The eve of Adam
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