Car reviews - Holden - Barina - City 3-dr hatch
9 May 2003
FORD WB FESTIVA 3D HATCHBACK (1994-1996)
MADE by the South Korean Kia company, the Festiva was Ford's low-cost baby. It is front-wheel drive, has a noisy 46kW 1.3 engine with a choice of three-speed auto or five-speed manual, and power steering as standard. Flimsy build, dreary handling, a bouncy ride and cheapo reputation ruin any appeal.
HYUNDAI EXCEL 3D HATCHBACK (1991-1998)
THIS car may have taken the market by storm, but it's as appealing as a wet blanket used. Front-wheel drive, a gutsy 1.5 engine and lots of space appealed, but a problematic four-speed auto, awful five-speed manual and low quality trim are off-putting. Durability problems plagued this model, so it's best avoided.
SUZUKI SWIFT 3D HATCHBACK (1994-2000)
THIS basic little car was also the 1989-1994 Barina. Front-wheel drive with a simple 1.3 engine coupled to a three-speed automatic or five-speed manual. Light, noisy but economical. No power steering as standard is tough. But at least it's well made, reliable and cheap honest transport.
NISSAN MICRA 3D HATCHBACK (1995-1997)
BRITISH built and technically the most advanced of the group with a 1275cc, twin cam, 16-valve engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A five-speed manual is optional. Power steering is standard. For space efficiency, economy, zippy performance and driver appeal, it's hard to go by.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
All car reviews
Click to share