1 Nov 2011
HOLDEN released its sixth-generation Barina in November 2011, advancing the series in safety, refinement, space, value, and driveability.
Still built in Korea, the T300 TM series was based on GM’s Gamma platform that also underpinned the contemporary Opel Corsa.
Only one model was available initially, in a five-door hatchback body, offering a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Designed by a Holden stylist in Korea, the TM stood out with its wide stance, flared wheelarches, ‘raw’ headlight and tail-light detailing, a pronounced upswept wedge and concealed rear door handles.
At 4039mm long, 1735mm wide, and 1517mm high, the TM was one of the larger cars in its segment, and sat within a sizeable 2525mm wheelbase.
Underneath the Barina had a conventional transverse engine front-wheel drive architecture, underpinned by MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam rear axle.
At launch only one engine was available – a revised version of GM’s long-lived 1598cc 1.6-litre Family One twin-cam four-cylinder petrol unit, producing 85kW at 6000rpm and 155Nm at 4000rpm.
Steering was via a hydraulic power assisted rack and pinion set-up while the front brakes were ventilated discs at 256mm in diameter, with 230mm drums out back.
Aiding the stoppers on every TM Barina were electronic stability control (a first for the series), anti-lock brakes, traction control, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.
In late 2012, Holden introduced the MY13 Barina, going from one to two variants (CD base and CDX flagship), with a revised six-speed auto gearbox promising smoother shifts and more efficient operation, for fuel economy gains upwards of 10 per cent.
Part of the auto-only CDX specification was the introduction of 17-inch alloy wheels, necessitating the fitment of electric power steering. Holden took this opportunity to tune the steering and fiddle with suspension settings to improve the ride and handling, but models with the 17-inch wheels retained the old hydraulic steering arrangement.
A new multimedia system called MyLink was introduced, offering a range of Smartphone-connected apps including internet radio and satellite-navigation access.