Vauxhall Adam (2013-present)

The Vauxhall Adam offers driving fun and super-customisable style at an affordable cost

Strengths & Weaknesses


Reasonably priced (including options)
Interior finished to a high standard
Smart, head-turning looks


Suspension quite firm
Small back seats and boot
Fuel economy could be better
Best finance deal

Vauxhall Adam Hatchback (2012-2019) 1.2i jam 3dr

Finance price £108 per month

Cash price £5,795

Named after Adam Opel, the founder of Vauxhall’s German parent company Opel, the Vauxhall Adam is a pint-sized city car designed to compete with other fashionable runarounds like the Mini Hatch and Fiat 500. Within the Vauxhall range, it’s a less practical but more stylish alternative to the big-selling Vauxhall Corsa supermini.

In common with the Mini and Fiat, the Adam lets buyers go wild with practically endless colour and trim combinations in order to personalise the car to their heart’s content. It’s only available with three doors and petrol power, and its engines are only average at best when it comes to fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions. So if very low running costs are essential, you may be better off in a Corsa.

In addition to the standard bodystyle, there’s the raised-up Adam Rocks and its convertible counterpart, the Adam Rocks Air, which offer a little SUV style. At the top of the range sits the fast Adam S, which isn’t quite a full-fat hot hatchback, but is reasonably good fun nonetheless.

Practicality is another area where the Adam fails to impress – the rear seats are a squeeze for anyone but small children and the boot capacity is a tiny 170 litres. But then if you have another, bigger car in the household for serious load-lugging, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The Adam does better when it comes to interior quality – it’s not quite up to the lofty standards of the Audi A1, but it’s a big improvement on Vauxhalls of old. And while its four out of five Euro NCAP safety score isn’t perfect, it’s about par for the course for small city cars of this age, as the test has become ever-more stringent.

True driving enthusiasts won’t be bowled over by the Adam, which isn’t quite as agile as a Volkswagen Up or Skoda Citigo, but it’s fairly good fun to drive nonetheless, particularly with one of the more powerful engines under the bonnet. Watch out for the ride quality, though: you really feel speed bumps and potholes in this car.

Last Updated 

Friday, May 31, 2019 - 09:30

Key facts 

Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
170 litres
Tax (min to max): 
£30 to £145

Best Vauxhall Adam for... 

Best for economy – Vauxhall Adam 1.0T ecoFLEX Slam [Start Stop]
As with other Vauxhalls, the most efficient version of the Adam gets the ‘ecoFLEX’ badge. But it’s the best of a bad lot, really: it’s not road-tax exempt (many cars on sale when the Adam was launched are) and fuel economy of 56.5mpg is nothing to write home about in a small car these days.
Best for families – Vauxhall Adam 1.4i Jam
The Adam is only really suitable as a second family car, for short school runs and shopping trips. You never want to spend too much on a car like that, so the cheap Jam version is the best to go for here.
Best for performance – Vauxhall Adam 1.4T S
The Adam S gets a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine that gets it from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. It’s certainly not slow, but doesn’t really have the fun on-road performance to make it a true Ford Fiesta ST rival.
One to avoid – Vauxhall Adam 1.4i ecoFLEX Glam Easytronic
The Vauxhall Easytronic gearbox is an example of an ‘automated manual’ transmission. That means it still has a clutch (although the driver doesn’t operate it) and so isn’t as smooth as a regular automatic, reducing its appeal. It’s your only option if you must have an automatic Adam, however.


March 2013: Vauxhall Adam goes on sale in the UK
September 2014: Recall of 70,000 Feb-Sep ‘14 Adams & Corsas for steering issue
October 2014: Vauxhall Adam Rocks and open-top Rocks Air join range
January 2015: Sporty Vauxhall Adam S launched with 1.4 turbo engine
March 2015: Recall of 37 Adams for potential cracks in 18-inch alloy wheels

Understanding Vauxhall Adam car names 

  • Adam
  • Engine
    1.4i ecoFLEX
  • Trim
  • Gearbox
  • Engine
    The Vauxhall Adam range is only available with petrol engines. The size of each engine is given in litres - such as 1.4 in this case - but bigger does not always mean more powerful. The letter 'i' stands for fuel injection, a technology used on all modern petrol cars. ecoFLEX is the term Vauxhall uses to describe the more efficient versions of its cars.
  • Trim
    Basic trim levels – or versions – are Jam, Glam and Slam. There’s also the off-road-styled Rocks, the convertible Rocks Air and the high-performance S.
  • Gearbox
    Most Adams have a manual gearbox, although you can specify the Easytronic automatic with the less powerful of the two 1.4-litre non-turbocharged engines and in Glam trim level only.

