of this car and you’ll probably not derive much pleasure from its handling, controls and all-round driving manners.
This car was launched in 2013 and it’s beginning to show its age now. The way it rides, steers, stops and goes is just too workmanlike to deserve our heartfelt recommendation.
How much does the Vauxhall Adam cost?
The Adam is unusual in that it fits under the Corsa in Vauxhall’s range yet its prices are higher. That’s the price of fashion.
The cheapest Vauxhall Adam costs from £13,855, whereas you’ll get into the cheapest Corsa three-door for £11,735. Go figure…
See what drivers of the Vauxhall Adam have to say about their city car in our real-world owners’ reviews.
Vauxhall Adam Model History
This is the first-generation of Vauxhall Adam. There have been many more versions over the years, but all other engines have been streamlined down to the solitary 1.2 available in 2019.
The sporty Grand Slam mid-ranking hot hatch with 150hp was launched in 2015, but has been quietly retired - as has the Adam Rocks, which brought a hint of SUV crossover aesthetic to the range.
It’s now just a sensible, small three-door hatchback.
Vauxhall Adam hatchback model history
- September 2012 – Available to order with first deliveries in February 2013, this is a new model line for Vauxhall, a three-door city car with a range of personalisation options. Trim levels are unique, too: Jam, Glam and Slam. Each has a trio of petrol engines to choose from – a 1.2-litre 16v VVT with 70hp, and two 1.4-litre versions of the same unit with 87hp and 100hp.
- March 2014 – Limited availability Black Edition and White Edition launched with the 87hp 1.4-litre VVT engine. Cars are monochrome – in either I’ll be Black or Saturday White Fever (seriously – with wheels matching the bodywork colour), although the door mirror covers have a brushed aluminium look. Both feature the Intellilink multimedia system as standard.
- July 2014 – Three-cylinder, 1.0-litre Direct Injection Turbo engine with 115hp available with Jam, Glam and Slam specifications.
- December 2014 – Engine titles simplified for the four-cylinder units – now known as 1.2i and 1.4i. Easytronic automatic gearbox launched with the 87hp 1.4i engine across all three trims.
- January 2015 – Performance increased with the sporty Grand Slam specification, powered by a 150hp 1.4-litre turbocharged engine. Distinguishing features include 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and red decals inside and out.
- April 2015 – Grand Slam trim renamed S.
- July 2015 – 1.0-litre engine title changed to Turbo.
- October 2015 – Limited edition Energised launched with 1.2i 70hp engine. Special features include a gloss black grille bar, sports pedals and the Intellilink multimedia system. 1.0i Turbo engine discontinued in Jam and Glam specifications.
- December 2015 – Multimedia system improvements with the introduction of the Intellilink R4.0 package, while Slam and S models also have the OnStar virtual concierge service as standard.
- February 2016 – Unlimited specification introduced allowing buyers to specify any colour, interior trim, wheel design and option combination regardless of whether or not they clash. Engines include all units except the 1.4i Turbo.