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NOT everyone knows how big Adam Opel was but anyone can tell that the Opel Adam is a small but distinctive urban runabout.
The Opel Adam is named after Adam Opel, the founder of the German carmaker. The three-door hatchback is diminutive at barely 3.7 metres in length with a 2,311mm wheelbase. But it is also very trendy with a mind-boggling range of customisation possibilities.
There are a dozen (literally) exterior paint choices with black and white roof options for a two-tone effect. The colour of the front grille's logo bar can be changed, while the door mirror caps come in a number of designs.
Inside, there are various colour choices for the centre console and dashboard. Ditto the leather-wrapped steering wheel and rear view mirror.
Standard equipment includes the seven-inch centre touchscreen incorporating Apple CarPlay, which takes care of the smartphone connection with its navigation and Siri capabilities.
Even with some bits of plastic chrome, the interior of this supermini generally feels upscale, with a soft-touch dashboard and solid build.
There are only four seats and despite its dimensions, two average-sized adults are able to sit one in front of the other with acceptable legroom for both, as long as neither is too demanding. What is surprisingly good, though, is the rear headroom.
Underneath, the Adam has the typical small Opel suspension set-up of front MacPherson struts and a rear torsion beam for rather competent handling.
The Adam is not only nimble but takes sweeping curves confidently and accurately. It is almost fun to drive.
But with a kerb weight of just 1,045 kg, it reminds you that it is a light car, especially when the digital speedo is on the wrong side of 120 kmh.
The Adam's 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is naturally aspirated and pumps out a maximum of 87 hp to the front wheels, thus keeping the small Opel firmly in COE Category A. The 130 Nm of torque available is adequate, with the Easytronic transmission helping to eke out every ounce of oomph.
The Easytronic is actually a manual gearbox which does away with a clutch pedal by using an electro-hydraulic actuator to do the shifting.
It is more direct than a conventional auto transmission with a torque converter, and therefore more fuel-efficient. Opel claims petrol consumption of 4.7 litres per 100 km under the combined cycle, or an eye-popping 21.3 km per litre.
However, it also means you have to ease off the gas pedal slightly when the gears shift to avoid any jerkiness. But this is most noticeable only during the transition from first to second gear.
For manual shifting, the gear lever can be slotted into manual mode, which makes it not only a more involving but also more enthusiastic drive.
There are city cars, and there are city cars with attitude. Because of its cool styling and personalisation potential, the Opel Adam is one of the latter.
Opel Adam 1.4 Easytronic
Engine: 1,398 cc inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed Easytronic automated manual transmission
Max power: 87 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Max torque: 130 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
0-100 kmh: 13.9 secs
Top speed: 178 kmh
CO2 emissions: 109 g/km
Average OMV: S$16,700
Price: S$96,888 (with COE)
Distributor: Auto Germany