Cost & verdict

Vauxhall Adam review

Manufacturer price from:£13,850
What Car? Target Price:£12,233
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Vauxhall Adam
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In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Vauxhall Adam hatchback running costs

The Adam is cheaper than an entry-level Mini or DS 3, but costs a bit more than its closest rival, the Fiat 500. However, resale values are generally weaker than those competitors, so it’s not such a sound long-term investment. Fuel consumption is nothing special by class standards, either.

If finance deals are a priority, 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 hatchback equipment

Entry-level Jam trim comes with air-con, electric windows and alloy wheels. Glam 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 but drops the glass roof in favour of sports suspension and 17in alloy wheels (over the 16in alloy wheels fitted to Jam and Glam).

Energised trim is tempting if you’re happy to stick to the 1.2 engine. Over Jam, this adds 17in alloy wheels, LED running lights and tail-lights, the IntelliLink infotainment system and black accents, yet it’s the same price as Jam. The only issue is that you can’t choose another engine or add any options.

We’d avoid S and Rocks S trim because you’re forced into the expensive 1.4 turbo engine. Rocks Air could be of interest because, along with the canvas sunroof and SUV-inspired bodystyling of Rocks S, it has a decent range of engines to choose from.

The Adam is one of the more generously equipped cars in the class, but it’s the extent to which it can be personalised that is its standout feature. Like the Mini, there’s all manner of wheels, colours and accessories to choose from.

Vauxhall Adam

Vauxhall Adam hatchback reliability

Most of the Adam’s oily bits come straight from the Corsa, meaning it’s likely to be roughly average for reliability. 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 18th out of 32 manufacturers surveyed.

Vauxhall Adam hatchback safety and security

All Adams come with stability control and six airbags; two in the front, two at the side and a pair of curtain airbags. There are also seatbelt pretensioners for both driver and front passenger across the range, meaning the car will tighten the seatbelts if it senses an imminent collision. However, the Adam scored only four stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (most rivals have five out of five), showing comparably weak results for protection against whiplash if the car is rear-ended, as well as below-average results for passenger protection against side impact and pedestrian safety.

An immobiliser is standard, but an alarm is an option across the range. Thatcham Research 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, while tyre pressure warning is a standard feature. It’s a shame that rear parking sensors are optional across the range, although blindspot warning is a welcome ‘big car’ option as part of the advanced parking pack. Unfortunately, automatic emergency braking isn’t even an option.

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Verdict

The Vauxhall Adam has style, plenty of kit and a classy interior. However, it’s not very comfortable and isn't good to drive

  • Unparalleled personalisation options
  • Smart interior
  • All versions are well equipped
  • The ride is too firm
  • Handling isn’t assured enough at speed
  • Expensive
There are 3 trims available for the Adam hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
Jam
Entry-level Jam is our pick of the range, because it gets a multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth, digital radio and USB input, as well as air-con, electric windows and alloy wheels. You only ne...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£12,233
Average Saving £1,617
View Trim
Energised
Energised trim is tempting if you’re happy to stick to the 1.2 engine. Over Jam, this adds 17in alloy wheels, LED running lights and tail-lights, IntelliLink infotainment and black accents, yet it'...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£14,009
Average Saving £1,691
View Trim
S
This is the hottest Adam. It gets sports suspension, huge alloy wheels and bespoke interior treatment, but it’s far too expensive for what it is...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£17,447
Average Saving £1,833
View Trim