Adam rocks if you're under 30

IF YOU'RE over 30, this car won't make much sense to you. I am. And it doesn't.

This is a Vauxhall Adam which has one mission in mind: to make Vauxhalls appeal to the iPhone generation.

It is expensive for a compact hatchback - this model is £16,935, but lesser versions cost from £12,420.

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Still, you could buy a bigger and more versatile Corsa from the same company from £9,400.

But Adam is a more stylish, funky model which appeals to young people in a way that Corsa and co doesn’t.

And while Adam might seem expensive compared to basic hatchbacks, it is positively cheap compared to some rivals such as MINI and Audi A1.

Tested here is a new version of Adam, the Adam Rocks. It bills itself not as a hatchback but as a crossover which means it is competing with the likes of Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.

While I might not quite ‘get’ the Adam, I can tell you it is a fine motor: well designed, fun to drive and with a fabulous range of engines.

Adam Rocks is a more rugged model with chunkier looks and a neat electric folding canvas roof. It was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013 as a concept car and it went down so well Vauxhall felt compelled to produce it.

So, how does Adam Rocks measure up? It’s a compact car, 3,698mm long which is less than Corsa three-door which is just over four metres.

It comes with power steering, central locking, great alloy wheels and attractive upholstery but, sadly, not with satellite navigation. I guess one reason for that omission is that it is aimed at iPhone types who have sat nav built into their phones which plug into the car.

It has a wider stance than normal Adams and a 15mm higher ride height.

Agile parkour athletes, who move from one place to another, negotiating urban obstacles in between, were the inspiration for this sporty crossover concept, apparently.

Parts of the chassis have been modified or re-tuned – including dampers, springs, the rear suspension geometry, and steering. The higher, wider looks are matched by a choice of 17in or 18in alloy wheels. These can be personalised with new wheel clips in “Wild” design and different colours that are unique to this model.

There is anthracite-coloured cladding, giving it a tough, muscular look and a new choice of colours including, pictured here, a vibrant yellow called Goldbusters.

The canvas roof is good. The car still feels refined, despite the fabric roof, and it can be opened or closed in five seconds at the touch of a button.

What really appeals in this car, though, is the engine. You would never believe it was a three-cylinder unit because it has the sound and feel of a much bigger unit and it offers a fine blend of economy and power.

There are two power outputs available: 90PS and 115PS. There are also 1.2 and 1.4 litre engines available.

Younger drivers - indeed a growing number of more mature motorists, too - want their cars to be ‘connected’ these days. Like its Adam siblings, Rocks is one of the best connected small cars around thanks to its state-of-the-art Intelilink infotainment system.

Priced from £275, it allows seamless integration of Android as well as Apple iOS smartphone functionalities into the car. It provides USB and Bluetooth connectivity, audio streaming, a 7in high-definition colour touch-screen and seven speakers. Clever apps including navigation BringGo, Stitcher and TuneIn can be downloaded.

The integration of Apple iOS devices into the system enables Siri Eyes Free voice control. This makes it possible for drivers to have incoming text messages read aloud and to dictate messages while they keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel.

Vauxhall Adam Rocks

PRICE: £16,945

ENGINE: A 998cc three cylinder unit generating 115ps via six-speed gearbox

PERFORMANCE: Top speed 121mph and 0 to 60mph in 9.9 seconds

COSTS: Town 47.1mpg; country 67.3mpg; combined 57.6mpg

EMISSIONS: 112g/km

WARRANTY: Three years, 60,000 miles

A unique mini crossover offering performance and style in a neat urban runabout


Suzuki Swift Sport: A fabulous car which offers warm - if not hot - performance for a reasonable price and with a decent standard of kit. From £13,999.

Fiat 500L Trekking: Bigger than the Adam, but offering the same off-beat looks. More of a country car but not quite a full-blown offroader. From £17,925.

Ford Ka: A sportier and more vibrant city car from Ford. Doesn’t match Adam in terms of cuteness but it is a great value motor from £8,995