I have asked myself one question on the two occasions I have tested the Opel Adam – Is this a product that is simply trying too hard or has it hit the nail on the head? My first experience was with the 1.4 litre petrol bright yellow ‘James Blonde’ Adam back in 2013. It had been designed with a certain young, hip and connected demographic in mind. It offered thousands of personalised colour combinations, looked cool and offered a quality cabin. But turning to the simplicity that is the Fiat 500, I did feel it was trying a little too hard.
Roll on 2015 and enter the Adam Rocks. Designed with the same young edgier target market in mind, It comes Opel’s brand new 1.0 turbo petrol engine and with the Rocks pack comes a beefier, more rugged body kit with unique front and rear bumpers, side sills and wheel arch extensions. Finished in ‘Red n’Rolla’ red with contrasting cream interior, it oozed the balanced flair and charm that would appeal to either sex. First impressions were good so is it now a case of nail on head?
On the road, the Adam Rocks sits 15mm higher than the Adam and rides on 17 inch sterling silver ‘Swiss blade alloy wheels’. Despite the large sized wheels on the small city car, the additional height adds some comfort to the ride. Like the Corsa, the steering feels sharp and it handles well. The new 3 cylinder 1.0 Turbo petrol engine puts out 115PS and 170Nm and is a breath a fresh air compared to the 1.4 petrol. It instantly feels pokey and more alive. Acceleration is by no means rapid with 0-100kmh being achieved in 9.9 seconds, but when you’re up and cruising on motorways however, it absolutely flies and the 3 cylinder remains quite composed and refined with very little noise. Despite its size and it being a city car, I found it to be a good motorway cruiser.
Inside, like the Opel Corsa, the cabin is very well finished with the use of quality materials and a funky use of contrast colours between the dashboard, seats and throughout. The excellent IntelliLink system dominates the centre console and manages all of your phone and media from the easy to use 7 inch touch screen. A system that will blend well with the ‘online’ nature of today’s young driver. These functions can also be controlled via the leather multi-function steering wheel. Overall the Adam Rocks is exceptionally well equipped and feels like a quality product. While front seat passenger space is ample, rear passengers are not quite as fortunate. It’s tight in the back and is more suited to younger children when it comes to extended journeys.
Since its introduction the Adam has been somewhat of a Marmite car for most that have experienced it. For me, the original Adam back in 2013 was clearly focussed on a niche demographic of the market but didn’t quite meet the brief. The Adam Rocks however brings it so close to the marque that it appears to be poised to steal some of the ever dominating Fiat 500’s thunder. It’s not just the looks but the full package that makes the Adam Rocks. No other city car can touch its interior for style or quality. The new 1.0 petrol engine is also a welcomed addition and alternative to the 1.4 adding a spark to its character and a well thought out exterior package including the folding cloth roof are features that add that urban fun factor.
Starting from €18,995 with our test car coming to €21,745, affordability could be an issue for a younger market. That said, standard specification and build quality may justify that price tag. I was not expecting the Rocks to be quite so different from the Adam but I have to admit I was a little taken by the Adam Rocks on this occasion. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard with a real personality of its own now shining through and with it comes a much improved drive and sense of appeal.