First impressions are important. Scientists say that it takes just 1/10th of a second to judge someone and make up our first impression. We first met the Vauxhall ADAM at London Fashion Week SS13, we judged and made our mind up very quickly – we liked it. We also liked that Britain’s oldest car maker had partnered with a trio of the latest crop of London fashion talent – Fred Butler, Louise Gray and James Small.
If you’ve not heard about the ADAM yet, let us fill you in. It’s the latest city car from Vauxhall and has a jaw-dropping 1,000,000 possible design combinations. If the mere thought of that much choice brings you out in a cold sweat, don’t worry, there are also 15 models (5 per style) put together by Vauxhall’s designers based around the cars three unique styles; GLAM, JAM and SLAM. GLAM is the luxurious one, JAM the fun one and SLAM the sporty one. Its like the Spice Girls of car manufacture.
However, as much as we liked the ADAM until last week we’d never actually driven one. So when Vauxhall offered us 96 hours with an ADAM Slam we jumped at the chance. First appearances with the ADAM are good. The car has a positive whiff of familiarity about it, but at the same time remains distinctly unique and fresh. From one angle you’re reminded of the retrotastic Fiat 500, from another the Mk1 Ford KA and from another the Audi A1.
Step inside the ADAM and it’s hard not to be impressed. The build quality is that of a far more expensive car – think Audi A1 or BMW Mini. The model we road tested came with half leather heated seats and steering wheel (perfect for the recent cold snap). It also had a superb DAB tuner, VXR styling and intellilink which links your iPhone with the in-car touchscreen entertainment system. The front seats are comfy, giving both driver and passenger ample legroom. The ADAM is designed for 4, but as you’d imagine legroom in the back isn’t particularly generous.
On the road the ADAM feels planted and bigger than it’s compact length of 3.7m. It’s most at home when exploring the nooks and crannies of a city or town, helped along by eco stop start technology and über light steering which is activated at the touch of a button, perfect for squeezing into tricky parking spots. On dual carriageways and the motorways the ADAM holds it’s own and comfortably tanks along at 70mph whilst still keeping plenty of power in reserve.
Unique Selling Point: Over 1,000,000 possible design options means your ADAM will be totally unique to you.
Upsides: 100,000 mile warranty and heated front seats (particularly on a cold day). Feels more premium than the badge and price tag would suggest. Excellent DAB tuner and ICE system.
Downsides: Fuel consumption seemed a touch high for such a small car (on average 35mpg). Would be a squeeze for 4 adults on a long journey.
The Vaxhall ADAM costs from £11,225 on the road and comes with a 100,000 mile lifetime warranty. For more information and to book a test drive visit: Vauxhall.co.uk