Opel Adam S – Review

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the Opel Karl, a sensible city car. More recently, I had his older brother; Adam S. Adam first appeared on the scene in 2013 to rival the Fiat 500 and the Citreon DS3DSC_0002 (Now known as just DS3). He aimed at being a funky and fun city car. However Adam S, is a completely different story. Adam S packs 150hp and 220Nm out of a 1.4 turbo petrol engine, so its rivals are upgraded to the Abarth 595 and the DS3 DSport.

A Few Facts:
Model Tested: Opel Adam S
Engine: 1.4 Turbo Petrol  – 150hp and 220Nm
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual, Front Wheel Drive
Price: The Adam range starts from €15,795 with the S starting at €20,750. As tested – €24,400, including options.

Adam S is the opposite of Karl, he is the popular one, the loud one and the one that requires all the attention. DSC_0001In most cases this can be annoying but not this time. Adam S rewards you for his garish personality because he is a very fun car to drive. I would even go as far as to say that I could see myself buying one over the Corsa OPC, his older brother. The punchy little 1.4 Turbo petrol engine is great and makes a fantastic sound.

Adam S would be considered more of a “warm hatch” than a hot hatch. Although it produces 150hp and 220Nm, it doesn’t tick the boxes in terms of practicality. DSC_0020The boot space is a mere 170 litres but is deep. This means a high loading lip so it is awkward to lift heavy items out of it. The rear seats may as well not be there. Not only is the leg room and head room a little bit too cosy for anyone older than the age of eight, but you can only experience being a rear passenger if you can get into the rear in the first place. DSC_0012My test car was equipped with the optional Recaro leather bucket seats (€2000). Trying to fold and push the seats forward required a lot of force and they ended up just folding back upright unless you held them forward. An awkward design.

But for me, this can be forgiven. Adam S is meant to be a fun and quick city car and it does this very well. DSC_0034Its small so it can squeeze through tight gaps easily, its punchy little turbo gets up to 60km/h in just 8.5 seconds and even though the boot is small it is enough for the weekly shop or for a few shopping bags. It also has a lot of road presence, for such a small car. It got a lot of approving looks and a lot of my neighbours asked many questions about it. It helps that its finished in an attractive colour scheme of Forgotten About Grey and Red’n’Roll with the standard 18 inch alloys. Good job Opel.

As for the infotainment system, Adam S doesn’t come standard with IntelliLink. It is part of the Technical Pack (€750) DSC_0032but it includes the 7-inch display (compatible with Apply Car Play) and parking sensors. As usual, the IntelliLink is easy to use but can be a bit a of pain if you unpair your phone from Bluetooth and try to re-pair it. It took me about 10 minutes to get the IntelliLink to find my phone and connect back up again. Otherwise, it is good. The sound system is pretty decent too.


Adam S starts at €20,750 but add the Winter Pack (€350), a lighting pack (€300), technical pack (€750), the Red’n’Roll roof colour (€250) and the Recaros (€2000) and you quickly have Adam S setting you back €24,400. Road tax is €280 for the year and the real life fuel economy is 6.7l/100km DSC_0031(Admittedly that included me having fun too). Overall though, it is quite affordable. The Abarth 595 isn’t officially sold here but an Irish Fiat main dealer told us it would start at around €30,000 (including VRT) and the DS3 starts at €25,645. This puts Adam S at the top in terms of price.

Is it worth €24,400? Yes. Considering this includes the options too, it is a good price for what you get. Adam S is great craic. He is fun to drive, fun to listen to and great to look at. One thing I would say for definite is, save yourself €10,000 and consider the Adam S over the Corsa OPC. It’s worth it, trust me.


Ssangyong Tivoli XLV – Launch

The Ssangyong Tivoli is Ssangyongs attempt to give the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur a run for its money. 20160603_154930Since its launch last May, Ssangyong has only sold just over 130 units.

This week, Ssangyong Ireland launched a longer version of the Tivoli, the Tivoli XLV. The XLV is set to sit along side the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi ASX.

From the front, the XLV doesn’t look a whole lot different than the Tivoli. 20160603_154912One feature I did like was the carbon effect below the front grill and the black trim above the grill connecting the front lights. It is a nice change from the over used chrome from other manufacturers. The main point of change is when you step around the side and to the back that you notice the  new car is over 200mm longer. 20160603_152134Although this accommodates for larger boot space, it doesn’t help the styling of it. The rear has a large overhang makes the design look slightly awkward.

Again, the interior hasn’t changed much from the regular Tivoli. The XLV will be available in either ES or EL trim level. The standard equipment for the ES includes a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system with Tom Tom sat nav, USB/Aux port, Bluetooth, cruise control, automatic headlight sensors, rain sensing wipers and rear parking sensors.20160603_151954 The EL adds front and rear parking sensors and mood lighting for the cabin.

The Cabin space is quite generous too with a lot of head and leg room in both the front and back and with 720 litres of boot space. 20160603_155021 (5)Although this is decreased to 574 litres with the optional spare wheel added.

