Fiat 500 versus Vauxhall Adam
The 500’s been queen of metrosexual city cars for five years. Now Vauxhall wants in
Posted: 15 Mar 2013
Our mid-spec Adam makes near-identical power to the Fiat's twin, but through far more conventional means: a four-cylinder, non-turbo petrol making 86bhp (there's an entry-level 69bhp 1.2-litre four-pot and a 100bhp version of this n/a engine, too). Against the chirpy TwinAir, this 1.4 feels firmly, resolutely... like an engine. Press the throttle, and it goes faster; release the throttle, and it goes slower. And that's about it: nothing exciting to report in the noise or fizz department. But it does its job, hauling the Adam up to pace with minimal drama and a hint of drone. It's easier to balance throttle and clutch here than in the peaky, long-geared 500, which requires revs to get it spinning.
We struggled to top 40mpg in either: not so criminal for the Adam, which quotes 55.4mpg, but more worrying for the ‘71mpg' 500. And it's not just our hammer-footed driving: consensus from owners is that the Fiat falls far shorter of its claimed mpg figures that most. But, with CO2 emissions of 92g/km, at least it escapes VED - the Adam, even with stop/start, coughs out 119g/km.