Small city cars are by their name and nature are just that, small and nimble enough to make city driving a lot less stressful and ensure you don’t have the hassles of trying to squeeze into parking spots. What Opel have done with the Adam S is maintain all of the city car dimensions and injected a little bit of fun into the equation. That fun is provided by a potent 1.4 litre turbo charged patrol engine which delivers 150bhp along with 220Nm of torque.
The small city car market within Ireland especially, has its own niche. Brands strive to provide distinctive looks which will set it apart from the competition. Customisation is key to this and it allows the potential buyer to ensure that nobody will have a car quite like theirs. The Opel Adam range is no different and it allows you to pretty much start with a blank canvas. Take my test car for example which is finished in “Forget about Grey” and contrasting “Red “n” Roll” roof colour, as an optional extra. These colour combinations really set the Adam S apart as you are cruising through traffic.
So what is it that sets the Adam S apart from the subtler Adam or Adam Rocks. Well, the Adam S sits on 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels as standard along with sports suspension, uprated brakes and red brake calipers, air intakes in the front bumper along with body coloured front lower spoiler, side sills and rear lower skirt. A rear roof spoiler is also standard along with Recaro seats. Opel OnStar which provides you with immediate 24/7 to the Opel team should you require it is also a standard feature within the Adam S. My test car was also fitted with the optional extras of the winter pack, electrically heated front seats and steering wheel, the premium forward lighting pack, the technical pack and the upgrade to full Nappa leather in the Recaro sports seats.
From the outside, the Adam S will always catch your eye. Sitting on the 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels and sports suspension it immediately has that sportier appearance to it. As outlined above, the contrasting colours between the roof and the main body merge brilliantly and rubber stamp the ability of the Adam S to at least have the looks of a uniquely customisable city car.
As you sit inside you will be greeted by the upgraded optional extra of the Nappa leather Recaro sports seats. The support offered in these seats is second to none yet at no time do they ever feel too restrictive. While the space in the driver and front passenger seat is plenty there is very little leg room in the rear seats. As a result, unless your rear seat passengers are in baby seats or are very young then the Adam S is essentially a 2 seater. My biggest problem is that being over 6-foot-tall the legroom in smaller city cars simply disappears once I adjust the driver’s seat. This isn’t just a complaint I have with the Adam.
The finish to the interior is to a very high and exceptional standard. You are left in no doubt that Opel have gone above and beyond to ensure that no expense has been spared on the materials used and the durability of the interior. The “S” logo features throughout the interior also from the dashboard to the door cards, the instrument cluster and even the velour floor mats. You will never need reminding that this is not your normal Opel Adam.
Where the Adam S really comes into its own though is on the road. The 1.4 litre turbo charged petrol engine just provides smile after smile. It’s the type of car you enjoy taking for a blast to the local shops. Given the overall size and weight of the Adam S, the 150 bhp being delivered to the front wheels ensures that the driving experience is fun filled. This energetic power plant is paired with a well-engineered 6 speed manual transmission. While there is plenty of power for its size, I wouldn’t recommend opening up the taps on the city streets, this is something that should be more reserved for the open roads! Pushing the Adam S along on country roads it handles quite well thanks to the upgraded sports suspension. The addition of the 18-inch alloy wheels does cause it to skip slightly on tighter corners but overall the driving experience is one of fun and plenty of smiles. This is even more evident on country roads in lower gears as the Adam S keeps you engaged in the driving experience.
Overall the Opel Adam S offers a high standard of finish along with some fun performance. What remains to be seen is if it can put it up to its competition and acquire its own place within the Irish car market.
Engine Size – 1.4 Turbo
Fuel Type – Petrol
Power – 150 bhp
Torque – 220 Nm
Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 8.5 seconds
Top Speed – 210 km/hour
Consumption (Combined) – 5.9 litres/ 100 kilometres
CO2 emissions – 139g / km
Road Tax – € 280
Starting Price – €20,750
Model Tested – €24,400 (including optional extras)