The Adam is cheaper than an entry-level Mini or Citroën DS3, but costs a bit more than its closest rival, the Fiat 500. However, resale values are generally weaker than those of its major competitors, so it’s not such a sound long-term investment.
Fuel consumption is nothing special by class standards.
If finance deals are a priority then the Adam could well be among the best options out there, because Vauxhall routinely runs low- or zero-interest finance offers, with options for long-term contracts that will reduce monthly payments, and even no-deposit deals (although these will result in higher monthly payments).
Vauxhall Adam equipment
Base Jam trim comes with air-con, electric windows and alloy wheels. Glam trim is marketed as the classy, stylish option and adds a fixed glass roof, climate control, LED daytime running lights and various chrome highlights on the outside. Slam is intended to be a sportier option, so it gets the same equipment as Glam, although it drops the glass roof in favour of sports suspension and 17in alloys (over the 16s fitted to the Jam and Glam).
Energised trim is tempting if you’re happy to stick to the 1.2-litre engine. Over Jam, this adds 17in alloys, LED running lights and tail lights, Intellilink infotainment and black accents yet is the same price. The only issue is that you can’t choose another engine or add any options. Confusingly, Unlimited trim is also the same price as Jam yet it adds climate control and has a far wider range of customisation options.
Then there’s the S trim (formerly Grand Slam), which is the hottest Adam of all and which includes unique interior trims, cruise control and an upgraded infotainment system.
If you want your Adam to look a bit more rugged there are two Adam Rocks models. The basic Rocks gets raised suspension and some black body cladding, while the Rocks Air comes complete with a vast canvas sunroof. There are also sporty S and highly customisable Unlimited variants.
That makes the Adam one of the more generously equipped cars in the class, but it’s the extent to which the Adam can be accessorised that is its stand out feature. On top of the four trim levels, there are 12 exterior colours, three roof colours, three decal packs, 20 wheel size and colour options, three interior roof linings (including one with 60 LEDs to look like the night sky) and countless other interior options, to provide some idea of the personalisation possibilities.
Vauxhall Adam reliability
Most of the Adam’s oily bits come straight from the Corsa, which means that it’s likely to be roughly average for reliability in the small car class. On the Corsa, heater and windscreen de-misting issues were among the most common complaints. As a brand, Vauxhall was rated above average for reliability, coming 14th out of 32 manufacturers surveyed.
Vauxhall Adam safety & security
All Adams come with stability control and six airbags; two in the front, two at the side and pair of curtain ’bags. There are also seatbelt pretensioners for both driver and front passenger across the range, which means that the car will tighten the seatbelt if it senses an imminent collision. However, the Adam scored only four stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (most rivals have five out five), showing comparably weak results for protection against whiplash if the car is rear-ended, and below-average results for passenger protection against side impact, and pedestrian safety.
An immobiliser is standard, but an alarm is a £250 option across the range. Thatcham awarded the Adam an average rating for preventing break-in and theft of the car. A space-saver spare wheel is an option over the standard inflation kit, and tyre-pressure warning is a standard feature to alert you if you may have a flat tyre. It’s a shame that rear parking sensors are optional across the range, although blind spot warning is a welcome ‘big car’ option as part of the advanced parking pack.
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Entry-level Jam is our pick of the Adam range, as it gets multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, digital radio and USB-input, as well as air-con, electric windows and alloys. You only need to add the Intellilink touch-screen system to have a city car that feels classy and has lots of big-car features. Stick to 16-inch alloys to avoid sports suspension.
It’s mostly style extras that set the Glam apart from the other trims, but a panoramic glass roof, climate control and LED running lights could sway a lot of buyers. Stick to 16-inch alloys to avoid sports suspension.
Avoid this one; it’s the most uncomfortable because it gets standard sports suspension and big alloys. It also doesn’t get the appealing glass roof that cheaper Glam models get, though climate control and LED running lights are thrown in.
Formerly known as Grand Slam, this is the hottest Adam. It gets sports suspension, huge alloy wheels and unique interior treatment, but it’s far too expensive for what it is.
Roughly at a level with Slam trim, so comes with Bluetooth, air-conditioning and a digital radio as standard. Also has raised suspension and tough-looking body cladding to give it that SUV look.
The same as the standard Rocks, but with a vast retractable canvas sunroof.
Energised trim is tempting if you’re happy to stick to the 1.2-litre engine. Over Jam, this adds 17in alloys, LED running lights and tail lights, Intellilink infotainment and black accents yet is the same price. The only issue is that you can’t choose another engine or add any options.
While you get climate control over air-conditioning, the main draw of Unlimited is the wide range of customisation options available should you see the Adam as a blank canvas.
Like the regular Unlimited, this adds further customisation options to the regular Adam Rocks.
Only available with the 148bhp turbo engine, you get plenty of sporty touches inside and out, big wheels, sports suspension, climate control and a canvas sunroof.