$16,490 – $20,990
Good: Low starting price; Updated styling inside and out; Six airbags as standard.
Not so Good: It feels like a cheap car; manual gearbox is below par; far from class-leading.
Design and Engineering
Good : The sixth generation Holden Barina sedan arrived down under in February 2012 featuring headlight and grille designs that look similar to the Captive range.
The new Barina boasts a more aggressive and muscular appearance with a wide stance, sharp body panels and sporty proportions.
Up front the the Barina features sharp ‘eagle’ like headlights that adds to the aggressive styling.
Not so good : The new aggressive and muscular appearance might deter some female customers from the Barina, luckily Holden offer the cute little Spark hatch.
Interior and Styling
Good : Inside the Barina features a pretty funky interior that takes design cues from its smaller sibling the Spark.
The design theme has an aviation feel to it, with its round afterburner air vents and the way each panel features sharp lines.
The family resemblance continues with the Barina featuring an ice blue LCD gauge cluster and centre stack that look very similar to the Spark hatch.
Also, the massive 502-litre illuminated boot is a bonus and easily swallows the weekly shop.
Not so good : The updated dash still lags behind leading competitors with Holden making use of hard plastics and the overall ‘fit and finish’ isn’t quite there.
Good : The Barina is powered by a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 85kw of power and 155Nm of torque when matched to the 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with active select (option). With a driver and one passenger on board the 1.6-litre has more than enough power for city cruising.
Not so good : The 1.6-litre sounds very harsh under acceleration and there is a bit of vibration at highway speeds.
Ride and Handling
Good : Ride and handling is comparable with other Supermini’s; sedan bodystyle feels stiffer and the wider track (than the hatch) helps with high-speed stability.
Not so good : The power steering is not the best, being a touch too heavy in heavy traffic; cabin noise at highway speeds; standard tyres lack grip.
Buying and Owning
Good : The Barina nameplate is well known to Aussie buyers; the 5-star ANCAP rating is a massive tick. The front end styling is one of the most attractive we’ve seen on a supermini in a little while, let’s hope Holden continue down route.
Not so good : Steering feel, suspension and seating comfort are still only average.