Vauxhall’s warmed-up Adam is a grand idea

The Adam might be Vauxhall’s response to the hugely popular Mini but, until now, what the car lacked was a genuine performance model. The imaginatively named Grand Slam is Vauxhall’s Adam GTI, a car promising a bit more thrust while remaining manageable for day-to-day duties.
2015 Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam2015 Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam
2015 Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam

Key to the Grand Slam’s appeal is the 150 horsepower produced by its 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine. You can expect brisk acceleration and a suitably sporty ride thanks to the various changes made to enhance the Adam’s driving characteristics.

In reality the Adam Grand Slam is more of a warm than hot hatch, but that hasn’t stopped Vauxhall from ramping up the car’s looks. Key to its visual appeal is its sporty bodykit and low profile tyres running on large alloy wheels. And while you’ve always been able to customise the Adam’s interior, the Grand Slam adds plenty of performance car touches by way of bright trim colours and accents.

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Vauxhall doesn’t pitch the Adam as a family hatch and, like so many compact GTI models, the focus is very much on the front seats with this Grand Slam variant. For occasional use the rear seats are child friendly in a pinch, but that’s not why you buy this car. Up front, the sports seats do a fine job of keeping you in one place, while there’s enough oddment storage space to make this warm hatch a sensible daily driver. At the back the car’s boot is a good size and folding the rear seats liberates some welcome extra space.

If you’re expecting a quiet, refined and super-smooth driving experience then the Adam Grand Slam will surprise you. In a similar vein to models from Vauxhall’s full-on VXR performance sub-brand, the Grand Slam is proud to be loud. It’s all relative of course, but this warmed-over Adam boasts detailed spring and damper changes to ensure it can make the most of its 150 horsepower.

It’s also borrowed the beefier brakes from the previous generation Corsa VXR, which results in no shortage of stopping power. And the car’s 1.4-litre turbo motor serves up a decent slug of power and torque, allowing you to make light work of challenging and twisty B roads. The good news is that the engine responds well to lots of throttle, with the resulting exhaust note a pleasingly sporty one.

As one of the high-value models in the Adam range, the Grand Slam’s main appeal comes from its sporting character. While not the fastest or most powerful in the GTI class, it offers a good mix of real world performance and sensible economy. Factor in a generous amount of standard kit and Vauxhall has made picking a winner in this sector that bit more difficult.

As a range of cars the Adam offers buyers the chance to pick something more distinctive than the average compact hatchback. The same is true of this sporty Grand Slam variant, which offers distinctive styling alongside a reasonable turn of speed. The Adam is the ideal car for anyone seeking to stand out from the crowd, yet the Grand Slam experience is also a rewarding one if you’re after a brisk, characterful small car.

Fast Facts

Vauxhall Adam Grand Slam £16,995

Engine: 1.4-litre petrol unit producing 150bhp

Transmission: 6-speed manual driving the front wheels

Performance: Top speed 130mph, 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds

Economy: 47.9mpg combined

Emissions:139g/km of CO2