The new Opel Adam is the omnibus of the Opel range. The only thing left now for Opel to build smaller than the Adam, is a scooter. This endearing car will appeal to a solo flying, tandem jumping younger female generation. Attractive of course is Opel’s optional funky body styling accessories – a vocal display for those looking for a personalised medium of self-expression.
Wedged into the Adam’s aerodynamic design, are sleek headlights with the underscore of the single chrome bar on the grill, and well rounded corners that trace its profile. There is not a feature that makes the Adam outlandish, except that it is an idiom of a small city car – and undoubtedly very cute.
To mellow out the cabin mood are yellow accents, crackling-scribble on the dashboard reminiscent of Malva pudding and custard. The speedo is bona fide psychedelic, with an optical laser dot at the tip of the speedo and rev needle. The Intellilink Infotainment system with BLUETOOTH, AUX/USB AUDIO functions is accessible via the steering wheel controls, and the front-seating arrangements aren’t a tourniquet on your limbs. However, the rear configuration shackles your ankles, with the transmission tunnel console extending to the foot area of the back seats. So as far as ride quality is concerned, the Adam is an urban tripster, fuel-efficient, yes, (6L/100km), but your passengers will label you a sadist if you shelve them for too long in the backseats.
The short wheelbase, lowered ride height does not help either and there’s considerable oversteer, or lateral yaw when you trying to straighten-out a cheese grating elbow bend. The 74kw, 1.4L, Ecotec engine labours to pick-up speed, but the Adam won’t leave you trawling traffic and is quickly remedied by a slick, smooth shifting five-speed manual transmission that plugs-in every gear to feed 130newtons to the front-wheels.
Which brings me to my final point: The Adam’s price of R189 900, lack of performance, may bring many a buyer to a junction point, opting for the more dynamic 1.0L 85kw,170nm Adam Jam or Glam variants, (funny how the Jam is sandwiched between the Adam and the Glam) and will probably be the preferred spec of the three!Dean Joseph