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Opel re-creates itself with the Adam

11.12.2014

The premium (for lack of a better word) small hatch segment is chock-a-block with contenders that range from the cheap and cheerful Fiat 500 to the new Mini F56, which is a properly expensive thing these days. Let’s not forget the Citroën DS3 and Audi A1, too. Now Opel has an entrant in this segment with the Adam.

→ Why now?

The Adam has been around overseas for some time now, however, General Motors SA feels it best that the model be released now, with a whole range of new Opels due in the New Year as a sort of Opel re-introduction.  Next year, we’re also likely to see the Mokka SUV, the new Corsa and a couple of unannounced new models and updates.

→ What’s an Adam?

Well, it’s an A-segment, three-door, four-seat hatchback in very basic terms but as I discovered at the launch, the little car has quite a bit to offer our market. The idea behind the car is to provide an upmarket super Mini with a range of personalisation options, allowing each prospective Adam owner to choose their own colour and trim combination.

→ Base model

There will be three models available from launch namely the basic Adam, which features a 74kW/130Nm naturally-aspirated 1.4-litre motor coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox. Fuel consumption figures are claimed at 5.3 litres/100km while the 0-100km/h acceleration time is 11.5 seconds.

Standard equipment includes, 15-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, front fog lights, heated and electric side mirrors, multi-function steering wheel with rake/reach adjustment, cruise control with a speed limiter, a radio/CD audio system with USB, Aux and Bluetooth support and five speakers, an on-board computer, chrome instrumentation rings, ‘flexi’ cup holders, tinted windows and manual air conditioning.

→ Turbo models

The other Adam models are the JAM and the range-topping GLAM. Both these models feature Opel’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged ecoFLEX three-cylinder engine. The little champ has 85kW/170Nm. It is certainly a nippy little unit that takes the fight straight to the Ford 1.0-litre EcoBoost. The small motor is coupled with a six-speed gearbox, which helps it achieve fuel consumption figures of 5.1 litres/100km and a 0-100km/h time of 9.9 seconds.

The Adam JAM features the drive assist display, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, LED brake lights, IntelliLink with seven speakers, front and rear parking sensors, side blind zone alert as well as four option packs, all exclusive to the JAM.

The GLAM specification adds the sight and light pack, electronic climate control, eight multi-colour ambient light settings, either a panoramic sunroof or the 64 Starz headliner and 17-inch alloy wheels. The GLAM is also available in “purple fiction” and “a star is brown” exterior colours and can be specified with matching Bristol Morrocana purple interior highlights on the dashboard, steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake and seats.

→ The design

Design is arguably the most important part of this type of car. I think Opel has nailed it with the Adam - it looks so unique. That ‘floating roof’ and the matching front and rear lights combined with a modern Opel façade should see the Adam sell well.

Inside, the Adam feels premium; it is certainly well put together. There’s a clever use of two-tone colours, chrome finished and that ever-popular gloss black that make it stand out from previous Opel products.

The IntelliLink infotainment system is also known as the MyLink system in Chevrolet models and works a treat in the little Adam however, this piece of kit is only available as standard in the JAM and  GLAM. IntelliLink allows for fully-integrated smartphone connectivity and features a seven-inch high-definition touch screen display as well as Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Don’t expect it to swallow up passengers; while the front can seat bigger drivers, the rear quarters are small however, the boot is more than acceptable for a trip to the shops.

→ Safety

The safety of vehicles has come into the spotlight of late and it’s good to know that the little Opel comes with six airbags, ABS with EBD and BAS, ESP Plus, hill start assist and Isofix child seat anchor points. There’s also a blind-spot warning integrated into the side mirrors.

→ Warranty, service and pricing

All Opel Adams come with a five-year/120 000km vehicle warranty and a three-year/60 000km service plan. Pricing will be confirmed in January however, reports suggest the base model will be under R200 000 with the top-of-the range variants going for around R250 000.

Article written by Sean Nurse
11.12.2014
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