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Holden lobs fresh Aussie-designed Barina

Hatched: The sedan is no longer a part of the Holden Barina range, but the hatch now starts from $400 less than before.

Sedan gone, pricing dropped in mid-life update for Holden Barina

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Holden logo29 Nov 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

GM HOLDEN has revealed pricing and specification for its freshly facelifted Barina light car that was designed by the local team at GM Australia design.

The new look was revealed at this year’s New York motor show in Chevrolet Sonic guise and features a new front end treatment that was inspired by the Camaro sportscar, according to Holden, with a new grille and signature LED daytime running lights.

The updates to the Barina design penned at the Port Melbourne studio have been adopted in other markets, including the US, for the Chevrolet-badged version.

At the rear, the Barina gains smoked tail-lights and it appears to feature a new wheel design.

Inside, the Barina loses the motorcycle-like instrument cluster for a more traditional setup, while the centre stack has also been subtly restyled.

Due to slow sales of the sedan – about 20 per cent of total Barina volume – the booted variant has been ditched from the 2017 line-up.

The line-up has also been trimmed down from CD, CDX, sporty RS and limited edition CDR variants, with Holden adopting the passenger car nomenclature of LS and LT for the updated model.

Reflecting how competitive the light-car segment is, Holden has also cut the price of entry for the Barina by $400 to $14,990 plus on-road costs for the base LS five-speed manual, which rises to $17,190 for the six-speed automatic and tops out at at $20,390 for the auto-only LT.

The price of the LS the Barina is just $1000 more than the recently released Spark micro car, but it matches light hatch rivals including the Hyundai Accent, Honda Jazz and Mazda2.

Holden has upped the tech features of the new Barina with the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors as standard on both variants.

Also standard on the base LS is a colour touchscreen, automatic headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The LT adds keyless entry and start, a leather steering wheel, Sportec seat trim, heated front seats and an upgrade to 17-inch alloy wheels.

Holden has not made any changes under the skin, with the Barina continuing with its 85kW/155Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine that consumes 6.8 litres of fuel per 100km in manual guise or 6.7L for the auto.

While the new-gen Spark benefited from significant engineering work conducted by Holden’s development team, no such work has been completed on the updated Barina.

GM Australia’s exterior design manager Justin Thompson said the company aimed to give the Barina a mature new look.

“It was time for the Barina to grow up at bit and expand its global appeal beyond the young adult market,” he said.

“We were challenged to explore what Barina could be to create a more athletic exterior whilst providing an interior that people can enjoy their time in.

“Barina has always been a fun-to-drive car and we wanted to somehow maintain that quality but also offer a more mature and sophisticated design for a more complete package overall,” he said.

“With its trademark wheels-at-the-corners stance and dramatic changes to its front grille and fascia, Barina’s design really points to its pleasurable driving dynamics and technology inside.” Once one of the top selling light cars in Australia, Barina sales have slowed in recent years, and it is now eighth in the segment behind big hitters such as the Hyundai Accent, Mazda2 and Toyota Yaris as well as the Suzuki Swift, VW Polo, Honda Jazz and Kia Rio.

So far this year, Holden has sold 3503 Barinas, a 29 per cent drop over the same period last year.

2017 Holden Barina pricing*
LS $14,990
LS (a) $17,190
LT (a) $20,390
*Excludes on-road costs

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