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Motoring: Extravagant excursions


Opel Adam Glam 

In today’s ever-changing world, consumers want customised, unique and one of a kind products … Enter Opel, who have now joined this race with its all-new Adam. You can totally customise this vehicle to suit your personality or image.

To start with, you have a choice of versions, namely the Adam, Adam Jam and Adam Glam. In each of these you have a choice of body and roof colours. Once you have decided on these, you can choose the colour of the mirror caps and the type of grill finishes. All of this before you start with the interior or even the optional extras.

This new range of vehicle has a unique look that differs from any other Opel or vehicle on the road. The front bumper is elevated to a third of the way up the headlights, and in keeping with this look the fog lights are also placed midway up the bumper. The shape of the headlights together with the bonnet line and bumper give the car a sort of baby Porsche look. The black roof and pillars create the sense of a floating roof. The doors have a crease at the bottom that angles upwards towards the front-wheel arch. Another design crease runs from the top of the door handles all the way to the rear lights.

At the back, the car looks like no other, with its stogie back end and high bumper. The rear lights have a sporty look and the rear fogs and reverse lights are situated in two circular light clusters midway up the bumper in keeping with the look of the front. All in all, the Opel Adam has a cute yet sporty look to it.

The test vehicle was the top of the range Adam Glam in ‘The Greyfather’ colour. Inside, the dashboard had an autumn leaf pattern, which had a high-quality look and feel. The drop-down section housed the touch-screen infotainment system. Circular climate controls completed the centre console. The sporty three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is chunky and easy to use, and the speedometer and tachometer cluster is large and easily readable. The test vehicle had a Starz headliner with 64 LED lights. This may sound tacky, but it actually looked good and gave the car a rather exclusive look at night. The rear seats are comfy, but access is not that easy. The boot is rather small, so don’t plan to do your monthly grocery shopping in one go, unless you drop the seats and load through. This too will not be that easy as the boot opening is rather high, so you will have to lift the bags a fair height to get them into the boot.

On the road, the car felt surefooted and nippy – so much so that I had to double-check the specifications on the vehicle. I was certain that the vehicle was fitted with at least a 1,4-litre turbo-charged motor, if not a 1,6. To my surprise, the vehicle is fitted with a 1,0-litre three-cylinder turbo-charged motor. This meant that not only was the vehicle impressively quick, but it was frugal too.

Could this vehicle get any better? Well, it can. As this is a city vehicle, you will be manoeuvring in and out of tight spaces, and this could make your arms look like those of a muscle man. Opel had a solution: they have put a city button on the dashboard that converts the well-balanced steering wheel into an extremely light and easy-to-turn one. It’s fantastic for parking or making quick manoeuvres and what’s best, when you need a rather firm steering to manage high-speed corners, you simply deactivate the city mode and it’s back to the boy racer feel.

The Opel Adam could be the biggest small car to hit the South African market. Not only is it sporty and fun to drive, it looks amazing as well. Furthermore, it is frugal and comes in better priced than its competitors. All in all a winner. The beginning of a new generation of possibilities.

VW Touareg 3.0 TDI

VW was one of the first to launch a luxury off-road vehicle that was not only comfy but extremely capable. The latest incarnation of the Touareg shows how the vehicle has matured over the years.

To start with, the new look has a distinctive sophistication to it with its all-new headlights that have bi-xenon lighting with LED daytime running lights. The new grill and bumper treatment fit snugly in place with the bonnet creases flowing from the headlights towards the rear-view mirrors. The pronounced wheel arches and large-diameter wheels give the vehicle a certain presence, like the tall person in a room. The smooth doors have a slight curve that extends outwards towards the bottom, enhancing the overall aerodynamics of the vehicle. At the back, the new light cluster makes the vehicle look part of the family in that it looks like a grown-up Golf. The twin exhaust pipes finish off the rear perfectly with a sense of balance.

The test vehicle was deep black and was fitted with a brownish interior that not only added to the exclusivity but also to the look and feel of the vehicle. It also brought a good balance of light and dark to the interior.

The seats were typical squared VW seats with added lumbar support that is controlled electronically. The leather colour was extended to the door trimming and the dashboard. If there is one thing that sets this Touareg apart from its predecessor it’s the attention to detail and luxury fittings. The dashboard has been well appointed and is very neat with its touchscreen infotainment system and a few buttons and knobs to control everything in the vehicle. This gives the vehicle a sort of clinical, minimalist feel. The air vents have brushed aluminium surrounds in keeping with the exclusivity look and feel. The leather-bound multifunction steering wheel is well balanced and easy to use. There is also a split opening armrest in front where you can store all your odds and ends. The rear seats are extremely comfy and leg room is up there with the best in its class. The load bay is equally impressive – not only is it big, but it is almost a perfect square making it easy to load almost anything. What’s more, the vehicle automatically lowers when you open the boot making it easier to load. For all you off-roaders, don’t stress, you can lock it into place when off-roading so that the vehicle will not lower itself when you have parked on some rocks.

Talking of off-roading: this vehicle has a go-anywhere attitude and a drive train to match it thanks to the raised air suspension and the central and rear diff locks, teamed with a silky smooth yet potent 3,0-litre diesel engine. Even though the vehicle is capable, you need to ensure that the driver knows what to do to ensure a smooth ride for all. On the road, the vehicle is equally efficient. It drives well and handles any road surface with ease. At high speeds, the Touareg can be lowered to enhance road holding by lowering the centre of gravity. It also has ample torque, so no matter whether you are overtaking or pulling a trailer, the vehicle handles it with ease. Ugly tow bars are also not the order of the day, as you can order your Touareg with an optional foldaway tow bar, which means that when it is not in use it is totally hidden.

In essence, VW has managed to raise the bar in the luxury SUV market: not only with the Touareg’s striking looks and amazing capability, but also with its luxury and comfort features. This is an off-road family vehicle in a suit.

Manufacturer specifications

Opel Adam Glam

Engine: 1,0L 3-cylinder    Turbo

Power: 85 kW

Torque: 166 Nm

0–100 km/h: 9,9 s (claimed)

Fuel: Average 5,1 L /100 km

CO2: 119 g/km

Price: From R232 900

VW Touareg 3.0 TDI

Engine: 3,0L V6-cylinder Turbo Diesel

Power: 180 kW

Torque: 550 Nm

0–100 km/h: 7,8 s (claimed)

Fuel: Average 7,3 l /100 km

CO2: 193 g/km

Price: From R808 400

AUTHOR: Torque Talk is a member of SAGMJ