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Car reviews - Holden - Barina - 5-dr hatch


Holden’s new Barina is a step forward over the outgoing model, but still disappoints

14 Oct 2011

OVER the course of almost 27 years we’ve only had five Barina models in Australia and, while most were okay verging on good, the last one was a shocker. Anything was preferable to the Daewoo Kalos-based TK. So it is with great relief to report that the sixth-generation light car from the red corner is a whole lot better than before. In fact, for equipment levels, safety, cabin space and functionality, the new TM series is right up there with the best. Just don’t expect to be inspired by the driving experience and you might even forgive Holden for the previous atrocity.
Model release date: 1 October 2011 to 1 October 2012

Previous model

TK Barina

Released: December 2005
Ended: September 2011
Family Tree: Barina

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 backward step compared to the award-winning Opel Corsa-based XC Barina that preceded it 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.

Get the full story: Holden's new Korean Barina hatch is no Opel, but offers features and value in spades

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