Used Vauxhall Adam Review (2013-2019) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Vauxhall Adam Exterior Front

Vauxhall Adam (2013-2019)

The peppy Vauxhall Adam is sleek, economical, and well-equipped, making it the perfect city car for young drivers

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  • Corners safely
  • Funky design
  • Well-equipped as standard
  • Rivals are more comfortable
  • Not the most enjoyable to drive
  • High price tag
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What's the Vauxhall Adam like?

When Vauxhall launched the funky Adam city car it saw the birth of a little model designed to appeal to young people, with many personalisation options and combinations available so that each could be made as individual as possible.

But, even though it was smaller than the Corsa, it was more expensive, and this must have hit sales.

Driving Experience and Practicality

The Vauxhall Adam isn't the most enjoyable to drive, with electric power steering that takes all the strain of driving in town but is lacking in feedback through corners. That said, it corners safely and flat when pushed hard.

The back seat folds in a 50/50 pattern, but the boot is only big enough for a couple of soft weekend bags if the seats are up.

Comfort is fair but not as good as some others in the class, and it sports larger 17 or 18-inch wheels and tyres, which come with sports suspension and make it quite bouncy and uncomfortable at times.


In the last year of production – 2019 – there was only one engine available – the lowliest 1.2-litre with 70bhp. This is good for 50mpg, but takes a yawn inducing 14.4 seconds to reach 60mph from rest. However, it’s likely to be the cheapest Adam to insure for a young driver.

The range of petrol only engines also has a 1.0-litre turbo with 113bhp that reaches 60mph in 9.6 seconds and can do 57mpg, and then come two versions of a non-turbo 1.4-litre.

These have either 85 or 100bhp, reach 60 in 12.1 and 11.1 seconds respectively, and are capable of around 50mpg.

Finally, there's a turbo 1.4-litre that boasts a hot hatch 147bhp and covers the sprint in 8.2 seconds while managing 44mpg.

The three main trim levels are Jam, Glam, and Slam and the range is topped by the Adam S with the 1.4-litre engine.

Interior and Equipment

The funky interior with body coloured areas is available with a huge range of colours, seat colours, and combinations of trim and kit, and outside most have two-tone paintwork.
Peter Hayward

Mid-spec Glam has standard kit including alloy wheels, climate control, heated electric mirrors, electric windows, traction control, plenty of airbags, audio remote control, and good seat and column adjustment.

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The Vauxhall Adam's compact size and tight turning circle make it easy to drive around busy city streets. If you don't mind the stretching your budget for an Adam, it's a great competitor in the city car market, offering very generous equipment as standard and undeniably adorable looks.