Vauxhall Adam

You'll soon know Vauxhall's new car from Adam

Price: £11,875 (range from £11,255)
Engine capacity: 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power output (PS @ rpm): 87 @ 6,000
Top speed (mph):
110
0-62mph (secs): 12.5
Fuel economy (mpg): 55
CO2 emissions (g/km): 119

"What's yours called?" That was the theme of a long-running advertising campaign for the Renault 5 back in the Eighties. One of the more memorable suggestions made by the ads was "Kevin, because it's good at taking corners", a reference to a certain Mr Keegan; giving cars names humanises them and strengthens the bond of ownership, a lesson Renault itself took to heart by giving the 5's successor, the Clio, a name not a number.

But could you love a car called Adam, the name that General Motors has chosen for its new urban runabout? "Vauxhall Adam" probably sounds better than "Vauxhall Kevin", but it's still a badge that has British car-buyers scratching their heads. On the Continent, the cars we call Vauxhalls are Opels and the German arm of GM is still called Adam Opel AG after its founder, an association that is lost in rebadging the Adam as a Vauxhall, although I don't think that matters much.

GM's UK arm is a relative success, popular with big fleets and the police, but like all mainstream car-makers, it's being squeezed between the emerging Korean brands and the expanding premium manufacturers, so it needs to inject a bit more zing into its product line-up. That's the job of the Adam, although it starts with a couple of disadvantages compared with the competition. In particular, it's not a revival of an old favourite like the BMW Mini or Fiat 500 and it's not a downward extension of a premium brand like the Audi A1. On the other hand, it still makes a good case for itself with appealingly distinctive looks, high levels of quality, reasonable pricing and a dizzying array of personalisation options when it comes to colours, wheels and the rest.

But the single most impressive thing about it is that it doesn't just feel like a superficial makeover of the similarly sized Corsa. Vauxhall's determination to do something different runs deep. The Adam's interior is at least a match for those of its rivals in terms of style, materials, finish and use of colour, and the options list offers a few things you can't get on a Mini or a 500. One is a "sky at night" roof lining with dozens of tiny twinkling LEDs – only Rolls-Royce will sell you one of those if you don't want an Adam.

On the road, it's pretty sound. Cornering is competent, if not, perhaps, quite the full Kevin, and the 1.4-litre petrol engine fitted to our test car did a good, if not exciting, job of moving it around. British models will get a different chassis set-up to the left-hand drive version I tried but this car is more about making a statement. And Adam's a bit of a Clever Trevor (to borrow another name from that old Renault campaign) when it comes to equipment, with digital radio and Bluetooth as standard, and the £275 option of IntelliLink technology, which provides a 7in screen and the ability to tap your smartphone for useful apps such as BringGo sat-nav and TuneIn Internet radio, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Sometimes you get the feeling Vauxhall is trying just a bit too hard to emphasise this car's trendy individuality. You can see that in the names of the trim levels – Jam, Glam and Slam – and colour choices. But the Adam is still a thoroughly likeable effort.

Arts and Entertainment
Women protest at the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh
tvReview: It's a tough watch, but the details of the brutal gang rape and murder of medical student need to be shared if we want to strive for global gender equality
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jeffrey Archer holds up a copy of 'Kane and Abel', a book he says was ripped-off by Bollywood
books
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: General Processor

    £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

    Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

    Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

    £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers