The exterior of a grey Vauxhall Adam

Vauxhall Adam review

Fun and funky, the Vauxhall Adam is a small car with a big soul and one of the nicest interiors in the Vauxhall range. It's inexpensive to run, fun to drive in town and offers excellent road visibility.

Pros

  • The design is fun and funky
  • Low cost to own and run
  • Well built with a stylish interior

Cons

  • Rear seats are quite cramped
  • There’s only a very small boot
  • Three-door set up isn't practical

Summary

“Good looking, reliable and it won’t cost much to run”

The Adam has an eye-catching design and is easy to drive and park. With an interior that’s fitted out nicely and good levels of tech, the Adam is a popular small car option. 

It has efficient engines as well as low tax and insurance, so the running costs of the Adam will be quite low. It’s unlikely to let you down as Vauxhall owners rank their cars highly when it comes to reliability.

The Adam comes in a wide variety of different trims and finishes so there should be one to suit you. There’s the popular Adam Rocks version with SUV design cues while the Rocks Air trim comes with a full-length fabric sunroof.

Fascia shot of the Vauxhall Adam

What's the interior like?

“With one of the nicest interiors in the Vauxhall range, the Adam looks good and feels great from the driver’s seat.”

The Adam looks like it’ll be fun to drive and it doesn’t disappoint. The front seats are roomy with plenty of adjustment to suit all drivers and the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach. The dashboard has a smart contemporary design that’s well made using materials that are a notch up from the Corsa or Vauxhall Agila. 

All versions have a small and grippy leather steering wheel, and if you choose an IntelliLink-equipped car, it has a modern seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Bluetooth connectivity. There were lots of option packs when the Adam was new, including heated seats and steering wheel, automatic wipers and a multitude of colour and finish variations, so you can hunt around for the spec you want when buying used. 

Like other cars of this size, the back seats are cramped with restricted headroom and legroom. Adults certainly won’t want to spend too much time in the back. If you want to use baby seats, the three-door layout of the Adam is going to make access difficult.

As a result of its compact size, the back seats are only good for children and the boot is one of the smallest around. But the Adam wasn’t launched for people who want roomy rear seats and a big boot.

The interior of a Vauxhall Adam with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“The Adam is undemanding and easy to drive.”

The Adam is great to drive if you’re running around on short local trips. Very well suited to the city, steering is light making it nimble and easy to park. It helps that the rear bumper is so close behind the driver’s seat.

Pick a sporty Adam S which has upgraded suspension and brakes to maximise driving pleasure, otherwise, lookout for cars with 17-inch wheels or larger as they ride more firmly.

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine is the most efficient while the 1.4-litre is popular and will be easier to find.

The exterior of a grey Vauxhall Adam

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It’s more expensive to buy than the more practical Corsa, but running costs will be low.”

The Adam is very fuel-efficient with all models having official economy figures between 50 and 60 mpg. Cars with stop-start technology are the most efficient and less polluting, especially around town. The feature comes as an optional extra on some specs, so look out for it when buying used. 

Whichever Adam you choose, road tax will be £140 a year while servicing costs will be similar to any mainstream supermini. Insurance groups range from three to 15 so you should get low quotes.

The exterior of a yellow Vauxhall Adam

How reliable and safe is it?

“Reliability should be good, while the Adam has a similar safety rating to other cars in this class.”

Vauxhall makes a huge number of cars and has a great reputation for reliability. In fact, it was rated as the sixth best car maker in the JD Power Dependability Study so the Adam will be reliable.

Like many cars of this size, the Adam has slightly disappointing safety scores, but when Euro NCAP crash tested the Vauxhall it achieved a four star rating. 

Although there are no driver assistance systems such as automatic emergency braking or lane-keeping, there’s nothing wrong with the Adam’s structural integrity.

Fascia shot of the Vauxhall Adam

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - Jam 1.0 115hp

Best for family - Jam 1.0 115hp

Best for fun - S 1.4 150hp

The 1.0-litre turbo engine really is the nicest in the Adam line-up, offering the most fun combined with smoothness and good economy. Otherwise, look for the 1.2-litre or the 1.4-litre engine, which is more widely available.

The entry-level Jam provides most of what you need including Bluetooth connectivity and air con. It might be worth avoiding wheels of 17 inches or over because of ride comfort, but some people prefer the extra style they offer.

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