Vauxhall Adam Engines 

Engines: 1.2i, 1.4i, 1.0i Turbo, 1.4i Turbo

The three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol is the only truly up-to-date engine on offer in the Adam range, and it’s only available in the Adam Slam – the most expensive of the three regular trim levels. It’s worth going for if you can afford it, though, as it combines lively performance with fuel economy that’s as good as it gets in the Adam range.

The 1.2-litre petrol is the cheapest engine option in all three of the regular trims, but we wouldn't recommend it, mainly due to its painfully slow 0-62mph time of almost 15 seconds. This lack of power means it’ll struggle when it comes to overtaking a truck or tackling a steep hill.

Of the two versions of the 1.4-litre engine, the less powerful (86bhp) is available across the Jam, Glam and Slam trims, while the more powerful (100bhp) is only offered in the Slam. Both offer reasonable but not particularly good performance and fuel economy.

The Adam Rocks is available with the 1.2-litre or 1.0-litre turbo, while the Adam Rocks Air adds the 86bhp 1.4-litre to the mix. The Adam S gets its own more powerful 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Neither diesel nor hybrid power is available in any Adam.





0 - 62mph

top speed











12.5 - 13.9s

109 - 111mph



52.3 - 56.5mpg




1.0i Turbo






1.4i Turbo






Vauxhall Adam Trims 

Trims: Jam, Glam, Slam, Rocks, Rocks Air, S

The Vauxhall Adam has some unusual names for its different trim levels – or versions – reflecting its youthful target audience. The basic range is made up of the Jam, Glam and Slam (although from time to time Vauxhall will add to these with special editions).

Jam is your cheapest route into Adam ownership, but has a good deal of standard kit all the same: 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth music streaming, air-conditioning, a leather steering wheel and cruise control are all thrown in.

Moving up to Glam gets you climate control, a glass roof panel to brighten up the interior, DAB digital radio and some chrome-effect trim on the outside.

The Slam has contrasting black door mirrors and roof, tinted rear windows, 17-inch alloys, sports suspension and Vauxhall’s ‘OnStar’ system. This is a service that allows you to call up an operator for help with things like driving directions or booking your car in for a service. It can also be used to summon help quickly in the event of a crash or breakdown, as it tracks the exact location of your car.

The most obvious difference with the Adam Rocks is its raised-up suspension and rugged body cladding, but it’s not a true off-roader and the changes are mainly for aesthetic reasons. It also gets OnStar, 17-inch alloys, tinted rear windows, air-con, DAB radio, Bluetooth, a leather steering wheel and cruise control. The Rocks Air has all that plus a roll-back convertible roof.

In addition to its 1.4-litre turbo engine, the Adam S gets all the features of the Slam, plus a distinctive bodykit and alloy wheels to suit its sporty nature and more powerful brakes.

Vauxhall Adam Reliability and warranty 

The Vauxhall Adam just sneaked into the top half of Auto Express magazine’s 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, placing it 90th out of 200 cars ranked. It didn’t do quite as well in the reliability sub-category, where it came 110th, but its build quality score of 68th was better. It probably should have done better for reliability given that it uses many proven components and engines from the Vauxhall Corsa, while its warranty cover isn’t brilliant, either. Three years or 60,000 miles is about the minimum you’d expect these days, whereas the likes of Hyundai and Kia cover their cars for seven and five years respectively.

Used Vauxhall Adam 

The Vauxhall Adam is a decent competitor for the Mini Hatch and Fiat 500, but Vauxhall doesn’t quite have the street cred of either of those brands just yet. So while the Mini and 500 both do very well on the second-hand market, the Adam sheds quite a lot of its value fairly quickly – with three-year-old examples now available for approaching half their new list price.

In general, the more expensive, high-spec Adams come down in price quicker, so savvy used buyers should keep an eye out for a keenly priced Adam Slam, or maybe even an Adam S, to get lots of standard kit for their money.

Another thing to be aware of when shopping for a used Vauxhall Adam is the potential for a previous owner to have selected a particularly odd or unusual exterior or interior colour combination. As well as clashing with your own tastes, this could also be an obstacle to selling the car quickly yourself in a few years’ time, or mean you have to accept a lower price.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Vauxhall Adam 1.4T S












Best for families

Vauxhall Adam 1.4i Jam












Best for economy

Vauxhall Adam 1.0T ecoFLEX Slam [Start Stop]