March 5th, 2014 by Robert Barry
You could be forgiven for thinking that the new Barina RS is a track searing hot hatchback thanks to the current television ad that sees Greg Murphy revving the engine and screeching the tyres around the Highlands circuit in Cromwell.
Alas, do not be fooled by the power of the telly ad because the latest addition to the Barina hatch range is only a mild butter chicken rather than a scorching Vindaloo, its a warm hatch rather than a hot one, but nevertheless its still a very good steer that will curry favour with many.
By adding the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine from the Holden Cruze as well as tweaking the suspension package, upgrading the brake package to discs all-round and lowering the ride height, the Holden engineers, in conjunction with their US and Korean colleagues have created a sporty and responsive hatchback that is fun to drive in the city and beyond. Continue reading “Holden: Barina RS 2014 review” »
January 10th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham
It doesn’t seem that long ago since we sampled the Barina (in CD trim), but it was a whole year. I remember thinking that Holden had dramatically improved the looks over the previous model, and my opinion is still the same. The Barina is a well-crafted supermini with some interesting detailing and a strong forward stance.
In terms of looks, it’s pretty much the same. Imagine yourself an hour older and that’s how much the Barina has changed on the outside. On the inside, it’s a different story, and it’s mostly down to the inclusion of Holden’s MyLink media system.
Showing just how far vehicle manufacturers want to Continue reading “Holden Barina Hatch CDX 1.6 2012 Review” »
February 29th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
We reviewed the hatchback Barina back in December, so what’s the big deal with the new sedan version? Well, the big deal is the voluminous boot. It’s large enough for you to take up a career as a mafia hitman and not bother driving to the woods between targets. In fact, at a whopping 502 litres, it’s bigger than a Commodore’s boot by six litres.
Despite its new-found booty, it’s manoeuvrable, and easy to judge the corners. I had a gig at Cornwall Park on a very sunny day and I managed to park the Barina in a space 12 inches longer than the car (if that), even without parking sensors. The omission of parking sensors is annoying, though. All cars should have them these days.
Quite often when you take a hatchback and stick on a boot the result looks like you’ve taken the cutest little Maltese cross and strapped a beer fridge to its backside. This isn’t the case with the Barina. Aside from looking a little blunt at the front end, the lines work really well, with the rear window segueing nicely into the boot lid. The strong crease in the flank and the line across the boot combine with the stubby nose to give a sense of forward motion when standing still. The naked headlights give the Barina a styling edge and the whole aura of the car has gone from a definitely Continue reading “Holden Barina Sedan 2012 Review” »
December 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Barina just got meaner. All poetic attempts aside, the new face of Holden’s Barina leads its sportier pretences, and it works. In our review of the previous Barina Spark we noted ‘brave and modern exterior design.’ Reading between the lines, this means that the design could have left some of you a tad cold, and to be honest, it did have a mish-mash of lines.
The meaner Barina, though, has no such trouble. The design is much more purposeful and coherent. From the new exposed angular headlights and creased flanks to the wheel arches that accentuate the tasteful alloys, the Barina has an attitude that moves it away from the feminine and into neutral territory. Yes, you can still drive this if you are female of any age, but it’s masculine enough, too.
The external design features rear door handles situated just behind the rear window. All doors open freely and getting in and out of the Barina is easy. Continue reading “Holden Barina 2012 Review” »
July 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Holden has unveiled the new 2012 Barina at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. First unveiled last year in Chevrolet form as the Aero the Holden-badged 2012 Barina will go on sale in NZ this October.
The next-generation Barina will add to a Holden’s growing small car range that now includes the Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch and the smallest of the line up, the Barina Spark.
In terms of styling, most of the Chevrolet Aero’s design has been retained including the distinctive ‘dual port’ grille which is set to give the Holden range a new corporate face in the future. Dynamic lines are carried through a high beltline, sweeping roofline and subtle integrated rear spoiler. The Barina’s design work was completed at GM’s South Korean design centre.
In the cabin the new Barina use a similar motorcycle-inspired instrument panel as the smaller Barina Spark. Blue illumination is used all round and LED backlighting also features. Standard equipment includes modern kit like Bluetooth and audio streaming, iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering wheel audio buttons. Continue reading “Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina” »
March 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
There’s no doubt that a small spark can be a powerful thing. Spark is a vital element of the internal combustion engine and it’s often a small spark that can start the largest fires. But can Holden’s new Barina Spark blaze its way into the affections of small hatch buyers on a budget in NZ, or will it fizzle out? With unique micro-car styling, quirky features and an emphasis on safety the Spark has a good chance of scoring some serious sales. Car and SUV spent a week fanning the flames to see if the Barina Spark will become hot property.
Designed and built in Korea, the Barina Spark is a truly global product for General Motors that will be sold in over 150 countries. Here in NZ, the Spark is the latest in a line of sub-compact hatches Holden has given the Barina badge and sold over the years. How does it stack up? Well, it’s certainly the most striking model to wear the nameplate.
Aimed largely at female buyers the Spark has definite cute appeal but also mixes in many modern, sporty design cues. Like a dog that’s carried in a handbag the Spark’s petite proportions and wide-eyed face will get the ladies swooning. Huge wrap-over Continue reading “Holden Barina Spark 2011 Review” »
October 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Holden New Zealand’s new city car, the Barina Spark will officially debut at next week’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. The 1.2-litre hatch will join the existing Barina model range and becomes the latest model in Holden’s small car portfolio.
Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Simon Carr, thinks the Barina Spark will attract a younger generation of buyers to the Holden brand.
“This is a very style-conscious market and what we have here is a really fresh and energetic design that breaks the “cute car” mould. It’s a fun, fuel efficient package which offers class-leading safety features and value for money in the best Holden tradition.”
“The Barina Spark injects a healthy dose of attitude and street presence and brings together a number of elements that really resonate with consumers” he said.
The 5-door Barina Spark CD and CDX are based on GMŸs latest global design. Standard features include a sports body kit, alloy wheels, fog lamps and a rear spoiler, along with safety features across the range, like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and six-airbag occupant protection.
Both are powered by a 1.2 litre DOHC four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy is a frugal 5.6 litres/100km combined.
In terms of styling the Barina Spark is designed to have the look of a sporty three-door while delivering five-door functionality. The rear door handles are hidden to help further the wedge-shaped profile and clean body sides. Up front, raked headlamps flank a large Holden grille.
Continue reading “Holden Barina Spark heading to NZ after Sydney debut” »