Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air – Feisty You Are

The Adam, say Vauxhall, combines bold design with pure individuality so you, the purchaser, can truly create a car that suits your personality. I worry that giving some people carte blanche to tinker with how a car looks might result in some hard-to-sell used vehicles but that’s the sellers’ problem.

You can choose between the Jam, Glam or Slam and now Vauxhall have added the Grand Slam to the menu. This tasty main course moves the Adam into warm hatch territory and is very appealing but for today we’ll concentrate on our featured car, the Adam Rocks Air.

Vauxhall describes the Rocks as the ‘smallest crossover’ which is stretching the term ‘crossover’ to breaking point. Where does ‘crossover’ start and where does it end before it becomes SUV? It differs from your regular Adam by being chunkier with dark, sculptured, protective cladding and giant 18inch alloys. This funky motor has a higher ride (15mm) and specially tuned suspension.The electric folding canvas roof lets the sunshine in. When I opened it for the first time snow came in so I closed it again a bit sharpish but it works well and makes for a refreshing ride without the occupants being blown to begorrah. Our car came packed with much useful kit that is itemised below on the specification sheet. Curiously, for an otherwise fully loaded car there was no navigation in the package. That can be remedied should you need it.The touchscreen and controls are easy to use and understand. Connecting to Bluetooth is a doddle and, if you are that way inclined, there are apps that some buyers may find useful. 12V, USB and Aux are all catered for to play your tunes but don’t do what I did and take some CDs out to the car. I’m just so old-school.Inevitably, the interior of any small car is going to be a compromise. The seats are well configured and comfortable. Our car thankfully had the Winter Pack which provides for heated front seats. Fit and finish is very good with a very tidy dash, although my preference would be for slightly less of the exterior colour inside. I guess that’s a matter of choice. You pay extra for the ‘Gold Busters’ paint job.I moved the front passenger seat forward to see how I fitted in the back. Getting in was easy thanks to the big doors. The front seat was moved forward a little more – although Mrs DriveWrite still had sufficient legroom – and there was sufficient space for my lower limbs. It’s a different story with the driver’s seat if the pilot is tall. There was not enough room for me with the seat as I like it meaning a taller driver would have to shunt up more than would be liked. Still, children would be fine and two adults could be fitted into the rear seats at a pinch for shorter journeys. Definitely only a four-seater though and really a 2+2 if I’m honest.The boot is a decent size and shape for such a compact car and the rear seat backs split fold to carry more stuff. The enormous 18” wheels look fab but in use I believe that they are too big. I would opt for a smaller set of wheels given the choice. Less chance of kerbing and of course, tyres would cost less. Vauxhall reckons that the Adam Rocks should return a combined fuel consumption figure of around 55mpg but the best I could do was 36.9mpg and there is a very good reason for that.Vauxhall have delivered a very feisty car. Driving this motor is enormous fun and you can’t help but crack on, with go-kart handling from its tuned chassis. On main roads and motorways it’s like a bolshy West Highland terrier mixing it with the big dogs. 62mph comes up in a lively 9.9 seconds courtesy of the brilliant 1.0L direct injection EcoFlex turbo engine which fizzes with 115bhp. It really is a good powerplant, delivering right through the rev range with well selected gear ratios, although I did find the shift a little notchy. The end result though is that you will spend too much time enjoying yourself to worry about fuel consumption. The Adam Rocks has Stop/Start so if you are determined to max out the mileage then I’m sure fuel use can be controlled.Just lately I have been impressed with how Vauxhall have improved their range. Rocks will likely be a popular choice with buyers and it is clear that the Adam range is aimed squarely at the younger demographic. Personally, I can’t wait to try the Grand Slam but if I wanted a small car that is happy and capable enough to go long distances without problem then the Vauxhall Adam Rocks would certainly be shortlisted.
Geoff Maxted