Slick Barina an appy
Holden engineers turn an average car into a good one
headache of infotainment systems that date within 18 months of a car’s launch.
It’s a smart move— if the PRICE, running costs and looks are factors that light car buyers agonise over.
The Holden Barina has two of the three criteria down pat and updates to its six-speed automatic have brought it back into the game on fuel expenses.
With a youth-oriented interior that now has the My Link app-based infotainment system, it is on the money as a practical inner-city commuter.
The CD kicks things off at $15,990 with a 1.6-litre engine and five-speed manual gearbox. The auto adds $2500, which makes the self-shifting CDX at $20,490 the pick of the pair. It runs on 17-inch wheels fitted with decent Continental rubber. It also has reverse parking sensors, heated front seats and fog lamps. The price puts it ahead of the pack— the top-selling Mazda2 Genki costs the same money with a manual gearbox, as does the Ford Fiesta Zetec.
Holden is making the most of smartphone technology and software apps to avoid the apps suit the market. The Red Lion sees internet radio as a big selling point, along with an app-based satnav due next year. My Link copes with most smartphones and, by being just the interface, should stay contemporary long past its rivals.
The auto gearbox is now good for 6.3L/100km, which is a mere 0.2L more— or a couple of aggressive take-offs from the lights— than the likes of the Fiesta, Kia Rio or CVTequipped Suzuki Swift.
A clean and modern look without too many fussy lines helps explain the Barina’s external appeal.
The distinct dual headlamps give it an upmarket look and the chrome highlights on the CDX say you’ve got the premium package.
It looks good inside, too . . . just don’t touch. The plastics are a marked improvement on the Barina Spark but are still far from best in show.
No worries here. The Barina’s five-star ANCAP rating is at the high end of the light car scale, with a rating of 35.32 out of 37. Six airbags are standard and the basic structure was praised by the crash-testing body for its rigidity. Don’t hit a Commodore— size still matters.
Local input into the suspension and steering can be felt from
Smart move: Holden is making the most of smartphone technology