Opel didn’t hold back with the Adam — it went for broke. It’s bold, it’s brash, it’s loud — but it works, writes John O’ Mahoney
Opel introduced the Adam in 2012, hoping its bold, brash looks would help it muscle its way into a segment that the Mini has made its own.
It targeted a new generation of drivers — mainly women — combining both style and substance and offering a wider range of personal options.
The Rocks is the same car on steroids — a beefier, pumped up version, with Opel claims is the world’s first A-segment CUV — crossover utility vehicle to you and me.
It’s all new from the from the wheel nuts to the folding fabric roof — injecting much needed fun into a very crowded and popular market.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
With so many small cars to choose from, looks are now more important than ever. But there is a danger in trying too hard to stand out in a crowd.
To be fair, Opel didn’t hold back with the Adam — it went for broke. It’s bold, it’s brash, it’s loud — but it works.
From every angle, the Adam looks great. The raised bumpers front and back, wide wheel arches, door moulding, two-tiered bonnet and wrap-around front lights give it real standout appeal.
The retro-style, two-tone exterior (with 17 colours to choose from) is offset beautifully by the 17-inch Sterling Silver Swiss Blade alloy wheels.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The good looks are not just confined to the outside — the inside feels very fresh — the clear, clean dash is dominated by the 7-inch colour touchscreen and impressive infotainment system.
For a small car, it’s surprisingly roomy in the front, with the high roof meaning even six-footers won’t feel too cramped. However, the back seats are strictly for smallies. The driving position is very good, with excellent visibility front and back.
But the big selling point in such a competitive sector is the spec and the Adam is not found wanting. Standard features include leather-covered steering wheel, air conditioning, CD player with USB facility, Bluetooth® connectivity and LED daytime running lights and tail lights.
The options on the tested model included Let it Blue (Two-coat Pearlescent Paint) €550, Carbon fibre-effect door mirrors €70, Sight & Light Pack €200, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers and rear parking distance sensors €350.
The boot is tiny, with room for little more than a few school or shopping bags.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
This is where the real fun starts. The Adam handles beautifully, the 1.0-litre turbo making everything feel light and responsive. It’s surprisingly nimble, the new unit produces 115hp, boasting 0-100 km/h in a tad under 10 seconds reaching a max speed of 196 km/hour.
The six-speed manual gearbox is crisp with the additional 15mm increased ride height increasing the overall ride comfort.
VALUE FOR MONEY
With prices starting from €18,995, it’s at the steeper end of the A-segment market —but style, uniqueness, stand-out sex appeal, comfort, performance and laugh-out-loud come at a small premium.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
The question is: why wouldn’t you? At under €20,000, it’s very good to drive and you won’t lose your licence while enjoying it.
If you need more space or four proper seats you’re clearly looking in the wrong place, but if your lifestyle allows you have a second car or you’re looking for a little bit of excitement — well then the Adam rocks.
THIS CAR SUMMED UP IN A SINGLE WORD:
If this car was a... breakfast drink: it would be premium orange juice. It’s sharp, it’s refreshing and it makes your mornings that much brighter.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
Model: Opel Adam Rocks Price: from €18,995 (€22,865 as tested)
Engine: 1.0i (115PS) Turbo Start/Stop
Performance: 0-100 km/h 9.9 secs — max speed 196 km/hour; Max Torque 170 Nm @ 1,800 RPM; Transmission: 6-speed manual
Fuel Economy: litres/100km — Combined 5.1
Emissions: 119 g/km — tax band A4 (€200 annually)
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved