1998 Holden Barina SB 1.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Best bloody car we have ever had!


One or two relatively minor things that I can't recall.

The placement of pedals was a pain. Seemed to be in a really odd position… but you got used to them.

General Comments:

Unbelievably good car.

The car was bought new and was one with German components, so different Barinas over the years have come from different countries, so check! The model directly after ours which has tail lights very high next to the hatch door was also very good apparently and won Wheels' Car of the Year in Australia in I think 2001.

The ride was unbelievable… felt like a much bigger car even though it was tiny! It could be parked virtually anywhere. Narrow lanes or driveways… not an issue!

Had the 60kw engine, but the earlier 3 door model I think was only 33 kw! Ours had heaps of go and cruised on the freeway in 5th gear at 110km/hr easily. A change into 4th for highway hills and you just zoomed up!

Clutch and gearshift action were a gem to use!

A tonne of room… even in the back, although remember it is a narrow car.

Great on fuel… about 6.5L/100 km, although it was driven in the country. Temperature reading was a groovy feature in 1998 with good graphics high in the centre of the dash, and it even flashed with a snow sign if the temperature dropped to 4 Celsius!

Ours was a 3 door and the front doors were huge… a cinch to get in and out of.

Fantastic sound from the radio/cassette. Heating/air conditioning controls were logical and easy to use.

Ours was sold after 10 lovely years, then drove for another few years before a mechanic bought it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th February, 2016

1998 Holden Barina City from Australia and New Zealand


Reliable, but a small cabin and a lack of acceleration.


Passenger side door locking mechanism had to be replaced, at a cost of $600.

Plastic fittings inside car, keep falling off.

Air-conditioning refuses to work.

Windows won't wind all the way down.

Back seat continually gets stuck when adjusting, and mechanisms have to be replaced, which is expensive.

General Comments:

A very reliable little car mechanically wise. It has never broken down.

Fixtures inside the car tend to fall off, but this doesn't effect the actual reliability of the driving.

Tends to be very sluggish driving. A real lack of power.

Very good turning circle. Can fit easily into small parking spaces.

The small foot pedals and cabin size suits a small person. Probably really meant for girls. My male big feet tend to catch on two pedals at once. Not much elbow space at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th February, 2005

1998 Holden Barina SB 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand


Expected better!!


Since new, minor things have gone wrong... up until now. The air con hardly works, the car, when driven for roughly 45 minutes gets too hot, and stalls whenever the clutch is depressed, then the speedometer needle drops, so I can't tell what speed I am doing. The lights under the air con controls don't work anymore, also the rear window washer sprays water inside the car. The obvious exterior problems of fading wheel arches and interior seat hinge covers (3 door) fall of when seats are put forward. There is so much more I am sure, but for now this will do.

General Comments:

Seriously consider something from Japan first.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th December, 2004

1998 Holden Barina SB 1.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Sophistication and reliability


Only general wear and tear. Replaced the halogen headlights with normal ones when one blew (too expensive to replace halogens).

Paintwork had faded and bubbled and had some touched up after purchasing it.

Flares had started to go white. Painted them with tire black, good as new now.

General Comments:

This car is really comfortable and surprisingly powerful (until you load it up with people). Feels a lot bigger than it is and it holds the road really well. It is a dream to park with the power steering. A very economical car and really pretty too!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2004