1995 Holden Barina SB Swing 1.4 perol from Australia and New Zealand


A slow, simple, and interesting way to learn to drive


Brakes failed on a major inner city hill.

The windscreen leaks and it smells strange inside.

General Comments:

The performance from the 1.4 is devastatingly slow with an automatic. It must be a sight to see me (a learner) revving the hell out of it just to keep up with the traffic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th November, 2003

1995 Holden Barina GSi 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Buy Japanese


Constant fuel injection problems that caused the car to "run rich"

The car was running on 3 cylinders at times.

General poor fit and finish indide and out.

Rear lights kept blowing out, a common electrical problem.

The car often refused to start.

Hopeless air conditioning.

General Comments:

The car went quite hard for a 1.6 and had average handling.

Ultimately the reliability trade off is not worth it.

The worst part was that Holden didn't know how to fix it when its numerous problems occured and did not have the correct computer software on hand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2002

3rd Dec 2002, 17:56

I experienced the same problems with reliability. I own a 1994 Holden Barina Swing and the engine either (a) cut out while driving, or (b) refused to start. I had to change numerous parts, including the rotor button, ignition module, fuel relay pump, timing belt, etc. All to the cost of $2000 (warranty ended) and still the problem persists! The current diagnosis is that it is either a fuel injection problem or the fuel alternator. I will never buy a Holden again. Nippon ichiban!

1995 Holden Barina SB GSi 1.6 16v from Australia and New Zealand


Highly enjoyable plus comfortable and practical when it needs to be


EGR valve was replaced under warranty soon after purchase (~40'000k)

Throttle cable replaced (~80'000k)

Cam belt snapped (100'000k) causing extensive engine damage. Dealer 'forgot' to check that service intervals had been changed from 60'000 to 40'000k by factory the year before. No, I don't go there anymore!

Rear bulbs had a funny knack of blowing, but only on the driver's side of the car?

Have just had the cam belt replaced (AUD200 to prevent 3k worth of damage!) along with the water pump/idler/tensioner bearings.

Still on my first clutch and gearbox which is more a testament to my driving style rather than reliability (I'd happily drive like a hooligan if someone else was paying the bills!)

General Comments:

Apart from routine maintenence, it always performs well and is very economical (routinely average +600k per fill)

Additions include -40mm progressive rate springs, hi-flow system and 15" wheels, +60% headlamp bulbs.

The driving experience is always positive - I just wish 5th gear was taller for those long freeway journeys!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2002

1995 Holden Barina GSi 1.6 16v from Australia and New Zealand


Having problems with the car overheating. Nothing else so far.

General Comments:

Excellent little car, though the rear end styling leaves a little to be desired.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 1999

9th Mar 2013, 08:02

I have owned a 95 SB Swing manual since 2004.

It has been an amazingly reliable little car, with little going wrong, but then again I have always maintained it.

It did have thermostat problems for a while, but these were fixed by finding a better mechanic, who replaced the cap of the coolant reservoir and the thermostat. I moved right away from Holden servicing early on when they tried to replace the disc brake discs at 80,000 km - it wasn't needed. It has required a commitment to spend regularly to fix normal wear and tear, but overall it has been a great car.

As a manual it has always had enough take off speed, but those used to more than 1400 cc's will feel unhappy with performance; it's a steady accelerator, not a Maserati.

Make sure the timing belt was replaced before 100,000 km as suggested earlier - a seized belt can destroy the motor!

Note that these were Opel Corsas, so they were a quality German design and build compared to the later Daewoos badged as Holden Barinas.

The dash layout and interior controls are still superior to cars being built today - still great to look at, brilliant ergonomics and user friendly design, plus double air bags. The air conditioning is the one weak point - I gave up on re-gassing it years ago.

Look for evidence of regular parts replacement and service maintenance.