We spent a holiday with the limited edition Opel Adam Rocks light crossover. Does it have enough substance to justify its price premium?
Since its local introduction, the groovy Opel Adam has been relatively successful, with sales of just over 100 units a month. Even though those volumes seem small by mainstream light hatchback standards, they represent healthy numbers for a niche offering, especially when you consider that the Adam’s small luggage bay and three-door configuration limit its practicality.
Following a brace of new vehicle introductions in 2015 (Corsa and Mokka), Opel recently bolstered the Adam model line-up with the launch of a special edition Adam Rocks derivative, which will be made available in limited numbers only. We tested the newcomer for 2 000 km during the holiday season to see what, if anything, extra it brings to the party. Let’s take a closer look…
The Styling Rocks
The Opel Adam’s styling is youthful and quirky in ways that younger buyers will appreciate. Even so, and despite its diminutive size, the Adam Rocks carries itself with maturity too. Chrome-look trim along the upper edges of the side windows and three-quarter light and -detailing in the bumpers give the Adam Rocks an air of sophistication. This test unit is dressed in what Opel calls Saturday White Fever, a funky name for an otherwise run-of-the-mill colour. If white is too mundane, you might be pleased to know the Rocks is available in Red ‘n Roll and (luminous yellow) Goldbuster.
Being an Adam, several personalisation options are available to buyers, making it an attractive proposition for people who like to individualise their cars. It can be differentiated from the Adam Jam and Glam models by the protective anthracite cladding around its wheel arches, sills and front and rear skid plates, its ride height has been raised by 15mm and a sliding SwingTop canvas roof (particularly useful on those hot summer days) is fitted. Furthermore, the Rocks rides on 18-inch Twister alloys wheels with easily interchangeable wheel clips — in case you want to spice things up!
The Interior Rocks
The cabin features quality finishes and overall build quality is excellent. The seats are trimmed in cloth, offer good lateral support and are manually adjustable for height, while the multi-function, leather-wrapped steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach. Buyers can choose various interior colour combinations; the Tinted Steel interior trim in the test unit is particularly upbeat. The Rocks also features a mildly revised instrument cluster and aluminium sport pedals that look racy.
A 7-inch IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system dominates the central dashboard and comes preloaded with useful apps, including BringGo navigation, and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The system is relatively intuitive to use, as well as Bluetooth compatible. Selecting music tracks or taking calls is as easy as operating the function button or scroller on the steering wheel. iPhone users also have access to Siri Eyes Free which allows for a range of tasks to be conducted without lifting a finger. A USB and Aux port are also included if you need it.
In terms of space, the driver and front passenger are afforded surprisingly generous head and shoulder room, climate control air-conditioning and electric windows. To access the rear seats, a simple latch slides the front seat forward so that passengers can pile in, but taller passengers will find the space quite cramped with limited legroom. Boot space is small at 170L, which we found especially problematic on longer trips. Thankfully the rear seats can split and fold forward, which increases space to 484L. There are two large bottle/cup holders for rear seat passengers.
The Drive Rocks
The Adam Rocks is fitted with the same 3-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo engine that powers the Adam Jam and Glam models as well as most Corsa models and although you might scoff at this small capacity engine, it punches well above its weight. With 85 kW and 170 Nm driving the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission, the Adam offers flexible performance. It’s brisk — as opposed to fast — but has sufficient power to zip around the city with a modicum of fun thrown into the mix. Out on the highway, the Adam Rocks is right at home and in-gear acceleration is excellent. The Adam Rocks handles well too; courtesy of its wider stance, it can negotiate corners with confidence.
For improved manoeuvrability, a driver can switch to City Mode by pressing a button on the facia. It loosens up the Adam Rocks’ electrically assisted steering to help make light work of tricky parking situations. Cruise control, which can be operated via the steering wheel controls, made long distance driving comfortable and we were impressed by its composure on a variety of road surfaces. What’s more, it returned decent fuel consumption figures. Opel claims an average fuel consumption of 5.0L/100km and during our extended test period, we achieved a reasonable 6.8L/100km.
The Adam Rocks is also packed with useful driver assist systems such as Side Blind Spot Alert and front and rear park distance control. A nice-to-have feature is the Advanced Park Assist, which scouts a suitable parking spot through using sensors on the sides of the vehicle and then takes over the steering to manoeuvre into the area… All you have to do is follow the instructions on the touchscreen and accelerate gently while eating your ice-cream and voila, you’re parked!
There is a comprehensive complement of safety features on the Adam Rocks, including six airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, ISOFIX child seat mounts and front seatbelt pretensioners. A tyre monitoring system is also included.
Opel Adam Rocks Price in South Africa
The Opel Adam Rocks is priced at R273 400 and is sold with a 5-year / 120 000km warranty, 3-year / 60 000 km service plan and roadside assistance.
The Opel Adam Rocks is a characterful, quality product with oodles of charm. It’s well built, drives well and packed with kit. The SwingTop roof is a great feature too. However, the Adam Rocks will never be more than a fringe player in the light crossover market. It’s a small car with big features, but the fact that interior space is limited will steer buyers to other brands that offer more practical and spacious products for far less money. The Adam Rocks may therefore be a push too far many buyers — but if you like the Adam then the Jam (R214 200) and Glam (R236 000) models are well worth a look. Money might not be able to buy you love, but it can buy you an Adam Rocks…
The Adam Rocks takes a chic offering and makes it a more niche proposition. It is more exclusive thanks to just 150 models being made available, but I'd recommend the standard Adam over the Rocks version. That said, it's still fun, fuel efficient and stylish. Ashley Oldfield
We Like: Styling, engine performance, quality interior, features
We Don’t Like: Small Boot, a bit pricey