Holden / Barina / hatch
REALITY is sometimes a pretty stark thing to confront.
And it’s no different in the car industry, where seeming truisms often hide painful facts that, if not faced square on, can sometimes lead to unwelcome consequences.
In the case of Holden’s new Korean-built Barina, the plain facts are that if you want to lead the light-car class, you also need to lead the way in pricing as well.
Thus doing, Holden has taken a step towards aggressive competitivity and a step away from emotional ties to Euro-sourced cars.
The result is a well-equipped, rock-bottom-priced light car that will appeal to the mind, if not the heart, of bargain-basement buyers.
The Barina, in three and five-door hatchback form, delivers pretty good performance with its 1.6-litre engine, offers decent standard equipment, is class-competitive in space utilisation and, while it seems a stylistic step backwards from the Opel-sourced Barina, it is at least clean and inoffensive to look at.
Model release date: December 2005
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Replacing a car renowned for its low quality and dud dynamics, the Opel-sourced 2001 XC Barina made good with high levels of comfort, refinement, value and driveability.
Available in three or five-door hatchback guises, it felt like a TS Astra, only smaller.
Power came courtesy of a 66kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder tied to a four-speed auto or five-speed manual.
Fluctuating currencies meant that Holden had trouble keeping the XC prices competitive against ever-improving cheapies like Hyundai’s Getz.
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