Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • No diesels for the Adam Rocks
  • Three-cylinder 1.0-litre the pick of the range
  • Performance identical to regular Adam

Forget the Vauxhall Adam Rocks’ off-roading looks, it’s first and foremost a city car, so a selection of small, petrol-only engines seems eminently sensible. Just a pity not all of them feel pre-loaded with zippiness.

Quartet of petrol powerplants

Entry point for the Adam Rocks range is the 1.2i. It only produces 70hp and 115Nm of torque from 4,000rpm, so you’ll need to work the notchy five-speed gearbox a lot in order to gain and then maintain momentum. Its 14.9-second 0-62mph time is the slowest of the line-up, while its 103mph top speed is the lowest here, too.

Next up is the slightly larger 1.4i version of the same engine, with a modest increase in power and torque to 87hp and 130Nm at 4,000rpm, respectively. As a consequence it’s a little easier to live with, posting a top speed of 109mph and a 0-62mph time of 12.5 seconds.

Our pick is the peppy three-cylinder 1.0i Turbo producing 115hp and 170Nm of torque from 1,800rpm, making it much more pleasurable to drive as the performance is easier to access.

Not that it’s sports car sprightly: the 0-62mph sprint takes 9.9 seconds while its top speed is 121mph.

Speediest of the Rocks range is the S with a 1.4i Turbo motor producing 150hp and 220Nm of torque – it’s more of a warm hatch than a hot one, with an 8.5-second 0-62mph time and a 130mph top speed.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on both turbocharged engines.

  • Urban driving made easier with light steering
  • Little joy to be had driving it elsewhere
  • S version also suffers from a harsh ride quality

With its light steering and compact dimensions, the Vauxhall Adam Rocks is best-suited to city driving – venture out along and winding B-road and you’re likely to be disappointed by the vagueness of its handling.

When you’re within urban environs, you can lighten the steering further with a City button on the dashboard that activates extra assistance making parking manoeuvres even easier.

The primary downside is that there’s precious little feeling through the steering at all, meaning keener drivers aren’t going to enjoy the Rocks experience much.

Still, there’s little lean in the body when you do press-on along windier sections of road and the 15mm ride height increase that all models barring the S employ doesn’t worsen the handling compared with a regular Adam.

Pick that sportier Rocks S with its sports suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels and there’s a detrimental effect on the ride quality that increases the harshness considerably.