A couple of months ago I reviewed the Opel Karl, a sensible city car. More recently, I had his older brother; Adam S. Adam first appeared on the scene in 2013 to rival the Fiat 500 and the Citreon DS3 (Now known as just DS3). He aimed at being a funky and fun city car. However Adam S, is a completely different story. Adam S packs 150hp and 220Nm out of a 1.4 turbo petrol engine, so its rivals are upgraded to the Abarth 595 and the DS3 DSport.
A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Opel Adam S
Engine: 1.4 Turbo Petrol – 150hp and 220Nm
Transmission: 6 speed manual, front wheel drive
Price: The Adam range starts from €15,795 with the S starting at €20,750. As tested – €24,400, including options.
Adam S is the opposite of Karl, he is the popular one, the loud one and the one that requires all the attention. In most cases this can be annoying but not this time. Adam S rewards you for his garish personality because he is a very fun car to drive. I would even go as far as to say that I could see myself buying one over the Corsa OPC, his older brother. The punchy little 1.4 Turbo petrol engine is great and makes a fantastic sound.
Adam S would be considered more of a "warm hatch" than a hot hatch. Although it produces 150hp and 220Nm, it doesn't tick the boxes in terms of practicality. The boot space is a mere 170 litres but is deep. This means a high loading lip so it is awkward to lift heavy items out of it. The rear seats may as well not be there. Not only is the leg room and head room a little bit too cosy for anyone older than the age of eight, but you can only experience being a rear passenger if you can get into the rear in the first place. My test car was equipped with the optional Recaro leather bucket seats (€2000). Trying to fold and push the seats forward required a lot of force and they ended up just folding back upright unless you held them forward. An awkward design.
But for me, this can be forgiven. Adam S is meant to be a fun and quick city car and it does this very well. It is small so it can squeeze through tight gaps easily, it’s punchy little turbo gets up to 60km/h in 8.5 seconds and even though the boot is small it is enough for the weekly shop or for a few shopping bags. It also has a lot of road presence, for such a small car. It got a lot of approving looks and a lot of my neighbours asked many questions about it. It helps that it is finished in an attractive colour scheme of Forgotten About Grey and Red'n'Roll with the standard 18 inch alloys. Good job Opel.
As for the infotainment system, Adam S doesn't come standard with IntelliLink. It is part of the Technical Pack (€750) but it includes the 7-inch display (compatible with Apply Car Play) and parking sensors. As usual, the IntelliLink is easy to use but can be a bit of a pain if you unpair your phone from Bluetooth and try to re-pair it. It took me about 10 minutes to get the IntelliLink to find my phone and connect back up again. Otherwise, it is good. The sound system is pretty decent too.
Adam S starts at €20,750 but add the Winter Pack (€350), a lighting pack (€300), technical pack (€750), the Red'n'Roll roof colour (€250) and the Recaros (€2000) and you quickly have Adam S setting you back €24,400. Road tax is €280 for the year and the real life fuel economy is 6.7l/100km (Admittedly that included me having fun too). Overall though, it is quite affordable. The Abarth 595 isn't officially sold in Ireland but an Irish Fiat main dealer told me it would start at around €30,000 (including VRT) and the DS3 starts at €25,645. This puts Adam S at the top in terms of price.
Is it worth €24,400? Yes. Considering this includes the options too, it is a good price for what you get. Adam S is great craic. He is fun to drive, fun to listen to and great to look at. One thing I would say for definite is, save yourself €10,000 and consider the Adam S over the Corsa OPC. It's worth it, trust me.