Monday – Lounging About

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The original Fiat 500 was launched in 1957 – I think my father was involved in the Suez Crisis a few months before that! One of the crazy facts that resulted from the launch of the new 500 is that prices of the original have gone sky high. I recently saw one advertised for £7,000!

And while change isn’t always for the better, the new version has brakes that actually stop the car and airbags from all angles. It also boats hazard warning lights that are activated automatically when the brakes are applied hard. Clever.

I genuinely like the 500 and if I could find an excuse to to buy one as a city car it would beat the Mini and the Vauxhall Adam (also tested on this site). The styling and interior are just a cut above and give the 500 a genuine feel-good factor.

My choice would be the top-of-the-range Lounge version because it adds alloy wheels, glass roof and Bluetooth connectivity. The Colour Therapy has neither and even with air conditioning and electric windows, it does seem a little expensive compared to some other city cars out there.

An example? Well, if you can live with the styling, the brilliant new Hyundai i10 starts at around £8,200 and is superbly equipped. It just won’t put a smile on your face, that’s all…

 

 

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…