Many buyers will understandably gravitate towards models at the sportier end of the Vauxhall Adam range, with the promise of bigger wheels and lower, stiffer suspension. But choose at your own risk.
Models with sports suspension configurations pick up every surface nuance as speed rises. They certainly look the part, but drivers looking for a more relaxed and cosseting ride will do well to ignore the racy trappings of sports suspension.
But if you are tempted by the idea of sporting pretensions, then the Adam S is for you. Not hot enough to warrant VXR designation, the hottest Adam still comes with 148bhp, and can complete 0-62mph in 8.5sec while toting an official 47.8mpg, marking it out as the quick Adam. To go with the oomph Vauxhall has equipped it with a body kit, tuned chassis with uprated springs and dampers, VXR brakes and Recaro seats.
But among the regular models, the entry-level Jam represents a significant improvement in ride over its more expensive siblings. For a start, on its modestly sized 195/55 R16 tyres, it rides decently. It’s not massively better than the sports-suspended models around town, but the difference at speed is stark.
At low speed it suffers the same problem as any other Adam – and, to some extent, most other very short cars – in that no sooner has the front suspension had to deal with a heady surface input, it’s the rear’s turn, and that can leads to a particularly unsatisfactory bounce.
However, while the high tyre sidewalls on lower-spec models protect the Adam from small imperfections and prove their worth at higher speed, there is a payoff in steering precision compared to sports-suspended models. Here the electrically assisted system is always light – light enough that, even around town, we found no need to push the ‘City’ button to ease it further. It is also acceptably accurate and, at 2.8 turns from lock to lock, of middling speed.
It reflects the rest of the dynamic ability in that there’s nothing here to get excited about which, in a class dominated by cars that are intentionally fun to drive, is a pity.