2003 Holden Barina SXi 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand
Forget what the doom merchants say
Left hand steering rack worn along with front engine mount. With a major service, total cost $650, so pretty good value & the car is now solid as a rock.
This little jigger was bought as a runaround to partner first a Holden SS ute I had, and now a LR Disco 2ES.
Being the SXi, it has loads of nice bits like leather steering wheel, audio controls on the wheel, metal interior handles, alloys etc. I've since upgraded the speakers, tinted the windows, added sound deadening plus a full K&N filter kit & slightly sporty muffler. Have also attended to a few broken clips etc.
The Barina (Opel Corsa C) beats the Japanese competition hands down for driving. It rides flatter, the seats are comfortable for longer trips & is very competently designed. I love the way the rear light design is integrated, as well as the thought that went into where all the shut lines should be.
We have a range of Japanese cars at work & I admit that they stand up to abuse better than the Barina would. But as a private buyer, I prefer to focus on the niceties of the design day to day. I get most of the benefits of a VW Polo or Peugeot 206, but without the costs a Euro badge attracts. Yes, it costs more to run than a Japanese car, but it's still inexpensive compared to some.
If you have a lemonade budget, I recommend one unless ultra rock bottom transport costs are your priority. I do low mileages, so that means the car gets very well looked after, & I realise that's not the case for all.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th June, 2014