Wednesday 21 February 2018

Jam, Glam and Slam – you've got to see it to Adam and Eve it

Opel Adam
Opel Adam
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Opel has done the motoring equivalent of what a great old friend used to describe as blackening her posterior and running mad around the garden.

Often accused of being bland and boring (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not) it has come up with this little urban fun four-seater called the Adam.

Boy, does it counterbalance 'boring'.

You can have one of these Adams from just under €15,000. There are three spec levels. You ready for this? They are called Jam, Glam and Slam. Where would you get it? Certainly not running around the garden.

It is not as long as a Corsa (it takes some elements from it) but is noticeably wider. I had three passengers in it with me at one stage. Because the front seats easily slide forward a good bit, we were able to share out the space reasonably well. The two ladies had enough room at the back – just. The rear seats are for the children or toddlers, really, though I'm not so sure how many parents will buy this.

I see it more as a young singles/couples car and, believe it or not, more mature people who are possibly downsizing. They'd enjoy it. I don't believe in corralling buyers into buying age or gender – this is a car anyone can have fun with. It gets away from the conventional but isn't madly priced. As far as I'm concerned that is its biggest attraction.

It has bright colours, splashes of individuality stitched in all over the cabin and it's never boring. Okay the engine is never going to evoke boy/girl racer fantasies and there is no scintillating chassis involvement. Indeed there were times I wasn't happy with the feedback from the road through the steering wheel.

Neither does it have the dynamism of the MINI or a Citroen DS3, but it can wipe both on price and is a real rival to the Fiat 500 and Ford Ka.

It was a hell of a lot more fun to be around than your conventional three-door hatchback.

Opel has out-thought many of the so-called smarter cars with its clever placement of dials and screens. It's a cabin to enjoy. Even an ould fella like me could see that.

You can mix and match myriad bits and pieces of gear, or bling.

Effectively, you can customise it to your heart's content. There are thousands of combinations.

I was looking forward to having the interior roof looking like a starry sky, or a sunny day, but opted instead for the model with the huge sunroof.

The Adam has the best and most user-friendly interface for radio, phone and ventilation I've come across, most certainly in a car of this size and price. This is slick infotainment/techie connectivity stuff. And I could work it.

I had no problem getting what I wanted when I wanted. That makes it wonderful as far as I'm concerned. And it is a forerunner of what's coming on the other Opels. The sooner, the better. Connectivity without clutter or confusion is the future.

On another level of practicality – we had an initial problem opening the boot. Until we got the hang of it. The trick is to just press on the lower half of the Opel emblem on the bootlid. I'm sure Opel has pre-tested it a million times for wear and tear.

This was a grand little drive around town. Such a pleasure to park a small car. And on a sunlit drive down the country, the 1.4-litre engine was by no means under pressure at motorway limits. In truth it was just okay, only moderate in pickup and overall power.

Look, the Adam is not a mould breaker technically but conceptually it has enough going for it to meet a perceived demand for cars that are out of the ordinary but don't cost the earth.

I'm told a higher performance engine is planned. Now that would put a different perspective on the Adam altogether and might tempt buyers (of the MINI and Citroen DS3, perhaps) looking for a bit more spice. Maybe they should call that tempting version the Eve. Sorry, couldn't resist it.

Irish Independent

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