Not too long ago, in the 90s, Opel was synonymous with Monzas and Kadetts that had the solidity of a Lego house assembled by a toddler. Quality levels did improve over the following years, but not too long ago Opel South Africa’s range, if you can call it that, consisted of a mere four models: the Astra, Meriva, Corsa and a Renault van. The Astra is an excellent car, but somewhat undiscovered by local buyers. The Meriva is a clever, versatile family car, but flies under the radar. The Corsa was a respectable but dull appliance that became rental car fodder.

So you’d like a boutique hatchback, but find the Fiat 500 a little too small, and the Mini and Citroën DS3 too pricey? Apparently, this sub-segment does exist, because Opel just launched exactly that car, in the form of the stylish new Adam. Designed to appeal to the fashion-conscious city dweller, it offers all the style and luxury demanded by style driven buyers. It also fits neatly, both size- and price-wise, into the gap between the (smaller) Fiat and the (larger) Mini and DS3.

For those who desire a car-like driving experience and reasonable fuel consumption, but needs the extra space afforded by a raised roofline and hatchback layout, a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) makes perfect sense. Strange then, that this market niche has almost been abandoned in South Africa, in favour of raised-body quasi off-roaders.