AFTER six gruelling years, Holden has finally put the 2002-era Daewoo
Kalos-based TK Barina out of its misery, replacing it with a bold and
attractive five-door only hatch that strives to right its predecessors’ many
And in many areas the new TM series succeeds, thanks to a strong and
spacious body, heaps of standard safety and convenient equipment, and a very
appealing overall presentation inside and out.
There’s still some work that
needs to be done, but at last we can finally once again recommend a Barina.
Model release dates: November 2011 - October 2012
BASICALLY a rebadged 2002 Daewoo T200 Kalos but with a 77kW/145Nm 1.6-litre
twin-cam four-cylinder petrol engine that always felt too rough and noisy, the
fifth-generation Barina was a backwards step compared to its award-winning Opel
Corsa-based XC Barina from 2001.
Two body styles were initially offered – a
three-door and five-door hatch – while a slightly larger four-door sedan joined
the range from 2006.
Very low pricing and Holden’s impressive marketing machine
sustained sales, but critics continued to ravage the TK.
A neat facelift
arrived from mid-2008, but the Barina was a bottom-of-the-barrel cheapie that
did nothing for Holden’s reputation.
The sooner we all forget about this
Korean-built aberration the better, but run-out stocks the previous-gen Barina
hatch will continue to be sold alongside the sedan, which won't be replaced
until early 2012.
To distinguish those outmoded vehicles from the all-new
model, they will be known as the 'Barina Classic' hatch and sedan, while the
smaller Barina Spark hatch continues unchanged.