Holden Barina

Starting price $14,990
Georgie savings $1,223 - $2,243


This lightweight little motor is underpinned by some seriously heavy hitting tech, making it one of the most kitted out cars of 2017.  

One of the great things about the five-door, five-seat Barina is the fact that there are only two variants - a standard LS and a sportier LT model. Both list surprisingly similar engines and features, the main exception being a sleeker front and rear, leather interior details, passive entry, and push button start. With base model Barinas starting at just $14,990 and ranging to $20,390 for the automatic LT variant, it’s up to you to decide how important those relatively limited extras really are.  



Cute little body

Although the Barina is still very much classified a small car, the newest model is actually quite a bit larger than earlier versions when considering its 1735mm width. Still, it’s a well-designed compact car that boasts LED day runners at the front, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome detailing, and front fog lamps to give the body a much more upmarket feel. One very visible drawback is the roof-mounted bee sting antenna at the back, which stand as a reminder that this is a utilitarian car.  

It’s important to remember that Barina’s 1.6L engine isn’t designed to compete with the likes of the Polo GTI or Toyota 86. In fact, it’s quite an outdated machine, with less fuel economy than its market competitors in the form of Mazda2 and Toyota Yaris. That said, this is still by no means a thirsty car (measuring 7.2L/100km in combined conditions). It’s fine, but at a time when the entire market is focused on more efficient cars it could certainly be better.  


Interior lovin’

Touted as ‘a small car big on tech’, the Barina really does put more luxury brands to shame when it comes to infotainment and driver aides. There’s a rear view camera that displays images clearly on a seven-inch touchscreen, as well as sat-nav and rear parking sensors. These work alongside the car’s dual air conditioning, auto headlights, cruise control, and USB/AUX inputs.

Barina also comes equipped Holden’s voice operated MyLink system, which hosts Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and six Sony speakers throughout. The dash does have a plastic-ey feel, however this is offset by its smart and clean overall configuration.  




Our verdict

The Barina makes a wonderful first car for new drivers or a super affordable city runaround. Its impressive media offering make it a great value drive, with little incentive to buy any further up the range than the base model LS.   

Also worth mentioning is the fact that ample thought has been put into storage facilities throughout the car. There are three cup holders (two in the front and one in the rear centre console), a luggage net and organiser in the boot, sunglass docks, and mobile phone compartment. It’s quite an efficient setup for such a small car.  

In terms of value for money, the Barina outperforms many luxury vehicles when it comes to tech, but still has a way to go in engine emissions and efficiency to be truly competitive. We really do look forward to seeing what the future holds for this particular brand.  

Beep beep, indeed.  


5 specs you need to know

  1. 3 year/100,000km warranty and lifetime capped price servicing
  2. 5-star ANCAP rating
  3. Six airbags
  4. 1.6L four-cylinder engine
  5. Boot space: 290 litres (quite reasonable for this segment)



  • Ample space for two adults and three children
  • Restyled body is quite athletic



  • Could be more fuel-efficient
  • Leatherette trim can be mighty hot on a summer’s day





No review is available for this model.

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