The Opel Adam Rocks is a new addition to the Adam city car family and it is what Opel is branding as an “urban mini crossover”. The changes are largely cosmetic, but the launch of the Adam Rocks coincides with the arrival of Opel’s new 1.0 litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, so it’s kind of like meeting Adam for the first time all over again!
With a second chance to impress, this is what we really need to find out: is it worth forking out just under €21,000 for a trendy small car like Opel Adam Rocks?
Watch the video review of the Opel Adam Rocks, or scroll down for the written review:
Well on looks alone, it’s a definite yes. Opel Adam Rocks really stands out so be warned this car is not for shy types who don’t like drawing attention to themselves! Opel has lashed on some extra grey plastic cladding along the lower sills and around the wheel arches, and raised the ride height by 15mm. The results give the Adam Rocks real attitude, with a wider, more aggressive stance than a standard Adam. There are still loads of customisation options to choose from so change the wheels, colour of the roof, or add a few stickers at your will!
Inside, the cabin has a real boutique feel. Every inch of it has been styled, with bits of body coloured dash and textured plastics making it feel a bit special. Your friends will definitely know this is no budget city car when they sit in. Adam Rocks comes with the addition of a full length panoramic canvas roof that can be opened at the touch of a button from the cabin. It gives the Adam Rocks a bit of a novelty value and it looks very cool when let back – while also flooding the cabin with light.
The small dimensions are great for parking and manoeuvrability but not so good for space for carrying rear passengers or cargo. The space inside is more comparative to a Fiat 500 than the larger MINI Hatch and DS 3. The boot is small at 170 litres with a typical narrow but deep shape, and while you will fit two adults in the back, the space is tight back there. But if you drive solo most of the time, or with a friend occasionally, you won’t care.
To accommodate the higher ride height, parts of the chassis, suspension and steering have been retuned. The Adam Rocks is all the better for these changes. It’s more comfortable out on the open road; it’s still quite a firm ride but you only notice this over very poor road surfaces, and that kind of goes with the territory of a small sporty hatch like the Adam Rocks.
I was really impressed with how the car performed on the motorway for a car with such a short wheelbase. It feels stable and planted like a larger car and a bit of added weight to the steering makes the Adam Rocks feel less nervous at speed. It feels gloriously agile around town and accurate steering, lots of grip and a nice, connected to the road feel make it a fun drive through the bends out of town.
There is a little more outdoor noise reaching the cabin with the full metal roof lacking in the Opel Adam Rocks, but it’s not much of a compromise in the grand scheme of things.
My test car was fitted with Opel’s new 1.0 three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and it’s a little gem. It pumps out 115PS and there’s lots of low end torque so it pulls really hard from low revs. It feels really fast, though petrolheads will probably think I’m crazy as 0-100kmh in 9.9 seconds is hardly blistering by today’s standards but somehow it feels potent in a small car like this.
Refinement is also very good for this three cylinder engine. You can barely hear the engine ticking over when the car is idling; you only really hear it when you put your foot down hard on the accelerator, which you will be doing because you’re having so much fun – and then it’s a nice noise! There is also a 1.4 litre petrol engine with 100PS available, but if your budget can stretch at all, I would highly recommend the turbo unit.
The official economy for Opel Adam Rocks with the 1.0 litre Turbo engine is just over 55mpg. I managed 47mpg over about 500kms of driving on a mixture of roads. Road tax for this model is €200 per year.
In addition to the visual and mechanical updates outlined above, Adam Rocks comes with 17” alloys, air conditioning, leather covered steering wheel, CD player with USB and Aux-in connection, Bluetooth, digital radio, and LED daytime running lights and tail lights.
Opel’s Intellilink infotainment system can be added as an option and adds a touchscreen in the centre of the dash.
The Opel Adam Rocks is competing in a segment where style and image are more important than space and practicality. For a trendy car like the Adam Rocks – the chunky good looks, polished interior, funky colour options and canvas roof – you do pay a price premium. But is it worth it?
Well, yes, because when you take away all the cosmetic stuff, the Adam Rocks is still a great car to drive, up there in terms of driver enjoyment with the DS 3 and MINI Hatch. It’s got that sporty edge to it – the zippiness and taut handling – but the engineering is sophisticated enough under the skin to make the car feel solid and dependable for the long haul. In terms of space, the Adam Rocks is more comparative to a Fiat 500, but it is a far more mature and cultivated drive than the tiny Fiat.
The extra few thousand euro you pay over a standard Adam for the Adam Rocks is well-rewarded in terms of the image upgrade and a better driving car with superior ride and handling. Engine choice does play a factor however, and the new 1.0L Turbo is an ideal mate for Adam Rocks, with more life in it than the old 1.4 litre petrol can muster.
Opel is onto a winner with this car. As far as I can see the only challenge for Opel is to get the target market out of their MINIs and into this!
Model Tested: Opel Adam Rocks 1.0 litre Turbo
Engine: 1.0 litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol
Power: 115PS (113bhp)
0-100km/h: 9.9 seconds
Economy: 55.4mpg (5.1l/100km)
CO2 Emissions: 119g/km
Motor Tax: €200 per year
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