Only a diesel will be available in the the XLV, the same 1.6 (115hp and 300Nm) as the Tivoli has. It can be mated to either a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic gearbox and either 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. 20160603_155010The pricing on the Tivoli starts at €24,750 for the manual 2WD and up to €32,750 for the 4WD auto.

Overall, I can see the Tivoli XLV selling. Its priced well and has a lot of standard features. Although, the longer shape and extra space in the back is quite misleading as there is no seven seat option. The Tivoli XLV should compete with the Qashqai 2+2 but it does not have the extra row of seats. Will buyers opt for the extra seats?


More News
Ssangyong also announced that they plan to introduce a new model to the Irish market every year including a new/face lifted Rodius, Rexton and Korando Sport all for 2017.20160603_152548

The New Audi A5

This evening, Audi released the new A5 and S5 coupé to the public in a live stream video. Nine years after its first launch, the A4 based coupe has received a make over both technologically and in design.

Static photo, Colour: Florett Silver

What used to be a sleek and elegant design has now been given the new Audi-look. Even though the new car is 60kg lighter than the outgoing model, it has bolder lines but still has that sporty look to it. The front grill is now flatter and wider and the rear LED lights will get the swooping indicators found on most of Audi’s new models.

Static photo, Colour: Florett Silver

The new A5 will get a choice of two TFSI petrol engines and three TDI diesels. The S5 coupé will get a 3.0 V6 TFSI producing 354hp. A six speed manual and a 7 speed automatic S-Tronic gearbox will be available. The eight speed S-Tronic will be kept for the higher powered diesel and S5 models.

Static photo, Colour: Misano Red

The new car will be longer and wider therefore increasing cabin space for both the driver and occupants. It looks much like the rest of the new interiors, found in the A4, Q7 and TT, but looks very well. The boot space offers 465l, up 10l on the old model.



Aswell as Driver Select, Audi Connect and a Bang & Olufsen sound system, the new car will become available with the Audi Virtual Cockpit. Standard equipment includes; Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, LED interior lights, Audi MMI radio plus with 7-inch MMI colour display, Bluetooth and USB charging function, the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel (including shift paddles with the auto gearbox), height-adjustable belt feeds, the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and Audi pre sense city.

The new Audi A5 and S5 Coupé will be launched in Q4 of 2016 with the pricing to be announced later this Summer.

Dynamic photo, Colour: Florett Silver

First Car Ownership Costs

I have owned my SEAT Ibiza, Samantha, for just over a year but it is now time to sell up and move onto better things. In that year I have done over 11,000 miles. I have decided to give you a breakdown in what it has cost me over the year in hope that you can get a better feel of what it is like to own and run your first car. I should mention now that I paid €1,050 for the car.


The Ibiza isn’t too bad on fuel. The petrol tank is 40 litres and takes roughly €50 to fill it. On that, I would get roughly 330 miles or 530km, this equates to an average of about 40MPG or 7.1L/100Km. I mainly do motorway miles in Samantha, which was surprisingly comfortable. Now for the bit you really want to know, how much I spent on petrol. I kept a lot of my receipts but I have bound to have lost a few. So going on what I have, I have spent €1,991.67.

Tax and Insurance

As you all know, I hate Irish insurance companies. You can read about my experiences(rant) here. Last year, before my renewal, I spent €1304.97 for third party, fire and theft. Since my renewal, of €1589.49, I have spent €158.17 because I pay monthly installments. I didn’t bother shopping around for different company because I am selling the car and it wouldn’t make sense to do that for the sake of a month or two. So the total spend on insurance in the past year has been €1463.14.

Samantha only being a 1.2, the tax is stomachable. I bought tax for 6 months twice and for 3 months once, this equals a total spend of €459.


When I bought the car, it had been lying up for a year so it needed a few bits doing to it. I bought new tyres, gave it a basic service and put it through the NCT. Here is a breakdown of what I have paid for:

  • NCT x 2
  • Front brake hoses x 4 (Tried fitting them myself…didn’t go well hence 4 hoses, not 2. )
  • Full set of new tyres
  • Tracking
  • New set of wipers
  • Basic service parts
  • Puncture repair
  • Oil
  • Wishbone bushing
  • Anti roll bar link rod
  • Front top shock mounts x 2
  • Gearbox oil

In total, I spent €1245.45 on maintenance.


The radio in Samantha was the basic, standard radio. I treated myself to a good aul Sony Bluetooth radio, the best €135 I ever spent on Samantha.

So during my ownership Samantha has been treated well. As for my wallet, it hasn’t been treated as well. The total spend comes to €5159.26, almost 5 times what I paid for the car. I should never have written this article… Buying your first car is such a great idea though, you can see why I think so here.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in a bright yellow, fun and characterful SEAT Ibiza, you can see the for sale ad here. Whats next for Ian? All going well, an R53 Mini Cooper S. If you want to this happen, then buy my car!