The Vauxhall Adam is a well priced car at its headline figure, and although it’s simple enough to up the price by ticking option boxes, that’s true of its rivals. It’s only to be expected when a car is this customisable, and we rather like the way that it can be specified to individual taste.

But like decorating a house a few years prior to selling it, buyers ought to exercise some care. As with a Mini or Fiat 500, it would be particularly easy to pick options that nobody will want come resale time.

Hilton Holloway

Associate editor
You have to pay extra for the Ecoflex stop-start — without it, emissions rise by 6g/km to 124g/km

The Vauxhall will already have a tough enough time, with residual values predicted to be a few per cent lower than a 500’s and more than 10 per cent lower than a Mini One after three years/36,000 miles.

We did record a decent level of economy, mind you: the Adam 1.2 EcoFlex returned 45.4mpg on a touring run, with 39.2mpg overall. That compares with the official combined figure of 56.5mpg. It’s the fuel economy champion in the range, but official figures are generally worse for Adams fitted with 18in wheels, compared with 16 or 17-inchers.

Vauxhall says you can expect around 55.4mpg on the combined cycle from either of the 1.4-litre units, which in the real world should be comparable with the 1.2. Cars without stop-start are around 3mpg worse off than cars equipped with the system. 

Top 5 City cars

  • The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

    Volkswagen Up

    1
  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

    Hyundai i10

    2
  • The Celerio is an all-new city car from Suzuki

    Suzuki Celerio

    3
  • Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

    Fiat Panda

    4
  • Renault Twingo
    The Twingo is a compact, rear-engined city car

    Renault Twingo

    5

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Vauxhall range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    2 September 2015
    Kia facelifts its Cee'd and drops its six-speed torque converter in favour of a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox in the process. We drive it for the first time
  • First Drive
    1 September 2015
    Kia has developed a better-mannered, more sophisticated Sportage for 2016
  • First Drive
    31 August 2015
    Thought the 3 Series was losing its edge? Well it's back, with a facelifted version that offers improved performance and dynamics. Does it reclaim its top spot after our drive on UK roads?
  • First Drive
    27 August 2015
    BMW gives its flagship 7 Series an extensive overhaul in a bid to tempt buyers of luxury cars away from the Mercedes S-Class, Audi's A8 and the Jaguar XJ
  • First Drive
    26 August 2015
    New Qashqai rival majors on practicality and usability and benefits from a long warranty, but lower-specification versions are the better bet