The Opel Adam is one of those cheerful little cars that caters for mostly any style. Be it a simple yet tasteful approach to life, the 1.4-litre naturally aspirated version is more than up for the challenge. If it’s a tongue-in-cheek attitude and a universal sense of style you’re after, the Jam version will inspire. A light-hearted and creative outlook on the life of motoring calls for the Glam persona.
Autodealer tested the Adam 1.4 and from a quick glance it looks roughly the same as the other two 1.0-litre turbocharged members of the Adam family. Nevertheless, there is more to this little car than initially meets the eye.
Dubbed by Opel to be the “ultimate lifestyle accessory,” the Adam’s imaginative styling projects this confidence as it imposes its unique presence wherever it goes. Probably the most notable styling feature is the floating roofline effect. The effect visually separates the rounded roofline at both the A-pillar and the more pronounced C-pillar, which also houses a visually pleasing Adam badge. Both the headlight and taillight clusters - which represents the new design direction of Opel - are accompanied by a chrome accent.
There is however more to the stylistic Adam badge than just model recognition. In an attempt to achieve a clean and uncluttered rear design, Opel stylistically incorporated the badge on the sides. Taking this philosophy even further, the Opel emblem on the boot hides a touchpad to open the boot, eliminating any unsightly handles.
Climbing into the Adam, occupants are met by one of the funkiest looking interior designs on the market today. The most prominent styling attributes inside, are the colour-coded elements. The centre console area surrounding the gear lever, dashboard panels and door trim is coated in the respective colour of the specific car. The instrument cluster received a sporty design, with a steering wheel that appears to be a match made in heaven to complement the rest of the interior design. The steering wheel also features controls for both the cruise control and audio system.
Despite the 1.4 being the entry-level model in the German carmaker’s portfolio, the Adam experience feels slightly diluted by the absence of an infotainment display screen, which has been substituted by a conventional radio system. On most other vehicles this approach would be acceptable however, considering the overall modern approach taken in the styling of the small car, this option feels slightly dated.
The Adam is driven by a 1.4-litre Ecotec, four-cylinder engine, which produces 74kW of power and 130Nm of forward-tugging torque. At altitude, it feels as though the engine is not living up to its fullest potential, although it still delivered some reasonable punch when it was needed. Power is delivered to the front wheels using a sharp five-speed manual gearbox however, a sixth gear would have put some nice finishing touches to the drivetrain.
The Opel Adam is one of those little cars you just cannot get enough of. Its quirky character and eccentric styling has the ability to leave anyone in the market for a small car, smitten.
Priced at R189 900 it has an abundance of style, plenty of smiles and a standard five-year/120 000km warranty with a three-year/60 000km service plan.