The eve of Adam

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Only a lucky few can park a new McLaren in our garage, but that doesn’t mean we have to drive sad and bor­ing econ­omy cars. Not with sexy lit­tle two-doors on the scene. Opel added some spice with its new Adam, named af­ter the car maker’s founder, Mr Adam Opel.

It com­petes with other pe­tite, “bou­tique” hatch­backs, such as the Fiat 500, and is avail­able with ei­ther a 1.4-litre en­gine or a bril­liant 1-litre turbo en­gine. We spent a few days with the 1.4, which is sim­ply called Adam. The two tur­bocharged ver­sions are named Adam Jam and Adam Glam, and all three de­riv­a­tives are well equipped, with plenty of air bags, sta­bil­ity con­trol and Blue­tooth.

But the 1.4 en­gine feels par­tic­u­larly lethar­gic, and first and sec­ond gear feel too long. If ever there was a rea­son to beg, bor­row or steal R20K, it’s to up­grade from the 1.4 Adam to the 1.0 turbo Adam (R209 900). Not only can it park it­self – the driver has to op­er­ate the ac­cel­er­a­tor and brakes while the car turns the steer­ing wheel – but it also warns the driver if there’s a ve­hi­cle in the blind spot. For me, the per­for­mance of the turbo en­gine is the great­est ad­van­tage and that alone is worth R20 000. Test-drive it to un­der­stand the ex­pe­ri­ence. Opel Adam 1.4-litre, five-speed man­ual – R189 900 Opel Adam Jam – R209 900

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