Thursday – White Bling Thing

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Jeremy The Swift Sport has just arrived and appears to have brought summer with it. Small, sparking white and rather cute, I get the feeling I’m going to get along fine with this lukewarm hatchback.

There is nothing spectacular about the styling of the Suzuki but it looks purposeful – like a little car that wants to be driven.

Inside, unlike the slightly overcooked Adam we tested last week, the trim is no frills and functional. There is plenty of plastic and the buttons and dials are more budget than bold. However, what it lacks in chic it makes up for in driving performance!

I’ve only driven the Sport a couple of miles and it’s already put a smile on my face – even though I don’t like white cars!

Wednesday – Tech Savvy

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Jessica I have taken the Adam to a Polo match in the rain where it got fantastically muddy and was mistaken for a Fiat!  It seems 21 year old polo players think it is cute, even with the ‘Autumn leaves’ dash trim… It was raining and they can be excused for poor taste as they were being very polite, they though it was a new purchase of mine.

I actually like the little car inside, well laid out, chunky steering wheel, easy to operate touch screen sound system, but that is where it all ends.  What is it with the youthful dashboard trim and the option to have dead fly print on the wing mirrors?

When I started to drive the Adam I was disappointed at the lack of power ( and yes, I know it is better not to let our young folk loose with a powerful car) to the point where I was reluctant to overtake a 1950’s vintage car going up a hill as I did not have the zip. I dont know if any one has ever ridden a tricycle but it does corner in a similar fashion.

All of that aside, this car is sold as one that is fun and can be bought in a range of personalised options.

I must say I was very exited at the thought and rushed to the website once I knew an Adam was on the way – only to be utterly disappointed and fustrated by the set up, the lack of actual choice and the snail pace of the site. What are Vauxhall thinking?

Why sell a car on the basis of choice ( which can only mean a sophisticated interactive website) and not get even close to delivering that claim?

In my fustration I did visit the Fiat 500 website and easily put myself together a little blue car with smart wheels and a choice of trims and additions.  I also (to prove a point that it must be possible to have the software to manage car customisation) went to H Modder and had a fantastic time making myself a hot car with spoilers, trims, lights, and more.

Move over “pimp my ride” and catch up Vauxhall!

Tuesday – Cute But Flawed

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Jeremy – It’s been an interesting week behind the wheel of the Adam – the upmarket city car that Vauxhall hopes will compete against the Fiat 500 and Ford Ka.

On the one hand, I really like the styling, the funky interior and the range of options available but the Adam is let down by lifeless engines and mediocre handing. Get those right and this really could be a great little car.

As it is, the Adam doesn’t match the expectations I had when it first turned up at Car Couture. So much work has gone into getting the image right that the actual driving experience has become secondary.

I’m really hoping that the next time I drive an Adam, it will have a range of new engines, a sportier gearbox and, perhaps, a ‘hot’ version that brings it to life. For now, it is going to struggle against the established opposition which have style and drivability in abundance….

Sunday – The Life of Adam

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Jeremy Motor manufacturers spend a fortune on choosing a name for their new cars but still manage to get it wrong. Who can forget the Ford Probe, Nissan Cedric or Mitsubishi Carisma

So, perhaps we can forgive Vauxhall for giving their tiny city car a name of Biblical proportions. The Adam was, apparently, going to be called the Junior. Thankfully they didn’t – I owned an Alfa Romeo GT Junior in the 1970s and the two cars couldn’t be more different.

Whether Vauxhall will go the whole hog and bring out a ‘female friendly’ version of the Adam called Eve remains to be seen. Maybe they should have just called it the Adam & Eve and be done with it.

Munching over breakfast this morning, I spent a good 30 minutes looking at the Adam parked outside, trying to think up a better name. I quite liked Bob, or Bert.

Maybe Vauxhall should simply follow Audi and go for a letter and number – the V1? Perfect.

 

 

 

Saturday – Big on Style

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Jeremy ‘It’s not an Audi A1!’ A point I have made to a couple of interested onlookers as I drive the Adam this week. I think it’s mainly down to the contrasting roof colour – a popular options on the A1 – which gets the Vauxhall plenty of admiring glances.

The styling of the Adam isn’t retro cool – just modern cute. There are none of the old style buttons on the dashboard like the Mini or the Fiat 500, just a neatly laid-out look that works very well on the eye AND from a functional point of view.

I’m just back from a major Saturday shopping trip and had to use the passenger footwell for a few of the bags because of the lack of bootspace in the Adam. If I hadn’t had a back seat passenger I would have dropped the rear seats. Vauxhall should consider a more family-friendly stretched Adam – just like Fiat has done with the 500.

So, the little Adam is starting to grow on me. If I lived in London it would be a great city car. If only it was ore fun to drive on the open road…

Wednesday – Talking Italian

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Jeremy I’m in Italy for a Ferrari press conference and have noted that the country is full of small, madly driven cars. Yes, there are Fiat 500s by the legion but the Italians seem to have embraced the small car ethos in every shape and form. They still drive them with wild abandon though, that will never change.

Just what Italians would make of my purple Vauxhall Adam I wouldn’t like to guess. With black, 17-inch alloys, purple leather trim and a dash of chrome, I imagine it would have the same effect as a leggy blonde crossing the piazza at lunchtime.

It had the same impact on me when I first saw it. Distinctly different and a designer’s dream. The drive to Heathrow yesterday was therefore something of a disappointment. I could forgive the 1.4 for feeling a tad underpowered but the little Adam failed to sparkle on some fast, winding A-roads.

It felt sloppy when driven hard into corners and the steering was, at times, vague. There is also an incredibly annoying rattle coming from somewhere around the glovebox. I’m going to have to remove my belongings and see if it is the car, or if it is my fault. I suspect it is the former.

High-speed motorway driving isn’t the Adam’s strongest point but with some hefty right foot and a gear-change on steeper inclines, I was able keep up with the flow. It’s at its best around town though, posing in the High Street.

The Adam is such a pretty, distinctly different car I want it to be a winner for Vauxhall. Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

 

Tuesday – A Car In A Million

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Jeremy After the seven-seat giant that was the Kia Sorento, CarCouture today drops down a few sizes to the Vauxhall Adam. And what a great-looking car it is!

Vauxhall seems to have taken the best bits from other superminis, then blended them altogether to create the Adam. (Does anybody recognise that rear-end? Reminds me of a Ford Ka).

First impressions are good. It’s compact and neat on the outside, with a very funky interior that is a delight to behold. Like the Fiat 500, the dashboard trim matches the colour of the exterior bodywork and the seats at least look stylish, if a little short on legroom in the rear.

So, what it’s like on the road? Well, I’m just heading off on a two-hour drive to Heathrow, to attend a Ferrari press event in Italy. That should give me enough time to report back tomorrow when I am holed up in Maranello.