1994 Holden Barina GSi 1.6L from Australia and New Zealand


Not a reliable car, though when there aren't any problems, a nice little pocket rocket


My cam-belt broke at 36,000km, resulting in major engine repair work.

Engine revving to over 6000rpm at idle. This occurred at 25,000km.

Engine stalling at idle, at 20,000km.

New EGF valve required at 101,000km.

New Anti-Locking Brakes sensor required at 101,000km.

General Comments:

When this car is running, handles nicely, though the suspension is rather firm.

Very poor with respect to reliability. I will not be buying this model again.

Insurance premiums are also expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th August, 2001

31st Aug 2002, 15:12

Just an update on what I wrote previously. Car has now done 115,000km. Had to get the cam sensor replaced. Dealer says cam belt needs to be replaced every 60,000km instead of 120,000 which means the cam belt problem isn't unique to my car. So beware out there!

16th Jul 2003, 04:39

Recurrent problem with the slider for the air vent (fresh/recycle). Stiffens up then breaks off every 4 or so years. Apparently something to do with a cable, which needs to be replaced and the dash has to come off to access it. Second time it's happened to my car since I bought it in 1995.

1994 Holden Barina GSi 1.6 dohc 16v efi petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Front discs need replacement.

ABS sensor needed replacement.

Power steering liquid leaks.

Driveshafts leak oil.

Too many inside cabin noises.

General Comments:

With 50,000 kilometers on the clock it's unacceptable for a car to be this bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 1998

2nd Feb 2001, 07:57

My Barina GSi has 105,000 km on the clock & not much has gone wrong with it.

The ABS needs frequent checking.

13th Jul 2001, 02:26

My car now has 110 000 km's, the car is extremely reliable, however the brakes are beginning to wear out and become dangerous at some stopping distances, new pads were fitted 5000 km's ago, I find this very weird to happen after such a service.

Apart from this, everything is good.

4th Dec 2002, 06:09

I have 1-year-old Barina with only 18,000 km on it. I have been told (by authorized Holden service) that I do need front brakes and disks replacement and it will cost me just 750$AU. Also, I had explanations that this very common with this new construction of the brakes system and that there are customers who were surprised by this fact (which is not a surprise). Reference to the European-build cars, such as Mercedes and Volkswagen, has been also made to me, probably to satisfy my curiosity. So, it is a "cheap" car to run.

22nd Mar 2005, 20:17

I have a 1994 Barina GSI, the car has done just over 204,000 Km's and has had the same problems as stated above. ABS one of the most re-occurrent problems. One of the main problems I had with the braking system was that when I bought the car second hand it had upgraded brake rotors and pads, the master cylinder was not bored out to suit the new braking system, so I went back to the standard brake size leaving me with a shot ABS master cylinder which was costly to replace. I thought the problem was fixed. Then later in the vehicles life it had to be replaced again along with the ABS sensor.

I think the problem is that ABS was relatively new to the GMH group in the early 90's and had a few little bugs to sort out. I would like to know if anyone can write a comment on actually replacing the older model B Braking system with the later model C. I know this might be off of the subject, but this would be a great help to my car and i. Thank you.