Motoring: Opel Adam’s boutique brilliance


gay_motoring_opel_adam_frontI’m willing to bet most of our readers are familiar with the word “boutique”. For its definition – pertaining to something small, exclusive, or of speciality – it is, if we’re honest, a type of word that would fit very well in an encyclopaedia of (maybe stereotypical) gay culture.

Stores, restaurants, cars … wait, cars? Yip, the boutique hatchback is quite a phenomenon in the modern car world. On the face of it, they sell for prices that would raise an eyebrow or two. But you can’t just look at these cars on a surface level. The boutique hatch may be pint-sized, yet is packed full of style and a funky attitude, substantially well equipped and, best of all, offers the prospect of a very special good time.

The Fiat 500 and Citroën DS3 are two of the most popular examples. The 500 became (and still is) Fiat’s best-selling model, DS3 launched an entire boutique brand for Citroën. Both did wonders for their respective manufacturer’s image. Now Opel has entered the fray with its ADAM.

Named in honour of the company’s founder, Adam Opel, ADAM has a lot resting on its shoulders. It needs to lead the charge in making the Opel brand appealing once more.

And this is one very appealing little car, indeed. On the outside it’s funky and young at heart, yet sophisticated and – with the optional OPC-Line Pack fitted – purposeful. Another option on the JAM model we drove is the Twisted Pack which, among other things, gives you the option of a white or black roof.

gay_motoring_opel_adam_interiorOh, did I forget to mention that the boutique hatch is also usually customisable to the nth degree? You can spec the ADAM to your heart’s unique content – both outside and in. The interior, as it is, is a fabulous place to be. Dashboard and door inlays match the exterior colour, while the top of the dash itself isn’t plain and boring either, but patterned. The design is neat yet full of stylish little touches.

It’s spacious in there, too … at least in the front. The rear features two individual seats with just enough space for an average adult. As for luggage space, well, your boutique shopping experience might have to require its own boutique delivery service …

Anyhow, the ADAM is, in fact, more than just something you’d want to be seen in. It’s also really very good on the road. Under the bonnet sits Opel’s 1,0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged ecoFLEX engine. It might not sound like much, but this little mite packs a punch. It’s really quick and responsive, with a charming little growl as you accelerate up the rev range. It’s also economical, claimed to consume just 5,1 litres of fuel per 100 km.

The ADAM’s small dimensions make it fun to drive, even if the ride can be slightly harsh on some surfaces. The wide seats are comfy, though. Visibility is good all round and manoeuvring is made extra easy with standard City Mode steering (that reduces steering effort) and park-distance control.

These are but the tip of the standard-fitment iceberg. Blind-spot monitoring, tyre pressure monitoring and Eco mode (incorporating auto start/stop) are fitted. Traditional safety features fitted include six airbags, Anti-lock Braking with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Programme Plus, Hill Start Assist and ISOFIX child seat anchorage.

gay_motoring_opel_adam_rearGeneral Motors’ user-friendly seven-inch IntelliLink touch-screen infotainment system is fitted to the JAM. It incorporates seven speakers; Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connectivity; and several apps, including one for navigation.

For peace of mind, Opel offers a standard five-year/120 000 km vehicle warranty, five-year/unlimited mileage anti-corrosion warranty, and three-year/60 000 km service plan. All things considered, then, the Opel ADAM JAM’s R209 000 base price (the Twisted OPC-Line Pack is an additional R9 800) seems pretty reasonable.

Okay, that’s the same ballpark as the company’s new, bigger Corsa. Sure, it’s not cheap for such a little car. But, then again, neither are those boutique outfits, or those boutique meals… Yet, for what they offer in their speciality, individuality and exclusivity, they’re sure worth it. And so is the ADAM. It’s a premium, special little car – in a word, brilliant.

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