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Holden's delivers its first Barina sedan

Made in Korea: Chevrolet Aveo-based Barina sedan joins the Daewoo Kalos-based Barina hatch on sale in Australia from this month.

Holden’s small-car assault renewed by an inaugural Barina sedan, courtesy of Daewoo

22 Feb 2006

HOLDEN’S latest Barina is the first sedan in the nameplate’s 21-year history in Australia. So why offer a sedan when the booming light and small car segments are dominated by hatchbacks? Holden executives believe that although the GM Daewoo-built sedan is likely to make up just 20 per cent of overall sales, it will be a vital ingredient to the Melbourne-based car-maker’s small-car onslaught this year.

The Barina sedan joins its hatch stablemate, the Viva small car and the European-sourced Astra three-door, Astra wagon and Tigra coupe-convertible as part of a broadening small-car line-up from Holden.

The company’s marketing manager for small and medium cars, Teresa Basile, said such has been the popularity of the hatch that it would be hard to forecast overall Barina sales this year.

In December more than 1000 Barinas were sold and last month almost 1400 found buyers. Holden expects a similar number of sales this month.

Ms Basile said the addition of a $14,490 Barina sedan in the price segment could not be overlooked.

This year Holden has forecast total industry sales of 100,000 light cars, which will represent 15 per cent of the 2006 passenger-car market. At present, there are only two other sedan offerings – the Toyota Yaris and Kia Rio – in the sub-$17,000 arena.

The Barina sedan is 430mm longer than the hatch, 40mm wider and 10mm higher. Over the hatch version it also adopts a stronger Holden corporate grille, bluff front end and wheel-arch blisters.

The car’s three-box configuration allows for a roomy 400-litre boot with the rear seats up and 1097 litres with the seats folded.

13 center imageEquipment levels are comparable with light-car rivals and include dual airbags, air-conditioning, power steering/mirrors, six-speaker MP3-compatible CD stereo, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, windscreen-integrated radio antenna, tilt-adjustable steering, 60/40-split folding rear seat and remote central locking.

Metallic paint is $250 extra while an option pack with ABS brakes and 15-inch alloy wheels is available for $1190.

The car’s interior was penned by former Holden design chief Mike Simcoe and features silver trim accents with dark-grey cloth seats and door trim and four-cluster instruments.

Codenamed the T250, the sedan was developed by GM-Daewoo in South Korea and launched as the Chevrolet Aveo at last year’s Shanghai motor show. Although Holden would not confirm it, the hatch may pick up the sedan’s distinctive grille and newer dashboard treatments in the not-too-distant future.

The sedan sits on the same 2480mm wheelbase as the hatch but with a 20mm wider rear track. Power is derived from the same 1.6-litre 16-valve four-cylinder engine that appears in the hatch, developing 76kW at 5800rpm and 145Nm at 3600rpm. A four-speed auto is $2000.

Holden claims a 6.9L/100km combined fuel figure for the five-speed manual.

The sedan was developed with significant engineering input from Australia and extensive durability and validation testing was conducted here.

According to chassis development engineer John Taylor, three suspension tunes were contemplated: a Lotus-developed European tune, as well as Holden and Korean-developed systems. Unsurprisingly, the Holden tune won out – and this is also likely to be picked up in future by Chevrolet for the Aveo.

The MacPherson strut front suspension and coil-sprung torsion beam system at the rear carries over from the hatch, with slightly different calibration for the heavier sedan. Brakes are front disc/rear drum.

Holden claims the sedan body is stronger than the hatch and uses more than 40 per cent high-strength steel. A "pendulum" B-pillar using tailor-welded blanking, similar to that used in the AH Astra, helps minimise intrusion into the cabin in a side impact.

Apart from the dual airbags, both the driver and front-seat passengers get seatbelt pretensioners.

2006 Barina sedan pricing:

Barina sedan - $14,490
Barina sedan (a) - $16,490

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