A big seller in other territories, the Vauxhall/Opel Nova flopped disastrously when it was launched in Spain – you see, in Spanish, the phrase “No va” means “It doesn’t go”!
Toyota’s Cedric, Nissan’s Bluebird, Daihatsu’s Charade and Lancia’s Dedra also suffered from rubbish names that sealed their fate as flops.
Finding a name tag that is not already in use and doesn’t have some unfortunate meaning in some other language in the global marketplace is increasingly difficult. So, in an age when just about everything is becoming digitised it’s no surprise that many makers now give their vehicles numbers instead of names.
General Motors, Toyota and Ford – coincidentally the world’s three biggest car makers – are, however, sticking resolutely to the name game and thus, from GM’s Vauxhall we have the new Adam.
Now it’s not a particularly potent name but Vauxhall have expressed high hopes that this perky little creation will provide serious competition in the highly competitive small car market segment.
While the hot rival Fiat 500 has taken a retro approach in its styling – to much acclaim and bulging order books – the Adam is determinedly cutting edge contemporary in its approach.
To assure as wide a market demand as possible, it comes with a whole raft of trim personalisation options that ensure each one is unique. Here too there’s play on words with the cheap as chips version dubbed the Jam, the middle one the Glam and the all-singing, all dancing rang-topper the Slam. There’s also a cabriolet version due for release and a desirable sporty VRX rendition is rumoured to be on the way.
The cabin is light and airy and attractively furnished though rather cramped in the rear while the boot could be bigger. It’s a three-door hatchback but those doors open big and wide.
You sit on the seats rather than in them, making the car feel a little wayward when pressing on, but in reality there’s lots of grip. This is something more than just a city car and long journeys weren’t unpleasant or demanding.
Surprisingly, there’s no diesel available as yet so you’ll have to choose between rather 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines, lifted from the sister Vauxhall Corsa, which will offer combined cycle fuel consumption of around 55-mpg but are rather aged designs that don’t qualify for low emissions road tax incentives.
Expect far better performance from the soon to arrive 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol unit.
Insurance costs are low and there’s a generous long-term warranty and some attractive finance deals. You can put yourself at the wheel of an Adam Jam for as little as £99 per month. On the road prices range from £11,255 to £14,000.