Vauxhall Adam: proof that too much choice is a bad thing?
I’ve just got back from the launch of Vauxhall’s Adam. Cuter than a Corsa, with elements of other superminis, it’s the brand’s first foray into‘fashion cars’. But what really sets the Adam apart is the number of optional extras.
With over a million (that’s right, a million) different combinations of trim levels, paint colours, wheels, engines, seat fabrics, graphics and other accessories, the odds of spotting two identical Adams are virtually nil.
The Adam is, without doubt, the most infinitely customisable car in history.
When choosing is a chore
The Adam appeals to a generation used to abundance of choice: on the supermarket shelves, on TV and online.
Options range from the useful – auto parking, integrated bicycle carrier, ‘infotainment’ system that syncs with your smartphone – to the plain bonkers. Try £325 for the ‘sky at night’ interior lining,which contains 64 white LEDs designed to look like stars.
You can also change the colour of the roof, door mirrors, dashboard, door panels, seats, floor mats and even individual alloy wheel spokes. But I just can’t be bothered. Frankly, trying to configure my own ‘personal’ Adam gives me a headache.
Opting out of options
Of course, the idea of being able to customise your car with myriad options is nothing new – Mini has earned a healthy profit from doing this for years. It’s quite possible to double the price of a basic Mini or Audi A1 with extras, and doubtless some customers do.
I prefer the Japanese and Korean way of doing things, though: a decent level of standard equipment and a few well-chosen trim levels. That way you don’t feel like a pauper for driving a base-spec car, and you don’t need to spend three days in the showroom agonising over colour samples.
There’s also less risk of creating a one-off ‘personalised’ car that nobody will want to buy in a few years’ time. Depreciation is usually the biggest cost when it comes to running a car, and decimating your Adam’s resale value with ‘Splat’ graphics and ‘Papa Don’t Peach’ paint (no, we’re not making this up) surely won’t help.
Maybe I just don’t ‘get’ the Adam. Maybe I’m not cool enough for so many optional extras. But there’s nothing less cool than trying too hard. And this car tried my patience.
What do you think about optional extras on cars?
It depends - as long as there aren't too many options (50%, 74 Votes)
They're silly - too many customisable options is a bad thing (31%, 45 Votes)
They're great - I like the freedom to customise my car (19%, 28 Votes)
Total Voters: 147
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