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More power, auto and a host of minor improvements recharge Holden’s Barina Spark

30 Nov 2012

HOLDEN is finally getting serious with its baby Barina Spark by introducing an automatic option, two long years after the manual-only original appeared.

And, in a nutshell, it is the obvious choice as well, despite having only four forward speeds, since the self-shifter brings improved performance and driveability compared to the rather unpleasant manual version.

But would we still rather have the manual-only Volkswagen Up?
Model release date: 1 January 2013 to 1 February 2016

Previous model

Barina Spark Series 1

Released: October 2010
Ended: October 2012
Family Tree: Barina Spark

HOLDEN always knew the Barina Spark – its first true sub-B segment seller in Australia – would struggle without automatic transmission availability, but the 6000 or so Series 1 sales is not too bad considering. Underneath the contemporary and youthful styling is a variation of the old 2002 Daewoo Kalos/2005-2011 TK Barina front-drive architecture, while the 59kW/107Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is no spring chicken either. Two five-speed manual models were offered – CD and CDX, both with five doors.

Get the full story: Barina Spark's price, spec, handling and safety add up well but Micra has it licked

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