Vauxhall could well have its timing spot-on with its new ‘boutique’ supermini, the Adam. Downsizing into upscale cars is still on trend, yet the current MINI is on its last legs and the Fiat 500’s honeymoon period is well and truly over.
The Adam certainly has the looks to make people sit up and take notice, avoiding the retro cliches of the MINI and 500, and looking like a younger brother of the Audi A1.
As expected, there’s a vast array of options to personalise your car, allowing for 30,000 combinations. It may take some time to choose and it’ll be fun – especially with colours like Papa Don’t Peach and Buzz Lightgreen.
The roof is finished in a contrasting colour and you can even personalise the ceiling inside – how about 47 tiny LED lights set on a blue sky background? No, me neither...
The list of colours for seats, dash and graphics goes on and on, and they’re all well priced. As is the car – our generously equipped, entry-level Jam model starts at a very reasonable £11,255 (which includes Vauxhall’s lifetime warranty).
Did I mention funny names? The other trim levels are Glam and Slam – in short and in order they’re fashion, posh and sporty. But thankfully they’re nothing to do with Spice Girls.
The Adam could do with a bit of dynamic spice, though – the lower-powered 85bhp 1.4 we drove was a bit of a plodder, while the sporty ride was firm but not uncomfy. The steering was similarly uninspiring, although all UK Adams will get steering and suspension upgrades to make them more responsive and more comfortable.
Quality inside is impressive, aided by the cheery choice of trims available, but space in the back and boot is tight – not a particular priority for buyers of these cars.
What is important is connectivity, and here Vauxhall plays a blinder. Its IntelliLink system relies on a nicely priced £275 touchscreen, which links to your smartphone. Navigation, podcasts and Internet radio are then sent to the car via apps, with the nav app set to cost around £50. And you can use them out of the car, too – more clever thinking from Vauxhall.